Saturday, August 12, 2023

2023 Leaf Heroes of Wrestling

Despite my vow to abstain from Leaf products for the immediate future, I had Heroes of Wrestling staring at me at Target, so here we are.

Like most current Leaf products, it's a hit in a toploader, a pack, and a lot of empty space in a normal sized blaster box. The pack is a 10 card set of "Heroes of Wrestling" and each box contains the same pack. The hits are autos at 1 per box/pack.

Let's look at the 10-card pack/set first.

Chris Jericho and Bret Hart are the first two "heroes" in our set. Jericho's face is a little weird but both good choices for the set and obviously recognizable.

Next we have Hulk Hogan and Cody Rhodes. It seems pretty logical Hogan would be in a set like this, and I can see mixing present and past main eventers making sense. Not sure why we decided to give Hogan a comically large head, but that's okay, some might argue it depicts him accurately in a metaphorical sense. 
Ted Dibiase and Steve Austin, the latter of which also has a comically large head, are next. Austin's drawing is mirrored for some reason. 
Admittedly I am getting a little confused at this point. Not at the idea that Kane or Cena aren't worthy of this pack, but isn't the Kane character WWE intellectual property? What exactly is the licensing deal here?

Now I am more confused. Flair makes perfect sense. But... we are choosing Sasha Banks (which I am fairly confident is *also* WWE intellectual property) as our sole female wrestler for this set? Clearly licensing isn't a thing Leaf is thinking about here, based on the inclusion of current talent from WWE, AEW, NJPW, and other promotions, so in a time where women's wrestling is at it's all-time peak... we're going to call Sasha Banks by her WWE name in an unlicensed set and declare her the sole female hero of wrestling worthy of this set? Alright. You confuse me, Leaf.

Anyway here is our hit:

My hit from this box is IWGP Champion SANADA. Cool choice for this set, having appeared in AEW's Forbidden Door as New Japan talent.


Brett Alan said...

That is indeed very confusing.

Fuji said...

Weird licensing stuff indeed. Never heard of Sanada... but I'm off to see if I can find a cheap auto for my Japan PC.

flywheels said...

I saw those at Target the other day too and was wondering what they look like. Wasn't willing to gamble at the time and now that I've seen the cartoony art I'm not sure I'm still willing to gamble!