Woeful Wrestling Figures: The Rubber Match.

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It’s safe to say that Vince McMahon has a “type”. He likes his men how he likes his movie popcorn, unfeasibly large and out of all normal proportions. Who can really blame him? After all it was that walking repository of roids Hulk Hogan that brought him mainstream success, tons of cash and a generation of new fans worldwide, me included, so you can see why he loves larger than life specimens.

This love affair with the more extreme male form even extended to the merchandise and perhaps reached its zenith with the figure line I’m scrutinising today, the WWE Flex ‘Em line, and this Booker T figure especially.

The first thing that strikes you is the incredibly swollen muscles and wacky proportions that look totally inhuman but this isn’t without it’s charms. Instead of the usual hard plastic, this Bookerman is made of a soft rubber over a flexible skeleton and can be bent and contorted into all kinds of hilarious poses. It’s actually a lot of fun to mess around with and pose and at the risk of sounding even weirder than normal is really nice just to touch and run your fingers over. The soft, clammy and squishy texture is lovely stuff to hold, even with a head that is pretty standard given the ludicrousness happening from the neck down. Booker’s bonce may be standard plastic but he’s been given a great head sculpt and stern expression that looks really, really funny on top of all that vulcanised muscle, kind of like someone who had a bicycle pump inserted into him as a prank and he’s angrily stomping around trying to find who’s responsible.

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Thinking about it, that scenario is perhaps the perfect made up narrative to justify this figure’s place in any angles with your regular figures as that is perhaps this toy’s great weakness: scale. Booker is absolutely enormous in every way, even in height and that means he stands out in a collection by a clear mile so every other more reasonably sized figure is dwarfed by any of these flexible fighting men, meaning disbelief will have to be suspended over a bottomless pit in order for this to work successfully. That issue is peanuts compared to my other big gripe with this malleable mister however as try as I might, I can’t get Booker to stand under his own power. His feet are made of the same rubbery substance as the rest of him so he has no solid base and well, look at him, “top-heavy” isn’t the word. Those pecs are definitely going to cause him back pain in later life. I blame unrealistic standards of beauty brought on by the toy industry.

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Thanks for reading.

Martin Dixon (@BunnySuicida)

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