WWF Hasbro Memories: Series Ten

Hello and welcome again to this flavor-packed slice of nostalgia I like to call WWF Hasbro Memories.

Each column, we take a deep dive into a single series of the 1990’s Hasbro WWF figures line. We’re all the way up to Series Ten today, but we’ve also looked at the continuing line of WWE Mattel Retro figures, which act as a tribute to the Hasbro originals. And don’t forget the ugly step sisters – the WCW Galoobs.

If you’ve missed any of the old columns, have no fear, I’ve got your links. Go check them out – we’ll just sit here and swap Bushwhacker heads.

Let’s get it started!

SERIES TEN

Hasbro WWF Series Ten was the third WWF series that Hasbro released in 1994 and, from a numbers perspective, it was a doozy. Ten figures in all make up this series, which was issued on dark blue cards.

It sounds like a lot, but content-wise, not so much. Four of the Series Ten figures were repaints and two were straight re-issues. Of the ten, only 3 were making their Hasbro debut. Though I will admit there’s one new edition of an old figure that is easily their definitive version.

On paper, this big set is far from impressive. But let’s get to the reviews and see how it really stacks up.

One note – if my old blue ring looks good in the pics, it’s thanks to my Replacement Sticker Kit from Hasbromaniacs. Check out the review here.

SAMU OF THE HEAD SHRINKERS

GRADE: C

Before the Uso Penetentiary, there was the Headshrinker…uh, wherever they do head shrinking. A shrinkery?

The Headshrinkers debuted in the WWF in 1992 and were part of a fairly decent tag division that also featured pairs like the Natural Disasters, Money Inc., The Quebecers, and The Smokin’ Gunns.

Samu and his partner Fatu portrayed wild Samoans, managed by Samu’s real life father Afa, formerly of the actual Wild Samoans. By 1994, the Shrinkers were enjoying a face run and their first tag team title reign. So it only makes sense that the duo was immortalized as Hasbros.

Unfortunately for Samu, his figure does not do him Samoan justice. First off, he’s a wretched handleback. I guess that action is perfect for a flying headbutt, but, if you’ve been reading this column for a while, you know I’d be happy to never see this action again. The handle is officially for performing the Samu Shocker, which just isn’t a thing. Couldn’t it have been the Shrinker Shocker?

Samu’s second problem is his tongue. I get that Samu’s tongue-out expression makes him look completely crazy, and that IS the look Hasbro is going for, but could you imagine how tired you’d get of seeing someone with his tongue out all the time?

FATU OF THE HEAD SHRINKERS

GRADE: C

Next up is Samu’s tag team partner, Fatu. If you didn’t know, Fatu is future WWE Hall Of Famer Rikishi in his first WWF gimmick.

In mid-1994, after the Headshrinkers lost the WWF Tag Team Titles to Shawn Michaels and Diesel, Samu would go on to part ways with the company. That left Fatu to team with new Shrinker Sionne for a while before going on to a singles career in 1995. Fatu would go through several gimmicks before ascending to glory with the rump shaking Rikishi.

With all of that far in his future, it’s nice to get a plastic tribute to Kish’s humble beginnings. Too bad it sucks just as much as the Samu figure.

Why? Well, it’s pretty much the same figure with a different head. The arms are the same. The legs are the same. The tights with the palm trees are the same. The only difference is Samu had abs and Hasbro went out of their way to show Fatu’s fat rolls. Fatu even has the same handleback and the same Real Wrestling Action, though when Fatu does the move it’s called the Fatu Flattener. Also not a thing.

Samu and Fatu were a part of the original MBWF, though I can’t remember where exactly we bought them back in the day. I’m thinking it was Hills.

MARTY JANNETTY

GRADE: A

Hit you with the dropkick, Marty Jannetty. Hit you with the dropkick, Marty Jannetty.

Marty makes his return to Hasbro after 3 years. Jannetty originally appeared in the Series Two Rockers Tag Team 2-Pack. This Marty is a major improvement.

