WWE Classic Superstars 2 Pack # 13
Bobby Heenan & Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartz
7 Inch Scale
Although Mattel now holds the WWE license, Jakks Pacific held the rights to make WWE figures for over a decade. Their WWE Legends line really was the first wrestling line to produce figures of older, past stars from various wrestling organizations. While Mattel has struggled to find the audience for their current incarnations of Legends, Jakks managed to offer up a wide variety of figures for many waves.
Jakks was able to dig deep into the rosters, so deep that I’m now reviewing a figure of Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartz for crying out loud! It’s about as obscure of a character as one could imagine. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan is also included in this pack, although I’m not entirely sure why. Heenan never managed Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartz, although he did manage the Brooklyn Brawler, which was the same man, but not the same gimmick.
It’s probably hard to wrap your head around, but the fact that this figure even exists makes my mind melt. This is hardly the first Bobby Heenan figure, as Jakks did several versions of him throughout the years… But this is the only Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartz in existence and likely the only figure he’ll ever receive. Is he a home run or a foul ball?
Jakks Classic Superstars packaging never really changed despite 20+ series of figures. They kept the basic design the same, with a gold embossed Classic Superstars logo in the middle and proto pictures on the sides and back. These “tag team” packs are just larger versions of the single card packaging.
There’s really nothing much interesting on the front…
Sadly the back is even MORE boring, with nothing but some generic height and weight stats for each guy. Would it really have been that hard to whip up a couple of bios? I suppose they didn’t want to write too much, since this two pack is bordering on completely random. Outside of a preview of the other two packs in this series, there’s nothing else to see.
Bobby Heenan & Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartz make for a unique two pack, but even if they don’t really belong together, they make for a couple of decent figures.
As I mentioned before, Heenan had quite a few Jakks figures. There is nothing distinctly different about this one, but he works well enough. Bobby Heenan was around during the time that Abe debuted, although if they were going for that time period, Bobby was mostly wearing windbreaker suits. Still, this is a pretty good “classic” Heenan and could work for most any Heenan era.
The face sculpt is really good and Jakks did a great job with the scan here. This accurately reflects Bobby Heenan. By the way, if you want to get really depressed, Google a picture of Bobby Heenan today. Poor guy has had it rough in the last decade. Cancer is a bitch.
Heenan does have some gold stripes around his suit which definitely make it pop a bit. Sadly there’s no “The Brain” logo or anything on the back. That really would have made this figure go up a few notches. He uses a decent “fat” suited body that works well enough for Heenan, who was never too trim.
Of course Jakks doesn’t do scale and that’s where this figure suffers. Despite the fact that they have short legs and could have made this Heenan pretty accurately scaled, they chose their large suit legs. This makes Heenan TOWER over nearly every figure in the line. Heenan and Schwartz are both listed at 6 foot on the package, but Heenan is quite a bit taller. If Bobby Heenan was this big in real life, he never would have needed the Heenan Family!
Given that there are better or at least as good Heenan figures out there, that makes Abe the “star” of this pack. Talk about a bizarre choice. This pack originally retailed for $30+ at Toys R Us. That means you would basically be paying $30 for Abe Schwartz, who not only was a jobber… But only had a handful of actual matches in the WWE/F.
You see, Abe Schwartz was played by Steve Lombardi, who for the majority of his career wrestled as the “Brooklyn Brawler”. Most people remember the Brawler as one of the ultimate jobbers (guys who lose) in wrestling. When the Brawler debuted, he was actually a lower midcard guy and WAS managed by Heenan, but that was a full decade before he became the Knuckleball. Lombardi is also a backstage hand in the WWE and remained with them even when he wasn’t jobbing, which led to Vince McMahon creating the “MVP” Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartz in 1993 during the MLB Baseball strike.
I looked on Youtube and I could only find one match in which Abe actually wrestled and that was a battle royal. I mostly remember Abe by his original moniker, which was the MVP (not to be confused with the more recent WWE MVP) and he just stood in the stands with a sign reading that he was “on strike”. It was one of those crazy storylines that went nowhere and only Vince McMahon found amusing. I can only assume that Vince had just seen the Warriors for the first time or something.
Even though this is one of the oddest, most pointless figures in existence, Jakks actually did a really good job with him. His outfit is pretty accurate, his face is the same as the Brawler figure but the paint is really well done and he has logos on his front and back. He doesn’t have the pin stripes, like a real baseball jersey should, but it’s not really a major issue in my mind.
Both figures are pretty good for what they are and Abe is actually a really nice Jakks figure. However I should mention that these both have a few parts made of the cheaper, harder plastic that Jakks began using towards the end of their WWE run. I assume they just didn’t care, so certain pieces feel a bit less sturdy than some of the older Jakks figures.
These are your standard Jakks “Ruthless Aggression” or RA figures. They have a few points of articulation, but they pale in comparison to Mattel’s current Elite or Legends style offerings.
It breaks down to a ball jointed neck (which has literally no ball joint movement on Heenan), swivel-hinge ball joint shoulders, swivel above the elbow, elbow hinges, hinge and swivel wrists.
Waist swivel, leg hinges, knee hinges and ankle hinges complete the articulation. The legs in particular are annoying as they don’t go very far forward and can’t be spread apart.
A lot of these two packs didn’t come with much, but both of these figures do manage to come with an accessory.
Schwartz has a white baseball cap and Brain gets a commentator’s headset. The headset in particular is a piece that Jakks gave out plenty of times in other sets, but it makes for a good accessory for Heenan.
Bobby has a bit of a big head, but the headset does fit. I liked that Jakks gave us accessories, even if we didn’t always need them. The inclusion of a bonus headset or a random steel chair, to me, was important. Like many folks, I now use Jakks accessories with Mattel figures because Mattel hasn’t made many accessories.
Unfortunately Jakks decided to make Abe’s hat out of HARD plastic! This just frustrates the crap out of me, because Jakks made this hat in soft plastic 100 times! Making it in hard plastic just means that it will not fit on Abe’s head and thus this accessory is useless. One step forward, two back.
This set was not worth $30. I did not pay $30 for it and I would not encourage you to do so, unless you’re insane or a HUGE fan of Knuckleball. I think I paid about $15 for this set and I don’t feel too bad about that price. Neither figure is bad, but they aren’t great either. I do love that I own an Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartz figure though… That’s sort of priceless.
Packaging – 6
Sculpting – 7
Paint – 7
Articulation – 6
Accessories – Headset, Ball Cap
Value – 4
Overall – 6 out of 10
“Hey, you look familiar… You ever been to Brooklyn?”
This set isn’t great, but both figures are decent. It’s hard for me to rag on it too much because the Abe figure is really quite well done. I’m not sure if Bobby got saddled with Abe or Abe got saddled with Bobby. Either way, this two pack is one odd trip down WrestleCrap lane!