Toying With Words

#5: The Wish List

#5: The Wish List

March 8, 2021

          We all do it. Every time there are looming announcements for new figures, we get giddy with anticipation hoping maybe this time, maybe somehow, just mayyybeeee we will get some dream figures.

          Everyone is going to have a different wish list. Everyone is going to have different levels of realistic-ness within their dream figures. While it can be fun to say, “I sure hope we get this attire from a legend!”, there is a bit more fun in hoping for the impossible.

          In no particular order, what follows are my top five dream figures that, sadly, will probably never happen.


  1. Pete Rose



Gronk got an elite. Bad Bunny will probably get an elite. Ronda Rousey has like three elites. Why the hell can’t Pete Rose get an elite? I don’t get super nostalgic for 90’s stuff, but this man was always a fun part of the events. He doesn’t have to get a full-blown release. He is the type of character that would be perfect for a comic con release or build a figure. Bonus points if you put him in the chicken suit.


  1. The New Day in Gears of War attire

Every single action figure collector had this exact thought when we saw The New Day swagged out in gear from the video game Gears of War. It’s the very definition of toyetic. A three pack with flashy packaging would be among the hottest selling figures with ease. Obviously, the logistics of bringing together all the right places to let WWE, Mattel, and whoever owns Gears of War to come together to release figures seems like a long shot. Not to mention the difficulty it would be to truly replicate it. Still, we can hope though.


  1. Stone Cold Steve Austin w/ Middle Finger hands


WWE is a family product. I get it. Mattel is a giant toy brand. I get it. We aren’t going to get a true elite style Austin with middle finger hands, which is a bummer. I want it though. It would be flat out the perfect Austin figure. I know the S.H. Figurarts figure that fits the bill, but it just isn’t the type of product that an Elite is. It works for now, but the perfect Austin Elite may never be able to happen.



  1. Chris Benoit


There doesn’t even need to be an explanation for why this won’t happen. To be honest, even if it did, I don’t know if I’d feel too comfortable displaying it anyway. Benoit was one of my all-time favorites though. While this is the one I most understand not happening, I can’t help but know that he’s on the wish list even if I know he’ll never be crossed off.


Especially as a loose collector, it would be nice to be able to recreate the moment with Chris and Eddie for a display. An iconic moment no matter the tragedy that came after.


  1. El Generico (custom by Devin Chen)


Sami Zayn is one of the top stars in WWE no matter what they have him doing. While we have seen many Zayn figures over the years, most of them look very similar as his look hasn’t strayed much. The one figure that I want the most but will probably never see is an El Generico elite.

Generico was one of my favorite things about indie wrestling for a long time. The character begs for an action figure. From the mask, to the red on his attire, to his cape, and include his finger pointing pose and it would be sheer perfection.

The likelihood of Generico ever making his way to WWE tv is slim though. Plus, Sami and Generico are two totally different people. Obviously.


Toying With Words is written by Corey Yuman

Corey has been a lifelong figure lover, short time “serious” collector. After attending Minnesota State University, Minnesota to pursue a creative writing degree, he’s since spent his time writing short stories, poetry, articles, and reviews. You can find more of his work on Instagram @thecoreyyumanlibrary where he nerds out about the books, movies, toys, games that he’s loving while using it as a platform to post poetry or on Twitter @coreyyuman.

Toying With Words

#4: Top 10 AEW Unrivaled figures of 2020

#4: Top 10 AEW Unrivaled figures of 2020

January 3, 2021

          It’s that time a year. Everyone starts posting lists. There was some debate about what I should do for a year-round top ten list, but I think I came to the right conclusion.

          I don’t collect a lot of lines. I dabble in Elites, I keep up with micro brawlers, but other than those my main focus is AEW Unrivaled. So rather than mix and match, I’m going to rank the opening year of Unrivaled.

          It’s been a mixed year for fans of the AEW Unrivaled line. Ringside Collectibles sells these figures at a rapid pace, they’re snatched off shelves of Walmart before most people can even consider them, and in a lot of people’s cases they never even got to see them in stores at all. I’ve been fortunate enough to have spotted them in stores as well as get what I wanted off Ringside. It’s easily skyrocketed into my favorite toy lines despite the many issues.

          From my count there are 21 Unrivaled figures. I’m in possession of 18 of them, anything I don’t own I made sure to review photos of. Now, let’s get to that list!


  1. Kenny Omega – RSC Exclusive with Real Scale Ring



Why It Made The List: Out of the two Kenny Omega’s that have been released, this Kenny stands as the most accurate and toyetic. The neon green pops off the tights and the accurate hair edges out the main line release. There’s going to be much better Omega’s in 2021 I’m sure, but for now this is fabulous.





