Toychest Time Machine: Hulkamania Workout Set

Train hard, say your prayers and eat your vitamins.

For those you who are fellow wrestling fans, did you ever dream of growing up to be as big and strong as Hulk Hogan? I know I did.

Sure wish I had stuck with this super cool Hulkamania Workout Set, makes me think how different life might have been... then again, I never was very photogenic. Probably better off anyway, I tend to like having the ability to do simple things like scratching my back or fitting through doors. I find crashing into walls counterproductive, despite it being a signature move of many of my cartoon heroes. Just for fun, though, let's imagine what a buffer, tougher Strange Kid might look like...

My muscles laugh at your muscles, Terry Crews. Haha.

AGH! Moving right along then, the Workout Set itself have pint-szed Hulkamaniacs such as myself a basic getting started package that included: dumbbells, a headband, wrist bands, a workout chart, a jump rope, a hand gripper and even a 40-minute audio program narrated by Hulk Hogan himself. Pretty frickin' sweet right?! Let's just say that after the first week the excitement of hearing Hogan coaching you on as you did your 60th bicep curl wasn't quite as enticing as flexing open a bag of cheese puffs and vegging out in front of the 'tube.

Though I never owned the set myself, I did have a babysitter whose younger brother was an even bigger wrestling fan than me and he did. I remember the first time he brought it over to show me and he actually put on all the gear (headband and wristbands), it was like he had transformed into some sort of short, deflated version of the Hulkster. It's funny to think back on now, but at the time it was like standing in the presence of Yoda and Mr. Miyagi all rolled into one.

In case you're wondering, no children were harmed in the making
of this box-art... though little Timmy here can no longer feel his legs.

Of course, the good friend that he was, I wasn't worthy to don the wristbands or dumbbells and instead got stuck with the hand gripper. After about 30 minutes of painstakingly pumping my fist and listening to my friend run around saying "What'chu gonna do brotha, when Hulkamania runs wild on you?" I just couldn't resist that siren song of cheesy, puffy goodness and snuck away to feed my habit.

The one thing that I don't remember is this rather odd commercial (see above) featuring Mr. Wonderful (Paul Orndorff) as the spokesperson for the product. Why they chose Mr. Wonderful instead of Hulk Hogan may never be known (maybe it's because Orndorff had more hair), but it doesn't make it any less creepy to see a mountain of muscle bust through a kid's room and start pitching his wares as the kid toils away like a midget on steroids.


  1. Paxton said...:

    This is awesome! I too thought it was odd they had Paul Orndorf in the commercial. I was hoping more wrestlers would show up and then Hulk would be at the end. Weird.

    Love your story about your friend running around talking like Hulk. Classic. Great nostalgia piece. Haha.

  1. Strange Kid said...:

    Thanks Pax! Yeah *stretch* I'm really having to step up my game a bit, flexing my *another stretch* nostalgic muscles *and... release.* Seriously, though, I'm glad you liked it.

    Although I never knew it existed I also discover that the Ultimate Warrior apparently had something similar: Ultimate Warrior Wrestling Gear. Wow.

  1. Jon Guerra said...:

    Yeah that was weird. "Mr. Wonderful? Awe, I thought you were gonna be Hulk Hogan." Oh well. LOLed at the HULKing Strange Kid.

  1. Jay Amabile said...:

    I still have some of the components of this set. A while back I was going to work it into a post but I never got around to it and since my theme is mainly Jersey related I decided against it. Great post though. I always wondered also why Mr. Wonderful was in the commercial as well. Hogan was probably busy not taking bumps.

  1. Strange Kid said...:

    @Jon: I thought about going all Hulkster on you guys, but then I was like "no, let's go Arnold big." Haha.

    @Jay: Thanks for the compliment. I wish I had the cassette tape, kinda makes me curious if it still packs the same Eye of the Tiger "omph." Someone should totally re-purpose this video with Hogan's noggin on Mr. Wonderful and enhance the creepy child undertones.

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