Here’s an interesting look inside the toy business that you don’t see everyday. Hasbromaniac over at WF, has been sharing a ton of this stuff with the old Hasbro WWF line. I thought I would highlight some of it here since lots of folks who aren’t even wrestling fans might be interested in this. It’s a look at how many toys were made and how some toys, still today are brought to life.

First up is a great example of how things were done in those days. IRS here is sketched off of a few real photos. The interesting part, is that Hasbro and WWF teamed up to have these photos done from various angles. This allowed the sculptor to have very accurate reference pics. Jakks and Mattel use the RealScan technology now, but they didn’t have that in the early 1990’s. It’s also pretty interesting when you think about it, because the Hasbro figures have always seemed to me to be more like caricatures than drawn from their real life counterparts.

Some of these figures never even came out and if they did, they were drastically different. Tugboat made it along pretty far in the planning stages, but never saw an actual release. It’s not clear specifically what sank Tugboat, but it was likely a Typhoon. Plus Typhoon was cheaper to make, since he could reuse Earthquake’s body. Tugboat’s sketch actually has a lot of intricate notes, including that his crotch should be “fatty” and he’s to have a “little butt”.

What happened to other figures isn’t always as clear. The Beverly Brothers would have made perfect sense for a release. They were photographed, but never saw a plastic counterpart. As of yet, the Beverly Brothers (Mike Enos & Wayne Bloom) have never had action figures made of them… Despite the fact that both men have been under contract to major promotions at the time the company was getting figures, AWA with Remco, WWF with Hasbro and WCW with San Francisco Toy Makers.

Hasbro loved giving figures signature weapons and at the time a more cartoony WWF seemed to have one for most characters. Undertaker was set to come with his signature urn and his hand was sculpted to hold it according to these sculptor’s notes. Alas, the urn was shelved. Likely, this time not for cost but because of concern over parents being upset. Probably a wise move on Hasbro’s part, given that Jakks would eventually have to pull Al Snow figures off the shelves because of the inclusion of Head, several years later.

Jim Neidhart did actually receive a release, but not this one. Neidhart was originally planned to be in a two pack with Bret Hart. Instead that pack would be shelved, Bret would be released a little differently and the Anvil was stuck with a NEW Foundation release instead. Oh well, at least he got to wear parachute pants!

The team at Hasbro couldn’t spell the late, great Bam Bam Bigelow’s name properly… But they could stick his head on an Earthquake body. Note how the sketch actually mentions that they’re reusing Earthquake. I suspect internal memos inside both Hasbro and Mattel today use this same sort of strategy, marking which previous parts to reuse.

Here again it’s noted to use Jim Neidhart’s body (including part #) to create Rick Steiner.

And Rick Rude makes a great, Ric Flair! Again, noted in the designer’s notes.

Finally we have the strange tale of the Berzerker, who was planned to reuse one body (Kerry Von Erich), but wound up with another body… That of Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Why wasn’t the Texas Tornado body used instead? Nobody knows for sure, but Hacksaw’s body was used. In fact some early prototypes erroneously show Berzerker with Hacksaw’s patented 2×4!

So that’s it, a little look inside another time and place. It’s a glimpse into how things were ran then, but very likely a peek into how things are still done today. Credit to Hasbromaniac for unearthing a lot of this stuff and earning his name.

3 Responses to Inside Look at Hasbro WWF Line

  • GuestM says:

    As someone who is a hardcore WWE hasbro collector, I loved this article!!! Do you guys have any more of the drawings or prototypes because I would love to see more!!!!

  • codymix says:

    These are awesome! The Hasbro WWF line was darn near perfect.

    • Newton says:

      It’s one my favorite little things here. There was a lot of neat stuff in the Hasbro line. If they could have done the same sort of thing, but made the figures just a tad more playable, it would have been even more incredible.

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