Saturday, May 18, 2019

The "Lost" Retro Series

We're all like jilted lovers. Their decisions and actions betray us, upset us, and annoy us, yet we keep coming back for more. Wrestling figure collectors are the victims. The evil entity luring us? Mattel. