WWE Classic Superstars
Chainsaw Charlie (Terry Funk)
7 Inch Scale
By: Jakks Pacific
When a company makes a line long enough, variants eventually begin to show up. Such is the case when Jakks made their 22nd edition of their WWE Classics line. Terry Funk already had no less than four other versions of himself, and while one might imagine that Jakks should have chosen to make a 1960’s-70’s version of the famous wrestler (something Mattel is doing in their 2nd series of legends) they opted for the road a little less traveled. Jakks deserves some credit, not only for the obscure choice of making Funk as Chainsaw Charlie, but because it’s also clearly the more difficult figure to produce. Classic trunks Terry Funk would have just been a minimal paint application on a standard buck, but Chainsaw Charlie required a bit more work. Impressive considering that the Charlie gimmick is largely forgettable, if not entirely terrible.
Funk actually takes total credit, or perhaps blame for the Chainsaw Charlie gimmick. Personally I think that’s a tall tale at best and an outright lie at worst. Somehow I think it’s more dignified to say I chose to put a pair of pantyhose on my head and parade around like an idiot, than to say someone forced me to do it. To be fair I’m sure Funk had some input, but there’s no doubt in my mind that Vince McMahon had a hand in it too. Vince is notorious for trying to recreate guys and saddling them with horrible gimmicks, especially in the height of the “attitude era” when something like a crazy old man was too good to work.
Instead they opted for one part Leatherface, one part… Actually I don’t know what the other part was. Funk clearly knew the Leatherface gimmick (There have been numerous wrestlers playing that role through the years) and probably pitched an idea akin to that, but after McMahon and company were through we ended up with this. Instead of a bio, here’s how Funk describes his debut as Chainsaw Charlie in his autobiography More than just Hardcore:
They asked me what I wanted to wear and got me some Levi jeans and a pair of suspenders. I already had a red shirt, so I kept that. Then they got me a pair of women’s pantyhose stocking and some baby powder to put on my head. I guess I could have went out there without anything on my head, but I wouldn’t have been Chainsaw Charlie with Terry Funk’s head, would I? I’d been Chainsaw Terry! I came out of that box with my chainsaw and stocking over my head, and the crowd, expecting some great surprise, let out sound that seemed strangely reminiscent of escaping gas. I had visions of coming out to a tremendous roar, but that wasn’t exactly what I got.
Funk actually had more success as Chainsaw Charlie in WWF than any of his previous stints, as he actually briefly held the World Tag Team Titles with Cactus Jack (AKA Mick Foley) and was part of a top level feud at the time. Before long Funk began to slowly turn back more into Terry Funk and eventually the Chainsaw Charlie moniker was completely dropped. Not before an infamous Dumpster match at Wrestlemania though, where Funk suffered an injury by being thrown into a dumpster and landing on a 2×4 on his backside. He claims the injury was so bad that he’s been a half-assed wrestler (literally) ever since.
Despite an incredible 28 series of collectible WWE Classics figures, the packaging never really changed. As a collector I can appreciate that, because all of these figures can be displayed in identical packaging. That’s important for a lot of people and if you’re going to make a package like that, you better make sure it’s a good one.
Thankfully these packages from Jakks are quite good. The gold embossed “CLASSIC SUPERSTARS” logo pops out nicely. They also kept the WWE logos to a minimum as well which is nice. Inside everything in theory should be kept safe in the inner tray, but I did have a couple of issues which I’ll address later in the review.
The back of the packages shows the other figures in the series, as well as giving some highlights on the character. There’s a nice picture of Terry Funk sans mask as well. Normally I’d say there should be some cross sell, but since these are aimed directly at collectors, I’m glad stuff like the toy belts and rings aren’t advertised here.
I mentioned above that it would have been a lot easier to do a version of Funk in his plain trunks, but this figure features a lot of reuse as well. However with only one minor exception, you’d never know this wasn’t built from the ground up specifically for Chainsaw Charlie. It’s a pretty grand reuse of parts.
First I guess I should address his stocking. That’s sort of an important piece of the puzzle and Jakks actually included a stocking mask. It looks just as ridiculous on Funk’s toy as it did the real man. It’s a nice piece, made of real stocking material and fits haphazardly. It’s perfect in that respect.
The rest of the costume is quite nice as well, especially the baggy jeans which are painted perfectly. In the 80’s and 90’s they made these not quite stonewashed jeans and the paint deco here is perfect. He actually has the sculpted taped fists, which is great as well. The shirt uses the short sleeve arms but is painted past the sleeve portion. I’m sure some folks would complain about that, but I think it works perfectly. Why? Because Chainsaw Charlie’s shirt was a long sleeve shirt rolled up to just below the elbow. So the short sleeve works because it looks like the bunched up sleeve part on his arm.
The only part where they really cheaped out was the suspenders. At first I thought it looked hokey, but actually I think it works very well. It’s painted nicely and the suspenders were actually pretty tight on Funk, so it works well enough. Sure they could have went the extra mile and sculpted some suspenders or did some sort of soft goods versions, but this is actually quite adequate.
Underneath is a great sculpt of Terry Funk. It’s not significantly changed from the other versions of Funk, but this version is the one without the bandanna. I think Funk’s hair was a little shorter when he was portraying Charlie, but it’s a moot point because this Funk head sculpt is one of the best head sculpts done in this line, or any line. It’s the spitting image of the Hardcore Icon. The hair is painted darker here, almost black while the others go for a dark brown look. It works because as Chainsaw Charlie his hair looked particularly dark for some reason.
I’ve heard a few complaints about this figure, but honestly it’s really well done. Outside of the suspenders I don’t know what could have been done to make this figure any better and even those, are painted pretty decent.
The articulation across the board is pretty excellent on these Jakks WWE figures, although the range of movement in some of the joints isn’t quite what I’d want it to be. For Terry Funk though, it’s definitely enough to suffice.
You have a ball jointed head, with a bit of limited movement thanks to the hair. Hinge/ball shoulders, hinge elbows, hinge/swivel wrists, a cut waist, hinge legs, hinge knees and hinge ankles. Plenty enough articulation to deliver some hardcore punishment.
Jakks has always been pretty good about including some accessories. Charlie actually gets some exclusive accessories that you really don’t see given to any other figures. I’m certain the chainsaw probably comes from some other old Jakks WWE set, but it’s pretty rare regardless.
You get both the stocking mask and the chainsaw. Both are excellent, although the chainsaw is a bit low on paint aps. Charlie can hold the chainsaw, but it’s not the best fitting accessory ever released. Still it’s an essential element to this character and he’d be lost without it.
Both accessories are pretty good. The chainsaw came out a bit warped though and I’m sure that’s the case with almost all of them. Bummer, but seems like you could straighten it out with a little time and patience.
Unfortunately that’s not the only thing that’s warped.
One of my Charlie’s feet is pretty severely warped. That’s not really a statement on the quality of Jakks though, it was just bad luck on my part. As it turns out, his foot popped loose from his inner shell (pretty amazing in it’s own right) and got bent a bit in the package. I think I could straighten it out, but he stands fine and it actually gives him an even more authentic broken down knees Terry Funk look, in my opinion.
I don’t think this was an incredibly popular figure, given that there are better authentic Funks out there, but I love this ballsy choice from Jakks. It’s really a good toy and could easily warrant a $15 price tag. His value hasn’t went down over time and I don’t think you’ll have to worry about Mattel making a superior version anytime soon. I doubt we’ll ever get another Chainsaw Charlie figure, so it’s great that this one is so good.
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 8
Articulation – 8
Accessories – Chainsaw, Stocking Mask
Value – 9
Overall – 8.5 out of 10
High score for this figure. Maybe it’s just my love of Funk, but I think this toy is a real winner. It’s an obscure choice and it was no doubt done on the cheap, but it still comes out really stupendous. That’s just about all you can ask for and if my only grievance is that the suspenders are only painted on, it’s a small one. The stocking is really what puts this over the top.
Terry Funk is an amazing wrestler and a pretty amazing man. He became arguably his most popular in the late 1990’s when he should have been in the twilight of his career. When other older wrestlers were toning down their style and working less physical, Terry Funk added a moonsault to his arsenal. Often off a ladder or onto a garbage can. Funk is well over 60 now and still wrestles independantly, taking a beating all over the country.
I suspect Terry Funk will eventually die in the ring, likely doing something he shouldn’t and probably in front of a crowd of a hundred people. Some folks might think that’s sad, but I think that’s how the Funker would want to go out. Of course, thankfully he probably won’t be clad with women’s pantyhose on his head when it happens. Still, Chainsaw Charlie is a surprisingly fun addition to any toy collection.
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