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THE SPECIALISTS
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: Evolution of Hulk Hogan Toys - from Thunderlips in 1983 to Hollywood Hulk

Feb 12, 2013 - 6:05:15 PM
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By Michael Moore, PWTorch Collectibles specialist

In Brief: Toy companies have been making action figures of Hulk Hogan for 30 years.

Action Figure Evolution #15: Hulk Hogan

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(1) 1983 Phoenix Toys "Rocky" Action Figures. Look up “Hulk Hogan” in eBay’s toys & hobbies category at any given time and you’ll probably get at least 1,000 results. Hogan’s first toy actually pre-dates any wrestling figures. His role in “Rocky III” had a big hand in Hulkamania running wild, and Phoenix Toys included a figure of Hogan’s Thunderlips character in its small line of “Rocky” toys. For its time this is a pretty good looking toy, somewhat similar to Remco’s AWA figures and Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Line from the same time.

(2) 1984 LJN WWF Wrestling Superstars Series 1. For many kids of the 1980s, this was the first wrestling toy they owned. The big rubber figure in yellow trunks and boots with red kneepads is one of the easiest wrestling toys to find on the secondary market today.

(3) 1990 Hasbro WWF Series 1. When Hasbro took over the WWF toy license in 1990, Hogan was playing second fiddle to the Ultimate Warrior but was still in many ways the face of the company. Hasbro produced several Hogan figures through 1992, and reportedly scrapped a planned Mega Maniacs figure of “the Hulkster” that was originally planned around his brief 1993 comeback.

(4) 1997 OSFTM WCW Tag Team Wrestlers (with Randy Savage). These figures of Hogan and Savage from the Original San Francisco Toy Maker (OSFTM) are clearly repaints of older OSFTM toys of the same two wrestlers when they were babyfaces. Hogan’s still flashing a cheesy smile, and the NWO black and white is substituted for the yellow and red on an older toy.

(5) 2000 Toy Biz WCW Power Slam. WCW reached its peak when Hogan was the company’s lead villain, so most of Hogan’s best WCW toys depict him as the evil Hollywood Hogan. However, Hogan returned to his good guy red and yellow in 1999, and this figure captures that moment – complete with a target of Sting, who had a brief heel run against the babyface Hogan.

(6) 2006 Jakks Classic WWE Superstars Series 8 Hollywood Hulk Hogan. The eighth series of this popular line included two figures of Hogan: the WWF babyface and the WCW/NWO heel. This figure of Hollywood Hogan is one of the best ever made: very simple with an NWO black and white t-shirt, black pants, and a spray-painted WCW World Title belt.

(7) 2010 Jakks TNA Legends of the Ring. Those who saw some of Hogan’s earliest work in New Japan Pro Wrestling often claim he was so much more than wrestler who most fans saw in the U.S. This figure, which even features the NJPW logo on the box, has Hogan in black trunks, white boots, and a black and red robe – and even a full head of hair.

PWTorch Collectibles Specialist Michael Moore can be reached at michaelmoorewriter@gmail.com .


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