  1. Matt Jackson – Series 1




Why It Made The List: While I disliked Nick Jackson’s figure, Matt’s fits the complete package. Both have the same gear so that’s a win, but the face scan looks much more like Matt. He has his cocky little smirk, the likeness is there, and you can do the Bucks pose. It’s an amazing figure that I wish was matched by Nick.




  1. Chris Jericho – Series 1




Why It Made The List: This won’t be the last appearance of Jeircho on the list, but his first official mainline figure had to be included. The Painmaker is a Jericho persona that hadn’t been made as a figure before. The scarf, the jacket, the hat, the mean mug face scan. It’s an amazing figure that fits marvelously in any collection.




  1. Fenix – Series 2




Why It Made The List: I’m a sucker for masked wrestler toys. Fenix stands out looking so cool, add in the obscene detail that went into his tattoos makes it an easy choice for the top 10.




  1. Cody – Series 1




Why It Made The List: Sometimes capturing a moment in figure form can be as important as anything else. Who will ever forget the statement Cody made when he took the sledgehammer to the throne at the first Double or Nothing? It’s a classic AEW moment that deserved figure form.




  1. Blood Brothers two pack – RSC exclusive



Why It Made The List: A great figure isn’t always JUST about the figure, even though these are both amazing. With updated skin tones and the first major line of wrestling figures to feature blood in quite some time, these figures were bound to be amazing. Cody’s updated face scan goes a long way too. When you factor in the amazing box presentation it makes it a no brainer to be top five.




  1. Jon Moxley – Series 2




Why It Made The List: It was difficult not to put this in the top three. The attention to detail with the scar that he had during this match is so freaking cool. It’s also nice to have the AEW championship make its first appearance in a mainline figure.




  1. MJF – Series 2




Why It Made The List: Hands down, MJF has the best face scan of all the Unrivaled figures. It’s damn near flawless. Putting his scarf to drape over him as he holds the microphone to his mouth to let everyone know he’s better than them? Couldn’t be any better. I look forward to many, many more figures to come from him.




  1. Penta – Series 2




Why It Made The List: I told ya. I’m a sucker for masks. The deco hits on this figure are top shelf. From the attire, to the mask, to the hand sign, to the tongue sticking out, this could damn near be the figure of the year. It was a bit hard NOT to make it such. Such a marvelous figure and we’re only getting started with figures of Penta.




  1. A LITTLE BIT OF THE BUBBLY – Chris Jericho RSC exclusive


Why It Made The List: When a figure crosses off all the boxes of amazing scan, great accessories, representing a moment, and kills it with the packaging, how does one not give that the figure of the year? Bubbly ended up being the first release of the Unrivaled line and it remains the best to date. I don’t think I’ve ever opened a figure just to save the packaging. It served as a preview as to what Jazware will be capable of while wetting the appetite for more to come. With all three RSC exclusives making the list, I can’t wait to see what they provide in 2021.



Did I leave anything off the list that you think should have made it? Shocked that none of the chases made the list? Sound off on Twitter and let us know what you think!


Toying With Words is written by Corey Yuman

Corey has been a lifelong figure lover, short time “serious” collector. After attending Minnesota State University, Minnesota to pursue a creative writing degree, he’s since spent his time writing short stories, poetry, articles, and reviews. You can find more of his work on Instagram @thecoreyyumanlibrary where he nerds out about the books, movies, toys, games that he’s loving while using it as a platform to post poetry or on Twitter @coreyyuman.

Toying With Words

#3: Rookie Mistakes With Autographed Figures

#3: Rookie Mistakes With Autographed Figures

NOVEMBER 24, 2020

          Prior to listening to Fully Poseable the idea of getting a Mint on Card (MOC) action figure autographed never even crossed my mind. I’d never been a huge autograph guy, especially in the sense of just getting someone to sign their name on a piece of paper. Yet, something happened as I first listened to Scott and Jef detail their adventures at conventions or recalling past memories of meet and greets. My brain started to roll into overdrive as I thought about all the missed opportunities I’d had where I could have gotten some autographs.

          The first opportunity I had I made sure to jump at the chance. As with anything, it came with some mistakes and situations that I had to learn from. So if you’re new to the autographed figure game then do yourself a favor and learn from a few of  the mistakes I made.

What Kind of Collector Are You?

            The best thing to figure out right away is exactly what kind of autograph collector are you going to be? Will you be a person that only wants to get an autograph yourself to make a memory or are you ok with purchasing autographs online or second hand?

