Thursday, January 6, 2022

THE OFFICIAL ROY THOMAS CHARACTERS, CONCEPTS AND CREATIONS DATABASE

 


THE OFFICIAL ROY THOMAS
CHARACTERS, CONCEPTS AND CREATIONS
DATABASE

 BY
"RASCALLY" ROY THOMAS
AND
JOHN "THE MEGO STRETCH HULK" CIMINO 

A special thanks to Dann Thomas for always having the biggest smile in the room and enduring through the endless barrage of e-mails for this project.


*

"The Laborer is worthy of his hire."
Luke 10:7



Roy Thomas:

What you are about to see is a Herculean labor called THE OFFICIAL ROY THOMAS CHARACTERS, CONCEPTS AND CREATIONS DATABASE!  What’s that you say?  Well, over the past year, my manager and friend John Cimino has made it his personal mission to collect and collate everything he could of my "contributions," such as they may be, to the comicbook field... and he's done such a formidable job that there are a number of concepts and characters listed which I had totally forgotten.  The result is, he and I both hope, a database which will be of considerable worth to both the researcher and the casual reader.  Naturally, it's not my--or John's--contention that my work over the past half-century plus has such unique merit that it should be catalogued and celebrated above that of others.  Rather, he and I hope by this thorough database to inspire others to create additional databases of their own, devoted to this artist or that writer.  If that happens, the field of comicbook history will be the richer for it.  Now, let's get into this thing shall we?

It's a bit hard to believe, when I look back at all the comicbook characters I was fortunate enough to get to co-create or at least co-develop.  But I'd grown up in smalltown Missouri loving comics, so when I got a chance to work in the field in 1965, at the ripe old age of 24, I grabbed it, and soon would be working for Marvel Comics and Stan Lee as his editorial assistant and "staff writer."  I suppose Banshee was the first super-type I dreamed up, although Stan wouldn't let the character be a woman, as he should have been.  I wasn't wild about the idea of making up heroes for Marvel, since I wouldn't own any part of them or be able to control their destinies past a certain point, but I did it anyway in the sense of heroes like Wolverine, Iron Fist, Warlock, the (second) Vision, Morbius, Black Knight, Son of Satan, et al.  Some of them I wrote... others I never (or virtually never) scripted but turned over immediately to other talented people to scribe, and they almost always did me proud.


Of course, I co-created some characters for DC, too, in the 1980s... but my Marvel list is far more extensive, since it involves the period from 1965 to 1980, and then again from the latter 1980s through at least the tail end of the 20th century.  Actually, I just made up a few characters for my story in Marvel's SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN #10-11 released in late 2019 and X-MEN LEGENDS vol. 2 #1-2 released in 2022, and they are included here.  In other fields, Gerry Conway and I created the black Amazon Zula for the film that became "Conan the Destroyer" (even suggesting Grace Jones for the part, which worked out well)... and maybe I made up one or two for TV animation, as well... but I think I gave my best effort to the comics.  Naturally, John Cimino and I know we probably forgot somebody-or-other that will later occur to us (or to someone else who sees the lists), and we hope, and trust people will let us know if they run across some character or concept that I may have played a part in and simply forgot to list.  I don't want to take any credit away from anyone who deserves it--after all, I nearly always co-created characters with an artist at the very least, since the only characters I ever drew the first picture of as well as wrote were Hyperion, Nighthawk, Dr. Spectrum, and the Whizzer (of the Squadron Sinister/Supreme), 3D Man, and Union Jack (of THE INVADERS), plus audio-describes images of Man-Ape and Red Wolf and a few others that will be listed... but hopefully those folks have their own lists, which I applaud, or this database will encourage them to do so.


The pioneers of comicbook fandom face front in 1963 (from L to R): Roy Thomas and then-girlfriend Linda Rahm (ALTER EGO's first photographed "Joy Holiday"), Jerry and Sondra Bails, and Bilijo and Ruth White.


John Cimino:
 
What can you say about Roy Thomas?  His accolades in the comic business are almost without equal and his writing style was completely unique to anything that was being done at the time.  He was the first true fanboy of the medium to break into the field and brought along a fan-like enthusiasm with a vast wealth of literary knowledge to his stories which made them deeper than anything that had been done before.  While Stan Lee defined the 1960s with witty banter and contagious flair, it was Roy who took the reins from Stan and gave comic stories a new depth that even the most sophisticated reader could respect.  Roy blossomed into the best comicbook writer of the 1970s (as nobody won more industry and fan writing awards during that decade) and became Stan Lee's protégé and eventual successor as Marvel's editor-in-chief.


Stan Lee and Roy (or the Man and his protégé) in 1970 creating magic to captivate the world.


But enough about Roy's writing skills, let's get to his creations.  As Roy stated above; he didn't like to create comicbook characters because he knew he wouldn't be able to own them.  Well, maybe he should've practiced what he preached because own them or not, Roy Thomas has indeed created or I should say co-created a bunch of comicbook characters (and when we add in all the historical characters, he revamped into comicbook form, the number gets even more ridiculous).  One thing I can say for certain is that there are probably only a handful of creators in the history of comics that have co-created more (even less if you want to talk about characters known all over the world that have shaped pop culture and brings in billions to Hollywood from movies and television for BOTH Marvel and DC--how many creators can make that claim??).  How many in total, we may never know the answer for certain, but from the size of this database--IT'S A HELLUVA LOT!!! 

Yup, this thing is really BIG and was a monumental task to compile.  Roy and I both buckled down and did months of research; we went over Roy's "official" lists, had long phone/email conversations to gather information, dug through all our comics, got some assistance from others including collaborator Jean-Marc Lofficier and scoured the internet so many times we lost count.  What we discovered was there were so many minor and insignificant background characters that didn't have big roles in the stories or just had brief appearances, and there were also a bunch of revamped or alternate-reality versions of characters in stories from NOT BRAND ECHH, WHAT IF, CONAN, pulps, novels, literature and the like.  Same can be said about certain paraphernalia or vehicles Roy co-created that were so minuscule, they found their way into comicbook obscurity.  Things could've gotten pretty monotonous, but we like to be as complete as we can so we tried to get in the more important ones (can anyone say Adam Klink?), especially if someone or something had a few recurring roles or used by other writers in later years.  Hey, Roy has been writing comics waaay longer than I've been alive so there's literally thousands of pages of secondary characters he put into his stories, so we're sorry if "Rocky," "Sally," "Mr. Calkin" and all the others don't make it in this database because we can only do so much.  Hopefully, if anyone locates a "Roy Thomas co-creation" we didn't list and thinks it should be, let us know and we'll add it.  Roy will even give you a nice shout out online on The Roy Thomas Appreciation Board on Facebook!  So, if you're not already a member, join today.

We think you'll enjoy the fruits of our labor with these comprehensive lists we put into three categories: MARVEL COMICS (split into 2 parts)DC COMICS, and MISCELLANEOUS (this category also includes all Roy's fan letters).  Included with each entry is a picture, listing of first comicbook appearance, who Roy co-created the concept with and any background information he wanted to include.  Hopefully all those mistakes on the internet about who created what (that drives Roy and I both crazy) can be put to rest.  We can't save everything in the comicbook world from wannabe historian trolls and fanboy mistakes but when it comes to Roy Thomas, at least we can do our part to give you the correct information straight from the source (so for crying out loud, Roy had nothing to do with the creation of Misty Knight and Polaris).  But we're not perfect either, so if you spot a mistake we made or have a question, let us know.  This is an ever-evolving database, and we appreciate when fans give us more input to expand it further.
 

