Thursday, April 16, 2015

Mattel & Target Deliver Hall Of Fame-Level Stratusfaction

In many ways, Trish Stratus was the modern day pro wrestling success story. Upon her debut, no one expected Trish to be more than a pleasant piece of eye candy who managed a few wrestlers and then faded into obscurity. The Canadian beauty made fools of all of us, and we couldn't be happier about it. Very few questioned it when Trish was announced for the WWE Hall of Fame back in 2013. She had earned and deserved the honor.

This year, Mattel revived their WWE Hall of Fame figure line as a Target exclusive series. Several years ago some Hall of Fame labeled figures were released through K-Mart, but were essentially repackaged Mattel Legends figures. This new series features four WWE Hall of Famers in new outfits and designs. Our lady of the hour, Trish Stratus, joins Sgt. Slaughter, The Ultimate Warrior, and Stone Cold Steve Austin in the first series. Stratus and Slaughter have proven to be the most popular.

To begin with, this is the first (and possibly only) figure of Stratus as a brunette. This is the hair color that she has kept since retiring from wrestling and utilized in her WWE returns and outside ventures. It makes the figure fun and different, while the unique Hall of Fame package design helps in that regard as well. The head is the same as the earlier Elite Flashback figure of Trish with tweaks to the makeup and, of course, the hair coloring. Her hair has had less of the "feathering" in her brunette years, but I'm not complaining. The makeup on the old figure which she has not worn in recent years helped make the face look more like Trish, but you can still tell that it's her without it.

The attire is based on her WrestleMania XXVII appearance. Her presence was one bright point on a rather abysmal show. Sadly, she was also saddled with Snooki. Who? Anyway, if you lift up the back of her long locks, you'll see that Mattel went the extra mile and applied her "Brunette Mafia" logo to the back of her shirt. Shortly after the figure was released, Trish herself commented on Twitter about the "cuteness" of detail on the figure, "especially the butt." Awww, Trish...

Included is the WWE Women's Championship accessory. Trish is the only figure to have included this belt so far, as it debuted with the first Mattel figure of her. It would have been nice had a small plaque been included with this figures as was with Bruno Sammartino, but I understand budgetary measures. Trust me, it's nice to have a Hall of Fame line at all.

The choice of attire makes this Trish figure a bit more flexible than the first. Her initial figure was based upon the almost bellbottom-esque pants that she wore around ten years ago. The more shape-hugging attire here allows Trish to perform the "Chick Kick" and other maneuvers with ease. I really like the gloved hands, as well. Trish looks a lot tougher here while maintaining her trademark sexiness. Look out, Ronda!

This figure takes me back to sitting in the Garden on the night that Trish delivered her speech. I thought that it was one of the best of the night and her use of props, which has since been copied, was a great addition to her career story. I may be in the minority, but I'd love figures based on some of the more unique Hall of Fame looks (Trish in her dress, bald Bruno, tuxedo Hulk), but then I remember that these are action figures and not...induction speech figures.

The Hall of Fame Trish gets a big thumbs up from me, but you may have to take to the secondary market if you haven't already found one. Plenty were produced, but Trish and Slaughter were very popular. Series 2 featuring Hulk Hogan, Eddy Guerrero, Yokozuna, and Tito Santana as well as a Four Horsemen set are on the way. Even though the idea of a "First Time In The Line" Diva figure in a store exclusive set is insanity, I'd love to see Trish's "Team Bestie" pal Lita in a future set. The Hall of Fame line might also be a good way to get some managers like Jimmy Hart and Bobby Heenan out, not to mention Paul Bearer who has only seen the Mattel light of day overseas.

In the meantime, we now have two different flavors of "Sweet Stratusfaction!"

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