7 Inch Scale
By: Jakks Pacific

At the height of Jakks power in the toy aisle, they decided to do one of Jeremy Padawer’s (Brand Manager at Jakks) dream lines, ROCKY! Although Rocky seems like an odd choice for a toy line, the Rocky movies were super popular in the 1980’s and actually had a Remco toy line that was fairly successful. Using a lot of the same molds that they had invented for the WWE line, the Rocky line took off. It was a surprisingly well done line, as it was clear it was a passion project for Padawer and his team.

Thunderlips, The Ultimate Male, or The Ultimate Object Of Desire was a wrestler that wrestled Rocky Balboa while raising money for charity. His real name is Samuel “Sammy” Denderbeams.

Thunderlips was a big part of Rocky III, even if he didn’t really do anything. Supposedly this helped launch Hulk Hogan’s career (though he was already approaching superstardom) and the rest is history. Of course Thunderlips would be made in the line, as Jakks already had wrestler molds, even Hulk Hogan molds. It was a no brainer. I’ve always thought the name Thunderlips was stupid. I’ve never known a wrestler to have a name anything close to that.

The Rocky packaging was pretty simple, but followed the traditional formula. The waves were named by movie, but unfortunately that didn’t always pan out as some cases were mixed. They should have stuck a little closer to that and went through each Rocky movie.

There are some scenes from the movies in blue on the side of the package and Hogan, err, Lips, is displayed well. He also gets a custom title card, with Rocky hanging on his back performing a sleeper hold.

The back of the package gives a little bio and tells about Thunderlips involvement in the movie. It also shows off the rest of the wave. As usual with Jakks, there were some odd choices for figures. I appreciate that they made a Jimmy Lennon figure, but it may not have been the most sound business philosophy.

The figure looks quite good, with bulging muscles and a nice frame. The large Jakks body really works for Hogan as this is how I picture Hulk Hogan looking. That works doubly so for Thunderlips, who is even supposed to be a cartoonishly big version of Hogan.

I can’t recall for sure if this Hogan got a unique head sculpt or if Jakks reused another one. I can’t fault them if they reused a Hogan sculpt, but I don’t think I have any other Hogan with this head, so I’m calling it new. Either way it’s a really nice Hulk head.

One interesting thing is that his legs are actually cast in white and painted. I don’t recall any Jakks wrestlers having this, though they may, and it’s not really a big deal. The camera catches this a little, but the real eye doesn’t. The paint matches up well, it’s just a strange choice. Could be something to do with the white tights.

Thunderlips was huge in the movie. Hogan towered over Stallone in real life, because Hogan in his prime was a pretty big guy. He’s still a big guy, but he’s shrunk some now due to back surgeries and age. I also think in a few shots in the film they had Hogan on a stand, just to make him look even bigger. As such Jakks have given Thunderlips one of the biggest frames around, with longer legs and such than a normal Hogan. It works well as a old school young Hulkster.

“I Wanna Kiss you, Mr. T, brother!”

All in all, it’s a pretty great sculpt with nice paint work. It’s a simple figure. That’s exactly what it should be though and Jakks knocked it out of the park. As I said before, they really took care and pride for most of the Rocky figures.

The Jakks wrestling figures have decent, but sometimes hindered articulation… The Rocky line has the exact same articulation. It’s definitely better for Rocky than wrestling even, because how many poses can you really put a boxer in?

Hogan/Thunderlips of course is a wrestler, so he needs a few more poses. The body is still articulated enough to hit some classic poses though. Including Hogan’s patented flexes. When I did my brief managing stint for TNA earlier this year, I hit the ring and rocked all those vintage Hogan poses. What the hell else was I going to do?

Thunderlips can do some other cool poses and he makes for a decent articulated figure. If you like the Jakks WWE articulation, you’ll be satisfied with this. If you have any issues, they’ll be repeated here.

Thunderlips on his own is kind of boring. He doesn’t even have kneepads…

But thankfully the folks at Jakks gave him just what he needed!

A pimp hat and cape! Actually these are the things that Thunderlips wore in the movie. I’ve heard some people complain about the hat, but honestly looking at some stills from the film, it looks perfect. It’s well painted and it fits on Hogan’s colossal noggin great. I wouldn’t wear it too long though, I suspect that’s what made him go bald. Also, looking at pictures of Hogan in the hat, I could totally see him playing the Mad Hatter in like, a Muppet in Wonderland.

The cape is made of a pretty thick material. Surprisingly good for Jakks and it hangs well. The back of it has the full Thunderlips design and again, this is something that they would have scrimped on in the WWE line, but rolled out the royal treatment in the Rocky line. The only thing I wish he had come with, was the spiffy championship belt he wore in the film.

Thunderlips should appeal to both wrestling collectors and Rocky collectors. That said, maybe Jakks overestimated the success of the line in general because Thunderlips and many other are readily available for pretty cheap. Mr. T isn’t, but at least you can get this cool Thunderlips. About $10 is the going rate, but you may find him for less than $5.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 8
Articulation – 7
Accessories – Cape, Hat
Value – 9
Overall – 8.5 out of 10

Thunderlips is a very simple figure. It’s essentially young Hulk Hogan in white tights with red boots and a pimp hat. Regardless of the simplicity, it’s well done. That’s what I look for in a figure. I had Thunderlips sitting in a box for over a year before I pulled him out for review. This guy may not be too impressive inside the package, but once he’s out of it, I quite like him. Thunderlipmania is runnin’ wild here at Infinite Hollywood, dude!

4 Responses to Rocky III: Thunderlips Figure Review

  • Mark says:

    Excellent review, wish I ha grabbed some of these figure, I'll probably get a TNA or NWA Legends Hulk Hogan.

  • Lt_Clutch says:

    Rocky III was my introduction to Mr. T and to a lesser extent, the Hulkster. Sweet figure and faithful review, Newt! Whenever I hear the term "passion project" applied to anything, chances are that it's gonna be worth the price of admission.

  • Yeah I want to get the TNA Legends Japanese Hogan. He looks pimp.

  • Rocky III really launched a lot of careers in that sense. The guys at Jakks really loved the Rocky line, though I think they might should have just transitioned into a basic boxing line as well, instead of trying to sneak real boxing legends like Frazier and Tyson into the line, but packing them in suits.

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