I love this particular mold, which was used for S1 Macho Man, as well as Marty’s old tag team partner Shawn Michaels. It’s just so versatile. The pull and release arms are perfect for everything from an axe handle to an elbow drop. Or the Jannetty Jam, if you’re an insane person who works for Hasbro and is really into alliteration.

Marty’s tights are so 90’s he looks like he stepped off the set of a Bubble Tape commercial. I love all the pretty colors.

We didn’t own this Marty Jannetty back in the day, but if I had, I’d have made him the permanent MBWF Intercontinental Champion. He would’ve feuded with Shawn Michaels and eventually re-formed the Rockers. I love him.

I picked this Marty up over a year ago for just $17.95 on eBay, which is a great price for any Series Ten figure, really.

SHAWN MICHAELS (REISSUE & REPAINT)

GRADE: A

As I mentioned above, Shawn Michaels made his Hasbro debut with The Rockers back in Series Two. Shawn would return for Series Seven, in Heartbreak Kid form. The Series Seven HBK is one of my favorite figures in the whole line.

Strangely, Hasbro decided to repackage the Series Seven Shawn for Series Ten. But they also issued a repaint of the same figure in the series. Huh?

Rumor has it that this Shawn Michaels repaint was going to be available as a special mail order figure, but Hasbro pulled the mail order idea and just packaged him with Series Ten. I’m glad this Shawn repaint got a wider release, because it’s kind of awesome.

I love the repaint color scheme – the silver glasses with the black and silver gear. As much as I’m down with Series Seven HBK, this repaint is a very welcome change.

As much as the Shawn Michaels repaint rocks, I really don’t get the repackaging of the Series Seven version. Shawn’s Real Wrestling Action is still the Conceited Crunch. They didn’t even change Shawn’s picture on the card. That must be really annoying for MOC collectors, who have to buy the yellow and the dark blue versions.

Since there’s no difference between the loose versions of Series Seven and Series Ten Shawn, I’ll let you decided if I bought him twice. I picked up the repaint Shawn in a package deal (with Series Seven Razor Ramon, Owen Hart and Crush) for 140 bucks (eek!).

RAZOR RAMON (REISSUE & REPAINT)

GRADE: A-

OK, so remember everything I said about Shawn Michaels just now? All of that is true for Razor Ramon.

Razor made his debut in Series Seven, and Hasbro repackaged the Series Seven Razor (and his little chain) for Series Ten. Hasbro also released a repainted Razor for Series Ten. Series Ten – Double Your Fun!

Like Shawn Michaels, I can’t say the Razor Ramon repaint is better than the original, but it’s also cool in its own right. Instead of a black vest and red trunks, the Bad Guy is all decked out in purple for his repaint. I’m usually not down with purple gear, but Razor makes it work, Chico.

It’s lazy that Hasbro reissued these two figures, but I just can’t hate on it too much when they also put out such cool repaints.

I didn’t have this version of Razor as a kid, but I was able to find him (sans gold chain) on eBay for just $10.50.

BUTCH OF THE BUSHWHACKERS

GRADE: C

OK, now let’s talk about lazy.

Like The Rockers, The Bushwhackers made their Hasbro debut in Series Two as a Tag Team 2-Pack. Also like The Rockers, The Bushwhackers return here in Series Ten. But let’s talk differences instead of similarities.

Both members of The Rockers split up and underwent some gimmick changes since their Hasbro debut. The Bushwhackers did not. The Bushwhackers in 1994 were exactly the same as The Bushwhackers in 1991.

Hasbro decided to give us new Whackers anyway, and hey, that’s fine. So what did they do? They turn the Bushwhackers’ black/grey camo into green/grey camo. Since that change wasn’t dramatic enough, they switched their heads.

They SWITCHED THEIR HEADS!

So Series Ten Bushwhacker Butch is just Series Two Bushwhacker Butch on a repainted Series Two Bushwhacker Luke body. WHY? WHY?

