Thursday, November 20, 2014

A.J. Lee Returns To The Blog...For The Last Time?

It seems like once a year, the infamous A.J. Lee becomes a topic in these pages.  Coincidentally, this visit is parallel to rumors that, once again, A.J. is on her way out of WWE. While likely false, many fans have not enjoyed her change of character as of late.  The interesting aspects of her character have been replaced by her role as, maybe not ironically, a female version of CM Punk.  Whether Lee stays for years or is indeed finished following Survivor Series, no one can deny that she was one of the standout WWE females for the last couple of years.

If she is in fact finished, a new figure is hitting Wal Mart shelves just in time to celebrate.  The figure is part of the latest series in the chain's exclusive Superstar Entrances collection.  The series features WWE stars in non-removable entrance gear.  The series is notable for having a die-cut "window" on the back of the packaging so that the detail on the clothing is in full view.  A.J. is the first female to be part of the series.

Although the series features "Basic" style figures, all Mattel WWE female figures are "Elite" in build, with the extra articulation.  With the amount of detail here, this figure could have easily been released in one of the Elite series at the higher price point.  I believe that this facial design has only been used once before, in a two-pack with Big E. Langston.  That figure had a rather dull paint scheme.  This figure has the bright pink heart/spider t-shirt that I readily picture the diminutive Diva wearing.  As much as I liked the face design in her earlier figures, I think that I like this one even more.  You just want another Diva to smack that smirk right off of her face.

For some reason there are a few bumps on the abs of the figure.  I thought that it could have been bubbled paint in a botched job, but every example that I've seen had this issue.  I did also come across some paint mishaps on the tights design, but it isn't really anything that hurts the figure overall.  You can easily imagine this figure skipping to ringside.  When a figure almost comes to life before your eyes simply from the design, it's a great product.  Mattel has really begun to poor their all into every one of their releases--even store exclusives.

This may or may not be the final figure of A.J. Lee.  Even if she leaves the company, there could be future figures already in the works.  Nonetheless, I would consider this the "ultimate" figure of the controversial Diva.  It looks great in the package, too, whereas her figure released in the Elite line seemed to float in the package.  At a price point of $7.77, added to the fact that it is a store exclusive aimed at Christmas season sales, grab her while you can.  Despite her change in character, she's still a popular character and her figures never last long on the shelves

With Thanksgiving coming up, I'm glad that we had a chance to revisit my favorite "Turnbuckle Turkey" one more time.  For all of the fun that I poke at her, she stood out in an era where it's increasingly hard to do so. Now she can ride...err...skip off into the sunset while still "on top."

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