Bum-bum, bum-bum, bum-bum, bum-bum, beep, beep, beep, beep, beeeeeeeeep. IT’S TAZ! Yes indeed ladies and gentlemen this time your humble purveyor of plastic grappling takes a turn for the extreme this week with a look at a very early figure of the “human suplex machine”, plucked straight from the original ECW toy line. Now let the pigeons loose!
When I first glanced him on eBay, I was initially of the opinion that this was an obscure knockoff of the fun-size badass, after all the original ECW toys of the late 90’s never really found their way into my local Woolworths so I had no frame of reference but a quick search on the world’s most popular search engine confirmed that this particular Tazmaniac is the real deal and I couldn’t be happier with that fact as I’d hate to give the kind of praise I’m about to give this toy to a filthy faker.
I’d like to think I could be forgiven for thinking that Taz was a knockoff given that instead of his familiar Black and Orange apparel, the makers have opted for his player two alternate outfit of blue singlet and red boots. In fact he looks like he’s going for a Sonic the Hedgehog tribute outfit along the lines of how Zack Ryder seems compelled to cosplay as the WWF roster of 1991 whenever he wrestles.
Colour blindness aside however, this toy is a ton of fun to mess around with, he’s lacking some of the posablity you’d expect from modern wrestling toys but when put up against his competition from Jakks Pacific’s WWF toys he’s a gymnast in comparison. Back in 1999, Jakks were pretty high on themselves for the inclusion of knee joints to their figures but ECW had them beat wholesale, Tazz has joined knees as well as elbow joints and two way shoulder joints, meaning that no toy is safe from becoming just another victim to a tiny Tazplex or Tazmission. In fact the only fly in the ointment here is a lack of a bicep swivel meaning that Taz is forever doomed to be flexing his muscles no matter the pose.
Taz is right to want to show off though, he’s got a great head sculpt on his shoulders that really does look like who it’s supposed to be, something that was very far down on the list of requirements at the time. He looks smug and he should be as I’ve had a ton of fun playing with him and posing him for this review thanks to his “action feature”.
Thankfully instead of a spring-loaded spinning top type feature (more on those to come in future reviews), Taz just has a little groove in his back, just big enough for your finger to rest in that allows you to pivot his torso with ease and deliver some pint-sized plastic punches on any toy that dares stand in the path of rage! It’s actually an elegant solution to having a gimmick that doesn’t alter the playability of the figure (again, more on this to come). It’s actually a bit inspired.
These ECW figures look and feel like a “missing link” between the gimmicky but limited Hasbro toys and the modern Jakks and Mattel toys that came after, he’s chunky, solid playable and posable and I love him to bits, he’s a perfect package of playable polymer that now has pride of place on my desk, keeping the plushies in line.
Thanks for reading.
Martin Dixon (@BunnySuicida)