Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ultimate Warrior & Road Dogg--Returning To WWE & The Toy Aisle

With WWE Network on the minds of WWE fans and the company itself, nostalgia is at an all-time high.  After all, when the kinks are finally figured out (as of press time they were not), fans will have On Demand access to every WWE, WCW, and ECW pay-per-view as well as an untold amount of other classic wrestling footage.  The concept has finally given the company a reason to embrace the past full-time.  It needs Network content, and with the company's vast libraries there is no better place to go than the past.

This nostalgia kick also includes past superstars returning to current programming.  In the ring itself, Road Dogg and Billy Gunn, the New Age Outlaws, returned and captured the WWE Tag Team Championship at the Royal Rumble.  The WWE Hall of Fame, always a bastion of wrestling's past, will be headlined this year by none other than the Ultimate Warrior.

It's the Warrior and the D-O-Double G that we'll be focusing on here.  Long before their respective impacts on 2014 WWE programming, both of these men were announced to be part of Mattel's 26th Elite action figure series.  Joining the likes of Jack Swagger, Big E. Langston, Mark Henry, and Roman Reigns, these two legends are the "Flashback" entries of the set.  While Road Dogg's attire has changed little over the years, this version of the Ultimate Warrior is one that have never before been produced as an action figure.  Neither figure suffers from looking too small for the Elite box packaging, but there is something missing from one that I'll get to later. 

Road Dogg is exactly what I feel an action figure should be.  It's a nicely detailed figure, but it also comes with not one, but several accessories.  In addition to the "Road Dogg Jesse James" shirt that the figure is wearing in the package, a D-Generation X shirt is included as well as a hat.  When looking at the boxed figure, the double shirts really make you feel like you're getting a nice bang for your buck.  It's not uncommon for action figures of this era to include extra accessories and even hands for different poses, etc.  Wrestling figures should be no different.  I will say that the D-X shirt does not stay clasped as well as the Dogg shirt and that I've preferred cloth used instead of rubber, but I'm still crazy about a nice assortment of accessories.

The Warrior is based upon the attire that he wore at SummerSlam '92.  He has his shorter hair and a singlet designed to look like muscles and tendons and all of that good stuff.  His arm tattoo is here as well.  Although it's a nice figure, compared to Road Dogg you just don't feel as if you're getting as much.  This is especially jarring when looking at the boxes of both.  A notation on the Dogg's box proudly announces that "2 Shirts & Hat" are included.  Meanwhile on the Warrior's box we are excitedly told that it includes "Authentic Ring Attire."

Don't get me wrong, this Warrior is a great figure and will fly off of the shelves, but "authentic ring attire" that is simply what is painted on is not an accessory that should be touted.  The duster that he wore at the time (and is shown on the box) should definitely have been included.  Why was it not?  Probably budgetary issues, but that's no excuse for covering it up.  If there's no accessory included, there's no reason to look ridiculous and call it out right on the front of the package.

These are both great additions to the line and as I said above, they will be hot sellers.  This is far from the first Mattel version of the Warrior, but they've always sold well.  With his return to the WWE family and hype machine, that's not going to change.  The Road Dogg is not only back on tv, but has always been popular.  An Elite Flashback Billy Gunn is up next and will be a great companion to the Dogg.  I would also not be surprised to see a two-pack of the Outlaws coming up, and hopefully they will look just a tad different to reflect their current image.  In short, I'm asking for 50-year-old "skullet" Billy Gunn.  And I'm not ashamed.  Do it, Mattel!


Anonymous said...

Do they actually have the Elite 26th series in stores or are they only at Ringside Collectibles? I hate paying those exorbitant prices.

J\/\/ said...

They are in stores! I've seen this set hitting in Toys R Us, Wal Mart, and K-Mart.