Macho Man

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.


Ringside Collectibles has announced their newest Mattel WWE exclusive figure. Ringside does a couple of these a year. The latest is an nWo version of the Macho Man. The first promo shot of the figure went up today.

Personally I love it, but as is typical with these exclusives, the $30 price tag hurts. No word if Macho Man comes with anything more than what’s shown here, but I was a big fan of the nWo era of Macho Man as it revived his career allowing him to become a dangerous and wild heel again. He’ll also go great with the upcoming DDP figure. The Madness was great… Shame he doesn’t come with an alternate Madness shirt.

The big news is that the figure has a new head sculpt. It looks good thus far, but we’ll have to see if without the hat and glasses to know how good it is for sure. You may remember I was critical of the Original Macho Man figure head. It was decent, but not the greatest likeness.

You can pre-order the figure over at Ringside Collectibles now.


If I wrote a tribute every time a wrestler died, I’d be writing one every other day it seems. The world of professional wrestling has been cruel to it’s performers and as painful as it has become, as a fan, it’s hard not to become desensitized to it all, in a sense. The passing of the Macho Man Randy Savage is different, though. While one has to wonder if steroids weren’t at least partially to blame for the tragic play out of events that led to Randy’s death, it’s hard to think or even care much about it. Truth is, Savage gave up that lifestyle years ago and seemingly was content to slink off into obscurity to enjoy out the rest of his days as a regular guy.

For a man who was so notoriously brash and flamboyant, the Macho Man had given up the wrestling lifestyle years ago. While on the surface, being age 58, that might seem like a forgone conclusion. The truth is that almost every other wrestler from Savage’s era, is still wrestling in some capacity or another. Macho Man gave it up, though. Perhaps he grew tired of the spotlight, or perhaps it was because he couldn’t perform up to the energetic level he had made famous. Whatever the case, Savage drifted off into the unknown and by all accounts, lived out the rest of his life as a happy family man.

Macho had left WCW before the fall of the company, making only one brief appearance in a battle royal towards the end. He done so completely unannounced, as a surprise, in typical Savage form. Beyond that, his only other wrestling appearances were for TNA in 2004 and those were very brief. I remember being quite excited to see him wrestle again in TNA, but sadly, the Macho Man that showed up was a shell of his former self. TNA and Savage both quickly realized that this was not going to work out and Savage left almost as soon as he had showed up. Going out though, with a shining moment and a final victory to be remembered. It was certainly a more fitting end for his career than some random WCW battle royal.

The Macho Man never got his grand return to WWE. He never got to soak in those cheers, one last time, even in a non-wrestling capacity. For reasons that have been speculated throughout the ages, WWE and Randy Savage did not get along. Only this past year did WWE even really begin to acknowledge Randy’s existence again through DVDs, action figures, video games and merchandising. I’m certain a WWE Hall of Fame nod will come in the next couple of years, but it’ll be an empty sentiment at best. Savage should have been inducted years ago. This year would have been a perfect time, but alas, now it’s too late. Lots of wrestlers are called legends these days but few fit the bill. Savage not only was a true legend, he was an original.

Randy Savage was one of my favorite wrestlers and that’s why he was truly worthy of a memorial post. As a kid, few wrestlers could incite emotion from me like Macho Man Randy Savage. He had always been my brother’s favorite wrestler, but he was also very much one of mine. Still to this day, whenever I get up on a step or a high ledge I dive off delivering flying double axehandles or flying elbow smashes to any poor sod that happens to be nearby (including my GF), because Savage engrained that into my head as the go to top rope moves.

Some of my favorite memories include the time Randy Savage was bitten by Jake Roberts King Cobra, in what remains one of the few wrestling angles that could never be repeated. Savage, always the loose cannon, was willing to get legit bitten by a cobra (devenomized mind you) just to put over the storyline. I remember being in awe of the storyline as a kid and knowing Macho was going to unleash some hell on Jake The Snake when he finally got his hands on him.

The Savage/Flair feud stands out to me as probably the best, as Ric Flair and Randy Savage had a way about them that allowed them to feud seamlessly for years. Sure it started in WWF over Miss Elizabeth, but the rivalry continued on in WCW and saw many new twists and turns. Both men were so adept at cutting promos and Savage, always so passionate in his quest for retribution. It was a classic feud that really embodied the spirit of the art form.

