Hulk Hogan is the Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretsky of professional wrestling. I’m still amazed that even in 2015, he’s typically the first name that people outside the immediate circle of current sports entertainment reference when discussing wrestling.
With the vintage mid-80s era style Hogan currently on shelves in the Defining Moments line and an nWo Hollywood Hogan not slated for 2016, Mattel decided to take a different approach with this HOF offering going for the non-wrestling attire Hogan wore in his brief comeback to the WWF in 1993.
It’s an interesting choice as collectors likely would have been more interested in a Hulk Still Rules version from his 2002 run, a pre-nWo WCW version or a non-wrestling attire from his 1984-1990 heyday. Is the figure an all-time great? Time to find out.
Packaging: There’s just a slight change from the Hall of Fame packaging compared to the Elite packaging. The Hall of Fame features a big ‘Hall of Fame’ logo and a dark blue and gold color scheme. It’s a nice way to differentiate the line and give it a distinct appearance.
The portraits used for Hogan were odd as none reflect the figure — not just from the attire — but the time frame as well. The front portrait is Hogan in his prime circa 1988-1992 with a fully-fleshed out steroid enhanced puffy face. The back portrait features Hogan from his Hulk Still Rules days. It’d be nice for at least one image to show Hogan in the figure’s Wrestlemania 9 based attire.
For the next round of Hall of Fame waves, I’m hoping Mattel adds in a lot more personalization beyond a tiny box with the inductee’s signature and the year they were inducted. It’s safe to assume that most collectors already know the HOF figure selections, but I’d rather have at least the stats displayed in the current Elite line.
Likeness: The likeness is dead-on for Hogan in 1993 from his return to RAW and his Wrestlemania 9 main event. The attire from the bandana to the boots are accurately rendered.
I’ve read online that a lot of people don’t like how small Hogan’s figure is, but this figure pretty much accurately reflects the skinnier steroid-free body type he had post-1992.
Paint: Hogan still had his almost burnt tan going at this point and like the DM Hogan, the figure is a bit darker than the standard figure it doesn’t quite have that signature look. That may just be a preference for Mattel so I won’t knock them too much on that.
The rest of the paintjob is nice and clean, most impressively on the bandana, which seemed like it would be easy to have paint mishaps. Mattel was so on point with the outfit accuracy that it included the triangle style detail on Hogan’s wristbands something that only the most nitpicky Hulkamaniac would complain were absent.
There’s some odd molding on the top of my Hogan’s head and I’m not sure if it’s unpainted hair or some debris that didn’t get cleaned off. Let me know if yours has a similar mark or if I just got ‘lucky.’
Scale: Hogan is 6’7″ and the figure fits right in with the Flashback collection. Yokozuna was 6’4″ so that’s why he’s squatting a bit as otherwise he’s way out of scale for the normally accurate line.
Articulation: Hogan has the standard Elite articulation so there’s no shortage of Hogan moves you can do although I wish the articulation allowed a bit more give so you could pose him with his signature hand to ear gesture before a posedown.
Otherwise, you’re good on the big boot, legdrop and anything else you can come up with Hogan.
The hard plastic used to hold the shape of the shirt doesn’t exactly lend itself to any good shirt-ripping poses. If Mattel wants to avoid the cloth route, for future Hogan figures they’d be better served ditching this ‘action feature’ as it’s yet to work and just go with a regular plastic shirt. The cut makes the shirt look silly in a resting pose position and I’d be fine if we never see it again.
The weight-lifting belt is bulky and it gives Hogan a tiny waist appearance, which certainly isn’t helpful with this figure. Scroll around on eBay and you’ll find some Jakks Hogan weight-lifting belts that are a snugger fit.
Short of making it non-removable, I’m not sure Mattel could make the bandana tighter, but it looks too much like Hogan is wearing a hat backwards. The necklace is a bit over-sized and has an annoying habit of popping up instead of laying flat on Hogan’s chest. That’s mostly obscured by the shirt/vest though.
This is definitely a case of the accessories working against the figure and since this is a ring attire outfit anyway, Mattel may have just been better off painting the shirt and making a non-removable bandana head instead of having so many ill-fitting pieces.
Worth it? This one really depends on how extensive a Hogan collection you’re trying to put together. I feel like the figure has a better stint ahead of it as the Bash at the Beach stand-in than Hogan’s last initial stint as the headliner of the WWF.
To make the figure work, you’d be better served gluing the shirt together or picking up a cloth one from Ralph’s Figure Clothing. For $21, that’s a lot of money for an entrance gear attire with screwy attire and is solely for the hardcore Hogan fans.