Thursday, June 19, 2014

He's Got The Whole Figure In His Hands...

Just when you thought that there was no hope for someone with a non-muscular body type to hit it big in WWE, along comes Bray Wyatt.  Obviously his look isn't the only reason for his success, but it has played a big part.  Fans have largely rejected the overly pumped muscle men that seem to dominate the WWE scene.  Instead, the WWE Universe has latched onto men like Daniel Bryan (smaller), Roman Reigns (big, but covered), and of course, Bray Wyatt.

When a popular character finally debuts as a figure, it immediately becomes a hot item.  Bray Wyatt has the distinction of his first two figures being released simultaneously.  One is in the Basic Mattel series while the other is an Elite figure.  When choosing between the two it isn't always a no-brainer, but it is with Wyatt.  The Basic is just as the name says, basic, while the Elite includes two of Wyatt's most recognizable props, his hat and shirt.

I decided to pass up the Basic and go right for the Elite.  Why buy an incomplete figure when the "gimmicks" are so important to the presentation?  Right away, Wyatt passed my "Mattel packaging test."  As I've discussed before, the Mattel WWE figures have occasionally looked as if they're "floating" in the package.  Bray does not suffer from this, and it is helped by the shirt packaged in the corner.

New pieces had to be designed for this figure, and they capture Bray very well.  Another of my notoriously hated Mattel features, the torso joint, works perfectly with Bray.  Crab walk, anyone?  He isn't a slim fella, nor does he wear conventional gear.  Among Cena, Orton, and Sheamus he sticks out like a sore thumb in the best possible way.  He is imposing in a completely different manner and that, again, is a major part of his appeal.  He's the psychopathic killer child snatcher that appears in your nightmares.  The kind of character that makes wrestling, and your emotions, spring to life.

Facially, I don't think that they could have come closer.  The eyes.  The grin.  All the creepiness that is present not only during his promos, but in his matches as well.  The hat fits on top perfectly, which brings us to the shirt.  We've got some soft goods here, and I could not be happier about that.  The rubber shirts just don't work as well.  I don't think that we've seen the last of the rubber, but I'm glad that it's not a Mattel standard.

You really can't go wrong with this figure, especially if you like having a character with his trademark accessories.  It's a definite "Figure of the Year" candidate, but once the hype dies down it will likely be easy to find.  When a character as hot as Wyatt maintains their popularity, the figure is continually re-released in new series to meet demand.  Rowan and Harper should see a similar shelf life, as their basic figures are being released in a two-pack (with Bray's rocking chair) and in singles packs as Elites.  The latter releases will contain the rest of the Wyatt Family paraphernalia as Harper will be packaged with the lantern while Rowan will have his trademark mask and the rocking chair.

Bray certainly has the whole WWE Universe in his hands, and rightly so.  It's a great character that has elements of Kevin Sullivan, Waylon Mercy, and even a little bit of Cactus Jack.  It's something that is seemingly too edgy for modern day WWE, yet it is exactly what the people want.  And if it ever stops working, they can always revert to my idea of a Pawn Stars stable.  Just imagine Steve Austin as Rick, Greg Valentine as The Old Man, Bill DeMott as Corey, and Bray Wyatt as Chumlee.  Follow The Dollars?

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