Roy showcasing some of his babies. Yeah, there are a lot of them.

In ending, Roy and I hope you'll enjoy this project we put our "blood, sweat and tears" into (and yes, I cried a bunch of tears).  Through all the research and rewrites, I'm honestly very happy with the end result.  And the best part is, despite how much information is jam-packed into this thing, I've made it really easy to understand and navigate through, you can just sit back and enjoy the experience.  So here's to all the readers, researchers and fans; a fun and accurate resource on the comicbook magic of "Rascally" Roy Thomas, one of the greatest writer/creators of popular fiction and an exclusive member of the Mount Rushmore of Marvel Comics alongside Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko.

"You take away a man's humanity, if you take away their credit."
Jerry Robinson


*

**************
*MAIN MENU*
**************


*
Click one of the three links below




* 
LINKS TO OTHER "MEGO STRETCH HULK" AND
 "RASCALLY ROY" HERO ENVY ARTICLES...


THE ROY THOMAS SPIDER-MAN COSTUME
THE UNCANNY BUT TRUE CREATION OF THE WOLVERINE

DAYS OF GRIMLOCK, ELVIS PRESLEY AND ROY THOMAS 

THE "OFFICIAL" MARVEL COMICS ROY THOMAS APPRECIATION PRINT

THE SECRET ORIGIN OF THE JIM STARLIN THANOS BUST

MY MARVEL CAMEO

THE LAST SPIDER-MAN DAILY NEWSPAPER STRIP

THE LAST GATHERING WITH STAN LEE

 ROY THOMAS PROTECTS STAN LEE'S LEGACY

FIVE INCREDIBLE THINGS ABOUT THE HULK

 MARVEL COMICS: ROY THOMAS'S 10 BEST SUPERHEROES

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

THE TOP 20 GREATEST LEGION OF DOOM/ROAD WARRIORS COLLECTIBLES OF ALL TIME!

OHHH, WHAT A RUSH!!

THE TOP 20 GREATEST 

LEGION OF DOOM/ROAD WARRIORS

COLLECTIBLES OF ALL TIME!

BY

John "THE MEGO STRETCH HULK" Cimino


*A TAG TEAM UNLIKE ANY OTHER*

In the long-storied history of professional wrestling, there have been many great tag teams that have enjoyed a tremendous amount of success and popularity. But there were only a handful of them that could match or exceed a select few of the single world champions and reach the highest-levels of genuine main-event status that a promotion could be built around. That list is quite rare indeed. During the 1950s, the superstar tag team of Antonino Rocca and Miquel Perez were a phenomenon that packed arenas and gained headliner status. Al Costello and Roy Heffernan, the Fabulous Kangaroos captured the imagination of audiences with their bush hats and boomerang gimmicks including using the song "Waltzing Matilda" as their entrance music. There was also Dr. Jerry Graham and Eddie Graham, the Golden Grahams that reached an exceptional level of fame and notoriety as heels. In the 1960s, the powerful duo of Dick the Bruiser and The Crusher had legions of "working class" fans rally behind them. The Blonde Bombers: Pat Patterson and Ray Stevens became extremely despised by fans due to their exemplary in-ring work and ability to generate heat from the crowd. Later in the 1970s, 80s and 90s teams like The Fabulous Freebirds, The Rock n' Roll Express and The Steiner Brothers for a short time attained levels of fame and attention to which they headlined regional events. However, as successful as those tag teams were, none can truly compare to the international ticket-selling ability and invincible aura of the Legion of Doom, Hawk and Animal, The Road Warriors.


The Road Warriors: 
from Chicago, Illinois
combined weight 575 lbs
Hawk: 1/26/1957-6'3"-275 lbs 
Animal: 9/12/1960-6'1"-300 lbs

Coming out of Minnesota and being trained by Eddie Sharkey who suggested they should both give the ranks of professional wrestling a try due to seeing them bounce at a bar called Gramma B's, Joseph "Animal" Laurinaitis and Michael "Hawk" Hegstrand were an easy fit. At the beginning, they both had very short and unprosperous solo wrestling careers starting in late 1982 and early 1983. But after a little career tweaking a few months later by promoter/wrestler Ole Anderson and having them debut as a tag team with "Precious" Paul Ellering as their manager on TBS's Georgia Championship Wrestling, it would become a decision that would forever change the direction of the industry. These two massively, juiced-up, muscled brawlers dressed in leather motorcycle gear with crew cuts were like nothing ever seen before, especially when being compared to their contemporaries. In the ring, they were vicious, exhibiting very little wrestling skills besides "Press Slams" and "Clotheslines." The term "scientific wrestling" or "mat skills" were almost nonexistent, they were exhibiting a new type of brawling "smash mouth" wrestling (charging into the ring and pummeling opponents without remorse). In just a few months, Hawk and Animal started donning war-paint and sporting mohawks inspired by the popular movie Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) and it perfectly complemented their wrestling style. It now became more than just crushing opponents put before them, it became trendsetting. So much in fact that not only would they go on to influence generations of massively built pro wrestlers who duplicated their look like Demolition, the Powers of Pain, the Blade Runners and the Ascension, but also their in-ring style like Harlem Heat, Doom, APA, the Authors of Pain, the Skyscrapers and the Disciples of Apocalypse.



But as talented and impressive as many of the clones and mimics may have been, none came close to having the worldwide impact and charisma as the one-true Road Warriors. Not since André the Giant had any wrestler been such a territory attraction and appeared as such an unbeatable force, and never a tag team. Virtually overnight the Road Warriors had become so highly sought after by other wrestling promotions from all over the world that they quickly established themselves as one of the industry's top attractions. Their entrance theme, "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath, only enhanced their already invincible aura as the song became synonymous with them as well as their "Road Warrior POP" to describe the crowd's reaction to seeing them and their finisher "The Doomsday Device." There are not many acts in wrestling history that can claim to have impacted the sport as quickly and completely as the Road Warriors did on a worldwide basis, especially within their first 5 years. Hawk and Animal's 20-year reign of dominance all over the wrestling world became unparalleled and remains the benchmark for all tag teams ever since.



In reality, despite how unbeatable fans thought the Road Warriors were, they were human, and the price of fame eventually caught up to them. Hawk and Animal were both young when they conquered the world, so everything started quickly for them. And unfortunately, after a 20-year career full of pain, substance abuse, steroids, constant travel, injuries, partying and the lack of sleep that comes with the life of a superstar professional wrestler of their day, it most likely contributed to both of them passing away at an early age. Michael "Hawk" Hegstrand died in his sleep of a heart attack at his home in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida on October 19, 2003, at the age of 46. It was no secret that during his life Hawk was a wild man that loved to party hard and live hard. Hawk stated he had more lives than a cat and managed to live through 9 near-death experiences (yes, you read that right). Thankfully, he made peace with God and became a devoted Christian before his passing. Joseph "Animal" Laurinaitis, a devoted Christian as well, was a proud family man and the much more passive of the two. Sadly, Animal died the exact same way (sleeping and suffering a heart attack) on September 22, 2020, just 10 days after his 60th birthday at the Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach, Missouri. RIP Road Warriors your legacy will always remain.




