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The Hulk Hogan racial slur controversy means no new action figures — or any merchandise. A little more than two weeks ago, Mattel showed several new Hogan action figures at San Diego Comic-Con — the most anticipated tease of the year for WWE toy collectors.
The Wrestling Observer‘s Dave Meltzer reported in the latest radio show that Mattel, 2K and other licensing partners were told no more Hogan.
“Everyone that they have deals with were told that he’s gone,” Meltzer said. “Nothing new. If it’s in production, if it’s been produced, scrapped. That’s it. So a lot of changes having to be made there. Not just no more Hulk Hogan action figures but there were two packs, there were things that were about to be distributed, and they’ve got to redo all of that stuff.”
At SDCC, Mattel revealed one of the most anticipated Hogan figures: “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan in the Defining Moments line, which was expected to be released in time for the Royal Rumble. Now, the figure joins the likes of never-released figures such as Jeff Hardy, Magnum TA, One Man Gang and the Gobbledy Gooker.
So no more Hogan figures for the foreseeable future means no NWO “Hollywood” possibly ever, although we’ve seen WWE reconcile with past stars with dubious pasts.
1. Finn Balor figures are coming.
Lots of them. Mattel showed off three figures of the former Prince Devitt, including the prototype of Balor’s Demon in Elite style.
Balor’s Demon is still in the prototype stage, so maybe he’ll end up with a more shredded body by the time he hits store shelves. Also, a non-Demon Balor is included in WWE’s Basic Series 57, and Kmart will get an exclusive “Fan Essentials Balor” with a painted on T-shirt.
2. Kevin Owens’ first figure is in the prototype stages
Kevin Owens came into WWE as the hottest heel in wrestling. His previous persona, Kevin Steen, will get a figure in the upcoming Ring of Honor line, but Owens’ first Mattel figure won’t be far behind. The prototype of Owens’ first WWE figure, which debuts in Mattel’s basic line, can be seen above, ready to pop-up powerbomb your John Cena and Sami Zayn figures.
3. The fourth Defining Moments figure for 2015 is an Undertaker re-release
The fourth Defining Moments figure had been a mystery until Comic-Con. Would be it an Ultimate Warrior? Maybe Undisputed Champion Chris Jericho? Nope. The fourth figure is actually a re-release of Mattel’s first — and possibly best — figure: Ministry of Darkness Undertaker. The original was released as a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive, but many collectors missed their shot at it. The only difference between the first and the re-release: The new version has painted on eyes (and doesn’t cost $80 to 100, which SDCC Taker goes for on the secondary market).
4. Great American Bash Sting is coming in the Defining Moments line
The first surfer Sting will commemorate the night that he won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship from Ric Flair at the Great American Bash 1990. That figure was originally scheduled to hit around WrestleMania. Could it be moved up with the Hollywood Hogan figure getting scrapped?
5. Sami Zayn is getting an Elite figure, and he’s coming with the NXT Championship
Sami Zayn’s NXT title reign may have only lasted a couple of months, but the former El Generico is going to be the first action figure to come with an NXT Championship. NXT is going to be a huge part of WWE’s wrestling toy line going forward.
6. NWO Scott Hall is the next Ringside Collectibles exclusive
You want a war? You got one. The bad guy is getting an NWO figure, and it’ll be exclusively released by Ringside Collectibles in October. In fact, you can pre-order it now. Survey says … sold!
7. Seth Rollins Money in the Bank cash in is the next Toys R Us Big Book giveaway. Also, a debut John Cena is on the way.
Toys R Us gets the exclusive figure of Seth Rollins cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase on Brock Lesnar. Last year, Rollins’ rival Brock Lesnar was featured for breaking the Undertaker’s streak. Look for the Rollins figure in his spaceman gear with MITB briefcase and WWE World Championship in the fall. You can buy the figure for around $20 or pick up about $40 worth of WWE merch and get it for free.
Mattel is also releasing a debut John Cena figure. Before there were jorts and the Dr. of Thuganomics, there was the so-called “Prototype.” This Cena figure comes with the WWE Championship and a spinner U.S. Championship. If you missed out on Cena’s Defining Moments figure a few years back, you can finally pick up a spinner.
8. Jimmy Hart and the Million Dollar Man are in the Target exclusive Hall of Fame 3 set
The Target Hall of Fame line will continue, and early next year, we’ll finally get Elite-style figures of the “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart and the “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase. The Target exclusive figure series has been perfect for old-school fans to check off long-desired figures from the past.
9. The British Bulldog with braids and cape is coming
Another coveted figure is coming soon. Davey Boy Smith’s singles run in the early 1990s will be the basis for an upcoming Elite Flashback of the British Bulldog.
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11. WWE Series 56 features Hideo Itami, New Day Xavier Woods, the Ultimate Warrior, Naomi, Dean Ambrose and John Cena
The former KENTA gets a basic series release, showing NXT is vital to the future of this toy line.
12. Zombie figures
Mattel often shows off special to SDCC toys, and this year, the toy company unveiled zombie versions of John Cena and Hulk Hogan. These figures may never make it onto shelves (especially Hogan) but they were popular showpieces at SDCC.
13. A first look at WWE Elite Series 38
We’ve known the lineup for some time, and now we know what the series will look like with updated figures of Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns, the first APA figures, a new Slim Jim “Macho Man” Randy Savage and the first Elite of Adam Rose.
14. SummerSlam Stephanie McMahon is in Elite 37
Remember when Stephanie McMahon beat Brie Bella at SummerSlam last year? Now you’ll never forget it.
15. Build-a-figure Paul Bearer is now a Walmart exclusive
The Paul Bearer build-a-figure set never made it to U.S. Toys R Us stores. But the figure will find its way into Walmarts. The concept is the same: Buy for figures, each coming with parts to make Uncle Paul. Two of the figures were revealed at Comic-Con: Flashback basics of Undertaker and Chris Jericho.
16. More Paige figures.
We’ve only just begun to get Paige figures. She’ll be in an upcoming basic series line.
17. WWE Mattel designer Bill Miekina answers nearly a half hour of questions
Obviously, the Hogan question is irrelevant at this point, but Miekina gives a few clues of what’s to come.