Alright, let’s get 2017 started in the right way, with crappy toys instead of expensive fireworks, gallons of alcohol, nameless party guests and the ever-present threat of a social disease. Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.
The Christmas season may be over for another 11 and a bit months but I come from the East (which is true if you’re American and reading this, and given the stats you probably are) bearing gifts of a terrifying trio of truly terrible toys. Say hello to the WWE Pump & Flex line.
Right off the bat I have to acknowledge that these three aren’t in the best condition to begin with. Normally the figures should be wearing a rather disturbing rubber poncho over their lumpy torsos but I doubt that would make much of a difference as even complete these things are absolutely terrible.
The first thing to assault your senses is the baffling proportions each figure sports. They look like looking at your favourite wrestler through a fun house mirror or the result of a bicycle pump prank gone wrong.
Outlandish physical dimensions are of course nothing new on this column but whereas the likes of the Maximum Sweat, Face Flipping or even Flex Ems lines all go for a highly stylised look, they at least take the concept and really run with it, creating something still aesthetically pleasing. These figures still try to keep a sense of realism and that is what I feel makes them look so terrifying. The eerliy realistic but oversized heads on top of such badly proportioned bodies just look WRONG. Look at HHH’s plastic rendition with his haunting glare & weirdly pursed lips. Horrific is the only way to describe them and I doubt that this was the intention given gross out toys were pretty much confined to the 90s.
Sometimes even a butt-ugly figure can redeem itself with either a fun gimmick or killer posability to make up for their looks and even then this triumvirate don’t fail to unimpress as the main raison d’etre of the Pump & Flex line is that they can indeed pump and flex. Just press the arms and the chests and shoulders will shift showing off their AWESOME POWER! Or probably just cause some loosely connected pieces of plastic to move upwards slightly meaning the toy is little more as a patchwork of plastic lumps. Yeah, that one.
All that “thrilling” gimmickry harms the figure’s articulation too as in service of all those tectonic plates and gears almost all articulation is jettisoned save for movable knees and wrist swivels. Yep, that’s it. This meant that I couldn’t even enjoy posing them in amusing positions for this post’s photos as they DON’T BLOODY DO ANYTHING! They just stand there and don’t do a very good job of that either, constantly falling over due to a combination of top heavy builds and tiny feet.
Some figures make me laugh, some figures make me think and some make me happy but these three? These three do something completely different to any other review subjects so far, they make me angry. As playable figures they fail because of no useful articulation and a stupid gimmick and as display pieces they fail due to being amazingly ugly and having no fun story behind them like a bootleg. They honestly feel like a half finished engineering project instead of a toy, like a design that stopped at the first hurdle.
I think the number one slot on 2017’s worst list is sewn up already.
Thanks for reading.
Martin Dixon (@BunnySuicida)
Buy my mum lunch by donating here.