There are many places such as Highspots, Figures Toy Company, Dark Parlor Originals, and many more that offer the option to purchase autographed action figures or Funko Pops that come with a Certificate of Authentication to assure what you’ve bought was signed by the person. Sometimes there are opportunities to buy them autographed straight from the wrestelrs.In a time where there are fewer chances to hit meet and greets or conventions, it’s an option there for people open to it.

            An example from my life, if a wrestler has a micro brawler, it’s always worth trying to see if that person is selling their brawler on their site or through social media. Colt Cabana, as of writing, has a two pack of brawlers for sale on his site. He signed both of mine, one I opened and one that I kept packaged up. I reached out to Brian Cage via Instagram to purchase his. I didn’t ask for it to be autographed, but it still came signed. I opened it, but I still kept his autograph.

            However, ordering online isn’t for everyone. There is a sect of the autograph community that wants to do the work themselves. They want to hand the figure to a wrestler they look up to, have that conversation with them, make that memory. There’s nothing that beats looking at a figure on your wall that you have autographed only to make it spark a memory of getting the figure signed or even the hunt you did to get the figure. Doing it in person makes it all the more special and personal.

            I’m a mix of both. I’d prefer to get in person autographs, but I’m also aware that my options are limited so in order to make my collection grow I’m ok with spending some money online.

Don’t Match Colors


            If there’s one rule to make sure to listen to, make it this one. CHOOSE YOUR PAINT PEN COLOR WELL! When I got my Retro Fest Honky Tonk Man signed, I thought it would be a great idea to use a purple paint pen. After all, the box is purple! It will look perfect. Unfortunately not. From a distance you can’t even tell there’s a signature on the box. It just blends it with it all. When you get close? Yeah, clear as day, a beautiful signature from Honky.

            One wants that sig to shine, one wants that sig to sparkle off the box. Doing too much matching just makes it feel like John Cena, you can’t see it.



Paint Pens

            Don’t use sharpies on figures. I’ll repeat that one more time don’t use sharpies on figures.

            Use POSCA paint pens, or any brand of paint pen over a sharpie. Over time a sharpie will fade away leaving you only a faint memory of your experience and autograph. Paint pens are superior in every single way, so just get familiar with them off the rip.

Know Your Pens


            I’ve heard the expression “playing paint pens” on the podcast once or twice before. It’s a true essential task, especially for anyone that hasn’t used them before. I suggest watching a Youtube tutorial or two if you’ve never used a paint pen as they aren’t as straightforward as one would think.

            It’s good to have a plastic trading card case to shake your pen up and write on to get working before you hand it over to get signed. It helps to make sure they’re working correctly and not running. I didn’t test out my white paint pen before Hacksaw Jim Duggan signed my Retro Fest in red, white, and blue. The white was a bit runny and bled into the blue below it. It didn’t ruin it, but it could have looked even better than it does.




             You’ll want to practice patience when you finish getting a signature when using a paint pen. The paint pen doesn’t dry in an instant. I learned this the hard way after my first autograph experience. I had a Jake the Snake Funko Pop signed but was a little quick to toss it inside of my tote bag. This resulted in a bit of a smudge. It’s not noticeable from far away, but when you get close it’s easy to spot which always bums me out a bit.


            A safe carrying device is also essential. You don’t want to have to toss a bunch of autographed figures in one thing and risk them banging together or mixing paint on things. Make sure you have your protection with you because as we’ve been taught since middle school, using protection is always important.


Enjoy It!

            It’s easy to be at a convention only to get a little overwhelmed by all that’s going on or even get a little star struck when meeting someone. It’s an odd experience at first, this person you watched on TV for so many hours is now right in front of your face.

            Take the time to stop, breathe, and enjoy it. Tell them an anecdote that might make them smile, let them know how much you enjoy their work, and just be happy you’re there. I arrived at an indie show early, the signings hadn’t started yet. Honky Tonk Man and Baron Von Raschke were at their tables waiting for it to start. I could have been annoyed that I was standing under the beating sun waiting for an arbitrary start time when they were both right at their table, but I didn’t. I took the opportunity to just listen to two pro-wrestling legends talk shit and catch up. It was like listening to a podcast that no one else gets to hear. These experiences don’t happen for everyone super frequently, so just enjoy the little things. 


            I’m still learning, so if there’s anything I missed out on, feel free to hit me up at my Twitter to let me know!

Toying With Words is written by Corey Yuman

Corey has been a lifelong figure lover, short time “serious” collector. After attending Minnesota State University, Minnesota to pursue a creative writing degree, he’s since spent his time writing short stories, poetry, articles, and reviews. You can find more of his work on Instagram @thecoreyyumanlibrary where he nerds out about the books, movies, toys, games that he’s loving while using it as a platform to post poetry or on Twitter @coreyyuman.