*ACCOLADES*

There are many reasons why the Legion of Doom/Road Warriors are considered the greatest tag team in the history of professional wrestling. Not only are they trend setters known for changing the face of wrestling and pop culture, but in Hawk and Animal's 20-year career together they have a few notable accolades. Their first match ever together on June 11, 1983, they debuted on television as the National tag team champions (it was said that they won the titles at a tournament in Chicago, but in reality, they were given the belts by the promotion because the former champions Arn Anderson and Matt Borne vacated those titles due to legal matters). They would go on to win 15 total tag team championships from various promotions all over the world and are the only team to ever win the tag team titles in the AWA, NWA/WCW, and WWF/WWE, which were the 3 biggest wrestling promotions in the US. They were also the first American tag team to win the Japanese International tag team titles and the first to defend those belts outside of Japan. (It should be noted, when Hawk was part of the Hell Raisers, they won the IWGP tag team titles twice. And when Animal was part of the LOD 2005, they won the WWE tag team titles once and when he was part of the Hell Warriors, they won the UWA tag team titles once.)



Additionally, no other team has ever won as many high-profile tag team tournaments on major pay-per-view events for so many different promotions. Entering the tournament as the number 1 seed, the Road Warriors won the 1st Annual NWA Jim Crockett Cup 24 team tag team tournament in 1986, the WCW Starrcade Future Shock Iron Man tag team tournament in 1989, the SWS One Night Tag Team Tournament in 1991, and the WWF Wrestlemania XIV tag team Battle Royal in 1998. They were voted tag team of the year by the readers of PRO WRESTLING ILLUSTRATED (PWI) an unprecedented 4 different times in 1983-85 and 1988 (no team has ever won it more than twice before or since). In 1985, they became the only tag team in history to be ranked as the #1 tag team in the Top 10 List (without holding any tag team titles at the time) while simultaneously being the #1 contenders to both the AWA and NWA tag team titles. Plus, they were ranked as the #1 tag team of the PWI years (which started in 1979) in 2003. They won the Tokyo Sports Best Foreigner Award (1985) and the Cauliflower Alley Club Tag Team Award (2020). And they are the only tag team to be members of all the most prestigious pro wrestling Hall of Fame organizations: Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Hall of Fame (1996), the WWE Hall of Fame (2011), the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum (2011), the NWA Hall of Fame (2012), the Quebec Wrestling Hall of Fame (2015), the NWA Legends Hall of Heroes (2016) and the Hardcore Hall of Fame (2021). 


*GREATEST MATCH*


While the Road Warriors had many legendary matches and moments during their career, nothing tops their main event match on the WWF/SWS crossover promotion mega-event the SWS WRESTLEFEST in the Tokyo Dome on March 30, 1991. This event took place 7 days after WrestleMania VII and in front of 56,000 fans where the Road Warriors take on Hulk Hogan and Genichiro Tenryu in a tag team showdown of the ages. This was incredibly significant due to the fact that you had the Road Warriors, the greatest tag team in the world going up against America's greatest singles wrestler in Hulk Hogan and Japan's greatest singles wrestler in Genichiro Tenryu--AND THE ROAD WARRIORS WON! Sure, the victory was due to a count out, but the Road Warriors got their hands raised in the end and proved how truly over they were and gave Hogan (especially during that time period) are rare defeat on such a prestigious event. Yes, Hogan was possibly even more over in Japan than Hawk and Animal (he's considered their "ichiban"), but the Road Warriors ruled that country as well and this match proved it. The highlight was when Hawk and Animal double press slammed Hogan and Tenryu. It became the greatest press slam of all time and an iconic moment in wrestling history. 


An iconic moment in the Road Warriors greatest match.


*A PICTORIAL HISTORY OF WRESTLING'S GREATEST TAG TEAM*

TOP LEFT: (Late-1982) Joe Laurinaitis as "The Road Warrior" in Georgia. TOP RIGHT: (Early-1983) Michael Hegstrand as "Crusher Von Haig" in Vancouver. BOTTOM LEFT: (Mid-1983) Promoter and booker, Ole Anderson puts Joe and Mike together with "Precious" Paul Ellering to form The Road Warriors Hawk and Animal as they make their debut in GCW as the National tag team champions. BOTTOM RIGHT: (Mid-1983 to early-1984) Within just a few months experimental make-up and haircuts begin to take shape inspired by the Mel Gibson movie MAD MAX 2: THE ROAD WARRIOR (1981). They also pick up the moniker "The Legion of Doom" by being part of a revolving stable of wrestlers with Paul Ellering, Jake Roberts, the Spoiler, Matt Borne, the Iron Shiek, Arn Anderson, the Shiek and King Kong Bundy before splitting and keeping it for themselves. With their brutal in-ring style, raw interviews and unique look they start to rise in popularity. They'll be the National tag team champions 3 times before leaving the GCW territory for bigger game. 

TOP LEFT: (1984-1986) The Road Warriors start coming into their own being led by Paul Ellering and going to the AWA. At this time, they start using Black Sabbath's song "Iron Man" as their entrance theme and winning the AWA tag team titles on August 25, 1984, becoming the most sought after traveling territorial attraction since André the Giant, especially in Japan. TOP RIGHT: (1986-1987) The Prime years begin in the NWA/WCW as the Road Warriors win the 1st ever Crockett Cup 24 team tag team tournament in 1986, cementing themselves as the number 1 tag team in the world, won the NWA/WCW six-man tag team titles with Dusty Rhodes and in 1987, become the first American tag team to win the International tag team belts in Japan. BOTTOM LEFT: (1988-1990) The iconic look begins with the spiked shoulder pads as the Road Warriors have superstar appeal and the ability to sell/promote national products such as Zubaz and Roos while appearing in commercials and making guest appearances on sitcoms. They won the NWA/WCW six-man tag team titles 2x, once with Dusty Rhodes and once with Genichiro Tenryu, the NWA/WCW Starrcade '89 Iron Man tag team tournament and the NWA/WCW tag team titles all in 1989. BOTTOM RIGHT: (1990-1992) Coming to the WWF without Paul Ellering and dropping "The Road Warriors" moniker and going by just "The Legion of Doom" or "LOD" for short. Plus, by winning the WWF tag team belts in 1991, the LOD became the only tag team in wrestling history to win the tag team titles in the AWA, NWA/WCW and WWF organizations. As the WWF's number 1 tag team, they have more merchandise made of them than ever before turning them into global sensations.


TOP RIGHT: (1992-1996) Paul Ellering returns and joins the LOD at Wrestlemania VIII and soon incorporates "Rocco" the dummy (which was a disaster). Hawk quits after SummerSlam 1992 due to his frustrations with the WWF storylines and his growing behind the scenes drug problem. Animal suffers a back injury finishing up the final WWF dates without Paul Ellering and Rocco. Hawk begins his solo career (winning a few solo championships) and eventually forms The Hell Raisers as Hawk Warrior and Power Warrior in Japan. TOP LEFT: (1996) Animal heals, grudges between them are buried and the Road Warriors reunite once again in Japan (doing a few 6-man tag team matches with Power Warrior calling themselves the Hell Warriors) and then return to WCW as the one-true Road Warriors! BOTTOM LEFT: (1997) The LOD return to the WWF and win the tag team belts for the second time. BOTTOM RIGHT: (1998) After a horrible storyline that had the Road Warriors fight each other due to not being able to regain the tag team belts, they reunited with a fresh new look at Wrestlemania XIV as "The LOD 2000" managed by Sunny and winning the tag team Battle Royal.

