Great toys demand to be played with. Look at almost every LJN WWF Superstars figure released between 1984 and 1989 and you'll notice something common among nearly all that survived -- they've got lots of playtime evidence. One of the most popular products during the WWF's massive growth, these wrestling figures bucked a lot of the action figure trends at the time.
While Star Wars and G.I. Joe led the charge for small action figures, LJN's wrestling figures went big. Standing about eight-inches high, they're about twice the size of the average G.I. Joe figure from the time. Also, most action figures could bend and came with a growing number of accessories. LJN WWF Wrestling Superstars are as stiff as a King Kong Bundy punch. Most figures came without accessories save for maybe a hat or cane.
Basically, these are inaction figures.
Yet the LJN WWF figures were wildly popular at the time. Now they can be very collectible as grown adults get nostalgic for a time when Hulkamania meant something.
Despite their shortcomings in the articulation department, these wrestling figures were actually a lot of fun to play with. LJN did an excellent job of capturing the likenesses of the wrestlers and WWF personalities. They might not have the same level of detail as today's McFarlane figures or those put out today by Mattel, but it's still easy to tell who the wrestlers are.
Figures came packaged with small posters. These were rolled up and stored in the base of the packaging. Also, the packages had a file card on the back, similar to those found on G.I. Joe figures from the same period. Many people collect these today as well.
Today, LJN WWF figures can command big money on the secondary market, particularly for unopened mint figures. Some of the most valuable figures came at the end of the line's run, which is often the case for figures and toys as the decreased popularity means smaller print runs.
The final series came out in 1989. They were actually made by Grand Toy in Canada and not LJN. The figures switched to a new black card and were a mix of a few new figures and several repackaged wrestlers from earlier lines. These black cards are much tougher to find than figures from previous releases. As a result, they are generally much more expensive than those WWF figures found in other series.
By their very nature, LJN WWF figures were played with hard. Understandably, paint wear is a very common trait among the toys. This limits the value a lot of these figures might otherwise have.
Below is a checklist of all the LJN WWF Wrestling Superstars figures released between 1984 and 1989. You can shop for specific wrestlers by clicking on their names.
1984 LJN WWF Wrestling Superstars Figures Series 1
- Andre the Giant - long hair
- Big John Studd
- Hillbilly Jim - with hat
- Hulk Hogan - no shirt, with title
- Iron Shiek
- Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka
- Junkyard Dog - with dog collar, and black, red or silver chains
- Nikolai Volkoff - with hat
- "Rowdy" Roddy Piper - with kilt, red or brown boots
1985 LJN WWF Wrestling Superstars Figures Series 2
- Andre the Giant - short hair
- Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake
- George "The Animal" Steele
- Greg "The Hammer" Valentine
- King Kong Bundy
- "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff
1986 LJN WWF Wrestling Superstars Figures Series 3
- Bobby "The Brain" Heenan
- Bruno Sammartino
- Captain Lou Albano
- "Classy" Freddie Blassie - with cane
- Corporal Kirchner - no beard, stubble or painted
- Davey Boy Smith
- Dynamite Kid
- Jesse "The Body" Ventura
- Jimmy Hart - hearts or no hearts on megaphone
- "Macho Man" Randy Savage
- Magnificent Muraco
- Mean Gene Okerlund
- Mr. Fuji - with cane
- Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat
- Special Delivery Jones - Hawaiian shirt or red shirt
- Terry Funk - with hat and branding iron
- Tito Santana - purple trunks
1987 LJN WWF Wrestling Superstars Figures Series 4
- "Adorable" Adrian Adonis
- Billy Jack Haynes - with hat
- B. Brian Blair
- Bret "Hitman" Hart - pink or purple tights
- "Cowboy" Bob Orton - with hat
- Elizabeth - gold or purple skirt
- Hercules Hernandez
- Jake "The Snake" Roberts - with Damien
- "Jumping" Jim Brunzell
- Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart - pink or purple tights
- Ken Patera
- King Harley Race - with crown
- Koko B. Ware - with Frankie
- Outback Jack - with hat
- Ted Arcidi
- Vince McMahon
1988 LJN WWF Wrestling Superstars Figures Series 5
- "Adorable" Adrian Adonis
- Bam Bam Bigelow
- Demolition Ax
- Hacksaw Jim Duggan - with 2x4
- Honky Tonk Man - with guitar
- Hulk Hogan - red or white shirt, with title
- "Lucious" Johnny Valiant
- One Man Gang
- Referee - blue or white shirt
- Rick Martel
- Slick - with hat
- Ted DiBiase
- Tito Santana - white Strikeforce trunks
1989 Grand Toys WWF Wrestling Superstars Figures Series 6 (Black Card)
- Andre the Giant - black strap tights
- Big Boss Man - with nightstick
- Demolition Ax
- "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan - with 2x4
- Honky Tonk Man
- Hulk Hogan - white or red shirt, with belt
- Randy "Macho Man" Savage
- "Ravishing" Rick Rude
- Ultimate Warrior
LJN WWF Wrestling Superstars Tag Teams
Each tag team set came packaged with two figures and a pair of brown belts.
- British Bulldogs - Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid
- Dream Team - Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake and Greg "The Hammer" Valentine
- Hart Foundation - Bret "Hitman" Hart and Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart
- Killer Bees - B. Brian Blair and "Jumping" Jim Brunzell
- Strike Force - Rick Martel and Tito Santana
- Iron Shiek and Nikolai Volkoff
- Hillbilly Jim and Hulk Hogan
If you know of any others, please let us know in the comments below.
Related Topics: Sports Collectibles: Guides