It’s that time again, where we let our inner child out to play and reminisce about four inch wrestling figures from the early 1990’s. Are you ready?
I’ve been in the process of reviewing the entire line of WWF Hasbro figures, and today we’re going to take a look at Series Five from 1993. This would be Hasbro’s first of 3 waves from that year.
As usual, if you haven’t yet, here are links for the first four reviews – check them out!
Let’s get ready to rumble!
As discussed in the Series Four review, 1993 was a transition time for the WWF. The old guard of larger than life heroes – Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, Macho Man – were giving way to the New Generation. Unfortunately, the New Generation didn’t take off over night, so 1993 was more of a rebuilding period than the roaring kickoff to a new era.
It’s puzzling, then, that the first Hasbro series of 1993 leans so heavily on the older stars. Even more puzzling when you consider that Series Four – featuring guys like Bret Hart and The Undertaker – was dedicated so clearly to the New Generation.
Also of note is the size of Series Five. While the 4-figure Series Four tipped that perhaps Hasbro was going to release smaller batches of figures more often, Series Five was back in the double digits, boasting 10 figures. And if the size didn’t excite you, EIGHT of the ten new figures were making their debut in the line!
But enough preamble, let’s get to the plastic!
Hulk Hogan makes his fourth and final appearance in Series Five, and The Hulkster goes out with a whimper instead of a bang. It’s notable that S5 Hogan is the first SHIRTLESS Hogan figure, so there’s that. This Hulk also feels smaller than the previous versions, which befits the look of post-steroids scandal Hulkamania. “Less ripped with no shirt” doesn’t make for a very exciting figure description.
Hulk’s action is a spring release arm, which debuted with S1 Jake The Snake and hasn’t been used again until now. Although Hulk always worked with a limited offense, I just don’t think of him as a “punch” guy. Worse, Hasbro calls this action the “Hulkster Slam”, and he’s clearly not slamming anyone. Hasbro doesn’t mind blurring facts if it means meeting their “slam” quota.
I have to admit, I don’t even remember this figure from its original release. Even if I’d seen him, I wouldn’t have bought him. We already had S2 & S3 Hulks, which were far superior to this bland offering. Hulk was at the end of his run in 1993, but he was the WWF Champ when this set was released. Why doesn’t this feel like a prestige figure?
Of course, with all my complaining, I still ended up paying $18 for this Hulk on eBay, so who got the last laugh, brother?
Ah, Irwin R. Schyster – the evil taxman! IRS makes his debut in Series Five and, well, I’m torn. On one hand, he’s got the gear down pat. On the other hand, he looks more like Beaker from the Muppets than IRS.
Seriously, that open mouth and mug is unforgivable. Worse still, they saddled IRS with the lame Real Wrestling Action that S2 Million Dollar Man used – that arm lift/leg lift thing that’s only good for stomping on someone’s head. Worst of all – they called it the Write-Off Slam!!! HE’S NOT SLAMMING ANYONE!!!
My head is about to explode. I really like IRS’s suspenders and tie. I wish he’d come with a briefcase or glasses or something. Then again, he’s about as much fun as you’d expect a wrestling tax collector would be.
We got IRS when he originally came out, and I’ll admit, I was psyched to complete the Money Inc. tag team with S1 Million Dollar Man.
JIM “THE ANVIL” NEIDHART
Series Five is just odd. A lot of the wrestlers featured in this series were gone from the WWF by the time it came out, but that can be forgiven since the turnaround time from conception to release seems to have been a while back then. Still, most of these guys were in big matches at Wrestlemania VIII. Not Jim Neidhart, who was fired from the Fed in February of 1992.
Still, you can’t argue with getting a figure of one half of legendary tag team The Hart Foundation. Well, you can when he’s dressed like one half of a much more forgettable team – The New Foundation. So you can’t even put The Anvil and The Hitman together for a tag title run without feeling off. Even worse, Neidhart’s New Foundation partner, Owen Hart, is nowhere to be seen in this Series!
But OK, so the Anvil isn’t quite what you had been dreaming of thanks to some career turns. We can still try and be thankful for what we got. On the plus side, Anvil’s goatee is ON POINT. Like, literally, it’s so pointy. His likeness is great and his body mold perfectly captures the barrel chested Neidhart.
