Something to Smile About: Ethan the Toy Hunter
It’s often so easy to become lost in the 24/7 nature of the professional wrestling news cycle and the corresponding storm of crazy that inevitably encompasses it on social media. I think it’s important to remember the reason we all started watching this wild and wonderful thing of ours in the first place as well. Because whether in large ways or small, it simply makes us happy. With each column, I’ll shine a light on something or someone in the wide world of professional wrestling that is creating smiles out of thin air. Care to join me?
In an age of constant demand for entertainment content across the board, professional wrestling is no stranger to finding new and exciting ways to quench the thirst of eager fans. One way these master creatives have utilized in recent years is the vlog. Depending on taste and how active certain performers are, there are plenty of options to choose from on any given week.
One of the trailblazers and leading innovators in this avenue is none other than he who carries with him the tightest tits in the game – Ethan Page. While he has brought much attention to his own brand through this medium, he’s been gracious enough to feature others in unforgettable bits across many wonderful episodes. Movie reviews with Isiah Kassidy. Slow motion eating with Preston Vance. All grumpy everything (in the sweetest way possible) with Eddie Kingston. Sassy Ass Boy time with Colten and Austin Gunn. Weekly fancies featured in photo shoots with Scorpio Sky. And of course, the bit of bits, Buc-ee’s versus Sheetz with Ruby Soho.
Of course, there were many more memorable moments, enough to go on forever, but I’m not trying to do that today. Personally, I found myself very much looking forward to Ethan’s vlog every week. It wasn’t necessary viewing for AEW fans like a BTE could often be, but it WAS necessary to nurture my smile. Because that’s what he was able to do by giving us those twenty to thirty minutes every week – time to smile. It’s a priceless gift, one I know he worked tirelessly to make happen week after week after week.
All good things must come to an end though. And though sad, it’s OK his vlog did just that. I’m ever appreciative for what he so graciously gave us, especially during a period of such uncertainty and darkness during the pandemic.
What made the end easier to stomach was that it was also a new beginning. While the weekly vlog was ending, the toy hunts which had grown astronomically in popularity would be sticking around for their own weekly feature on his channel. Rather than be one vlog in a pool of many (though one of the best), the toy hunts could stand on their own.
Admittedly, I’m not a toy collector or even much of a fan of toys in general. But the weekly walks down memory lane are exactly the kind of silly fun I adore. Watching Ethan and his guests (he switches them up weekly!) browse these little shops for treasures of years gone by is simply captivating. Their faces light up constantly, whether uncovering a holy grail item or even just an action figure that was part of their collection decades before.
It's harmless good fun, and it allows Ethan and his guests to showcase a side of them we don’t often – if ever – see. Most of us have quirks and passions we carry with us that allow us to feel like kids again. It’s a magical feeling whenever those opportunities present themselves, and to see our favorites get to experience that every week is such an awesome gift.
The roster of guests is as diverse as their interests in toy collecting. The Bunny, in keeping with her on screen gimmick is always on the hunt for horror memorabilia, for both herself and her husband (AEW’s The Blade). Charlie Ramone seeks the odd and unusual – POGs, hideous lion statues, and desert storm trading cards. Evil Uno has devastatingly brutal internal debates over collecting Simpsons sets which apparently number in the thousands. Mark Sterling, while more measured and controlled than his contemporaries, is still one of the most fun to watch because the joy on his face when he finds something special is unforgettable.
Other guests in various capacities have included Thunder Rosa, Nyla Rose, Anthony Bowens, Johnny Gargano, Allie Katch, Scorpio Sky, Dante Martin, Danhausen, Swoggle, HOOK, and many many more.
At the end of the day, these hunts are not about the toys at all. They are about the feelings and joy they so often give to the hunters. To be able to tap back into that as adults must be an experience like no other for these collectors. To find toys and memories from days gone by that were once favorite possessions or even to be able to own things that were once unattainable, so obviously means the world to our wrestling favorites.
The fact that Ethan was able to harness this magic and shine a light on it on such a scale speaks to both his foresight and brilliant mind. He’s given himself, his friends, and his countless fans something to relate to and nerd out together over. Hell, even for a non-collector like me, his toy hunt vlog is one of my favorite watches of the week, if for nothing other than the smiles.
Leave it to the man whose signatures smile is synonymous with joy in wrestling to be spreading so many of them to us all.
I like to end these special columns as graciously and as simply as possible.
So, to Ethan Page, and to the ENTIRE rotating toy hunt crew. Thank you for the smiles this week. Here’s to many more.