Of course it goes without saying that his battle with Steamboat was legendary, but his feud with Diamond Dallas Page was far superior, in my mind. DDP and Savage were kindred spirits in a lot of ways. They had a great feud, one that saw Macho Man really establish Page as a top tier player. Unlike many others, Randy was never afraid to give someone else the rub.

Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage had perhaps the best of friendships and the most bitter of rivalries. As the Mega Powers, nobody could stop them. As hated enemies, their intense rivalry seemed so very real. That’s largely because it was. Macho Man and the Hulkster didn’t always get along. Savage was at times jealous of Hogan and suspected that perhaps there was more than just storyline in his relationship with Elizabeth. Incredibly as much as the two men hated one another at times, you could tell they were like two angry brothers, always coming back together. It’s good to know Hogan and Savage had rekindled their friendship in recent years and were good again. Putting aside past differences and bad rap albums to just be, friends.

While it’s sad to say goodbye to the Macho Man, we have decades worth of great matches, promos, storylines and pop culture goodness to have him live on forever. And just as I always have, when I hear “Pomp and Circumstance”, I’ll think of the Macho Man. His many movie and TV roles showcased just a tidbit of what potential the man had, outside the ring. His guest spot on Space Ghost Coast to Coast as Grandpa Space Ghost was hilarious because it was Savage playing a crazy spoof version of himself. It still cracks me up. Macho Man took the wrestling business very serious and was known for being methodical in planning on his matches and yet, at the same time he never took himself too serious. Truly a rarity in the world of professional wrestling.

And so as another good one leaves us, so too is left a legacy that will never die… And the next time I’m up high, I’ll still twirl my finger and dive off because the Macho Man may be gone, but the Madness with never be forgotten.


WWE Defining Moments
“Macho Man” Randy Savage
6.5 Inch Scale
By: Mattel
$22.99

With Wrestlemania on the horizon, it’s time we take another look back at a memorable match from Wrestlemania’s past, as the Macho Man did battle with the Ultimate Warrior. A few weeks ago we looked at the Ultimate Warrior from this particular match. Now we look at the man who lost this match (and his career at the time) and yet, in many ways came out the winner. Why? Because prior to this Macho Man (Macho King at the time) had been a heel and had lost the support of his longtime love, Miss Elizabeth. After the match, Macho Man reunited with Liz and turned face again, making this more a defining moment for Savage, than Warrior.


Perhaps more importantly, this is the first Randy Savage action figure in more than a decade. Although ToyBiz had produced some pretty decent Macho Man figures at late as 1999, he was not part of Jakks extensive legends figures collection. In fact, WWE has largely sought to erase Savage from the minds of fans as he is never mentioned, he rarely appears in video packages and has been absent from television. The question as to why Macho Man has become taboo, is unknown. Urban legend is that Randy molested or sexually harassed a young Stephanie McMahon and thus, Vince has blacklisted him.

Of course, that’s completely made up. The real reason that McMahon has an issue with Savage whereas he’s been able to forgive Hogan, Hart, etc is because when Savage defected to WCW he took with him, WWF sponsor Slim Jim. Slim Jim quickly became a sponsor of WCW and the loss of Slim Jim at the time (along with all the other issues) nearly put WWF out of business. Plus Savage is notoriously insane and has no interest in making any return to WWE because he doesn’t need the money.


So how does the first Macho Man figure in over a decade stack up? Well, I can tell you this much… It requires some thinking, thinking, thinking! Dig it!?!

Packaging:
The Defining Moments SKU is replacing the old Entrance Greats line. As you may recall, the Entrance Greats line was mentioned in my Top Ten Toy Line Mistakes of 2010 because of it’s failure to really embody the concept. The flashier packaging on the new Defining Moments brand of toys, certainly helps to make it stand out on the shelf.


It has a little bit of a title belt vibe going on. There is a window on the back that shows off the back of the jacket and outfit. It’s not really as interesting here as it was on the Warrior. Savage’s coat is pretty basic in comparison to some of his later outfits.


On the side of the package, still in the belt design is a picture of the Macho Man from the event.

