From watches to bedsheets to countless pieces of apparel, the WWE logo and its respective characters are plastered everywhere once again. One licensee that seems to be going above and beyond is Mattel. My continuing gripes regarding short packs of Divas and other special figures notwithstanding, Mattel seems to be getting their WWE line into any store that you can possibly think of. From department stores like Kohl's and Sears to drug stores like Walgreens and Rite Aid and even at grocery store chain Aldi, it's hard not to run into the Mattel WWE product.
Toys "R" Us also has an exclusive series of four WrestleMania XXVIII Basic figures that each contain pieces of the WrestleMania announcers booth. John Cena, Triple H, Sheamus, and The Rock (in a figure that, to me, looks more like a South Park version of Dwayne Johnson) are in the series that comes at a lower price point than the "Build-A-Figure" series.
As I mentioned earlier, Toys "R" Us is far from the only retailer carrying the line, and many figures of various styles and price points are popping up. Mattel's Elite 18 series is beginning to show up in time for the holidays and includes a character never before released in the Mattel line: Jerry "The King" Lawler.
When prototype photos of this figure of The King first surfaced, I didn't care for the facial likeness. Upon seeing the figure in person at Ringside Fest, the figure looked more like Lawler to me. Although this figure is labeled "Flashback," it's actually based on his appearance at WrestleMania XXVII. The artists rendering on the front of the package would be based on photos of this appearance, as well.
Speaking of packaging, Mattel has begun a slight tweaking of the boxes and design for their entire WWE line. A bit more red is going into the design and the "window" on the top of the Elite packaging has been eliminated. The Elite packaging has grown on me as a whole and presents the figures with great visibility while not dwarfing them in the process.
My main gripe with the prototype was the face. I wasn't feeling "The King" when I looked at it. In person, it definitely resembles the Jerry Lawler of today. I'm not going to call it perfect, but it is very good and does nothing to detract from such a great figure.
For a bevy of reasons, I don't think that you'll be seeing this one warm the pegs. It's a first time Mattel figure of an all-time great who still has a weekly television presence. The recent attention stemming from his heart attack and subsequent recovery will only add to that. And as if my reviews had any say, the fact that I would deem this a candidate for "Figure of the Year" only makes it a better bet that The King is one to grab. Mattel has stated in the past that we could see future Lawler releases based on sales of this figure. Long Live The King!