Thursday, February 9, 2017


Oh how I've been waiting for this one! The most dominant female ever to hit NXT rings finally has an action figure. While not alone, Asuka joins a select group of NXT wrestlers to receive a figure before even appearing on the active WWE roster. But do we want her up on Raw or Smackdown anyway? I'm not so sure. Regardless, having great merchandise is not exclusive to being on the "main roster," and on this blog that's what counts the most. But does the figure live up to the anticipation?

Asuka makes her debut as part of the Mattel WWE Elite Series "47 A." As with the last series which saw press on this blog with the release of Harlem Heat, the new gimmick of "diorama" stands continues. The backdrop is again rather lackluster, although it is nice to see a stand included. The cardboard still bends as soon as it's been inserted into the plastic stand for a short time. There's definitely an accessory that I'd rather see with Asuka in lieu of this new feature, but we'll get to that in a bit.

Visually, Asuka is very impressive both in real life and as an action figure. Asuka makes for a very short figure, but surprisingly she does not suffer from "floating" in the package. The combination of her pose, the mask accessory, and the strategically placed WWE logo behind the figure works very well. I think that the current packaging, with the slant on the lower left corner, helps keep the package from overshadowing the figure.

Mattel seems to have once again gone above and beyond in order to make this figure unique. With just a glance I see very few reused parts. Due to Asuka's unique gear, it just wouldn't have been possible. As much as I've loved the many WWE lines of the past, it seems that Mattel was destined to produce a figure of a wrestler such as Asuka. I really can't see such detail going into her if she'd been around years ago. It's all here. Colors. Tassels. That hair. That smile. Speaking of the smile, I'd say that the likeness is 90% there. Just being honest, there is something keeping me from 100% seeing Asuka with the face, but it's pretty damned close. It is possible to get 100% dead-on, as the recently released figure of Asuka's former nemesis Dana Brooke proves.

As expected, Asuka's trademark face mask is here. I was very curious to see how it would attach, seeing the great job that has been done with the Wyatt Family masks. Unlike the real mask which Asuka holds in using her mouth, there are two pegs on the side of this figure-sized mask which fit in between the sides of her face and hair. It fits great and can also be held in her hand. This is the first mask design that she used and I have no doubt that we'll see future releases with additional masks.

I do wish that we had seen her entrance cape/rope included. The figure does feel a little off without it. Perhaps a future release in the Defining Moments or WWE Network Exclusive sets will have it, but I really wish it was here.

Asuka is hot, in more ways than one, and I know that this is only the first figure that we'll see of the Japanese star. From before it was even announced, I knew that Mattel would do such a job that it would automatically get into the running for "Figure of the Year." They did, and it does, but not without the flaws mentioned above. Still, I'll go on record as saying that this is the best female wrestling figure to date. Could we see another Asuka figure this year that tops this one? I wouldn't doubt it. But in the meantime, if you find that sinister smile aimed at you on the figure shelves, I wouldn't pass it up...

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