Anvil’s Real Wrestling Action is the ol’ clothesline arm, which Hasbro dubbed the Anvil Flattener. I can accept that, since it would flatten you to the ground. Unfortunately, between Jim’s outstretched arms and his thin feet, this figure will spend a lot of time falling down unless he’s leaning against the ropes. That’s just annoying.
Pictured is our original Anvil, who we made partner with Bret Hart anyway.
“THE MODEL” RICK MARTEL
The Model makes his debut in Series Five, which was a great time to be Rick Martel. The Model had been relegated to semi-jobber status after his big WMVII loss to Jake Roberts, but in 1993 he was enjoying some success in the Intercontinental Title ranks.
The Model’s neon pink tights perfectly match his character, and his likeness is spot on. I think this figure was ripe for an accessory – his ring jacket, his cologne atomizer, sunglasses. But you can’t argue with a solid figure.
The Model’s body mold is the same one used for S1 Macho Man, which I consider the favorite body mold of the entire Hasbro line. Just something about it is perfect for everything from dropkicks to bodyslams to top rope splashes. Martel’s action – double pull and release arms – is the Arrogance Splash.
Rick Martel definitely had success in the MBWF, especially when teaming with the Galoob Tommy Zenk figure to re-form The Can-Am Connection!
“MACHO MAN” RANDY SAVAGE
Like Hulk Hogan, the Macho Man was in the twilight of his WWF career in 1993. Randy Savage was appearing behind the announce table much more often than he was in the ring, but he was still a beloved character. This also marks Macho Man’s fourth and final appearance in the Hasbro line.
Also like Hulk Hogan, S5 Macho Man is underwhelming. First, there’s the fringe. Kudos to Hasbro for trying something new, but this does NOT work. The cowboy hat doesn’t work either, thanks to being about 25% too tall. All of this would be forgivable if the likeness had been down, but S5 Macho Man shows us why it’s a good thing Hasbro put sunglasses on all of the other Savage figures.
To cap it all off, the figure is the dreaded HANDLEBACK, the absolute worst kind of figure in the Hasbro line. You push down a handle on the back of the figure and his torso springs down, then jumps back up to perform the – ugh – Savage Slam action.
I would give this figure an F, but I do respect them for at least attempting to captued Macho Man’s flamboyant 90’s ring gear.
Like S5 Hogan, I don’t remember ever seeing this Macho Man upon his original release, and I never would’ve bought him anyway since we owned the legendary S1 Savage. I picked this one up on eBay for $14.99 and the dude was nice enough to put his broken finger in a baggie for me.
Here’s the thing about The Warlord – I don’t know much about him. Here’s the other thing about The Warlord – he looks freaking awesome.
The Warlord is best known as The Barbarian’s partner in the Powers of Pain, but that team split in the early 90’s and The Warlord got a makeover as kind of a post-apocalyptic cyborg. He didn’t win tons of matches, but he looked great. The Warlord said smell ya later to the WWF right after Wrestlemania VIII, but luckily, he was immortalized in plastic for eternity in Series Five.
The figure perfectly captures The Warlord’s awesome look and I love the Real Wrestling Action, too – the generic “double pullback arms with open palms” is perfect for tossing guys around. Hasbro calls it the Warlord Wham. Well, at least it’s not a slam.
Pictured is our original Warlord figure, who I know won the MBWF Title at least once and probably had a few forays with the Ninja Turtles when he had time away from the ring.
The Mountie – basically the evil Canadian version of the Big Boss Man – had a short but memorable run in the WWF, highlighted by winning the Intercontinental Title from a feverish Bret Hart. The Mountie left the Fed in October of 1992, but returned the next summer with another Mountie to form The Mounties tag team (later called The Quebecers).
Because his feuds were so memorable, The Mountie is a figure that a lot of kids were clamoring to get into their wrestling promotions – MBWF included. The figure doesn’t disappoint either. The ring gear is on point and I would say The Mountie joins The Undertaker as a rare figure that benefits from having a non-removable hat.
The Mountie is yet another Series Five figure to utilize the double-pullback arms action, though his is made cooler thanks to his cattle prod accessory that he jams right into your face. Hasbro calls this the Mountie Mash and I really gotta question how much the person who thinks of the Real Wrestling Action names was getting paid.
The Mountie made waves in the MBWF, but his real impact came when we got a second Mountie figure (a Christmas present) and used White Out to paint his sunglasses. Hello, Mountie II. Hello, MBWF Tag Team Champions!
