MILLION DOLLAR MAN TED DIBIASE
Wrestling is one of the few things from my childhood that I lost my taste for. I’m still amused by it and will stop and watch for a while when I’m channel surfing but my interest is solely nostalgia based and I couldn’t care less about what they’re doing now. My grandfather and my aunt Caroline were really into wrestling when I was a really little kid and remember them taking me and my brother to the Halifax Forum to watch wrestling events. We went and saw events put on by a company called Grand Prix Wrestling and Doug and I would wait in line to get autographs on purchased glossy photos after the events. I still have signatures of such local legends as The Cuban Assassin, The Great Malumba and Leo Burke who was the champion of that federation. It was because of these trips that we really got into WWF wrestling. Back in the day Wrestling used to be on Saturday’s around noon just after the cartoons. Name wrestlers never fought other name wrestlers on Saturdays, guys like Hulk Hogan would fight guys with names like Steve Smith and you always knew what the outcome was gonna be. Name wrestlers only ever fought each other at Wrestlemania, The Royal Rumble or on a Saturday Night Main Event. Sometimes when new wrestlers were being brought into the Federation they would have little “skits” on the Saturday broadcast to introduce them. Some of the most memorable ones to me were Mr. Perfect being “perfect” by sinking basketballs and shooting hole-in-ones and The Million Dollar Man throwing his money around and paying people to humiliate themselves. His motto was “everybody has a price”. The Million Dollar man was one of those villains that I loved to hate. He was always cheating and paying other guys to do his dirty work, he even bought the title belt off of Andre the Giant at one point.
Now when it comes to wrestling toys I’m all about the big solid rubber 8″ figures produced by a company called LJN. Me and Doug had nearly every one ever produced and played the hell out of them. LJN lost the license after a while though and then Hasbro began producing wrestling figures in the late 80s. We ended up buying quite a few of these figures as well but it wasn’t the same. These figures were much smaller, made of a harder plastic and were articulated more like a traditional action figure. The proportions were often off though and they had goofy action features which sometimes negatively affected the playability. Ted Dibiase the Million Dollar Man was one of the few figures from this line that I actually preferred to the larger LJN version. The main reason is because the big rubber ones were molded in one color rubber and then the shorts and hair were painted on. The base color was usually flesh toned as wrestlers are 90% naked but because of Dibiase’s suit he was molded in dark blue and his face was painted flesh toned. The problem with this was a couple good punches to the face would take the paint off and you’d end up with a Million Dollar man with a blue nose. This little Hasbro version did not have that problem. The head sculpt on this guy is quite nice and the color choices for the suit are great. He also came with a cool accessory: his million dollar belt which was a diamond encrusted belt he created for himself that was unrecognized by the WWF. I’ve rambled on too much here already so let’s just give this guy a score and move on. 7 out of 10.