Thursday, September 13, 2018

Player One Selects..."Macho Man" Randy Savage

As "Mattel Month" here on the blog rolls on, we look at one of the more innovative series to come along in awhile. The figures themselves may just be repaints, but the packaging is unlike anything that we've ever seen before. Not only did Mattel think up a novel idea to lure in even non-collectors for a purchase, but they also picked the perfect spot for this line to be a retail exclusive at. But can presentation overshadow the product inside of the box? Get your coins ready, the button mashing is about to begin!

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 In fact, even as the game was long outdated I was still occasionally inserting quarters into the cabinet on Saturday afternoons at the Giant Eagle grocery store.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.

"Macho Man" Randy Savage is the first to hit stores, with "Rocker" Shawn Michaels following and both Honky Tonk Man and Hacksaw Jim Duggan planned for the future. The figures are unique in that the packaging resembles an arcade cabinet with graphics similar to the classic WWF game. The back features stats that are designed to look like they are being presented on the old select-your-character screens. The one used here actually reminds me the most of the one from the WWF Royal Rumble game that was released on both Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis.

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.

On the plus side, we have interesting re-releases with a very cool packaging gimmick. On the other hand, the pricing is high and does anyone really want a "Rocker" Shawn Michaels without Marty Jannetty? The answer is yes, but not me. I also would not have picked up Savage had the figure not dropped to under $20 in a sale. Hopefully Honky and Hacksaw get discounted as well when they hit, as both have attires that intrigue me if produced as planned. HTM is slated to be wearing his blue "Elvis" suit while Hacksaw looks to be a mishmash featuring his '80s t-shirt and his 1993 singlet underneath.

Where will "Mattel Month" go next? Are you asking? Pourquoi?

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