TOP RIGHT: (1998-1999) Sunny leaves as Paul Ellering returns once again and will eventually start feuding with the LOD 2000 with his new team the Disciples of Apocalypse. Behind the scenes Hawk continues to spiral out of control with addiction issues and rehab stints, so the WWF have the LOD take on a third member named Puke as back up if Hawk can't perform. TOP LEFT: (1999-2003) After being unhappy with the WWF's storylines the LOD leave, Paul Ellering retires once again, and Hawk finally gets sober. Then Hawk and Animal get back to basics traveling to Japan and other independent wrestling organizations before returning to the WWF (now WWE) on May 12, 2003, for one last match with the company. They will return to Japan and sadly, Hawk passes on October 19, 2003, and ends the Road Warriors unbeatable 20-year legacy. BOTTOM LEFT: (2005-2006) After some time off Animal returns to the WWE and forms the LOD 2005 with Jon Heidenreich and win the tag team titles, they soon acquire Christy Hemme as a valet/manager for a short time. After the team disbands in 2006, Animal goes solo and returns to his 1982 gimmick as "The Road Warrior" without make-up and wearing leather. His final match is on May 6, 2006, before being released by the WWE. BOTTOM RIGHT: (2007-2020) The Hell Warriors return as Animal Warrior and Power Warrior and do a few sporadic matches over the years in Japan and Mexico until Power Warrior's retirement on February 14, 2014. Animal passes on September 22, 2020, closing the final chapter in the Legion of Doom/Road Warriors story.  


*MERCHADISING MACHINES OF THE MIDWAY*



The first merchandise the Road Warriors ever had were homemade T-shirts in 1984. By the end of their career there were literally hundreds of different Road Warrior or Legion of Doom T-shirts on the market. Thirty years later, the merchandising of pro wrestling has exploded to unfathomable heights. And with their striking visibility of face paint, haircuts, spiked shoulder pads and muscular physiques the Road Warriors are still among those leading the charge of pro wrestling merchandise and collectability even though they haven't wrestled a match together since 2003. 




There's something to be said of their timelessness. Let's be frank, the Road Warriors are cool. They were cool back in 1983 and they're cool today. Essentially, that means their appearance perfectly translates to toys and other types of merchandise in a way that transcends the genre and era. And they are part of a special select few individuals in pro wrestling history that can be continually finically viable on a consistent basis. A big part of the reason why is Paul Ellering.




What most people don't know is that their manager Paul Ellering was Hawk and Animal's "shoot" (real) manager in all aspects of their business. From the beginning in 1983, Paul took care of their plane tickets, hotels, rental cars, schedule, pay, luggage and deals, including deals with promoters and lawyers. And among those lawyers were of copyrights and trademarks. You see, Paul knew what he saw when the Road Warriors first broke onto the scene. He knew they were going to get over in more ways than one. Using his superior intellect (he's a member of Mensa) and experience in the wrestling business, Paul knew how to protect Hawk and Animal and educate them on the inner workings of not just wrestling promoters' shenanigans, but also on "likeness" and "brand" when it came to merchandise. Paul had Hawk and Animal copyright and trademark their images, names and quotes, so when manufacturing companies came on the scene and wanted pro wrestlers for their products, the Road Warriors were not beholden to the deals wrestling promoters had with them. They made their own deal separate from everyone else. Case in point: when Remco came to Verne Gagne and the AWA to make action figures in 1984, the Road Warriors got a separate deal from all the other wrestlers. To use their likenesses and such, Remco had to pay Paul, Hawk and Animal a lump sum. They were their own brand, had their own set of rules and wrestling promoters and manufactures had to abide by them. It was perfect. And honestly, who wasn't going to use the Road Warriors? They were born to make money. Even Vince McMahon and the WWF had to do this because he didn't create or own ANYTHING of the Road Warriors, the Legion of Doom, Hawk, Animal or Paul Ellering. Vince had to basically give them a separate deal to use their likeness on his WWF products. How many of their contemporaries can say that?



It's not surprising that both Hawk and Animal would also branch outside of wrestling. In 1988, a line of zebra print weightlifting pants developed by Bob Truax and Dan Stock (who co-owned a gym with the Road Warriors) called Zubaz used Hawk and Animal as the ambassadors of their company which exploded and sold a 100 million dollars' worth of product in 1991 alone. The company had the slogan "Dare to be Different" and pants, hats, shirts and even diapers can sometimes still be seen on professional athletes to this day. Another product they did commercials for and sponsored in the early 1990s were Roos sneakers (also known as "KangaRoos"). Roos are still a prominent shoe brand in over sixty countries worldwide. And Animal even did a few commercials for Goof Off products in 2016.






Today, the LOD merch is numerous, encompassing almost everything from clothing, glassware, posters, food products, school supplies, furniture, books, video games, dolls, action figures, toys and even COVID-19 masks. Being a crazy Road Warriors fan and growing up on their merchandise, I wanted to do something never done before. I wanted to compile a comprehensive list of their greatest and most popular collectibles and rank them in a top 20 list. Now to do something like that is obviously subjective, especially for how much stuff is actually out there in Road Warriors merchandise. But I've been buying and selling LOD memorabilia my entire life and I've come to know many well-known wrestling and toy collectors all over the world, so I do think I have a pretty good idea. And FYI, this list will be based on actual products that were produced by companies to the public. Nothing bootleg or ring-worn such as outfits, spiked shoulder pads and wrestling belts will be included since those are for a select few high-end collectors and a niche market. This list is based on all the fun stuff kids growing up back in the day begged mom & dad to buy in the toy isles or thumbing through a wrestling magazine. So put on your warpaint, scream "What a Rushhhh!" and then sit back to enjoy THE TOP 20 GREATEST LEGION OF DOOM/ROAD WARRIORS COLLECTIBLES OF ALL TIME!


20.) STAR-STUDDED WRESTLING PUFFY STICKERS 3-SET

(Diamond Toymakers 1985)

front
back

Verne Gagne and his AWA wrestling federation was doing whatever it could to stay in competition with Vince McMahon and the WWF. Since Vince was licensing out Hulk Hogan and his biggest stars to every and all product manufactures, Verne would try and do the same. Nothing was off limits, even the obscure items would get a license. And here, along with some of Verne's biggest AWA stars at the time; the Road Warriors, Sgt. Slaughter and Baron Von Raschke would be transformed into puffy stickers--because why the hell not?


19.) NWA WRESTLING'S BEST MELLO YELLO CANS

(Coca-Cola Company 1988)


To most, Mello Yello is a "D" list soda that ranks alongside the likes of Tab, Moxie, and Squirt. With its carbonated citrus flavor and urine-like color, it's a wonder how people still drink that stuff. But they do, and being produced since 1979, it looks like this soda is here to stay. Despite all that, Mello Yello was the perfect fit for the National Wrestling Alliance. Since most of the major brands were being gobbled up by the WWF licensing machine back in 1988, the NWA had to set their sights on lower game to showcase their most popular wrestling superstars. So, Mello Yello it was and to the credit of the Coca-Cola Company (who produced and distributed Mello Yello), they spent a buck to push this promotion forward by making a commercial starring the "American Dream" Dusty Rhodes and releasing it to local television stations of the day. A total of 12 cans of "NWA: Wrestling's Best" were released and while it was hard to find the cans with the more obscure wrestlers on it like Tim Horner, Larry Zbyszko and Jimmy Garvin (let's be honest, who was actually looking for those guys anyway?), Coca-Cola Company mass produced the cans that had the images of the Road Warriors, Sting, Dusty Rhodes and Ric Flair.


