Thursday, July 13, 2017

Hall of Fame Figure Royalty

For the first time in history, one figure line has captured Jerry "The King" Lawler in all areas of his career. 2012 saw The King make his Mattel debut with a "modern" Elite figure capturing his look at WrestleMania XXVII. Following that we received a Basic figure release based upon his appearance as a commentator. Finally, a classic Memphis version of The King has arrived as part of the Target-exclusive WWE Hall of Fame line. Longtime readers will recall that the first Mattel Jerry Lawler took home "The Joshie" Award for 2012 Best Figure. How does the latest figure measure up?

I'm still loving the Hall of Fame packaging. Lawler is the perfect figure for it, as the royal blue and gold motif is fit for a King. You may also recall that in addition to being in the Hall of Fame, Lawler has been the most recent host of the event. The figure is a superb fit for the window packaging, and thanks to the pose and accessories there is no "floating" here. I also appreciate that no annoying "announcements" are present on the window itself to take up precious autograph space, should you choose to explore that option.

There's a lot of reuse here from the 2012 release, but with Lawler that's ok. The man has honestly changed very little physically in four decades. He's forever young. The same can be said for his attire. He's clad in the same entrance gear that was included with the first figure, as he wore a classic Memphis outfit for his WrestleMania appearance. You could argue that the color of the crown could have changed. It should also be noted that the crown does not fit the new head sculpt very well. He's going to be holding it most of the time, but it still must be pointed out.

Speaking of the new head sculpt, it's all Lawler right down to the classic goatee. The hair and smug expression were captured perfectly. I honestly can't think of a bad Jerry Lawler figure likeness from over the years. Even the very first figure of The King from Jakks two decades ago captured his then-cowardly heel spirit. Whereas some wrestlers never seem to be set just right in plastic, Lawler's just seem to get better and better.

If I had a complaint it would be with the stance of the figure. For whatever reason, the legs always seem to be spread apart in an "action" pose. While The King is no stranger to getting in on a fight, I appreciated that you could set the first Mattel Lawler release in a stoic pose, should you so choose. It's not that big of a deal, but it did make me realize that I like the earlier figure just a bit more. There was a reason why it was my "Figure of the Year!"

These Hall of Fame figures seem to have great production numbers, but they won't be around forever. It seems that Mattel isn't afraid to keep Jerry around in the line, but it's hard to say if a classic Memphis version will see the light of day beyond this. I'm sure that the secondary price will rise on this one, but if you had to pick one I'd still advise you to seek out the 2012 release. I will say that I liked this figure enough to pick up a second one to be autographed. If you follow suit, be sure to see if The King will whip out his trusty paint pen for a signature that truly pops.

Then again, when it's Jerry Lawler's autograph we're talking about, there's never a bad one!

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