Welcome To SlamFest! WOOOOO!




Last year, I started a new tradition here on the blog where I focus exclusively on wrestling figures and memorabilia. It was a fun idea and I decided to continue it this year! January is usually a dead month in terms of excitement for a lot of people. It's cold, it's depressing, it's kinda boring, but considering the Royal Rumble is the biggest event of the winter season for so many, I figured it would be a good time to sit back and chat about rasslin! So today, I can't think of anyone better to help me kick this off than with the man who is considered the greatest of all time...in fact, you could say it's the only way to start of the WOOOOOOO! year. Heh.

Ok, I'll see myself out...









That's right, The Nature Boy Ric Flair made his action figure debut in 1985 thanks to the often forgotten AWA line from Remco. These figures were very Masters of the Universe-like with their muscular arm flexing and squat posing, which is what Remco had built other lines on and considering the size of wrestlers back then, it makes sense as to why they'd want to use these bodies. I mean, heck, most of us inserted He-Man or Skeletor into our wrestling rings so to have Flair, Road Warriors, Greg Gagne, and other AWA stars in the exact same scale as TwoBad or King Hiss was pretty fun. Also fun? The fact that, save an NWA title defense here and there, Ric had been long gone from the AWA by this point and had become the face of the more successful, rival company NWA. More on that in a second...


Also fun? You could buy a two pack of wrestlers! Remco may have been a lot of things, but dumb wasn't one of them. Lazy and cheap, yes, but not dumb. They knew that if a kid got ONE wrestling figure, they'd want another to have someone to fight! Perfect! So it made perfect sense to introduce this line with two packs, showcasing the AWA's best and most hated opponents or most revered tag teams. The Road Warriors, The High Flyers, The Long Riders, The Fabulous Freebirds, Nick Bockwinkle vs. Rick Martel and Ric Flair vs. Larry Zbyszko were just some of the lines most popular releases.




Of course, since this AWA line was one of first on the scene, they were bound to make some mistakes. Namely the faces. In this case, Flair looks more like the son of Bea Arthur and Greg Valentine than the future 16 time world champ. Nailing down the best resemblance wasn't exactly the biggest priority at the time so it's forgiven. That's also a charm of these early lines though. Eventually we were able to get to the point where companies could nail down almost flawless likenesses.


But where the looks take a back seat, the accessories were pretty awesome. You may not be able to tell by his face, but once you see that big, glittery flowing robe and his trademark RF on his tights, you know exactly who this is. The robe isn't as fancy as it would become in later years but it still works well and gets the job done.


Of course, Ric wasn't packaged with this title belt which is supposed to represent the AWA title. That came with Rick Martel. However I can't help but think the belt looks more like the NWA title and since Flair is the first person I always think of when it comes to that title, it makes more sense to have him wear it. Sorry, Martel! It's a nice early belt. Just a mere sticker on a plastic band. Nothing too fancy and gets the point across. Probably my favorite part of the AWA line itself was the fact that this was included as not just the world title, but the tag team titles as well. Which, if you know Remco's history...that's a pretty Remco thing to do...



It's fun to have these AWA figures since they're so basic and primitive. To see where this hobby and genre began is pretty awesome. Ric Flair has received the action figure treatment through the years, including many to this day. But to know he was around for one of the very first lines is pretty special. I guess the old saying is true: "The oldest ride in the park, but the longest lines! WOOOO!"



You can also read my review of Flair's rather infamous Hasbro figure here!


-Chad

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