18.) THE OFFICIAL WWF MAKEUP KIT

(PAAS 1991)

                                                                           front

back

Every Legion of Doom fan used their mom's expensive makeup to look like them on a few occasions, even though most of us are too embarrassed to admit it. But in 1991, PAAS made it possible to do it in style (and without repercussions from mom) with the "official" WWF makeup kit. Now you could paint your colors like Hawk, Animal and even the Ultimate Warrior if you wanted and this time, mom would even be helping you out. Whether it was Halloween, Easter, or any day of the week, there was nothing better than emulating your favorite heroes with their "official" brand. 

17.) NWA THE GREAT AMERICAN BASH CUPS

(FAST FARE 1987)

front
back
Fast Fare is a franchise of quick stop convenience store/gas stations down south that loved wrestling. Doing a cross promotion with the NWA to celebrate their yearly wrestling tour dubbed "The Great American Bash" was an easy crossover event. 8 different wrestler cups were produced and purchased at every Fast Fare soda fountain located in their convenience stores that detailed all 10 locations that the event would be held at (it's no surprise that a few Fast Fare quick stops were also located in those particular states). Each cup also showcased 1 of 8 of the NWA's most popular wrestlers of the day (the Road Warriors Hawk and Animal, Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair, Barry Windham, Nikita Koloff and Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson of the Rock 'n' Roll Express), so what's not to love?

16.) AWA MINI MASHERS

(Remco 1986)

12-pack (front)
12 pack (back)
8-pack
4-pack

Mattel's 2-inch M.U.S.C.L.E. figures were all the rage when they hit stores in 1985, as pro wrestling was exploding in popularity. While M.U.S.C.L.E. figures were basically made up cosmic/fantasy wrestlers created in Japan (called Kinnikuman), Remco decided to have their knock-off Mini Mashers be based on real superstar wrestlers of the AWA! And why not? Would kids rather play with Muscleman or the Road Warriors? Would they rather be Terri-Bull or Ric Flair? The answer was simple to Remco and probably most kids, but Remco didn't play their hand correctly. You see, while M.U.S.C.L.E. boasted a whopping 236 original figures that came in 10 different colors that were distributed in a variety of assorted packs of 28, 10 and 4. They were chock-full of collectability, so kids kept on coming back for more to complete their collections. The Mini Mashers were a total of just 12 figures that came in 4 colors (pink, red, green and blue) that were distributed in 12-packs, 8-packs and 4-packs and it hardly took much effort to accumulate a full set. Remco played the 2-inch figure challenge and lost as the Mini Mashers didn't last long and disappeared from stores by the next year. Mattel kept on trucking along with M.U.S.C.L.E. selling an estimated 6 million to 300 million figures before the line came to an end in 1988.


15.) WWF SUPERSTAR SQUIRT HEAD

(Multi Toys Corp. 1990)

front
back

By 1990, the WWF was licensed by almost every product conceivable. They had action figures, games, food products and even dish soap, so why not a squirt head? Obscure item yes, that goes without question. But also cool as hell if you ask me! And check out those great head sculpts! These WWF Squirt Heads were fun for the summer or bath and looked awesome doing what they do--squirting your friends with water (if you want to get real nasty, fill them with urine or bleach and tell your friend to "open wide"). I should also point out these remain some of the earliest Legion of Doom WWF merchandise as they arrived in the federation that same year.

I also have to give a Road Warrior shout out to "official" WWF LOD Wrestling Footwear slippers that came out in 1991, because the WWF used the same head molds that the Squirt Heads used on top of the slippers. Seriously, how awesome is that? Any "Little Doomer" back in the day wearing these slippers on Staurday morning watching wrestling would've gotten major props from me.



14.) AWA ALL STAR WRESTLING THUMBSTERS

(Remco 1985)

Rick Martel vs. Animal
Greg Gagne vs. Hawk

If Vince McMahon and the WWF were producing Wrestling Superstars Thumb Wrestlers in 1985 with LJN, then by damn Verne Gagne and the AWA would produce the All Star Wrestling Thumbsters with Remco! It's really that simple as 3 different "thumb" versus "thumb" matchups were produced; Rick Martel vs. Animal, Greg Gagne vs. Hawk and Ric Flair vs. Larry Zbyszko. And they all looked pretty impressive as Remco used the same sculpts they had on their wrestling figures at the time. From how bad Vince McMahon and Verne Gagne were battling each other for the majority of shelve space for their wrestling products in 1985 and 1986, I'm surprised LJN and Remco didn't cross promote to make a "Vince vs. Verne" thumb wrestler set (hey, I would've bought it).

13.) WWF SUPERSTARS CEREAL

(Ralston 1991)

front
back

Back in the day, there was nothing like waking up early on Saturday mornings and getting a nice bowl of sugary cereal while watching cartoons all day long. But to kids that did it in the early '90s, you had a chance to eat cereal with the Legion of Doom! What could be better than watching WWF programing on Saturdays and filling your bellies with vanilla flavored "stars"? And if you dug down deep enough through the cereal, you'll get 1 of 3 WWF flip books of either Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior or the Legion of Doom. Or if you check the back of the box to see 1 of 4 "cut-out" masks (which came out in late 1991 after Wrestlemania VIII) of either the Ultimate Warrior (two different masks), Hawk or Animal of the Legion of Doom. But let's face it, anyone reading this article wants the LOD flip book or a Hawk or Animal mask. Once you finished off a couple of bowls and your blood sugar levels explodes, it was time to shout "Ohhh, what a sugar rushhhh!" as you head out the door to play with your friends for the rest of the day. This is what I call the magic of childhood.

Animal and Hawk cut-out masks.


12.) WWF LEGION OF DOOM SUPERSTARS ICE CREAM BAR AND SUPERSTARS FAMOUS "QUOTES" CARD

(Gold Bond 1992)

Superstars Favorite "Quotes" card
Front and back of box
Legion of Doom card inside box

When the WWF first started producing their very own Superstars Ice Cream Bars in 1987, it was something other wrestling promotions never thought they could get away with. I mean, come on, pro wrestlers on food products? But the WWF, Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan licensing machine went well beyond what other wrestling organizations thought possible. And when the Legion of Doom came to the WWF in 1990, it was only a matter of time before they got their card and very own ice cream bar.

Although the Legion of Doom had many cards produced of them over the years that could've made it on this list, the thought of ripping open a box and possibly getting a delicious Legion of Doom ice cream bar and Legion of Doom card at the same time on a hot summer day could be a moment any fan would cherish forever. Yeah, the WWF ice cream bars were just like Cracker Jacks, there was always a little anticipation when you opened up a box and you didn't know what bar or card you were going to get. No other single card can top that!

It should be noted that in 1998, the WWF ice cream bars (now made by Good Humor) had the LOD appear once again in their 12-card set dubbed the "New Generation" series. Plus, the WWF also added a cut-out stand-up on the back of the box to which only Animal was included in this 12-figure stand-up set.

