Hey, how’s it going? Welcome back to another edition of Hasbro Memories, where we’re reviewing the classic early 90’s WWF Hasbro toys, one series at a time.
If you’re new to the party, please go back and check out my Series One review. It’s got a great old video with Jesse Ventura and some awesome pictures of Andre the Giant.
Today, we’ll be looking at Series Two of the line. As I said last time, this is my favorite toy line of all time. It’s definitely my most played with. My mom recently found a giant tub containing most of my old figures, so I’m working on completing my collection as this series goes along. Also, Mattel released a WWE Retro line this year featuring figures inspired by the Hasbro toys, so it’s a great time to look back.
With Series One featuring a massive lineup of 12 figures, it’s hard to believe that Series Two would up the ante, but that’s just what those crazy Hasbro mofos have done. The follow-up series, released in 1991, features 9 different singles wrestlers, and for the first time in the line, 3 tag team two-packs.
Even better, sometime between Series One and Series Two, Hasbro released the Official WWF Wrestling Ring, which takes play to a whole new level. Sure, you could have your matches on the coffee table, but once you’re bouncing off the ropes and actually performing the high risk top turnbuckle maneuvers, you’re in the stratosphere. Here’s Jesse Ventura to explain (jump 30 seconds in if you’re super impatient).
My original ring was lost to time, but I was able to score a used one on eBay when I first started this venture. I way overpaid for it, so I don’t want to tell you the price. Let’s just say it rhymes with meighty mine mollars. And it didn’t even come with the flag.
An interesting thing that I didn’t know when I started doing this Hasbro research; there are actually two versions of the original blue ring. My old ring, which I remember buying at Roses before a family reunion, had flat square tops on the ring posts, which gave an awesome place for those awkward shaped handleback wrestlers to stand. My eBay ring posts have rounded tops. Not sure when Hasbro made the switch, but it’s worth noting. Which is why I noted it. Anyway, let’s get on to the wrestling men!
HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN
First thing, am I the only one who grew up misinformed, thinking a hacksaw was a big piece of wood? Why is a guy who’s gimmick is carrying a 2×4 and being super patriotic called “Hacksaw”? Then again, what are they going to call him? Lumber Jim Duggan?
Anyway, ol’ Hacksaw is making his debut in Series Two. I remember getting Hacksaw, along with Roddy Piper and Series One Jake Roberts, at Family Toy Warehouse in Beckley. They were some of our first figures (#2, 3 and 4, actually). My brother picked out Jim Duggan, no doubt for his cool 2×4 accessory. Anyone who carried a weapon was certainly in a good position to hold the MBWF Title. (That’s the Michael and Bobby Wrestling Federation).
Hacksaw is a pretty solid, if unassuming figure. Hasbro did a great job on his wild expression and gave him a harder look than the lovable goof he would become. Hacksaw also has one thumb permanently up, so he’s always ready to give a “Hoooo!”. The chest hair is a nice touch, as well as the fact that (intentional or not) his non-2×4 hand is shaped just right to carry the American flag that comes with the Official Ring. Come to think of it, this figure is pretty much perfect. A great example of why this line is so beloved.
Hacksaw’s big Real Wrestling Action is the “Hack Attack”, which is raising his arms and letting his 2×4 smash back down on his opponent. Kind of a murder figure, really. This Action is used a lot in the Hasbro figs (brought back heavily in the new Mattel line). When your figures only have four points of articulation, you don’t have a lot of room for innovation.
My original Hacksaw was sadly not included in the tub my mom found, so I had to search eBay for him. He comes with an accessory (a very easily lost accessory at that), so you know you’re going to pay more than you want for him. I paid $12.99 – not bad, but definitely more than we paid at Family Toy Warehouse in 1991.
