Although a number of wrestlers and wrestling figures from the WWF in the 1980s were made into toys by LJN, one notable figure that never made the cut was Gorilla Monsoon.
In an interview with Fightful owner Jimmy Van, former LJN Product Design Manager Bill Stanhope said one person he was intimidated by was Monsoon and recalled an encounter he had with the former announcer at the New York Toy Fair.
“The most intimidating one to me was Gorilla Monsoon because he wanted a character, but we weren’t doing those guys. We were doing the wrestlers, so announcers, we weren’t doing that many of them and just didn’t do one of him. So he came at the Toy Fair and he is huge, a really big guy, and his wife came in and I got called and told there was someone coming in through the line. I didn’t know who it was but that was part of our job, to bring people through the line that were sort of non-buyers. I walk out and I look up and it’s Gorilla Monsoon and I thought, ‘Wow. So this is cool,’” Stanhope said.
Stanhope would later say that he was a bit nervous and intimidated because he had to show Monsoon and his wife around the Toy Fair and forgot Monsoon’s wife’s name, but still had to introduce them to people.
As far as why an LJN Gorilla Monsoon toy was never made, Stanhope didn’t have much of an answer. One possible reason was that Monsoon wasn’t someone that was in front of the camera all the time on WWF programming.
“I don’t know. I really don’t know. I think he just wasn’t the face in front of the camera, so I think that was it. At the last year, we did the ref and we did Vince, so you’d think we would have [done a Monsoon action figure],” Stanhope said.
You can check out the full interview in the video at the top of the page. If you use any of the quotes above, please give an H/T to Fightful and credit for the transcription.