Just thinking back to those WWF days when Jesse Ventura was color commenting with Gorilla Monsoon or Gene Okerlund makes me laugh. (In fact, it was Ventura who gave Okerlund the nickname "Mean Gene!") Here’s a man with an interesting career. From Navy Seal, to pro wrestler, to action film star, to city mayor, to governor of Minnesota. Gotta respect that. Now he’s living down in Baja, Mexico. Probably doesn’t even realize he’s got a new action figure!
WHO: Jesse Ventura
WHAT: WWF Classic Superstars Series 21 | JAKKS Pacific
WHERE: K•B Toys Outlet
HOW: $5.19 (After the "going out of business" discount. Originally $12.99)
WHY: Because its about time. I’m sure there were some issues those more well versed in wrestling figures can enlighten me on, but no Classic Superstars Jesse Ventura until series 21? Sheesh. Here’s a guy who was overdue for a good figure. Yes, he had his original LJN Wrestling Superstars "figure." And Jesse did get a series of 3, aw heck I’ll say it, dolls when he was elected governor. But that’s it. And this despite the fact that his entertainment career was not limited to wrestling. Maybe they weren’t huge roles but Jesse appeared in Predator, The Running Man, No Holds Barred, Demolition Man, The X Files, Batman & Robin, and more.
WHY ELSE: I’m a fan of the governor.
The figure itself is standard fare for this line. The body (not "The Body") is pretty generic. The paint apps on the pants are fairly accurate. But at least JAKKS does a good job nailing the faces. I love that they gave the mouth some expression. It really emits Ventura personality. The figure comes with a head bandanna, sun glasses, and a microphone. But, seriously, no boa?
I find it interesting that in two of Ventura’s biggest roles (Predator and Running Man) he costars with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Of course, he had some fantastic lines. Like when Poncho tells him in Predator: "You’re bleeding man. You’re hit." Ventura’s character, Blain, responds: "I ain’t got time to bleed." Classic. Interesting that both Arnold and Jesse went on to become governors.
Last September the 11th Jesse came out to Mesa, AZ to give a talk with Q & A, and do some book signing. The talk show host I was listening to in the mornings, Charles Goyette, was hosting the event. Some of Jesse’s philosophies intrigued me so I decided to attend. He’s an impromptu speaker meaning he doesn’t get up to the lectern with anything prepared. He shoots his gatlin gun from the hip. He spoke about his background, his experiences as governor and his feelings about what happened on 9/11. Now what I like about Jesse is he is a true Independent. He rarely will have an entire audience agreeing with him 100% of the time. And he doesn’t care. For instance, he had some views on immigration the didn’t sit well with the Arizona crowd he was talking to, but that didn’t stop him from expressing them. He’s an honest guy who’d rather be unpopular than not be true to himself.
When it came time for him to sign my book I knew I’d have time to utter just about one sentence. I wanted it to be worth it. Following a long line of political hacks, "conspiracy theorists," and revolutionaries, my turn came. "Thanks, Governor. Did you know that your very first WWF Classic Superstars Jesse Ventura action figure is due out next month?" He paused and looked up at me with a confused look on his face. It definitely seemed like news to him. He responded with something like: "Whatever you’re into." Ha! For once the colorful commentator was at a loss for words. OK, I was a little embarrassed. But I got my signature. And, hey, the book was a good read. Jesse for POTUS!