Here’s a quick upload for all the toy geeks and figure marks out there, twenty-plus pages of all of the WCW offerings from Toy Biz straight from 1999. This would cover their initial wave of figures they released as prior to this, WCW was partnered with the Original San Francisco Toymakers for their toyline. During the start of WCW Monday Nitro and as the hottest wrestling angle with the New World Order shot WCW into the stratosphere, the product the company were putting out was anything but fire:
Now, Toy Biz on the other hand had already been a name in the figure aisle with their Marvel hero lines. For me, that gold and yellow logo meant quality as their X-Men figures were a huge hit in my home as a kid. Going into 1999 and with the WCW license, I knew that there was no way that these would fail. Wrestling had broken into the mainstream and was part of the pop-culture, and there was no end to its reign in sight. Everyone is set to make money and make that money for a LOOOONG TIME.
Weirdly, I can still remember exactly when/where I was at whenever I came across these Toy Biz figures for the first time in-store. My Mom and I was inside a Walmart early on Superbowl Sunday to get groceries, and on the toy shelf, there was Wave 1 of the Smash ‘N Slam figures just freshly made available. I had no prior knowledge of these suckers existing, I didn’t have a figure podcast or email newsletter to hype me up for toy releases months ahead. Just walked into a store for chips and ranch dip, and there they were.
I grabbed all I could afford and begged my mom to spot me for the ones I couldn’t, just so I had everyone right then and there. Luckily, I had a younger brother who also was into wrestling I could bring into the conversation as this would be something we’d BOTH enjoy. It must’ve worked because I remember leaving the store with every one they had in-stock. Flipping through this catalog brings back a lot of memories and is kinda surprising to see this whole rollout setup ready to go for 1999 right as the decline for the company would have been hitting.
Every photo included in this catalog showcases all the original prototypes of these figures as well, as the actual ones shipped didn’t look as sharp. This red/black Sting would end up gracing the cover of ToyFare Magazine:
But the actual shipped figure didn’t look anything like the one shown above:
Also, it’s fun to see that we were supposed to get a decent looking Rey Mysterio Jr. figure as a pack-in bonus with The Giant. Instead, we got a cheap, all-black Rey with an insanely stretched out neck so that he could get easily chokeslammed like a chump.
I can’t recall the shipment schedule for the next wave of figures, but I do remember these Bashin’ Brawlers being a huge hit for my younger brother at Christmas one year.
Going through the catalog, its amazing to see how many of these we actually ended up owning. We had all of the Smash ‘N Slam AND the Slam ‘N Crunch figures (I just gotta have my
Pops Konnan). We had the full ringset. Definitely had the Ring Fighters of Scott Steiner, [REDACTED], Booker and the Bret Hart with the Howard Stern glasses. Passed on the Clash of the Champion sets but definitely had one pack from the Grip ‘N Flip set because RAVEN!
The Four Horsemen set shown here in early design stage is pretty interesting as I can’t recall that logo ever being used for them, even on the shipped product:
WCW Head Ringers were also super cool, even though you’d think with that name that they’d be bobbleheads. Not at all, just super deformed hunks of plastic shaped as various wrestlers that are so top-heavy that standing them is a slight miracle within itself. Seriously, my Hogan is almost split through his leg due to how gravity just pulls his noggin straight into the ground. Sting though is cool as a cucumber on his base.
I don’t recall ever seeing the Head Bashers or the Body Bashers, but they are plentiful over on eBay. Might be worth checking out.
It seemed like Toy Biz also just would recycle their ideas for these toylines as well. We already had a bunch of X-Men metal figures in our bin, and it’s crazy to see that they just did the same thing but with wrestlers here.
But it would seem that wrestling would teach Toy Biz a thing or two as we would see an interesting design show up for their X-Men: The Movie line in 2000:
Overall, Toy Biz really swung for the fences and had so many things lined up for World Championship Wrestling. I’m sure they weren’t too thrilled to see where the company would end up by the end of the year, but there was so much promise! They had full figures, novelty figures, ringsets, vehicle sets, bop bags, bean bags and whatever the hell this was:
And even when WCW folded, Toy Biz ended up making more Sting, Konnan, and Raven figures with the TNA Wrestling toy line! They just couldn’t stay away!
More photos can be found below in the gallery. I did scan the rest of the catalog, but it’s gonna be a Patreon-exclusive. You got to be a member if you want to see the high-res Baby Geniuses and Godzilla 2000 toy photos I got. But here’s a taste:
I’m saving you from reading another 1,000 words on all these other figures and probably another 1,000 bitching about how f’d the difficulty spike in Diddy Kong Racing was. Go on, before I change my mind!
**Subscribers at ANY level of the WCW Worldwide Patreon will get to download these files as soon as they’re uploaded to my Google Drive. Patreon backers are rewarded with early downloads, exclusive scans, store coupon codes and first-crack at everything in the WrassleShop.**