Sunday, January 9, 2011

I Don't Wanna Grow Up: The Joys of WWE Rumblers

I've been struggling literally since the beginning of last summer to think of something worthwhile to write in this space which Dave has so graciously provided. It wasn't until I saw that Dave's post about his vinyl acquisitions had the tag of "irresponsible spending" that I was really inspired. Irresponsible spending's become my thing. I was at Wal Mart on Friday. The reason I was there was to buy Snooki's book A Shore Thing. I was doing this because I thought it would be hilarious to A) buy and B) read the book. Snooki's book, though, wasn't what I left The Wal (that's what I call it, cuz I'm cool and/or Dane Cook) clenching my grown-man-hands in delight about. No, I had made the mistake of walking through the WWE section of the toys department, only to discover...


Yes, WWE has taken your favorite Superstars and transformed them into wonderfully small, eminently collectible, and UNBELIEVABLY ADORABLE action figures! This is an absolutely fatal combination for me, combining my love of professional wrestling with the nostalgia that necessarily comes with these kinds of miniature toys with few points of articulation that made me rabid as a kid. I still remember blackmailing my mom into buying my more Z Bots on several trips to Toys R Us. I even had a set of similar tiny wrestling figures in elementary school. If only I had kept them, I could now stage my own dream matches- John Cena and CM Punk teaming up to face Goldust and Ahmed Johnson for a set of tiny WWF Tag Team belts? Forget it.

First up, we have the Ladder Match Playset featuring John Morrison. I don't think I have to discuss what makes this amazing. First, you have a spring-loaded ladder. Second, you have TWO (2!!!) fully breakable tables. Third, you have the promise of using said ladder to send John Morrison through said tables. I'm honestly surprised any store can keep this in stock.

One issue holding the set back from full glory is that the ladder cannot be locked down. If you want the ladder to look at all like a ladder- and not a ladder hanging from a large black cylinder- you gotta hold it down. The tables, though, are perfect. They break if you hit them right, and the legs even fold up so you can recreate all the times wrestlers fumble with setting up a table during a match. This might not be a big deal to you, but it sure is to me.

Unfortunately, this is to often the outcome. It's nearly impossible to really figure out where you're spring-flung wrestler will really land, so it takes a lot of trial and error to finally find a ladder/table position that will consistently send him smashing through the tables. I could see a younger version of myself spending a whole afternoon doing just that. Right now, folks, I'm too busy and popular for that kind of thing. Moving on.

Picking this up was a no-brainer. I'm old enough that I feel I don't have to spend time finding flat surfaces around the house to stage fights with my ringless wrestlers. No, if I want a miniature toy wrestling ring, I go out and purchase a miniature toy wrestling ring. Especially one that promises that I will be able to "Pound Paddles for BASHING ACTION!"

I'd be remiss if I didn't first bring up the included John Cena figure. All the Rumblers appear to be set up in their most famous pose, and you can move their torso, arms, and head. It makes playing with them a bit frustrating, though it's nothing an inventive child can't work around.
Anyway, please note how one of Cena's arms is positioned and moves in such a way that you can flawlessly pull off his "U Can't C Me" hand gesture. Twenty dollars is a small price to pay for pleasures like this.

The ring itself is a bit small- see hand for scale. Positioned within the ring are four colored plates for BASHING ACTION. As promised, pounding a paddle results in the plate shooting up at an angle, kind of like a Hungry Hungry Hippo without purpose. Outside of the obvious pleasures of shooting your rumblers around, I don't quite get the utility of these. The fact that one pair is red and one pair is blue makes me think they want you to come up with some game to play with a friend. Unless that game is "Cause your already unstable rumblers to fall flat on their face," I'm not sure what other applications exist.

Did I mention the ring comes with another table and- way more importantly- THE WORLD'S MOST ADORABLE MINIATURE FOLDING CHAIR? Seriously, nothing can top this chair. It's adorable. Just don't try and force it into the "grip" hand of your favorite rumbler. It will break.

The ring is way easier to put up than I feared. My apprehension perhaps come from my memories of setting up the toy wrestling rings I had as a kid, which involved carefully setting up the ringposts straight, measuring out the ropes and distributing equal tension to all four sides, and finally crying to my dad to do it for me. Here, you get three nylon ropes that clip easily into each ringpost. The ropes are suitably bouncy for slingshooting rumblers into each other.

It might seem curious that after all that playset excitement, I kept this simple 2 pack of wrestlers to show last. However, this was THE reason I bought all this in the first place. That reason is CM Punk. Just look at him. He's got a big old asshole smirk, and HUGE KNUCKLES. Look at those knuckles. Adorable.

Once you've opened and set up everything, it's time to RUMBLE. Here, I have set up the world famous "5 Man Pyramid of Tables With A Chair On Top and a Ladder" match, which I believe is a stipulation that's big in Japan.

This is invariably what the matches will end up looking. At this point, having a good wrestling commentator voice comes in handy. MY GOD LOOK AT THE MAYHEM!!! SOMEBODY STOP THIS MATCH!!! I AM ASHAMED TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH THIS!!!

Overall, I'd say WWE Rumblers are a great way to waste your money. They're small, adorable, and they can be easily set up in the ring to create a handsome and presentable diorama, perfect for the centerpiece of any family's Thanksgiving table. In addition to the sets above, there is also a steel cage (that fits around the ring!) and a Buried Alive set that comes with The Undertaker. Who wants to go to The Wal with me next weekend?

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