Monday, November 23, 2015

On Death and WWF Hasbros


Hello Friends,
I hope all is well. As I write this, the holidays are well upon us, the world is (still) in turmoil, I've finally deleted Facebook from my phone and hope to one day ween off completely (LOL)! The "real world" (not to be confused with The Real World) only confuses and depresses me, and I try to deal with it as little as possible. (Segue).

 2015 has been a bonkers year for wrestling fans. We've read more obituaries than we should have to, and while titillating TMZ stories on Hogan's not-so-personal demons was good for a lark, legitimate injuries and a paper-thin roster have rendered the main wrestling product pretty limp. (Segue).

That's why I'm going to talk about action figures instead. I grew up on them. Mostly of the Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters ilk, but I had some rogue ones too. I kept them all sorted into ice cream buckets in my bedroom. I'd sneak them to school, and choose which ones got to sleep in my bed with me. There's photographic evidence of me clutching a Raphael figure on the Swiss Alps, in front of the Eiffel Tower and on the streets of Innsbruck Austria. 




I had some WWF Hasbros too though. I first encountered them at church, a kid playing with The Ultimate Warrior and The British Bulldog in the pew in front of me. I loved the chunky, cartoonish design, they seemed cut from the same cloth as the Toxic Avengers or something else left of center. Of course, it wouldn't be for another year until I'd learn these figures actually corresponded to REAL LIFE people, not just animated characters...and in a world that was still very kayfabe in terms of wrestling's legitimacy, this seems kind of mind-blowing in retrospect.  

I distinctly remember playing with a Leonardo and a Repo Man figure during my grandpa's funeral. I was 6. What seems strange to me now is how many dead people I have in plastic doppleganger, hanging out in my parents' basement. Yes, technically Darth Vader and Spawn are dead, but I'm not talking about them because their deaths didn't run in newspapers or the tabloids. Roddy Piper's (and a host of others) did. There's lots of talk about what makes this shit "real" or "fake" and truly, we smarky internet cretins get off when they intersect, but in a culture where participants bleed their own blood (no special FX here Mr. Van Damme), and become immortalized as children's play toys BEFORE they die, I ask you: what is "real" anyway?

Alright, thanks for reading. Send your spare Hasbros my way. I'm trying to get that rare Kamala

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