Toying With Words

#2: AEW Unrivaled is Fine

#2: AEW Unrivaled is fine

OCTOBER 25, 2020

Has there been a hotter topic of discussion in the wrestling figure community over these past two weeks than that of talk about AEW Unrivaled variant Chris Jericho and chase Cody? If you’ve just returned from Parts Unknown where there’s notoriously bad internet, let me catch you up.

On October 7th, Ringside Collectibles hit the collectable community with an RKO outta nowhere in the form of a surprise drop of the AEW Unrivaled 1 of 1,000 variant Chris Jericho, a week later on October 14th they did another surprise drop of the 1 of 500 chase Cody. Ringside charged a premium for the rare figures, both which sold out swift like. Naturally, not all of these went to homes of passionate collectors, some made their way to eBay selling for up to five times higher than bought for. This result was like a 2007 John Cena win, inevitable. Yet, some people were blindsided.

A common part of microeconomics is supply and demand. We all know what this is. If something has a low supply and high demand, that thing fetches a higher price. Collectors have known since February that there will only be 500 units of the Cody figure and 1,000 units of the Jericho. Unless you’re living life like a Jake Roberts/Rick Martel Wrestlemania 7 match, most of us could have guessed that there are far more than 500 – 1,000 people interested in these figures. The demand was far higher than the supply. Anyone thinking about being a completist should have known that this was going to be harder than getting Roman Reigns over as a babyface. Which is to say, very hard.

Completists are the minority anyhow. How many people buy every single Elite? How many people own every single Bone Cruncher? Every single Classic Superstar? Do they exist? Absolutely. But any completist of a line will be more than happy to tell you it wasn’t easy or cheap. Why would Unrivaled be any different, especially knowing who runs the line.

The Classic Superstar line is the most adequate line to compare the Unrivaled series to. The “Vince McMahon” of both of these lines is Jeremey Padawer. If you’re unfamiliar with that Classic Superstars, just know there are even rarer figs to come in the Unrivaled line. Classic Superstars had 1/100 figures, 1/25 figures, employee exclusives, etc. You can best believe that Padawer will employ these same tactics with the Unrivaled line. The amount of people that will be able to be true completists will be slim if this line lives for a long time.

There is a lot of frustration with the secondary market as well. It’s easy to be bummed that there are really cool figures that are out of price range. Trust me, I have a wish list full of things that will forever elude me like a WWF tItle reign for Roddy Piper. For fans of the Unrivaled series that want the line to live a long time, this is good. You’re seeing passion from fans, you’re seeing collectors help these sell out in quick time, and you’re seeing passionate collectors with a large stream of income willing to pay a premium. This is showing a lot of excitement in the line.

It’s the excitement that gets people talking too. This is a topic of conversation. The collecting world is all talking about the same thing. More eyes are on these figures because people are seeing the collectability of the line. Will it deter some people that wanted to collect every single figure? Sure, but there’s countless other lines begging for peoples money so that’s bound to happen for one reason or another. Excitement and value will drive people to the line as well.

Scalping is Thanos, it’s inevitable. We’re only a few months removed from a time where you could search eBay for toilet paper and Clorox wipes only to see them at an incredible markup. If butt wipe isn’t immune to scalpers, collectables won’t be either. It sucks. As someone that was hoping to be a completist, it’s a bummer. Yet, there are so many other places that I can put my money towards that it’s not the end of the world. It’s definitely not the end of my collection like some people are declaring.

We’re collectors. That’s what we do. Our collections are never finished. These rare figures just give us new grails to hope for, new figs to hunt for, new treasures to see. Don’t focus on what you don’t have. Try not to get hung up on what you don’t have. If your collection will never be complete then there’s no reason to get worked up about what you don’t have right now.

Toying With Words is written by Corey Yuman

Corey has been a lifelong figure lover, short time “serious” collector. After attending Minnesota State University, Minnesota to pursue a creative writing degree, he’s since spent his time writing short stories, poetry, articles, and reviews. You can find more of his work on Instagram @thecoreyyumanlibrary where he nerds out about the books, movies, toys, games that he’s loving while using it as a platform to post poetry or on Twitter @coreyyuman.

Toying With Words

#1: The Origin Story

#1: The Origin Story

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

I’m a collector of collections. I have my own personal library of books, enough DVDs and blu-rays to start a home theater, Stephen King books, a coffee cup from every place I’ve visited over the last five years, ticket stubs from events I’ve gone to, and the thing that we can likely all agree on, action figures. While the things mentioned are collections that have been growing for a double digit amount of years, my journey into becoming a ‘serious’ figure collector was a long road.