ROWDY RODDY PIPER
Roddy Piper was one of my first favorites. The guy could talk and, in 1991, he was already considered a legend. I’m going off the dome here, but I think that, in 1991, Roddy was injured in some kind of accident and not doing any ring work. He was still a presence on WWF TV though, helping out Virgil and doing announcing. So it only makes sense that he’d take Jesse Ventura’s spot as the official spokesman for the WWF Hasbro commercials.
With my love for Hot Rod, it’s fitting that Piper was the first wrestling figure that I personally bought. Making his first and only appearance in Series Two, Roddy has a unique mold that is not used again in later series. Mainly because no one else in that era wore a kilt. Roddy’s happy expression is a little iffy (like he just heard there was a big bagpipes and bare-knuckle boxing event coming up), and his hair is even a little ridiculous, but the attire looks great. It’s more Roddy’s ring entrance attire than the blue trunks he favored while in the ring, but I guess that adds up since he was a non-wrestler at the time of his figure’s release. Or maybe they just already have a “blue trunks guy” in the line with Hacksaw.
Piper’s Real Wrestling Action is the “Piper Punch”, which is the same wind-up arm action used for Million Dollar Man and Smash in Series One. Hasbro made this one better though by shaping Roddy’s arm more like he is GOING to punch someone. Plus, the whole punch thing works better for Roddy given his boxing background.
It’s no surprise that Hulk Hogan makes a return appearance in Series Two of the WWF line. Hogan – and to some degree Ultimate Warrior and Randy Savage – are the men that WWF was hanging the company on in that era, so Hasbro knew they’d be able to sell toys. As I said in my Series One review, I prefer Series Two Hulk over his Series One counterpart, but I freely admit that it may just be because I had the Series Two version as a kid. I remember picking up Hogan and Series Two Warrior at Roses, the same day we got the Official Ring. That championship belt accessory that comes with the ring went right onto Hogan, I’m sure. You can’t deny greatness.
That said, I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the Series Two Hulk Hogan figure. First off, his face is so angry. I get that you need to have intensity, but out of all the WWF Hasbro Hogans (there were six if you count the mini Rumblers and the giant talking ones), none of them even have a hint of a smirk.
Expression notwithstanding, Series Two Hulk is just way too bulky. That “Hulkster Hug” Action is great in theory, but it makes for an awkward shaped figure. And I’ve already talked about my dislike for figures that are hard to pin. How are you supposed to pin a guy holding his arms out like that? Pin his legs? That’s stupid. I’d usually have to make Hogan kind of hold his opponent in a bodyslam position to have a pin attempt. How unrealistic is that? Then again, Hogan never getting pinned is pretty realistic.
You may wonder why our Hulk Hogan looks so dirty. That’s because it’s not really Hulk Hogan you’re looking at. When we got Series Three Hogan, we decided to make Series Two Hulk a whole new wrestler. I mean, think about it – why did the MBWF need two Hogans? So we took a black marker and colored Hogan completely black. Now he was The Miner.
The Ultimate Warrior was EVERY kid’s favorite in 1991. Sure, Hulk Hogan had the history, but Warrior was the future. With his neon colored tassles and trunks, crazy intensity and that sweet facepaint, no wrestler said “Welcome to the 90s” like the Warrior.
Warrior had just wrapped up his run as WWF Champion when this series was introduced, so, like Hogan, it makes sense that he makes his second appearance in the line with Series Two.
Like Hulk Hogan, I’ve admitted that I have a natural affinity for Series Two Warrior over Series One Warrior, but anyone can see that Series Two Warrior blows the first one out of the water. The colors are just right, his stance is awesome, and his Action – the “Ultimate Slam” – is similar to his real life Gorilla Press Slam. His fingers are even shaped perfectly for this move. One of my favorite figures in the whole line – just look at him!!!
We somehow acquired two Series Two Warriors, so naturally we wrapped one of them in black duct tape from the waist down. I have no recollection of this nor can I comprehend why we did it – maybe we wanted alternate ring gear? The Warrior pictured is the non-duct taped version. He’s missing a finger but his paint looks cleaner.
