Every successful toyline is followed by one or several similar toylines that want to profit from the concept created by the first company. In the case of action figures, one of the most "copied" was the Masters of the Universe, maybe because it was the most popular toyline in the "golden" age of action figures (which would decay with the arrival of videogames).
In this case, the bootlegs are not (only) Masters of the Universe bootlegs, but WCW/WWF bootlegs. The proximity in time of MOTU (1982-1987) and those lines, made that many of the MOTU bootlegs were "adapted" to look like wrestlers. The figures are in many cases old characters attached with a wrestling belt, so you can easily identify them as wrestlers. However, some new heads were casted, especially one similar to Hulk Hogan (which is probably the most "bootlegged" character of all times).
If you´re familiar with Masters of the Universe, you can probably recognise the cast of a Galaxy Fighter in the body of the black wrestler. That bent knees, big head, curved arms... are easily identifiable. These casts had already arrived in China (from Hong Kong), and they were ready to use them in new toylines. By the year 1990, Masters of the Universe was not selling at all, so these Chinese companies needed another concept for their new products.
These pictures appears courtesy of Pablo G. del Río
The copyright below the figure indicates (c) 1986 NISSO S.A., PANAMA - Made in Hong Kong, but no trace of information could be found about this company. Was it really located in Panama? or it is just its name?
|This character is based on Apollo Creed, but still reminds me of the actor Richard Pryor.|
|Arternative Packaging - Pic: knockoffcollector.tumblr.com|
|Alternative Package - Pic: Terrible Tony in actionfiguresca.proboards.com|
As you can notice from the pictures in this entry, these figures, despite their low quality, have an enormous playability, much higher than Hasbro´s WWF and Galoob´s WCW. Figures are more poseable (with 6 points of articulation) than both those two toylines. They do not perform any action feature.
These are not the only wrestler bootlegs, but only two samples. In future entries, I will show more wrestlers from different manufacturers.
FACTS and FIGURES:
- Name: BLACK CYCLONE and C.G.
- Toy Line: WRESTLING CHAMPIONS a.k.a. WRESTLER
- Year: Around 1987 and 1992
- Company: Unknown (Hong Kong/ China)
- Size of the figures: Around 11 cm