Hulk Hogan

It’s kind of strange how much influence Cyndi Lauper had on the early 1980’s wrestling boom. She was something of a pop culture phenomenon and why she ever hooked up with wrestling, is beyond me. It probably held her back once Madonna burst on the scene, but maybe it was just part of a larger “sell out” on her part. Anyway, point being, her teaming up with Hulk Hogan caused the “Rock ‘n’ Wrestling” era to head into the stratosphere. Along the way came the Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling cartoon show, which was part of a Cyndi Lauper themed CBS Saturday Morning cartoon lineup.

In addition to the scariest image of Hulk Hogan I’ve ever seen, that neither looks like the real Hogan or the cartoon Hogan, this ad shows us that the Berenstain Bears and Muppet Babies & Monsters were part of the lineup. I can confess that I do not recall Muppet Babies ever being packaged with a Muppet Monsters show, but apparently it was. The Berenstain Bears were sort of like the Waltons, but with bears. But the real draw is this Rock ‘n’ Wrestling image of Hogan. He appears to be wearing black and white striped trunks. It’s just odd all around.

hasbro wwf
This Classic Comic Ad comes from the days when Hasbro ruled the world of wrestling. Hasbro’s WWF line was in some ways a step backwards for wrestling toys and yet at the same time, it also represented a great step forward. With tons of intricate detail, cool accessories and one of the most colorful roster assortments of all time. Hasbro’s WWF line just about had it all and some awesome commercials featuring WWF superstars like Macho Man, Roddy Piper and the Ultimate Warrior didn’t hurt.

This advertisement is for Toys R Us, which was your go to place for Hasbro WWF. I recall once going into Toys R Us and they had a whole wall of WWF Hasbro figures. Just a ridiculously huge section, not unlike something you’d see in a commercial. These days Toys R Us still has a decent selection of Mattel’s WWE figures, but it’s just not the same. I can’t believe the old ring was only $12.99 either! I had to build myself a ring out of various junk around the house.

There’s a great assortment of figures here, with classics like the Big Bossman and Brutus Beefcake along with the staples like Andre, Hogan, Macho and the Warrior. I’m not entirely sure how Akeem got in there, but maybe someone was a fan of the Twin Towers. Those old caricature figures from Hasbro just had a lot of charm. Also fun to note that TRU is making sure you know they take credit cards, which is an absolutely antiquated idea these days.

Throughout the 80s and into the 90s, many companies produced Masters of the Universe/Wrestling figure knockoffs. These tend to look alike, with some being better than others. Often they sort of resemble a real wrestler or character, but none of them are quite as egregious as this “Hulk Hogan” figure. Bootleg-a-mania is running wild, dude!

The head sculpt here is so blatantly supposed to be Hogan, it’s a wonder that the real Hulkster never sued. The likeness is just as good as the Cocoa Pebbles character that Hogan took to court a few years back. I suppose the real issue would likely be tracking down just who is responsible for making this figure.

You see this toy has no identifying marks. Even if you find one in package, this same sculpt including the Hogan head, has been used on dozens of figures through the years. Wrestling Champions, Sun Gold, Muscle Warriors and various others all seemed to “borrow” the same sculpts from one another. This guy probably comes from the Super Champs or Wrestling Champs line. There were several versions of him.

Unfortunately this Hogan isn’t as good as some of the rest. Phony Hulkster lacks leg articulation. I sort of hate these bootlegs/knockoffs without the leg articulation. It makes them less poseable and it just shows corner cutting. I know, I know, it’s a bootleg. Still I prefer a bootleg with a little pride, ya know?

He’s also considerably smaller than some of the better knockoffs and he’s dwarfed by Remco’s AWA figures. Still I have a place in my heart for little bootleg Hogan figures. I wish they still made these.

Today’s bootlegs tend to be of the Mexican wrestler variety, such as these guys. I’d say around 1996 or so was the last time I saw this type of figure on the market. I’m not sure why they stopped showing up, but I would buy a ton of them if they showed back up in my local dollar stores… Of course, they’d need the leg articulation. A Hulkster that can’t do the leg drop is a deal breaker for me. This Hogan knockoff isn’t too hard to track down in some form or another if you’re in the market for one.

I don’t know if it’s the changing of the times or the fact that Jimmy Hart has become a close personal associate of Hulk Hogan, but it’s a bit odd to read that Hart wants “to lick” on the WWF Superstars. Classic Comic Ads can always point those things out, though. At the time when this was printed in WWF Magazines and comics, it didn’t seem perverted at all.

WWF Ice Cream bars by Good Humor were one of those things that completely slipped out of the conscience of most wrestling fans. At least until earlier this year when CM Punk brought them up in a promo. Punk spearheaded a short and unsuccessful campaign to get a new version of the bars made. It just goes to show you how wrestling has a different stigma attached to it now.

This old school ad has all the elements of a classic. I particularly like the packaging for the bars, which features only two wrestlers: Hulk Hogan and the Junkyard Dog. A lot of fans today don’t realize just how popular JYD was, but his inclusion next to Hogan should give you some idea. Another interesting twist is that the bars were officially named “WWF Superstars of Wrestling” bars. The WWE now no longer is allowed to call itself the WWF or use the phrase “Superstars of Wrestling”.

And you have to love the little quote at the bottom: Take it from the mouth, “Once you lick ’em, you’ll love ’em!” Yeah… That sounds perverted.

Wrestlemania 28 is April 1, 2012 and from now until then, Infinite Hollywood will have special Wrestlemania themed posts. With wrestling figure reviews, news and the like. We start today off with a custom figure…
It’s Infinite Hollywood’s ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA!

It’s time for another custom creation, this time, one of my own! You can’t talk about Wrestlemania or wrestling in general, without mentioning Hulk Hogan. Hulk Hogan main evented the first 9 Wrestlemania events. The event itself was basically a play off the Hulkamania fever that was running wild in the country. He’s since went on to compete in a couple more Wrestlemanias, including his infamous showdown with the Rock, which is arguably the most famous wrestling match since the turn of the century.

However, Hogan has not had a figure from Mattel in their WWE Legends line. Hulkster is signed with TNA, a rival wrestling company and has his likeness right currently being used in their Jakks figure collection. This has left a lot of Mattel fans upset. Let’s face it, for most of the 80s and early 90s, WWF was all about Hulk Hogan and everyone else was a bit player. Not having him in the collection is a huge loss.

I’m sure eventually Mattel will make a Hogan figure, but in the meantime, I’ll share my custom with you. A lot of people have made Hogan customs in the Mattel line. However I haven’t seen anyone make this version. I won’t say mine is the best, but if you’re looking for an easy recipe Hulkster that doesn’t require any painting and doesn’t have a jarring skin tone difference, this one’s hard to beat. Click to read the secrets inside, BROTHER!

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