Sculpt:
Some of the design work here is a little interesting. While Macho Man was always pumped, especially for his size… This looks too muscular to be Macho Man. Certainly not fit for the Macho Man of this era. Around 1999, perhaps, as Savage was ridiculously cut at that point in his career… But not here.


The face sculpt is another matter entirely. While it looks pretty good as Randy Savage with the hat and glasses on, it’s basically just a passing resemblance without them. Part of the issue is the hair, which is slightly poofed out on the side to allow the glasses to slide onto the face. It’s a nice feature but probably takes away from the overall accuracy of the figure.


While it does look better than some of the last Macho Man figure we got in the late 90’s… It’s not THAT much better. Really it’s sort of a shock that Mattel didn’t nail this likeness dead to rights. Macho doesn’t look particular “crazy” either, which is a bit of a disappointment as his facial expressions have always been that of a loose cannon.


Although he was going under the moniker of the “Macho King” at this point in his career, this really wasn’t his Macho King look. Prior to this event he typically wore short briefs and a crown (check out his Hasbro figure for a good idea of his look) and this event was one of the first real times he began wearing his longer tights and coat with frills and cowboy hat. Ironically that would eventually become the more iconic outfit of Savage, so it’s not necessarily a bad choice of outfits, it’s just not a good representation of his Macho King era.



Perhaps in the future we’ll get a real Macho King figure. I also sort of hope we’ll get a later 90’s Macho Man as well. They could reuse this sculpt, but repaint it in such a way that it looks more as he often did. Macho Man had a ton of these outfits. He sold some of the coats off in the early days of Ebay.

Paint:
The paint is good, not great. The most impressive area of the paint for me, is actually the simple wrist and finger tape. It shows good attention to detail on Mattel’s part. Macho Man did specific things with his finger tape and it’s replicated pretty well here.


I honestly don’t feel like there’s anything here that makes this stand out as something special. I mean, it’s good, but this isn’t more impressive than regular Legends figures from Mattel. There is a little slop or overspray on the hat in particular.

Articulation:
The articulation is the typical WWE Elite style as seen on all the Legends figures. This is a big step up from the Entrance Greats, which had the basic articulation. It was one of the many things fans asked for with this line and Mattel was smart in providing it. The way the crotch piece in particular is one solid mold allows for greater detail in painting, as well.


However there are some issues with this articulation, specifically in the legs. As I mentioned in my Ultimate Warrior review… Macho Man’s legs simply do not bend forward. They could possibly be boiled and allow them to work better, but I’m disappointed in general with the problems with the legs.

Accessories:
So what do you get with Randy Savage? Well not much. You get his hat and jacket. The coat is done well, with fringe hanging off. The hat is less impressive. It doesn’t fit greatly and the sparkly band which adorns it almost always falls off. That can be a bit annoying.


Beyond that you get a gold stand and paper nameplate. I would have loved a crown and scepter to go with the Macho Man… Of course he didn’t have them at this event, so I understand why we didn’t get it. However this is a nearly $25 figure.


Of course I also think it’s worth noting that Macho Man’s gold stand and Ultimate Warrior’s gold stand are two completely different shades of gold. This will likely drive people who like uniformity nuts. It’s a rather startling difference in person, almost like two completely different colors. I have no idea if this is a running change, a bad batch, a fluke or what. I don’t use the stands anyway, so it doesn’t bother me.

Value:
It’s really tough to justify the $22.99 pricetag for these guys. In the case of Macho Man, it is the first Macho in a decade or so. That was enough reason for me to go out and get it… But, since that time two other Macho Man figures have been released. This figure isn’t perfect either. The head sculpt is not only a little off, it’s a fair amount smaller than most Mattel head sculpts. It’s a decent Macho Man and if you’re a fan of Savage, it’s worth getting. However it is a far cry from being the definitive Randy Savage figure.


