So this article will not be for most of you. It is a piece of wrestling subculture that fascinates me. Even inside of that subculture is a very thin avenue that most wrestling people ignore. However it calls back to a wider spectrum that a lot of people love. I know that’s confusing but if it intrigues you than buckle up.
Wrestling Figure Collection is honestly the biggest sub culture in wrestling. I believe it is the next step from, “hey I like wrestling” to “I FUCKING LOVE WRESTLING”. It has its own Reddit form it has a number of podcasts dedicated to it. So it’s worth talking about. However my particular obsession is WWE’s line of Funko Pops.
This very niche market in the Wrestling Figures world. For one reason or another most wrestling fig collectors passively collect these figures. They kind of collect their favorite wrestlers, and maybe some cool varrients. For the most part though there is not a full un box or looser collection of these figures. Why is that? I think there are a couple of major reasons.
One the original line that was released was a small stock. So getting some of the earlier pieces is damn near impossible. Second the chase variants of Hulk Hogan and Rey Mysterio are awesome, but there are even fewer of those making it a true wild goose chase. Third the selection of wrestlers seems random. Perfect example there is an Eva Marie Funko but not a Lita. There is a Razor but not a Diesel. Finally I think some of the figures just plain suck. They had a good AJ Lee that they re-painted and turned into Paige after AJ left the company. They just released a good Rock and Triple H, but their original figures leave a lot to be desired.
I prefer to be positive, and if I present a problem I like to propose a solution, so here are five genres WWE invest in with Funko to create a deeper fandom for their figures. WWE and Funko normally release these in a series of five so each suggestion will have five examples
Ruthless Aggression Era
Currently the Funko collection only features three Superstars from the Ruthless Aggression Era. This Era was the prime for a lot of the collectors in their current age market. We were all a little too young for the Attitude Era and a lot of us checked out for the PG Era. This sweet spot I think could really help push the collectability of Funko Pops. Some suggestions would be.
Latino Heat was one of the most iconic members of the Ruthless Aggression Era. His title reign helped define it and he needs to be represented. You could do an Eddie in ring gear than a chase variant of Eddie in a I’m Your Papi shirt.
The Rated-R Superstar made his name in this era. His money in the bank cash-in’s were always a major moment. He was arguably everyone’s favorite wrestler at that time. Edge was arguably the top guy and needs a Funko. Not just for this incarnation, but we will get to that later.
The Dr. of Thug’A’Nomics
John Cena’s Character has gone through a number of changes over the years. However all of his Pops are of the current iteration. As Cena continue to drift farther and farther away from WWE the cries from him to return grow stronger. A nice touch would be to encapsle his career in his Funko Collection. Not to mention the Dr. being one of his most popular characters, it was also one of his most successful as a champion.
They have just released a Trish Stratus figure so I am sure she is on her way. But it is long overdue. She would be a perfect add for thi a main stage at Edge’s side, and a great independent talent on her own. Lita is a must have for the Ruthless Aggression Era.
Triple H Variant
The fact that we don’t have a long hair Triple H is insane. This would be a great place to add him. He had his fingerprints all over this era. Helping usher in the young talent, while still staying on top of the biz.
Attitude Era Packs
The attitude Era was littered with Factions and Tag Teams. This would be perfect to do a pack or run of figures with. Funko does series in fives and individual double or triple packs.
This is a no brainer. Split the member up as their own figure. Everyone in their DX gear. This would sell like hot cakes.
Tag Team Two Packs
The Dudley Boyz, Edge and Christian, The APA, Too Cool are not in Funko form yet. Also a three pack with the Hardy’s and Lita seems like a no brainer.
A three pack of Vince, Steph and Shane feels like an easy win. For a Variant have Vince in Ring Gear.
Brothers of Destruction
Look I know it was a dark time for Taker, but you can’t ignore it. It also is crucial to have every form of take you can. Also the current Kane is a new Kane, we need original Kane.
NWO Three Pack
There is no Kevin Nash figure. There are Scott Hall and Hollywood Hogan Figures. This would be a cool way to pull the Hollywood Hogan figure from the vault while giving old school fans a must have piece.
All Three Faces of Foley
The Mic Foley Funko is great. However it is a current day Foley. The guy who shows up on RAW and everyone cheers for. But none of his characters are in Funko form. Mankind, Cactus Jack, and Dude Love would be great.
The Golden Era
The Golden Era is fairly well represented in Funko’s but the selection seems random. There are a few key members missing that would help a lot.
How the American Dream has been left out, I am just not sure. This seems like an easy fix. You also have a lot of variant options here. Polka Dots and cowboy hats, bring it all.
