Thursday, April 25, 2013
Mattel's "First Time In The Line" For "The First Lady Of Wrestling"
As if "hot" or "popular" characters needed any help flying off of the shelves, Mattel has a way of insuring that no one misses these figures by plastering the "First Time In The Line" burst right on the packaging. I've voiced my displeasure with this and other Mattel practices before, so there's no need to rehash that. This time we're here to take a look at some nice new figures of some very desirable characters.
If there's a single "hot" WWE figure at retail right now, it's undeniably Ryback. While not the first figure of the man himself, this is the first figure of the Ryback character. Labeled as Superstar #22 of the "basic" figures on the new smaller, more compact card backs, Ryback is slated to have three figures out in a short time. These will include an "Elite" figure as well as another basic as part of a "Battle Pack" with Jinder Mahal. Nothing like a pre-packaged squash match!
shown here on the blog a few weeks ago, is a better bet from this very same series. He's a much better wrestler, too, but that's another story for another time.
Continuing with "First Timer's" is one half of a popular tag team. Titus O'Neil is the "rookie" figure and the team is none other than The Prime Time Players. The PTP have been released in a "Battle Pack" complete with a stop sign accessory. As with most "Battle Pack" sets, there is one set with a "FTITL" figure or two and the other sets are common characters packaged together with an accessory.
This is the second figure of Darren Young, with the first being way back in his Nexus days complete with "tall hair." This re-release of Young as well as the Ryback figure shown above sets a fun and interesting precedence: all of the original Nexus members still with WWE have been re-released in non-Nexus attire at least once. This is, of course, with the exception of Michael Tarver who is no longer in the company and, unless he is re-signed, will not see any more figures. It's interesting to see how Young, Skip Sheffield, Wade Barrett, Daniel Bryan, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, and David Otunga have evolved since that angle a number of summers ago. Mattel certainly seems to have given Young a tan since his Nexus days.
For as popular as she was, Elizabeth has only seen two previous figures. LJN released her in the 1980's,
infamously with either a gold or purple skirt, in their WWF line and ToyBiz produced a WCW/nWo version in the 1990's in a two-pack with Randy Savage. The LJN effort is rather iconic and beloved while the ToyBiz figure, due to being rather small and barely resembling the lady, is all but forgotten. Thankfully the Mattel version is much more along the lines of the LJN.
I'm unsure why, but I was a bit surprised that this figure uses mostly the same parts as other females in the Mattel WWE line. Jakks did the exact same thing with their female figures, but I guess viewing the pre-production figure a few months ago simply made me think that Mattel had created a new sculpt for Elizabeth. The face and head sculpt is all new and could easily be used for future Elizabeth releases should they choose to produce more. With the trouble that Mattel likely had to go through in order to obtain the rights to the late beauty, it's not a big stretch of the imagination to think that there will be future releases of her. I would not mind seeing a "WWF debut" version of Elizabeth from her early days in the company. Unfortunately, many of her post-1990 outfits were rather boring and simply wouldn't translate well to an exciting action figure.