1998 "New Generation" card
 
 
1998 WWF ice cream bar box with Animal cut-out stand-up


11.) WWE ROAD WARRIOR HAWK AND ANIMAL ELITE LEGENDS FIGURES

(Mattel 2010)


Mattel got the WWE license to produce figures in 2009 after Jakks Pacific had it for almost 10 years. I have to admit, Jakks Pacific had a lot of questionable releases when it came to sculpts and quality of their product. Mattel started it off with a bang (or should I say a "Road Warrior POP")! Their Elite line didn't hold anything back as Hawk and Animal were released in the first Legends wave and shown as the bad asses we know and love. And when it comes to the Road Warriors contemporary wrestling figures of the day, this was their best release ever.


10.) LEGION OF DOOM FOAM SHOULDER PADS AND WRIST BANDS

(WWF 1991-1992, WCW 1996 and WWF 1997-1998)

Fist generation of LOD shoulder pads with WWF logo.

WWF Fall/Winter 91-92 catalog first advertising the LOD shoulder pads.

WWF Fall/Winter 92-93 catalog first advertising the LOD wrist bands.

Second generation shoulder pads sold by WCW with Hawk & Animal autographs in front.

The last ad for the shoulder pads and wrist bands that ran in the WWF catalogs in 1997 and 1998. 

No matter how you slice it, the Legion of Doom has one of the most iconic looks in the history of professional wrestling. Their image was so emulated and copied over the years that they had an endless line of wannabe wrestlers trying mimic them (it never truly worked out for them). Children were no exception either, they were trying their best to be Hawk and Animal. Whether it was pumping iron with their Hulk Hogan weights or shaving their heads to their parent's horror. And how could the WWF capitalize on all this and feed every child's need to be the Legion of Doom 24/7 while meeting all government regulatory safety standards? Well, have them put on foam spiked shoulder pads (and wrist bands if mom was willing to pay more) and then they'll be ready to smack some "gerbil-faced geeks" as all little Doomers should! 

It should be noted, these popular shoulder pads first appeared for sale in the WWF Fall/Winter catalog 1991-1992 (the foam wrist bands were first advertised a year later in the WWF Fall/Winter 1992-1993 catalog) and they followed the LOD as merch when they returned to WCW for a short time in 1996, but they were never advertised in any WCW catalog (the WCW removed the WWF logo on the front of the pad and exchanged it with the two signatures of Hawk & Animal). When the LOD returned to the WWF in 1997, the shoulder pads (dawning the WWF logo on the front once again) and wrist bands reappeared for sale in the WWF 1997 Shop Zone Holiday Advertorial Supplement and was advertised for the last time in the WWF 1998 Go Mental Shop Zone catalog.


9.) WWF LEGION OF DOOM WRESTLING BUDDIES TAG TEAM PACK

(Tonka 1991) 

front

back

The WWF Wrestling Buddies saved many a younger brother or sister from a serious injury from a "Power Bomb" or "Press Slam" throughout the years. These cute, soft, cuddly and down-right fun dolls from Tonka were the perfect wrestling opponent that made even the parents want to join in on the fun. Nothing speaks pro wrestling as well as these Wrestling Buddies because they were perfectly made for what they do best--getting the stuffing beaten out of them! A major plus if you can take a "Doomsday Device" from your Legion of Doom Buddies all by yourself.


8.) SUPER STAR PRO WRESTLING (Pony Canyon 1989)/WCW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING (FCI Incorperated 1990) VIDEO GAME

Super Star Pro Wrestling character selection
Super Star Pro Wrestling (Pony Canyon) released in Japan 1989
WCW Wrestling character selection
WCW World Championship Wrestling (FCI) released in the US 1990

The very first video game that the Road Warriors ever appeared in was Super Star Pro Wrestling. It was released in Japan and published by Pony Canyon for the Nintendo Famicom system in 1989. The game features play for both one- and two-player modes in single or tag team matches and functioned very differently from any previous wrestling video game of the day. Each wrestler had a unique finisher and 8 specific moves that they could perform to which you had to choose 4 of them before each match. This made the game more interactive and kept it from becoming stale. 
The game featured 12 wrestlers well-known in Japan's AJPW and NJPW promotions such as The Road Warriors Hawk and Animal, Antonio Inoki, Giant Baba, Jumbo Tsuruta, Genichiro Tenryu, Riki Choshu, Akira Maeda, Bruiser Brody, Stan Hansen, Big Van Vader, Abdullah the Butcher, and the non-playable boss character André the Giant. 
Super Star Pro Wrestling was released a year later in the US under the name of WCW Wrestling for the Nintendo Entertainment System and published by FCI Incorporated. The more commonly known WCW wrestlers were swapped in and replaced the same sprites of the AJPW and NJPW wrestlers, performing their exact same move-set and finisher but with new artwork to resemble the WCW star. Below is a list of each WCW wrestler that replaced the original Super Star Pro Wrestling wrestler.
  • Lex Luger replaced Antonio Inoki
  • Ric Flair replaced Giant Baba
  • Mike Rotunda replaced Jumbo Tsuruta
  • Kevin Sullivan replaced Genichiro Tenryu
  • Sting replaced Riki Choshu
  • Rick Steiner replaced Akira Maeda
  • Ricky Steamboat replaced Bruiser Brody
  • Road Warrior Hawk replaced Stan Hansen (Even though Road Warrior Hawk is in both versions of the game, his WCW Wrestling version surprisingly did not replace his Super Star Pro Wrestling version.)
  • Michael P.S. Hayes replaced Road Warrior Hawk
  • "Dr. Death" Steve Williams replaced Big Van Vader
  • Eddie Gilbert replaced Abdullah the Butcher
  • Road Warrior Animal is the only one that remains unchanged.
  • WCW Master replaced the Super Star Pro Wrestling boss André the Giant (WWF owned the rights to André at the time, but the mask on the WCW Master is reminiscent of André's "Giant Machine" gimmick he used a lot in Japan).

WCW Wrestling screen shot from the NES of Road Warrior Hawk dropkicking Rick Steiner.

WCW Wrestling mail away Road Warriors T-Shirt


7.) ROAD WARRIOR HAWK AND ANIMAL TV COSTUME WITH MASK

(Collegeville 1986)



Halloween has always been my favorite time of the year. There's something about the weather, the decorations and the costumes that have always intrigued me since I was a child. With all the ghouls and ghosts that come out of haunted houses that night to scare unsuspecting children, they might need some protection while they go "Trick or Treating." What could be better than being Road Warrior Hawk or Animal and putting the scare into them! Want to see a vampire jump back in its coffin? Flash Hawk's tongue and scream "Ohhhh, what a rushhhh!" Want to see Frankenstein's monster crumble in fear? Show off Animal's scowl and then "Gorilla Press" him over your head and throw him into a trash can! Either way, you can't lose with Collegeville's Road Warrior Hawk and Animal costumes because as scary as things can get on All Hallows' Eve, the Legion of Doom snacks on danger and dines on death!

1986 Collegeville Halloween costume catalogue 


6.) ROAD WARRIOR HAWK AND ANIMAL THE PRO WRESTLER KESHI FIGURES

(Bandai 1987)


Leaflet that came inside the capsule with each figure
Inside the leaflet.

