The WWF Thumb Wrestlers were my consolation for not having the LJN figures. Now I really didn’t mind not having the full-sized LJN figures as they weren’t very fun to play with due to their inflexibility. The only reason I wanted the full-sized LJN counterparts was because everyone was getting them.
The Thumb Wrestlers were cheaper, so I was actually able to pick up several packs of these with my weekly allowance, and that gave me enough variety to really enjoy having these. I had Hulk Hogan, JYD, Hillbilly Jim, Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, and Big John Studd. As I said, enough variety to play around with and have some matches.
The WWF machine was clicking on all cylinders and they really knew what they were doing with these thumb wrestlers. I mentioned how they came packed two per package…well, they mixed them up and the same figure would appear in multiple packs. This meant that you could theoretically find any matchup of the figures you wanted. To the best of my research abilities, here are the two-pack combinations that were available:
- Hulk Hogan vs. Big John Studd
- Hulk Hogan vs. The Iron Sheik
- Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy
- Hulk Hogan vs. Nikolai Volkoff
- Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage
- Hulk Hogan vs. Jake Roberts
- Hulk Hogan vs. Roddy Piper
- Hillbilly Jim vs. The Iron Sheik
- Hillbilly Jim vs. Big John Studd
- Hillbilly Jim vs. Nikolai Volkoff
- Hillbilly Jim vs. Randy Savage
- Hillbilly Jim vs. Roddy Piper
- Junkyard Dog vs. The Iron Sheik
- Junkyard Dog vs. Big John Studd
- Junkyard Dog vs. Roddy Piper
- Junkyard Dog vs. Nikolai Volkoff
- Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage
- Ricky Steamboat vs. Roddy Piper
- Ricky Steamboat vs. Nikolai Volkoff
- Ricky Steamboat vs. Jake Roberts
- Paul Orndorff vs. Big John Studd
- Paul Orndorff vs. King Kong Bundy
- Paul Orndorff vs. Roddy Piper
That’s a pretty impressive list for the time and a lot of variety. The first ones I got were the Hulk Hogan/Iron Sheik, Junkyard Dog/Big John Studd, and Hillbilly Jim/Nikolai Volkoff packs. I had so much fun with those things I almost wore them out the first week.
Now, these things weren’t great as what they were designed to be. They were too cumbersome to put on your thumb and have actual thumb-wrestling matches. I tried taking them to school to do that very thing but failed miserably. They were great for just playing with and having them do moves to each other though. And since they were far more flexible than their larger counterparts, they were actually more enjoyable to play with in my opinion.
Others may prefer the larger LJN figures, but I’ll always be partial to their Thumb Wrestler counterparts.