Score Recap:
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 7
Paint – 7
Articulation – 7
Accessories – Stand, Coat, Hat
Value – 7
Overall – 7 out of 10

Macho Man is not only one of the all time greats, I think you could make a case for him being the #2 man in WWE history. Hogan is clearly #1, but Savage was the only man who could ever truly rival Hogan during his prime. If you want a good example of how great a worker Savage was not only as a face, but as a heel… Check out his WWF debut match. Most WWF debut matches are uneventful. Savage came in as relatively unknown in NYC and faced a jobber and yet managed to have the entire crowd nearly rioting in hate against him and actually had a really good match. That’s something that literally 99.9% of all other WWE champions can’t say.

OHHHHHH YEAH!


WWE Defining Moments
Ultimate Warrior
6.5 Inch Scale
By: Mattel
$22.99

Way back at Wrestlemania 7, two icons clashed in battle not for the championship, but for pride. Those two men were the Ultimate Warrior and Macho Man Randy Savage. The match had the added stipulation that it was a retirement match and whomever lost would have to end their career. It was hand’s down the best retirement match in wrestling history, far surpassing all previous and recent efforts.


At the time it as still pretty rare for two titans of the sport to lock it up in such a high profile match and Mattel has been paying homage to the event and the match with their recent Defining Moments brand. First with the Macho Man (to be reviewed here soon) and with today’s review, the newly released Ultimate Warrior. Both wrestlers were known for their flashy apparel and their confrontation at WrestleMania VII is a perfect example of this.

Packaging:
The Defining Moments SKU is replacing the old Entrance Greats line. As you may recall, the Entrance Greats line was mentioned in my Top Ten Toy Line Mistakes of 2010 because of it’s failure to really embody the concept. The flashier packaging on the new Defining Moments brand of toys, certainly helps to make it stand out on the shelf.


It has a little bit of a title belt vibe going on. I still don’t really get the window in the back, but in the case of the Ultimate Warrior, he does have a cool coat on so it helps show that off. There is also a little bio summarizing the bout and mentioning a bit about the custom outfits worn. It’s a shame they didn’t mention that the Macho Man (then Macho King) had previously cost the Ultimate Warrior the WWF Championship and that was part of their reason for feuding.


On the side of the package, still in the belt design is a picture of the Warrior from the event.

Sculpt:
If you’ve followed the WWE Legends line pretty closely, you will immediately recognize this figure as simply being a repaint of the Wave 4 Ultimate Warrior figure. Head to toe, there is nothing new on this toy but the paint and the jacket. The body itself (overly muscled) fits the Warrior quite well, it has been reused for several other characters.


It’s a good design and certainly is very true to the Ultimate Warrior. His body was one that looked as though it had been chiseled out of stone and he had plenty of veins bulging and biceps nearly exploding with size. This body works quite well for the Ultimate one.


The head sculpt, while perfect for the Wave 4 Ultimate Warrior, doesn’t really reflect the Warrior’s appearance by 1991. The Ultimate Warrior’s looks changed so much that one of the more famous urban legends in wrestling is that the original Ultimate Warrior died and he was replaced by someone else. That’s of course, not true, but something pretty much every kid believed at some point. It’s also a testament to the fact that his late 80’s look was distinctly different than his early 90’s look.

His haircut should be slightly different and his hair should be much blonder. Mattel did do some nice blonde washes on the figure, but it’s still not quite right. Some people are upset that the Warrior isn’t showing a bit more “expression” in his face, but I’m okay with the rather basic look. It should be noted though, that pretty much every Jakks Ultimate Warrior’s head scan looked better than this.


The real selling point of this figure appears to be the paint scheme. In the 80’s-90’s many wrestlers would often wear tights specifically designed for a match. Ultimate Warrior was one of the more notorious guys for doing this and his tights depict pictures of both him and Macho Man on them. Of particular interest is that Mattel has replicated this really well, right down to the fact that Macho Man is dressed in his Macho King attire, which ironically he would not wear at this event.


Every little detail is reproduced, including the individual faces on the kneepads. Even the staunchest Mattel critic has to give them credit for replicating detail at a level that really hasn’t been done before in wrestling figures. One would assume that this is the purpose of the Elite and Legend brands in general. These types of outfits really shine as examples of what toy companies are capable of doing.


Mattel really nailed even the smaller details, like Warrior symbols on the top of the coat and the wrist tape. I would speculate that this is all done via some sort of tampo process as everything appears to be flawless. Truly a perfect execution.