A part of my soul becomes filled with an uncontrollable envy when I hear people recount a childhood that came with an abundance of toys. My childhood certainly wasn’t void of toys, I did come from a poor family so I wasn’t being bombarded with new things each week. Plus, I was a shitty kid that had wrestling matches that were only slightly less violent than an ECW match, soooooo that didn’t help a thing.
I adored action figures, especially wrestling, but my Figure Federation wasn’t limited to wrestling. Between the infrequency of new figures and my penchant for putting on wrestling matches that would leave figures injured (aka broken), it was up to me to include Swamp Thing, Power Rangers, Ninja Turtles, or whatever bootleg toy I found at a garage sale into play. I made it work though, and never cared about different scales or lines. Figures were about using my imagination, something I had a surplus of.

If there was one thing more rare than getting figures, it was getting a ring. As a child all I ever wanted was a wrestling ring. Unfortunately my little badass ways left the one ring I did get looking like the end of a Big Show and Brock Lesnar match up. Never one to give up though I’d make rings out of clothes baskets, Lincoln logs, or pure imagination on that Willy Wonka swag.

I don’t remember quite when I got to a point where I stopped playing with the toys, but I never stopped swinging by the toy aisle. As I got older my figures went from something I played with to something I displayed. That is until I became a teenager and my friends came over to my place only to insist that they pose figures to be performing sexual acts on each other. Lots of butt play and fellatio poses. Teenage boy humor at its finest.

For about 10 years after my teenage years, I bought sporadically. A wrestling figure here, a figure of a movie character there, nothing too insane. There weren’t any specific lines that I felt I needed all of though. Eclectic collecting if you will [/Dusty Rhodes Voice]. While I’ve always been faithful to my relationship with wrestling figures, I did have a brief affair with Funko Pop. I went from one or two all the way to 15-20 fairly quick, especially falling in love with anything from the comic book SAGA.

I would have likely let that fling turn into a lifelong romance, but wrestling figures popped back into my life like Topanga showing up at Cory’s door in the rain, except in the form of podcasts.

It wasn’t until I discovered the world of wrestling figure podcasts that I learned there’s not only an entire community of people that collect wrestling figures, but a whole culture around it. I was in awe learning that people not only knew what figures were currently out, but discussed figures coming out later, or reminisce about the figures I used to love. This thing that I always felt weird about loving because I didn’t know anyone else loved suddenly had a place to go where I could be a nerd, and not even the biggest nerd to boot.

Humble beginnings as a book and figure collector.

Everyone’s official collection has to have a start. Mine started with a collection I completed and a collection that’s since been abandoned. Being a Minnesota boy, I wanted to collect a figure of every wrestler born or lived in Minnesota. I quickly abandoned that large task as I started to realize how many wrestlers from Minnesota I don’t even like.

The collection that gave me that chase the dragon feeling was the retros. When series one hit I saw a set at Walmart, the feelings of nostalgia smacking me like a chop from Walter. I grabbed Kevin Owens, never thinking of buying another. Knowing that was sitting in my closet I decided I was going to collect retros of my favorite wrestlers released. Then out of boredom I bought a Goldberg, someone I have no real love for, and as I walked I out of the store I could only think one thing. God damn it, now I need every single one.

Since then I’ve completed the retro collection, amassed around 50 Elites, backtracked to grab some of my old favorites from other lines, big shout out the the Saturday Night Live Nat X, Simpsons Stephen King, and all the Saga figures to name a few, and now you could say I’m “all in” on anything All Elite Wrestling has released. I know it’s not the biggest collection, I know it’s not the fastest growing, but I can’t help but to feel wonderful when I lay on my bed looking at my library with my figures hovering above.

My current view when I wake up.

I worry about where it will grow. With only about two years of serious collecting I’ve already run out of space. By the end of wave three of Unrivaled I’ll really have run out of space. At some point something will have to give…or I’ll get a bigger space. One of the two. I’m sure collectors will know which one.


Toying With Words is written by Corey Yuman

Corey has been a lifelong figure lover, short time “serious” collector. After attending Minnesota State University, Minnesota to pursue a creative writing degree, he’s since spent his time writing short stories, poetry, articles, and reviews. You can find more of his work on Instagram @thecoreyyumanlibrary where he nerds out about the books, movies, toys, games that he’s loving while using it as a platform to post poetry or on Twitter @coreyyuman.