Friday, January 25, 2019

Action Figures Friday: Steamboat and Youngbood

(or as the Briscos called them: Youngboat!)

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway
Figures from the collection of Matthew Montcalm

We're going to kick off our "Action Figure Fridays" series once again with some custom figures made by Matthew "Matty" Montcalm, better know on Twitter as Wrestlingwclassics (@wrestlingwclass)

Matty has done some amazing customizations of some wrestlers from the territory days that don't have commercial action figures. In some cases, like one we'll look at today, he takes a commercial figure and modifies to make it work better for a different era or persona.

Custom figures designed by Matthew Montcalm (@wrestlingwclass)

Today's spotlight is on the legendary Mid-Atlantic tag team of Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood, who held the NWA World Tag Team championships on several different occasions, feuding in the late 1970s and early 1980s with such great teams as Paul Jones and Barton Von Raschke, Greg Valentine and Ray Stevens, Sgt. Slaughter and Don Kernodle, and Jack and Jerry Brisco. 

To get Ricky looking like the Mid-Atlantic era Ricky Steamboat, he had to modify the WWF version.

"Steamboat is a very simple part swap with a Mattel Steamboat head," he told me. "I sanded off the head band and painted the skin tone to match as best I could."

However, to get Jay Youngblood, he had to start from scratch.

"Youngblood was a complete figure paint." He used the body from a Curtis Axel left over from a Don Kernodle project (we'll see that transformation next time.)  "Then I cut the hair off of a Mattel Carlito head and the hair off of a Jim Duggan Mattel head," he explained, "and put the Duggan hair on the Carlito head and painted the hair black and the face the same skin tone as the rest of the Axel figure. I painted the trunks black and used Mattel Sting boots for him. I think they fit well with the figure."

He added white wrist tape to both and voila - - he had a late 70s/early 80s Youngboat!

"My favorite babyface tag team of all time," Matty wrote me. "I’m actually making a set for Ricky Steamboat as well."

Remarkable job, especially in the case where no figure existed at all for Jay Youngblood.

More next time as we take a look at the early 1980s team of Sgt. Slaughter and Don Kernodle!

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Visit Matty's various social media pages for his ongoing presentations of wrestling memorabilia and nostalgia: Twitter (Wrestlingwclassics @wrestlingwclass) Instagram (@wrestlingwclassics) and Facebook (@wrestlingwclassics).