Undertaker and Paul Bearer Two Pack
Again it is really important to have all of the Takers represented. This is just another version, and a Paul Bearer added to make a two pack is an easy decision.
It is hard to ignore how much hard core wrestling fans love Mr. Perfect. He was the smart marks favorite wrestler before there was ever a smart mark. He is a must have for any collection.
The Road Warriors Two Pack
WCW as a whole is under represented with only Sting, and Goldberg truly getting any attention. The Road Warriors were iconic in both federations. You can also do a chase variant as the Legion of Doom.
Tug Boat, Typhoon, and Shock Master Three Pack
Ok now hear me out. I understand most people don’t understand who Tug Boat is. But for the extreme collectors this three pack if done right would be incredible. The man known as Fred Ottman was a mainstay in the Golden Era. He played three different characters through his run and all were iconic for their own reasons. To Fred’s credit he works his ass off in post retirement making his rounds in the meet and greet circuits. A signed three pack of his most iconic characters would be a prized possession for most.
This is a piece of wrestling that is incurably under utilized in the figure world. So easily enough just using the main stays would be perfect.
The Dudley Boyz
They were arguably the biggest cross over from the brand. So they are number one.
The heart of ECW needs a figure and he needs it now. End of the effin story!
Rob Van Dam
RVD to this day is one of the most beloved ECW characters of all time. He would be a gotta have.
As time passes people seem to catch on more and more just how revolutionary the Sandman was. His entrance through the crowd, the iconic song, everything about him seemed to be perfect. Sandman carrying his signature singapore cane and beer can would be amazing.
A number of names crossed my mind for the final spot on the ECW list. Shane Douglas, Raven, Tazz, Rhino, and Paul Heyman all belong. However Sabu is the king of hardcore. Sabu to this day still holds up as one of the greatest hardcore wrestlers of all time.
I get it that WWE rather push their own product, but without WCW there is no WWE. So we need to acknowledge that.
If you have a Vince Pop you need a Bischoff Pop. The iconic boss of WCW in his leather jacket is a must.
King Booker has very few figures in general. Turing the iconic Five Time Champ into a Pop is a no brainer.
Diamond Dallas Page
DDP was a fan favorite at the time. He still is to this day. He feels like a must have.
A true legend. He was in both WWE and WCW. The iconic red and black deserves to be imperialized.
The cool part about this is there is actually five people in the Four Horsemen. They have already released a Flair Horsemen Era figure. Now just add The Andersons, Tully Blanchard and J.J. Dillon you have a run of five that can be featured together. You could also do a Brain Busters Varint two pack.
Valet Two Pack
Macho Man and Miss Elizabeth
The most iconic duo of the Golden Era. This would be a home run. You could also do a wedding day variant.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman
My name is Paul Heyman and I deserve to be next to my client Brock Lesnar in a two pack.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon
This one you could really have fun with. Attitude Era Steph and Trips. Trips in the leather jackets and backward biker hat. Steph in a dress. Than do a variant of them in ring gear for any of their Mania Appearances, particularly WretsleMania 32.
Vader and Harley Race
When Vader was on top he had the living legend next to him. So pairing the two of them together in a two pack would be special
Ted Dibiase and The Ringmaster
This is a cool variant on Stone Cold. And you could just swap out Austin for a number of people, but if you put the Million Dollar Championship in there its gold. Plus a variant on Austin is a cool twist.
I think there are a few people from NXT who have transcended the brand, and maybe deserve their own figures. Now a precursor they have already released a Bayley, Shasha, Becky, Charoletet, Alexa, Auska, Nakamura, Finn, and KO Funko. All of which are basically their NXT versions. So we will skip those huge names.
The king of the underground, the ultimate underdog. He helped define NXT in its earliest phases you can’t ignore his contributions.
Johnny Takeover is his name. That’s all you need to know. The guy has become synonymous with the Yellow Brand. He needs a Funko and as a fig collector it would be amazing for him.
The Top Guys are the defining Champions of the NXT Era. They were the first two time champions. They deserve Funkos.
The Undisputed Era
NXT was never the same after Adam Cole, Kyle O’Riley, and Bobby Fish made their debut. When they added Roderick Strong a few years ago they shot to the stars. They deserve Funko’s mostly because they are my favorite and I want them.
Look, this last spot could have been filled by a number of people. Tommaso Ciampa, The Ascension, Shayna Baszler, Aleister Black, Bobby Roode, Samoa Joe but I think Dream gets it. As NXT moves to cable tv I think Dream will play a huge role on their show and quickly prove he is a top talent in the company.
This article could go on for days. I literally think way too much about this stuff. At the end of the day I want to see Funko fill a void in the collecting world. I think with a few adjustments they could really start to swing favor their way. Becoming a hot commodity in the wrestling world.