Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Oversized Hulk Hogan figure from LJN

Outside of Jakks Pacific, Hasbro held the WWF (and I will call it the WWF till the day I die, FU tree hugging panda cuddlers.) license for the 2nd longest that any company held it. It might actually be a tie between Hasbro and Jakks but when it comes down to it, nothing is more nostalgic than those heavy rubber wrestling figures from LJN. Near their 4th line of basic figures, LJN released two oversized wrestlers; Hulk Hogan and Rowdy Roddy Piper. Both figures were over the 12 inch mark and featured five points of articulation and had cloth clothing accessory ( Hogan's “HULKAMANIA” shirt and Piper's Kilt)and a title belt. LJN figures, both these large figures and the smaller rubber ones, had really decent likenesses considering this was 20 years before digital scanning was refined and used widely. Sometimes it's almost amazing to think someone hand sculpted these since other figure lines of the same era were made in the same fashion but never looked as good as these figures did.

(1984 LJN TV AD)
(1990 HASBRO AD)

This video won't post but watch it and try not to laugh

I was never a huge Pipper fan (not until I got older and really liked his half senile rage fits) but being a native of the Tampa Bay area, Hulk Hogan was my idol. He told me to eat my vitamins, drink my milk and say my prayers; am I right? People like my mom and dad remembered when he played in a local band and when he first started lacing up his boots at local exhibitions as Terry Boulder. I grew up avidly watching WWF on Saturday evenings, Hulk Hogan's Rock & Wrestling was part of my Saturday morning cartoon watching schedule and one of my first VHS tapes was the first Wrestlemania. It really wasn't till about 2006 that I stopped watching WWF altogether. The stories got stale and boring and the action in the ring got lame. I turned to King of Trios along with other non-mainstream wrestling promotions to get my fix for pro wrestling.
(still  makes me smile to this day)
(suck on that WWE) 
Also, these titans I had admired as a child had grown older as I had. They'd seemed immortal when I was younger, the harsh reality had set in that they weren't.
(watch the Hulkster age before your very eyes)

It wasn't till recent history that I actually bought the large scale Hulk Hogan and even more recent history that I got the cloth shirt to put on my figure. When I got Hogan he was a real mess. Covered in paint smudges and stray marks from permanent marker, I furiously attacked him with Mr. Clean magic erasures and cotton balls soaked in nail polish remover. The previous owner had branded the bottom of the Hulkster's left foot with his name, like any other possessive little boy would that has younger/older brothers. The cloth shirt was obtained in a trade with a fellow from one of the message boards I visit along with the more recent large scale Hulk Hogan from Jakks Pacific (which I sold a while back but really happy to have it in my possession again). I'm only a title belt away from completing Hogan, but it's been a fun scavenger hunt so far and I'm looking forward to finishing it.

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