Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Demon Arrives

Some love it, others hate it. Some embrace it, some just don't get it. Overall, you can't deny one thing: The Demon is over. It's become almost an alter-ego for NXT standout Finn Balor. For a wrestler who really needs nothing more than his impressive skills to stand out, it's a helpful extra boost in the character-driven world of WWE. In that world, where action figure or video game-esque personas rule, The Demon makes a big impression. It's no surprise that his first action figure would be a popular one. In Mattel's WWE Elite 41 series, we get to see The Demon in his figure debut.

Finn Balor's first figure was actually in Basic Series 57. That figure was devoid of any paint or demonic attire. It was very much Balor in his previous guise as Prince Devitt. The Demon had to wait. Now, in this Elite figure, we get the character itself. The figure blends well with the packaging since the current style is mainly red. Since Finn is decked out in his headdress and gauntlets, the figure fills the plastic window nicely. No "floating" effect here.

The head seems to be the same as the one used on the Basic release. This one, obviously, has the paint to differentiate. The headdress fits snugly, as do the gauntlets. Although this body was not specifically created for him, it works perfectly. He isn't the biggest guy in the business, but he does have an impressive build. The Elite style body allows you to recreate many of Finn's spectacular moves with ease. The rest of your NXT roster should be prepared to feel the 1916 or any of the other moves of The Demon.

The paint itself is also very well done from front to back. Gone are the days when designs didn't quite make it around the whole figure. I'm looking at you, Jakks, with that comment. The blacks, whites, and reds are well applied and I didn't seem to have much problem with errors or sloppiness on my example. The pink "tongue" of The Demon looks really cool, too. The paint apps on the accessories are very good as well.

The Demon does not come with the NXT Championship that he held for so long, but the figure still looks good with it. As this summer progresses, it's hard to figure whether The Demon will still even be challenging for the NXT Championship, or if he will have gone on to join his brothers in "The Club" as has so hotly been rumored. Perhaps he will even find himself on the opposite side of the ring from those men. Whether or not WWE can find enough talent to fill full rosters for both Raw and Smackdown will likely help answer those questions.

The first figure of Finn as The Demon will be a popular one. That being said, I'm sure that it won't be the only one. Mattel will be able to get away with straight re-releases on this figure due to the popularity. There are also a few variations on the character from several big events that could be capitalized on. It wouldn't surprise me to see a Basic version of The Demon, sans accessories, as well. As I've said before, anything with the NXT logo stamped on it is sure to be a hot seller at this point in time. Whether or not the stars represented in those items will be under the NXT banner much longer...that's another story.

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