Thursday, September 27, 2018
I should back up a bit. The figure has had an interesting road to collectors hands and it hasn't always been on physical store shelves. Originally scheduled as a Toys "R" Us exclusive, the figure only made it to the Canadian branch of the chain after their stores in the United States closed. This left distribution in America as a question mark bigger than the one on Frank Gorshin. Would it see the light of day here? Yes. It has become an online exclusive to a retailer popular with every group from soccer moms to geek culture and everyone in between. Have you guessed it yet? Bullseye.
Speaking of which, in case you're not familiar, this was Tenta's character in the "Dungeon of Doom" faction. Although many ended up being part of that group, this is one of the few to be produced by Mattel who actually came from the cartoony era when the mission of the faction was to end Hulkamania. As no stranger to being in the ring opposite of the yellow and red as Earthquake, The Shark was a fun, if not necessarily successful, image for the big man from Canada.
Thanks for joining us for "Mattel Month!" Figures are the one constant in wrestling memorabilia collecting, so I'm sure that the fun will continue well into our tenth year...
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Wrestling relationships aside, we're here to talk about the latest figure of Maryse. It's her first "Elite" figure as part of a series of exclusive female figures available at Walgreens. Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch were the first releases and, like those figures, Maryse also has a championship belt included. Instead of one that she held herself, however, included is The Miz's Intercontinental Championship. Seeing as that she's mainly a manager now, this works.
The figure does have a great look, though. The outfit, complete with cap, is pure Maryse. For once an accessory to go on the head actually looks correct if you place it on the figure. The facial scan is perfect, though dating back to her figure debut with Jakks I don't recall her ever having a bad one. Even the hand does her signature "talk to the hand" pose. There's also a ring painted onto Maryse's finger. Her bond of matrimony with The Miz, I would imagine. A nice detail that certainly didn't need included, but there it is.
We're swimming in dangerous waters as "Mattel Month" continues next week. In fact, if you join us, you're gonna need a bigger boat.
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Many of us remember playing the classic WWF arcade games, including WrestleFest. The graphics were, of course, somewhat better than home consoles at the time, and something about the rosters always peaked my interest. Demolition in a game? I was there. In fact, even as the game was long outdated I was still occasionally inserting quarters into the cabinet on Saturday afternoons at the Giant Eagle grocery store. Now, with Mattel's WWE RetroFest figure line, we can sort of "collect the game." Even if none of the figures included in the line thus far were actually stars featured in the game.
The figure is really just another Mattel Randy Savage. That isn't a bad thing. The attire is definitely different and based on a Raw appearance late in Savage's WWF run. It's just that at an initial $29 price point, it's clear that the packaging is the star here. The hat, shirt, and glasses are removable. Savage wore the shirt in-ring at this point and it makes the figure stand out from other figures of the legend anyway. Even at the time, the post-Macho King career of Savage always left me feeling a bit empty. I could never explain it, but I think many would agree that his prime ended there. I appreciate the '92 title run, but even then it felt sort of like a placeholder. I wish it had gone differently, though many would disagree with me as they have every right to.
The packaging is nice and truly the star, though I'm just not sure that it's worth the cost. It also presents a dilemma. You obviously want the very unique box, but due to the window in the front needing to appear like the screen for the arcade cabinet, you can't really see the whole figure unless you open it. With how the box is produced, once you open it you would have a really hard time replacing it again.
Where will "Mattel Month" go next? Are you asking? Pourquoi?
Thursday, September 6, 2018
This is not the first figure of the masked tag team wrestler. He made an appearance in the waning days of the Jakks Classic Superstars line. That figure was disappointing in its execution as it was merely a black one-strap singlet Andre figure with a Machine mask. Personally, I ended up passing on it. Even with the belief that the character would never again be seen in figure form, it just wasn't a final product that I felt like spending money on. Did Mattel change all of that?
If you haven't already noticed, this is two figures in one. Remove the tights and masked head, pop the alternate head on, and you have Andre the Giant. It's a cool concept that seems to be something Mattel will be going forward with strongly in the foreseeable future.
The Andre body sculpt has been strong since its first use. Since the release of the "'70s Andre," it's gotten even better with the huge open hands. These hands were also used for the Fan Central figure of The Big Show featured here a number of months ago. They really do look just like the huge "paws" of The Giant and are perfect for "choking out" any of the other figures.
While Giant Machine was Andre's guise for a good chunk of 1986, he also appeared in, and won, the battle royal at WrestleMania 2. The "Andre side" of this figure represents his look there with yellow tights. Figures Toy Company debuted this look in action figure form a number of years ago and it hasn't been revisited since. With Andre rarely changing colored tights, especially in the WWF, it's nice to see a different look visited.
It'd be awesome to see a generic Machine figure produced in the future, even if they couldn't say "Big Machine" or "Super Machine." I don't think that it will happen, but Mattel has surprised me before. This is a great entry into the Andre collection, as was the long-awaited "dark blue" Andre that came with the Heenan Family set. There aren't too many versions left to do, aside from Andre in street clothes. The red and green outfits from late in his life in Mexico would be cool, but that won't happen.
"Mattel Month" is off to a big bang. Who's coming up next? Maybe a current talent? Or perhaps this whole month will be a retrofest...?