In 1997 a commercial was released that featured claymation style versions of Rocky Balboa and his trainer Mickey Goldmill. The popular commercial was created for Lipton as part of their Brisk Iced Tea ad campaign. A follow-up to their similar Frank Sinatra themed commercial, the Rocky ad was soon followed by numerous commercials featuring stylized iconic characters. Bruce Lee, Eminem, Babe Ruth, Danny Trejo as Machete, Bruce Willis and more popped up over the years. “That’s Brisk, baby!” is still one of the most recognizable tag lines from the 90’s. The commercial also marked one of the rare times Sylvester Stallone lent his voice to an ad campaign.
The Rocky series will always hold a special place in my heart, especially the original film. I not only live in Philly, but grew up in the same Kensington neighborhood that the original movie was filmed and largely took place in. In grade school, I was practically across the street from the row home that Rocky lived in, and would routinely walk by the Tusculum Street rowhome after school let out. Later, through High School and college my commute on the el took me past Mighty Mick’s Gym on a daily basis. I’d often see people recognize it for the first time as we passed by, and it would always bring a bit of a smile to my face. I was introduced to the film at a young age by my father, who loves the movie as well. As a kid, I simply loved that it was a film set where I lived, and had some great action at the end. As I grew older, I started to understand the the themes of the film more. It featured a lot of the same struggles I had watched my own family deal with in the early 80’s. It perfectly captured the every day struggle of living in the area at the time, busting your ass to barely make ends meet. It’s easy to see why Philly residents still latch onto the film to this day. Rocky wasn’t looking for fortune, and he wanted to shy away from the fame. He was just hoping somebody, anybody would think he’s worth a damn and give you a chance to prove yourself.
Back at Toy Fair 2017, fans were surprised to see the puppets from the commercial at NECA‘s booth. They had purchased the original puppets used in the commercial and had them turned into statue replicas, which are now available for fans to purchase. You can purchase Rocky by himself, or in a special set that includes Mickey as well. NECA provided us with the Rocky and Mickey Puppet Replica Maquette 2-Pack, and we have a review and high resolution photo gallery to check out.
Rocky Balboa and Mickey Goldmill Brisk Iced Tea Puppet Replica Statue Set by NECA
- Excellent replicas of the original statues
- Great build quality
- Includes moveable eyes
- Includes bases that can display them together or separately
- Nice paint work
- A fun piece of pop culture history
- Probably for the most die-hard of Rocky fans only
The Rocky and Mickey Statue set come packaged in a large windowless box. The front features a photo of the two statues, while the sized and back include product style photos. There’s no mention of the actual origin of the statues on the box, likely due to licensing. On the bottom of the box, there are instruction on how to use the moveable eyes feature. Inside, the statue sit in a plastic tray. There’s no assembly required, and they are ready for display right out of the box.
Once out of the box, nostalgia immediately took over, as these are perfect representations of the classic ad. NECA worked from the actual puppets used in the commercial to ensure the details were as accurate as possible. The main difference here is that the statues are in full color, while the commercial was in black and white. Rocky stands about 12″ tall, and is posed in a boxing stance, ready to fight. He has fabric shorts on, and is already sporting a black eye from the fight. Micky is just around 10″ tall, and is posed so he can lean on Rocky’s shoulder. Mickey has a full fabric outfit and knit hat. Each statue includes a basic display stand with pegs that insert into the feet. To move the eyes, you simply slide the tops of their heads off at the hair line and you can adjust the direction of the eyes, which each have small poles attached.
The statues are cast is a fairly light weight plastic, keeping the weight down (which is great for keeping shipping prices lower). Details are sharp, and the likenesses are spot great stylistic representations of the actors. The fabric elements are handled well, as the large size of the statues means they don’t look out of place. Paint work is sharp and clean, with great detail on areas like Rocky’s black eye and Mickey’s bright pink nose. The statue have a great build to them, but you will need to use the included bases to keep them standing as they are a bit top heavy for the stylized feet.
These collectible statues are probably only for the most die-hard Rocky fans. I admit I was sold on them immediately, as I love odd stuff like this. They look great in person, and hit that nice mix of oddity and nostalgia that I love. The Rocky by itself sells for $129.99, while the set of Rocky and Mickey have an MSRP of $199.99. However, many online stores have them even cheaper than that. Check out some select photos below and the full gallery after that.