In the WWF history book, Skinner is not a character that will take up many sentences. The gator-wrestling, tobacco-chewing heel is probably best known for his one minute loss to Owen Hart in a 0-star match at Wrestlemania VIII.
By February of 1993, Skinner was all but gone from WWF TV, so it’s kind of odd to find this glorified jobber in Series Five. Unlike IRS and The Mountie, I can’t imagine anyone was clamoring for a Skinner figure. So imagine our surprise to find out that this Skinner is ON POINT.
So much detail, from his hat to his beard to his boots. Remember what I said about The Mountie’s hat? Skinner’s hat makes that look like Canadian garbage. You also have Skinner’s signature knife, though it’s just for decoration.
Unfortunately, Skinner has the Real Wrestling Action first seen in the Series 3 Ultimate Warrior, where you push down his body to make his arms go berzerk. He calls it The Gator Breaker. This Action severely limits Skinner’s ring skill, since his waist and neck are no longer articulated. However, since no one wants to play with Skinner anyway, it’s not going to impact his score too much.
Our original Skinner didn’t make it to 2017 and I ended up buying him twice on eBay (don’t ask). At $4.25, I don’t begrudge him. If Skinner is unnecessary, he looks good doing it.
Before he became the butt of jokes and after he was Ted DiBiase’s loyal manservant, Virgil had a nice little in-ring career going. He won the Million Dollar Title in 1991 and was on the winning team of a big 8-man tag match at Wrestlemania VIII. By 1993, Virg was basically a jobber to the stars, helping put over up and comers like Yokozuna. It may not be sexy, but here’s your Virgil figure.
Making his plastic debut, Virgil really plays to the real Virgil’s boxing background. In fact, he would make a great generic boxer for any same-sized toyline. Heck, he makes a great generic boxer for THIS toyline! His likeness is really strong and his trunks really um, capture the way his real trunks said “Virgil”. Listen, he’s a pretty plain figure, but I like him. He’s sincere.
Virgil’s Action is the Bodyguard Bash – the same springloaded arm you see in this Series’ Hulk Hogan. The move works well for a trained boxer. I don’t get why we didn’t just call it a Knockout Punch, but I’m also not paid for alliteration.
That’s our original Virgil pictured. Whenever there were disagreements between the two MBWF bookers, I liked to threaten to put the MBWF Title on either Virgil or Bushwhacker Butch. I’m pretty sure Butch did hold the gold at one point, but Virgil never grabbed the brass ring.
Sid was already back in WCW before this figure came out, but the dude main evented Wrestlemania VIII – you can’t question why they’d give him a figure. I’m assuming this was considered one of the big selling points for Series Five before Sid hit the road. Since he did though…where’s my fart emoji?
Here’s the thing – the MBWF already had the Galoob WCW Sid Vicious figure, and that figure is MILES ahead of the Hasbro Sid Justice. Sure, Hasbro gets the perm right. It’s tight. But Sid is a big dude, and there’s nothing about this figure that says “big”. When you take “big” away from Sid Justice, there’s not too much left.
His Real Wrestling Action is that generic “double release arms” like S1 Hulkster. Shock of shocks, Hasbro didn’t call it the “Sid Slam”. They called it the Power Bomb! Sid’s real finisher! That’s huge points right there.
I know for a fact we never bought this Sid Justice figure, but he was in the big box of Hasbros that my mom recovered earlier this year. I can only assume we stole this from our cousin. Sorry, Chris!
SERIES FIVE GRADE: B
Strong figures from unexpected places keep Series Five from being a dud. The series’ big names are both missteps – Hulk Hogan a tired retread and Macho Man a swing and a miss for something new. It doesn’t help that so many of the Series Five wrestlers were gone from the WWF by the time they hit shelves, including Sid Justice, who should’ve been a major selling point.
Still, there are some bright points. Unexpected highlights from The Model and The Mountie keep the series afloat. The Warlord is easily my favorite of the bunch, and Virgil – with his generic boxer sincerity – is my dark horse. Worst by far is the Macho Man. I could forgive those tassels, but DEATH TO ALL HANDLEBACKS!
Series Five was followed by two more series in 1993 alone, and we’ll be looking at those eventually. I plan on taking a break next, though, to review Series One of the new Mattel WWE Retro line, which came out this year! See you soon!