Keshi (Japanese: 消し or ケシ) aka keshigomu (消しゴム, literally "erase rubber") is the Japanese word for eraser. In modern "keshi" refers to a collectible miniature figure, often of a manga or anime character, made of colored PVC gum rubber. It should be noted that The Pro Wrestler Keshi line (also called The Puroresurā Keshi line), is sometimes referred to as The Pro Wrestler Erasers. Check out the complete story here: The Pro Wrestler Keshi Line from Bandai (1987)

With the world-wide success of M.U.S.C.L.E came knockoffs from other toy companies that wanted to mimic those figures and cash in on their popularity (see the Remco Mini Mashers ranked at #16 on this list). But regardless of what came after, when it came to keshi figures, Bandai was always the leader of the pack. As M.U.S.C.L.E. wrestlers/characters had more of a cosmic and fantasy design to them (with a few figures actually being based off of real wrestlers), in 1987, Bandai went full reality and based this brand new 2-inch figure line on real superstar wrestlers from the NJPW (New Japan Pro-Wrestling) organization.

Bandai would sell and distribute this 10 keshi figure set in "Capsule" Machines or "Gumball" Machines (called Gashapon Machines in Japan). There were 5 Japanese NJPW wrestler figures; Tatsumi Fujinami, Riki Choshu, Jumbo Tsuruta, Akira Maeda and Hiroshi Wajima and 5 American "mystery" wrestlers (that were HUGE stars in Japan); The Road Warriors: Hawk and Animal, Bruiser Brody, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair. All 10 figures each came with a leaflet and in 5 different colors: pink ("flesh"), blue, yellow, green and red. And despite being just capsule machine prizes, the detail on each figure is something to behold as they support highly realistic faces on chibi-like bodies. These figures are very rare and highly sought after and can get some big numbers on the secondary market, especially the pink colored figures which always command a premium.


5.) WWF LEGION OF DOOM TAG TEAM PACK

(Hasbro 1991)


The WWF Hasbro line started in 1990 and was released a year after the WWF LJN Wrestling Superstars line ended. Now instead of 8-inch hard rubber non-movable figures, Hasbro took it into the 4-inch figure realm, gave them articulation and added an action feature so they could perform their signature finisher (or something comparable to it). The cartoonish sculpts and bright colors perfectly captured the look and feel of the WWF Universe in the early to mid 90s. When the LOD was released on a tag team pack in the series 4 shipment, they got their very first WWF action figures. And what better way to introduce the mighty LOD by giving them the ability to perform the Doomsday Device (or the "Hawk Attack" and "Dooms-Dayer" as the packaging states) on their helpless opponents. 

To this day, the WWF Hasbro line is still considered one of the best wrestling figure lines of all time. It had remarkable staying power, lasting 4 years until 1994, with a whopping 11 shipments! And today, they can sell for a ton of cash on the secondary market ("moon belly" Kamala anyone?). Plus, there's always a constant ongoing debate by toy and wrestling collectors on which WWF line was better--the LJN Wrestling Superstars or the Hasbros? Whatever your choice, there are no losers because both were awesome.


4.) ROAD WARRIORS POSTER

(Personalities Incorporated 1985)


While the Road Warriors had countless pin-ups and pull-out posters in wrestling magazines and programs, their very first professional mainstream poster was made in 1985. And it also remains their most popular. That's a big claim to make considering during their career, there were literally hundreds of Legion of Doom and Road Warriors posters produced over the years. But it's true, it's damn true because THIS poster of the fearsome Road Warriors with manager "Precious" Paul Ellering also made a small but memorable guest appearance in the background of the 1988 comedy movie Twins starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito. For those who don't know, Twins was a huge box office success that still gets played on movie channels to this very day. So next time it comes on, take a moment to pause it and pay your respects to the greatest tag team of all time.

In this screen shot from the movie Twins (1988), you can clearly see the poster of the awesome Road Warriors and "Precious" Paul Ellering.

Poster order form

3.) AWA ALLSTAR WRESTLERS TAG TEAM: LEGION OF DOOM/THE ROAD WARRIORS TAG TEAM/3 MAN TAG TEAM PACKS, BATTLE ROYAL PLAYSET AND PAUL ELLERING MAT MANIA CARD

(Remco 1985-1986)

Tag Team pack with belts (released early-1985)
Tag Team pack without belts (released late-1985)
3 Man Tag Team pack (released late-1985)
First issue of the Battle Royal playset (released early-1985)

Re-released Paul Ellering on Mat Mania card (1986)

The AWA Remco action figure line tells the tale of AWA owner Verne Gagne and WWF owner Vince MacMahon. Both promoters were constantly battling each other on every front back in 1985 and 1986. Whether it was for ticket sales at their next big wrestling event, airtime on television for their wrestling shows or for space on toy shelves for their products, these two would stop at nothing to crush the other. Vince had the biggest name in wrestling at the time with Hulk Hogan, who Verne previously had but lost to Vince just 2 years prior. Due to Hogan's immense popularity, Vince and his WWF organization was starting to become an unstoppable juggernaut. But Verne's newly acquired and current tag team champions, the Road Warriors were also making a huge name for themselves in such a short period of time.

Image on back of card

Joining together with the toy company Remco, Verne beat Vince to the punch and released the very first wrestling action figures in the US with Remco's AWA Official All Star Wrestling line, beating out the LJN's WWF Wrestling Superstars line to toy shelves by just a few months. And Remco's biggest selling figures were...you guessed it...the Road Warriors! Yup, Verne put a lot of stock in the Road Warriors and best of all, Hawk and Animal looked the part of "action figure" just as much, if not more than Hulk Hogan did when it came to their bulging biceps and war paint. He also put a lot of stock in his current world champion Rick Martel, but it was the Road Warriors who were more commonly available in this line and came in two Tag Team packs (with belts and later in the year without them), a 3-man Tag Team pack with Paul Ellering and included in the first release of the AWA Battle Royal Playset. Paul Ellering also was re-released as a solo figure in the Mat Mania shipment that came out a year later in 1986. Not to mention, how much the Road Warriors appeared on Remco's accessory packaging (like the AWA Wrestling Ring and Steel Cage Playset) as well as them being the main focus on their advertisement campaign.

Wrestling Ring (1985)

Steel Cage Match Playset (1985)

In the end, it didn't matter that Verne Gagne beat Vince McMahon to toy shelves because the AWA Remco line lasted only two years (1985-1986) in total before it fell into toy obscurity and the WWF LJN Wrestling Superstars line went on to unprecedented success until ending in 1989. But to Remco's credit, their Road Warrior figures remain the best ever produced of Hawk, Animal and Paul Ellering and they are always in high demand on the secondary market. Matter of fact, the entire Remco line is highly desired by collectors and can sell for insane prices. Plus, they still look great beating the crap out of your He-Man figures.

REMCO AWA BATTLE ROYAL COMMERCIAL (1986)

When "Real" Road Warrior Hawk collides with "Remco" Road Warrior Hawk.

Young fan with Road Warrior Hawk showing off his Remco AWA Road Warriors figures at a K Mart signing back in 1985.


2.) THE OFFICIAL ROAD WARRIORS T-SHIRT

(Dan Hegstrand 1984)

Dan Hegstrand's very own Road Warriors T-shirt

Wrestling magazine T-shirt advertisement

Despite having literally hundreds of Road Warriors and Legion of Doom T-shirts made throughout their career, most people never knew that the Road Warriors actually started out producing and selling their very own T-shirt all by themselves. Yup, you heard that right. Hawk's younger brother Dan Hegstrand made their first T-shirt in 1984, when they won the AWA tag team championship on August 25, 1984 (on my 11th birthday if you can believe that) and sold them to fans at wrestling events under R.W. Productions. One night, Hawk got Dan into the St. Paul Civic Center and hooked him up with Bill Apter, the publisher of PRO WRESTLING ILLUSTRATED (and a bunch of other popular wrestling magazines of the day). They made a deal, and the T-shirts were eventually advertised in all the magazines Apter edited with the cover date of December of 1984 (on sale in September of 1984) until the fall of 1985 when Verne Gagne started selling officially licensed AWA T-shirts and jackets in the magazines, which included a variety of Road Warriors images on them. And the rest, as they say, is history. 

white variant 

1.) WWF WRESTLEFEST ARCADE GAME

(Technōs 1991)

WWF Wrestlefest was a legendary video game that captured the true spirit of what wrestling was in the early 1990s.

