For much of my early wrestling fandom, Gorilla Monsoon narrated some of the iconic moments whether with Jesse “The Body” Ventura or Bobby Heenan. I loved listening to The Brain and Gorilla bicker during commentary or the more relaxed Prime Time Wrestling environment set. I HATED when Vince McMahon changed the Prime Time format and took Gorilla’s place and started what would become a lasting annoyance with “Mr. McMahon.”
Mattel tried to release an Elite Gorilla Monsoon figure in a two-pack with The Brain, but retailer interest or lack thereof forced a change. Fortunately, Mattel didn’t have to wait too long to get Gorilla out to the masses. Let’s see if this will live up to the legacy of one of my favorite WWE stars.
Packaging: Gorilla is in the new Elite packaging with more angular edges and a slight shift on the red, black and grey accents to the white packaging. I like the portrait on the side as it captures Gorilla’s presence as the host of all the big events, Wrestling Challenge and Prime Time.
On the other side there’s an actual photo of Gorilla coming into the ring. I appreciate Mattel mixing that up. The bio is short and sweet, but it explains his significance to the WWF.
Likeness: This is a really, really great likeness. Sometimes like with Edge, Shawn Michaels figures and Diesel, I don’t think Mattel has ever truly gotten the likeness down.
This is Gorilla Monsoon in figure form and even better than Jakks terrific version (for the time). The smiling headsculpt is perfect and just feels authentic.
Gorilla’s body also seems right with the wine jacket provided a little extra girth. He’s got clutching hands to hold a microphone.
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Scale: At 6’5” Gorilla was taller than a lot of his peers standing taller than the 6’4” Jesse The Body and 6’ Bobby Heenan. That doesn’t really matter since he was largely away from other wrestlers.
Paint: I love the wine colored jacket as it’s a fitting color choice for Gorilla. Mattel doesn’t typically have paint issues and Gorilla was fine.
Articulation: Honestly, I just need Gorilla to stand with a mic and be able to sit down. He accomplishes that so I’m happy. Everything else is just a bonus for me.
Gorilla Monsoon has:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- wrist hinge
- knees (double-jointed)
Accessories: The really cool thing with this figure is the additional outfit option. You can swap out the wine-red jacket out for a black one with alternate black suit arms for a more WWF President look.
He’s also got his glasses, but like the JJ Dillon figure, you’ll probably want to glue them on so they don’t fly off and vanish if he falls from the shelf.
Worth it? I got Gorilla for $20. He’s a guy I would have tracked down for stupid scalper prices so I’m happy to have gotten him at retail.
Rating: 10 out of 10
Where to get it? Mattel and their retail partners don’t tend to make getting Flashback figures easy. Apparently Gorilla was a Wal-Mart exclusive. It’s a ridiculous crapshoot finding these guys so if you do see him do not wait. If all else fails you can pay the drastically overpriced charge at Amazon.
If you strike out, the Jakks version really isn’t an awful substitute.
The Prime Time Wrestling set was purchased from kselitestages. Check out more of his work on his Instagram.