Of course the one negative of an outfit like this is that it doesn’t really work as an “everyday” Ultimate Warrior. Personally that doesn’t bother me, but it might bother some folks who are just looking to buy one iconic version of someone. I would buy many more Ultimate Warrior figures however, especially if they had this much attention to detail.

Paint:
Of course there are still some painted portions of the figure. Surprisingly, I have no issues at all with the paint. The tampo areas and the painted areas flow together and in some cases appear to be on top of one another. There isn’t a single paint error that I noticed on my figure.


I’m not sure if that’s something that is universal or I just got lucky. I would hope that the Defining Moments brand is getting the absolute most attention paid to it as it relates to quality control. Especially given the price point of these figures. It certainly appears as though that’s the case with this Warrior, so no complaints here.


Even the coat is loaded down with really good “print” application.


Mattel obviously spent a lot of time looking at reference pictures and footage to ensure they got this right. It’s a really well done bit of entrance gear and goes well with the entire amount of detail and paint on the figure.

Articulation:
The articulation is the typical WWE Elite style as seen on all the Legends figures. This is a big step up from the Entrance Greats, which had the basic articulation. It was one of the many things fans asked for with this line and Mattel was smart in providing it. The way the crotch piece in particular is one solid mold allows for greater detail in painting, as well.


However there are some issues with this articulation, specifically in the legs. Many fans will swear that the Elites actually have LESS articulation than the Basics. Why? Because sometimes the leg articulation in the Elite figures just do not work.


Thankfully my Ultimate Warrior figure can bend his legs all the way forward to sit down. My Macho Man, however, can not. Despite the fact that both men have the same articulation. I suppose boiling the figure may help loosen the joints up, I’m not sure. My Macho Man hasn’t had a dip in the jacuzzi yet, but my Warrior doesn’t need it.

Accessories:
One of the things that supposedly raised the price of the Entrance Great figures was the electronic base that played like 30 seconds of an entrance theme. That’s been omitted here, so naturally we’re going to be able to get some extra accessories, right? Not exactly.


The Ultimate Warrior comes with his entrance coat from the event. As mentioned before, it has a really profound level of detail to it. It’s made of a soft pleather-like material. Of course given the history of the soft goods causing color changes to wrestling figures, I immediately pulled this off my figure.


His only other accessory is a gold stand with the paper nameplate. This is an interesting inclusion as the Elite and Legends (and Basics) no longer include these stands. So the Defining Moments get a stand, but no other SKU. I don’t really get it, but I suppose it’s a nice bonus.


Of course I also think it’s worth noting that Macho Man’s gold stand and Ultimate Warrior’s gold stand are two completely different shades of gold. This will likely drive people who like uniformity nuts. It’s a rather startling difference in person, almost like two completely different colors. I have no idea if this is a running change, a bad batch, a fluke or what. I don’t use the stands anyway, so it doesn’t bother me.

Value:
Ack! This is where such a beautiful (albeit not perfect) figure takes a big hit. This version of the Ultimate Warrior retails at $22.99 pretty much everywhere. That works out to being around $25 with tax for a single figure with no real accessories. It’s a tough pill to swallow. While Mattel did amp up the articulation from the Entrance Greats, they removed the music stand. That’s their justification for evening out the difference, but in many places the Defining Moments are now more expensive than the Entrance Greats were.

Unfortunately, as cool as this figure is, he’s not worth that. The complete lack of tangible accessories and other issues make this guy about $5 overpriced. There’s really not much here that makes it stand out from a regular WWE Legend figure, with the exception of the paint/tampo work. I picked this guy up on sale for $18 and I’m fine with that price. If Mattel could figure out a way to get the Defining Moments down to about $18, I think they’d be on to something. As is, it’s a bit steep.


Score Recap:
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 9
Paint – 9
Articulation – 8
Accessories – Stand, Coat
Value – 7
Overall – 8 out of 10

This is a really good Ultimate Warrior figure. Even though the Warrior is totally a product of his time and in real life has become such a screwball that it’s hard to believe anyone ever liked him, he did encapsulate a certain energy and emotion in his era. There is no doubt that the Ultimate Warrior was absolutely amazing during his original run and this figure is a fitting tribute to that character and to this particular, Defining Moment.