The World Tag Team Champions of Wrestlefest!

"Mean" Gene Okerlund       : "It's time to fight with a powerful challenge."
Road Warrior Animal        : "Hehaha! We snack on danger, dine on death!"
Road Warrior Hawk          : "To bury every gerbil-faced geek we face. Raaaaaah!"

Road Warrior Animal

Road Warrior Hawk

When the LOD hit you with "The Doomsday Device" it was basically a wrap.

The greatest collectible of the Legion of Doom is also the greatest wrestling video game of all time--WWF Wrestlefest! This arcade game (which was the sequel to WWF Superstars that came out 2 years prior) took every other wrestling game of the day and blew it out of the water. It's a true video game classic that holds a distinct place in the arcade hall of fame and has been inspiring new wrestling video games ever since its debut in 1991. 

WWF Wrestlefest pulled no punches and adds support for up to 4 simultaneous players with its mega-enhanced 2-D graphics, play and sound that perfectly captured the look and feel of the WWF during the early 1990s. It boasted 10 playable superstars; Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, Big Boss Man, “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, Earthquake, Mr. Perfect, Sgt. Slaughter, Jake “The Snake” Roberts and the Demolition: Smash and Crush. Each wrestler performed all their specific maneuvers including signature finishers and taunts. The grappling system was absolutely revolutionary for the time and mimicked a real wrestling match. While it functioned just like WWF Superstars with the Technōs side-scrolling “beat-em-up” style and button mashing at its finest, as the action progressed and wrestlers take damage, new moves became available. There were also voice samples, including pre-match introductions by WWF ring announcer Mike McGuirk, voiced cut scenes featuring “Mean” Gene Okerlund, the crowd cheering and booing for the baby faces and heels (the good wrestlers and bad wrestlers respectively), full match commentary and two different modes of gameplay: Saturday Night’s Main Event (Tag Match) and Royal Rumble (Battle Royal).

In the “Tag Match,” much like the pervious WWF Superstars, it’s a 1- or 2-player (simultaneous) game where a player picks a character and partner to compete in a series of tag team matches (including one match inside a steel cage) to fight for the tag team titles. This time the champions you face are the fearsome Legion of Doom: Hawk and Animal who possess their dreaded finisher "The Doomsday Device!" If you manage to defeat them, you’ll go on to defend the tag team belts in another series of matches to face the Legion of Doom one more time to beat the game. Good luck. In the “Battle Royal” up to 4-players can play simultaneously in a fast-paced survival match where more wrestlers enter the ring once someone gets eliminated by pinfall, submission or being thrown over the ropes. If you can be the last man standing after every wrestler is eliminated, you win the match. There were a lot of wrestling videos games on the market back then, but they were all dwarfed in comparison to WWF Wrestlefest as it was a true anomaly and went on to be American Technōs’ best-selling arcade game.

Whether you’re a rabid collector of Legion of Doom merchandise or a “classic” arcade console hoarder, a WWF Wrestlefest cabinet is a “holy grail” piece and always in high demand on the secondary market. Obtaining an original factory 4-player cabinet made directly from Technōs is a rare find indeed. Most WWF Wrestlefest cabinets available are conversion kits (refurbished cabinets of older games remade into newer ones). But regardless, this game will never lose its charm and will always be fun to play no matter how old it gets. And if there's anything that represents the Legion of Doom/Road Warriors when they were at their best, this is the item that does it and that's why it's easily considered their number 1 collectible ever. 

WWF Wrestlefest Flier

My daughter Bryn with our WWF Wrestlefest arcade cabinet.

Road Warrior Animal giving my daughter Bryn a promo after he signed my WWF WRESTLEFEST marquee for her back in 2016.


* Read all about WWF Wrestlefest here: 

* Read all about my adventure getting a WWF Wrestlefest cabinet here:


*BONUS SECTION*

THE 4 MOST ICONIC LEGION OF DOOM/ROAD WARRIORS 

WRESTLING MAGAZINE COVERS OF ALL TIME

TOP LEFT: PRO WRESTLING ILLUSTRATED #42 (March 1984) TOP RIGHT: WRESTLING 85 (Fall 1985) BOTTOM LEFT: PRO WRESTLING ILLUSTRATED #68 (May 1986) BOTTOM RIGHT: WWF MAGAZINE vol.9 #10 (October 1990) 
I had to add this section in this article because anyone who grew up on professional wrestling in the 1980s grew up on wrestling magazines. Since there was no internet back then, they were basically your only news source and information center of what was going on in the world of professional wrestling, especially the federations you could never see on your local television stations. PRO WRESTLING ILLUSTRATED, SPORTS REVIEW WRESTLING, INSIDE WRESTLING, WRESTLING'S MAIN EVENT, WRESTLING SUPERSTARS, and WWF MAGAZINE were just some of the more popular wrestling magazines on newsstands at the time. But all of them were on your want lists especially when the Road Warriors were on cover. They were so different from all the other wrestlers to appear in the magazines at the time that they caught the imagination of fans all around the world. At the time when they came on the scene and started to take the world by storm in 1983, only Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair graced more covers than the Road Warriors did during the decade of the '80s. These 4 covers that I listed here are probably their most legendary and iconic, especially the PRO WRESTLING ILLUSTRATED #42 from March of 1984, which was their first magazine cover ever.


WRESTLING'S MAIN EVENT MAGAZINE (NOVEMBER 1983), THE FIRST COVER MENTION AND ARTICLE EVER ON THE ROAD WARRIORS



AND FINALLY, A FEW OF THE BEST NATIONAL ADS SHOWCASING THE LEGION OF DOOM/ROAD WARRIORS STAR POWER THROUGHOUT THE YEARS


AD FOR GRMMA B'S (1980)
REMCO AWA ALLSTAR WRESTLERS (1985)

PRESS PHOTO FOR "LEARNING THE ROPES" SITCOM APPEARANCE (1988)

FCI WCW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING NES VIDEO GAME COMICBOOK AD (1990)

FCI WCW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING NES VIDEO GAME MAGAZINE AD (1990)

ROOS (1990)

ZUBAZ (1990)

TECHNOS WWF WRESTLEFEST (1991)


OHHH, WHAT A RUSHHHH!

Hangin' and bangin' with Road Warrior Animal in Trumball, CT in 2016.
RIP big guy.

*Click the link to order Joe "Animal" Laurinaitis' autobiography:


Check out other Hero Envy "Top" Lists:


Top 50 Greatest Marvel Slugfests of All Time (1961-1999)
Top 10 Most Evil Villains in Comics

Top 10 Superhero Capes of All Time
Doctor Who: The Top 5 Greatest Doctors Ever

The Top 5 Greatest Feats of Strength of The Incredible Hulk
http://hero-envy.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-top-5-greatest-feats-of-strength-of.html