I un-ironically love the WWF Maximum Sweat figures now I’ve had a chance to really get to know them. Sure, they may be lumpen and exaggerated but that’s why I love them, they are hyper-real cartoons of a hyper-real cartoon with a little button on the back that makes water run from their foreheads to simulate “sweat”. These figures are probably how wrestlers are seen by the wider world, overly muscled hulks colliding into each other while dripping in oil and sweat. As luck would have it, these figures take that idea to heart and run with it creating some of the more infamous Wrestling toys of the late 90’s and it’s my pleasure now to show off two examples I found while scouring the world’s biggest online auction site.
Looking at these worrying visions of HHH and The Undertaker it’s hard not to be awestruck by just how large and solid these figures are, they dwarf most other figures of the time to a ridiculous degree. So much so that the only way these figures could possibly coexist with their more standard sized brethren is to concoct an angle in which HHH exposes himself to Gamma radiation in an effort to put on more muscle mass and has turned into The Incredible HHHulk.
Maybe it’s the blind Undertaker fan in me, but the Deadman wears his Gamma workout a little better than Trips. I think it’s down to Taker being a cartoon character to begin with, in this style he looks incredibly like the drawings of him in the Chaos Comics, Undertaker series from around the same time as these figures were released. This figure looks like it could have sprung from the pages of a 90’s comic book and is all the better for it. HHH meanwhile looks like it could be anyone, in fact without the HHH logos on his trunks this really could be anyone, the poor guy doesn’t even have any ears underneath his mane of hair. Undertaker has such a clearly defined look that it even survives the Roiding process.
So about that “sweating” gimmick then? Well, open up a petrol filler cap in the back of the figure and pour in your liquid of choice be it water for sweat (or perhaps the “official Federation sweat” they came , ketchup for blood or possibly cola to recreate that time Papa Shango made black goo run down the Ultimate Warrior’s face and you’re good to go. Press the button on their spine and presto! authentic bodily oozings. It sounds stupid as a gimmick and quite frankly, it is but I would expect nothing less from a toy from the decade that gave the world the Boglins and isn’t even the oddest gimmick I’ve seen in a wrestling figure but that’s another figure for another time.
They aren’t perfect but these are a ton of fun even now, chunky and solid, bursting with character and a grotesque charm that perfectly captures the excess of the 1990’s. If Mattel ever brought this line back for 2016 I’d happily shell out cash for a Bray Wyatt in this style.
A guy can dream, can’t he?
Thanks for reading
Martin Dixon (@BunnySuicida)