SUPERFLY JIMMY SNUKA
I’ve already expressed my distaste for the “handle back” figures like Series One Brutus Beefcake and Warrior. You couldn’t pin them, you couldn’t make the championship belt fit around them, and half the time they fell down because they leaned too far forward. Series Two would bring us more of these, including the Superfly.
Jimmy Snuka must be included for his legend status in Series Two, because in 1991, all I can remember the Superfly doing is losing. In fact, his most memorable 90’s moment is probably being the first guy The Undertaker beat at Wrestlemania. The 1 in 1-0.
That said, you can’t begrudge having a legendary figure, even when you’re a kid. And Superfly does have his hands and arms perfect for performing that Superfly Splash that everyone loves. Of course, Hasbro kind of screws this up by calling it the “Superfly Slam”. Maybe because you push down his handle, release and he slams into his opponent? I’m sorry – THIS IS NOT A SLAM! A slam involves picking someone up and dropping them.
It wouldn’t be so egregious if Superfly wasn’t obviously designed to do the Superfly Splash. From the top rope of the WWF Official Ring, while graciously standing on the square top of the ring post. Or, even better, from the top of the Galoob WCW Slam Action Arena’s Steel Cage.
Even though Superfly came at a weird time and his Real Wrestling Action is misnamed, the fact that you can so perfectly recreate the coolest thing he ever did keeps the figure from being a dud. My original Superfly was lost, but I was able to pick one up on eBay for $6.99. God bless loose figures with no accessories!
The American Dream makes his first and only appearance in Series Two, and it’s a pretty great figure. Dream had a cup of coffee in the WWF in the early 90’s, where he’d be adorned with yellow polka dots and saddled with an interesting choice for a valet, but he was big enough to earn his own figure in that short time. I’m pretty sure he was already out the door when Series Two hit shelves.
I remember Dusty being fairly hard to find, but was able to pick him up at an out of the way Magic Mart. The likeness is pretty great, though close inspection shows he looks more like a fat Dustin Rhodes. Then again, he kind of was.
Dusty’s Real Wrestling Action has the laughable name of “Dust Buster”, but his left arm is shaped perfectly to perform his actual finisher, the Bionic Elbow. Dusty’s Action is similar to Akeem and Andre the Giant’s in Series One, where his torso can bend backwards and then shoot forwards. It’s actually a great way to perform his finisher. Dusty’s upper mold is exactly like Andre’s, but his lower half was made for him to be shorter. Good show of respect for The Giant by keeping him as the line’s tallest figure, even when reusing his mold.
MACHO KING RANDY SAVAGE
The first Randy Savage (still a Macho Man, not yet a King) was my favorite of Series One. Series Two Macho isn’t quite as classic, but he really does come hard. First off, he’s the first and maybe only Hasbro figure that comes with TWO accessories – a scepter and a crown. That scepter would be important to recreate him bashing the Ultimate Warrior over the head at Royal Rumble ’91, and the crown is 100% necessary to the Macho King era.
While Series Two Hulk and Warrior are definite upgrades over their Series One counterparts, Series One and Two Savages are both essential in their own way. Savage’s Real Wrestling Action is the “Macho Masher”, basically a clothesline. You can rotate Macho’s waist and then use his arm to take out his opponent when you release. He also has an extra point of articulation in the elbow of his clothesline arm, which means that clothesline can also be a punch. This Action will be reused multiple times later in the line.
As kids, we typically had a policy of not buying a figure if we already had that wrestler from a previous series. We didn’t even buy the new Crush figures after he went through two new gimmicks. We did buy the Macho King after having Series One Macho Man though. I’m sure the accessories had something to do with it.
Our Macho King was still gripping his scepter when I found him all those years later, but his Macho Crown was long gone. Luckily, I was able to find the crown loose on eBay and only had to pay $6.51. It doesn’t fit his head as well as I remember, so maybe that’s why it got lost originally.
