Sunday, April 8, 2018

[YouTube] WWF: LJN's Toys & Other Stuff

The World Wrestling Federation was a Saturday afternoon staple when I was a kid in the mid-'80s. If I recall correctly, wrestling came on the TV around 11 AM, maybe noon, after the morning cartoons came to an end. It was 60 minutes of wrestling mayhem featuring some larger than life characters, with good guys vs. bad guys (sometimes gals too!). It was a lot of fun during a time when nobody cared about being politically correct; the personas many of the wrestlers had tended to be rather colorful and over-the-top, which made them appealing to children of the '80s.

https://youtu.be/Sl0xKbY9bP4

LJN capitalized on the WWF's popularity with a line of toys beginning in 1984 and released six series, one each year, with the last one reaching Canadian stores only in 1989. The toys have some heft to them and aren't poseable at all so they aren't exactly action figures. On average I'd say they are around seven inches tall and weigh 10 ounces. They aren't the most exciting toys but they do make great display pieces. A wrestling ring playset was sold as well that had a cage match add-on sold separately. LJN also sold thumb wrestling toys in two-packs; each kid puts a thumb wrestler on, locks their fingers together with another kid, and has the toys battle each other.

 









Hulk Hogan rose to the top and became the face of the league during the height of the WWF's popularity. In 1985 Hogan had his own cartoon called Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling that featured many other wrestlers as well. That only lasted two seasons and used professional voice actors rather than the wrestlers themselves. Many wrestlers did get acting gigs though, some of those highlights include: Hulk Hogan was in Rocky III and his own TV show called Thunder in Paradise; Rowdy Roddy Piper starred in John Carpenter's They Live with Keith David; Andre the Giant is in The Princess Bride; Jesse "The Body" Ventura appears with Arnold Schwarzenegger in both Predator and The Running Man; and Captain Lou Albano was Nintendo's Mario in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show.

https://youtu.be/0b2_MwZa55M

I photographed and/or scanned the items in the video but not too many pages of the books aside from the postcards. For Hulkamania I did scan one of the pages where it appears Hogan is signing at a Toys "R" Us location and a couple pages from his team up with Mr. T that has Muhammad Ali as a referee.



 

Here is the postcard book where I did scan every page in order.

 

 

 

 

 

The last group includes a sticker album based on the aforementioned cartoon, 1986 calendar, Razor Ramon autograph, and The Wrestling Album.






Although I stopped following wrestling on TV around the late '80s, I did still play some of the wrestling video games in the '90s. I've not posted LJN's ads yet but you can see some WWF video game ads on the blog's Flickr account in these albums: Acclaim Entertainment and Acclaim (Multiple Brands). Here's a preview of LJN which should be posted in June:


By the way, you do need to turn up the volume for the videos (after the intro). I'm sorry about that as I didn't realize until after I had filmed both videos that the input for the recording device was lower than usual (forgot I decreased it for the 2-XL video). 

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