Since Butch has Series Two Luke’s body, he also does Series Two Luke’s RWA – the Down Under Pounder!

The only thing that saves these Bushwhacker reissues is they gave them an accessory. Some cool caps with bite marks in them. I guess we’re supposed to assume the Bushwhackers got hungry and started gnawing on their hats.

You can’t just throw any old accessory in there and win me over, Hasbro. But it is a start.

LUKE OF THE BUSHWHACKERS

GRADE: C

Again, everything I said about Butch is true for Luke. Repaint, switched heads, hat accessory.

It seems odd that The Bushwhackers were even part of a series released in 1994, since they had been pretty much relegated to house shows by then in the WWF. But they were still getting cheers, so maybe there were toy fans that missed the Series Two bandwagon and still needed to get their Kiwi fix.

Another aspect of the Series Ten Whackers is they come packaged separate. If you’re a MOC collector, I guess it’s neat that Luke and Butch got their own individual cards, since their Series Two counterparts were in a 2-Pack. Plus, it gave Hasbro a chance to update Luke & Butch’s pictures (shown with hats, of course.)

I picked up Luke and Butch for an undisclosed amount from the Legend Danny Cage over at Hasbromaniacs.com. They came without hats, unfortunately. I found a knockoff version of a single hat on eBay for $11.99 and, nah, I don’t feel guilty about it.

GIANT GONZALEZ

GRADE: B+

Let’s end on a pseudo high point.

If you don’t remember Giant Gonzalez, let me try and help. Eight foot tall guy who wore a body suit with fur covering up his private parts? If that doesn’t ring a bell, you just never saw Giant Gonzalez.

Gonzalaz wrestled in WCW as El Gigante for a few years before making his WWF debut in 1993. The big guy hit the ground running – the Giant had a long feud with The Undertaker that included matches at Wrestlemania IX and SummerSlam ’93. Unfortunately, if you’ve seen Wrestlemania IX or SummerSlam ’93, you’d know that Giant Gonzalez just couldn’t work. So there’s that.

Gonzalez was gone from the Federation by October, but “lucky” for collectors, I guess Hasbro had already made the mold to put the Giant in plastic form.

Hasbro definitely put some work in on Gonzalez. He stands taller than his Hasbro counterparts. The Giant also has a Real Wrestling Action that was sort of underappreciated in the Hasbro line. You can press down on Giant Gonzalez’s head to trigger a mechanism in his feet, which makes his arms move in a berzerker like motion. AKA The Giant Jab. Of course, this action necessitates the lack of a torso point of articulation, but hey, if you’re a fan of Giant Gonzalez, it’s not for how well he moved anyway.

The Giant’s face is another matter. It doesn’t REALLY resemble Giant Gonzalez as much as it looks like Bald Bull from Mike Tyson’s Punch Out.

The saddest fact about Giant Gonzalez is that Galoob made a far superior figure for El Gigante, yet you could only buy it in the UK.

Pictured is my original Gonzalez. Since he came so late in the game, I don’t have many MBWF memories of this particular Giant. In fact, we had a generic pirate figure (we called him The Pirate) that resembled Giant Gonzalez that I remember much more fondly. RIP The Pirate.

WRAP-UP

SERIES TEN GRADE: B-

FYI, I’m not counting the Shawn & Razor reissues for or against Series Ten when it comes to grade.

Series Ten is a set with high highs and low lows. The HBK and Razor repaints are stellar, but they are repaints. It’s nice to see The Headshrinkers make their debut, but putting them out as basically the same figure is disheartening. Then you have the Bushwhacker headswapping that doesn’t make sense on any level.

It’s hard to say what sucks most in this series, but for sure Marty Jannetty is the highlight. Gotta give Giant Gonzalez the sleeper, just for being something different.

That wraps it up for Series Ten. That means there’s only one more Hasbro Memories article to go – Series Eleven. I’m still shy a Crush and a 1-2-3 Kid, but I can say that Retro Series Seven is ready to go. I’ll see you then!

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