MILLION DOLLAR MAN TED DIBIASE
Million Dollar Man is the fourth of four figures who return from Series One to Series Two. The figure maintains his Million Dollar Belt accessory, but is given a whole new mold and a terribly ugly green tuxedo.
Series Two Ted DiBiase’s Real Wrestling Action is the “Million Dollar Stomp”, which sounds like something you’d in a barn with a string band. It’s the line’s debut of this Action, where you lift MDM’s left arm, which in turn raises his right leg. The move would be putting his opponent’s head under DiBiase’s action foot and letting it Million Dollar Stomp them until they died.
I couldn’t tell you if Hasbro improves Million Dollar Man with the Series Two version. On one hand, Series One MDM just seemed a little too small compared to the other figures. On the other, Series Two MDM has a weirdly bulky back and both of his legs move in crazy directions. And you have that green tux, which makes me want to puke. I’d say it’s probably a push – both are fun to play with, but both could be improved.
I can’t explain how we acquired a green tux Million Dollar Man, given that black tux MDM was the first figure we ever owned and our no re-buying a wrestler policy. Surely we didn’t steal it from one of our cousins.
HONKY TONK MAN
Last for the singles figures is maybe my favorite of Series Two – the Honky Tonk Man! Honky makes his debut in the line, and wow does he knock it out of the park. A good thing too, since HTM wouldn’t be in the WWF much longer and this would be his only appearance.
While I have complained about other figures being in their ring entrance gear, it suits Honky to a tee. And having that guitar accessory – I couldn’t imagine them releasing a Honky Tonk Man figure without it, but boy does it shine.
Honky’s Action is the Rattle & Roll, which is just lifting his arms up and letting him smash that guitar down on some poor S.O.B.’s skull. That’s probably why Honky won the MBWF Title in his very first match for the company.
Sadly, our original Honky Tonk Man was lost, so I had to hit up eBay again. The $16 price tag was steep, but totally worth it. Just look at him!
SERIES TWO TAG TEAMS
As I said earlier, Series Two includes nine single wrestlers and three two-packs. These aren’t just random wrestlers packaged together, either, but actual Tag Teams.
The Bushwhackers are a great choice for one of the first tag team two-packs. Basically a comedy act in the early 90’s, kids loved them. They’d come down to the ring doing their Bushwhacker Strut and lick kids in the audience – yes, I’m telling the truth.
The figures perfectly capture the Bushwhackers of 1991 too – both Luke and Butch’s arms are bent perfectly to do the strut, and both have crazy happy looks on their face.
Butch’s Real Wrestling Action is the “Down And Out Blaster”, which is basically the same weird stomp move as Million Dollar Man. I find it hilarious that this move is called a “blaster”. Are you getting blasted with his foot?
Luke’s Action is the “Down Under Pounder” which is just moving his arms like the team did on the way to the ring. Luke’s legs are even posed like they’re walking to the ring. I see absolutely no tactical reason for his Action. If his tongue were out, I’d say he was going to just lick his opponent. Or a kid.
Hey, speaking of tongues out…
If you’ll recall, Demolition was actually featured in Series One. Well they’re back in Series Two and, brother, there have been some personnel changes.
First in the tag team is Smash, who is completely the same as his Series One figure. The only difference is that he now comes with a mask accessory. Or helmet. I’m not clear on the nomenclature, but trust me, these things are BAD ASS. More on those in a moment.
New to the line is Crush, who joined Demolition in 1990 when Ax started wrestling less. I already gushed about Ax and Smash in the Series One review, but Crush belongs right in there with them. His Action is the same as the “Macho Masher”, but it’s called the “Crush Cruncher”. Oh, these names. He also comes with a mask/helmet and, like Ax and Smash, Crush has his tongue permanently sticking out.
The tub held my original Crush but, alas, missing were those original masks. I’m sure at some point I’ll abandon the idea of having to have absolutely everything from this line (due to price, not desire), but that has not happened yet, brother. After much eBay stalking, I was able to get one mask from Hasbromaniacs (a pretty well known WWF Hasbro dealer/customizer) for 20 EUR. I know what you’re thinking – 20 EUR (which is about $23.50) seems a little ridiculous for ONE MASK. I completely agree. That’s why, when I saw a set of Ax, Smash, Crush and TWO helmets up for bid on eBay, I threw in hard. The good news is, I won. The bad news is, I am now $46 poorer. I’m probably going to sell those once I finish my collection, just FYI.
The moral of the story – don’t lose your Demolition masks.
The final tag team set from Series Two is the high flying young upstarts of Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty. Yes, Shawn Michaels made his toy debut way back in 1991.
The Shawn figure is pretty unrecognizable compared to the HBK we know today, but for Rockers-era Shawn Michaels, it’s not terrible. What is terrible is Shawn’s Real Wrestling Action, the “Rocker Shocker”. Brace yourselves – it’s another handleback figure. Yuck.
What makes things worse is seeing Marty Jannetty’s figure, who’s “Rocker Dropper” action also involves pushing down his torso and letting it spring back up, but get this – MARTY DOESN’T HAVE A HANDLE ON HIS BACK! So Hasbro had the technology to do this move without the handle, yet they chose not to on Shawn and Superfly. I don’t get it – who thought those handles looked good???
Anyway, The Rockers are a fun addition to the line, but both Shawn and Marty will get better figures in later Series.
We had The Rockers figures as kids, but when the Shawn Michaels singles version was released (the Series Seven HBK version), we got that one too. I think it may have been a gift. So we took the Rocker Shawn and used red paint to paint his face and chest, re-christening him Robert Michaels. This would be Marty’s new tag team partner as Shawn set out for MBWF singles action. Unfortunately, Robert Michaels didn’t make it to 2017, so I had to hit up eBay to get a Shawn. I was able to get both Rockers for just $6.77, which was cheaper than any solo Shawn. The eBay Marty had some white paint on his back, so the one pictured is our original in spite of his dirty face. eBay Shawn is missing a finger, but I’d already dropped like $70 on Demolition masks, so give me a break.
SERIES TWO GRADE: A-
Giving this Series the same A- grade as Series One, though Series Two edges out Series One by a nose if we’re ranking them. Series Two had more homerun figures, but also had a few that just missed, like the Hulkster Hug Hogan and the clunky Rockers.
Overall, I’d say Series Two takes what was great about Series One and just keeps doing it. The Series gives us 15 figures in all, which is just a whole bunch, and 10 of those are making their debut in the line. The tag team two-packs are a great idea, and even though it was a little cheap to make you buy the exact same Smash figure to get Crush, you really can’t hate when you add those awesome masks. The debut of the clothesline-style Real Wrestling Action is also a welcome addition. The figures that returned from Series One were all given completely new takes, and Series Two gives us no doubt the definitive Ultimate Warrior figure from the line.
I’m going to pick Warrior as my favorite Series Two figure, with Honky Tonk Man trailing as a very close second. Dark horse again would be Demolition with those helmets. Least favorite would have to be Superfly, who was cold product in 1991 and works that handleback gimmick that I hate. Can’t believe I had to buy that figure again.
Note: All of these figures would be repackaged with a few Series One figures on Summerslam cards later in 1991.
Note: The Macho King would return in Series Three with what we will generously call a repaint.
Note: The Series Two Bushwhackers would be repainted, packaged with cap accessories and released individually with Series Ten.
Note: Roddy Piper and Ultimate Warrior would be repackaged on Red Cards for release in India via Funskool in 1994.
Well, that wraps up another long review about 26 year old wrestling figures. I’m three figures away from completing Series Three (and none of them have accessories), so I’ll hopefully be back soon. Thank you for reading!
One thought on “WWF Hasbro Memories: Series Two”
Are the original demolition helmets made of rubber or plastic? I seem to have some of both!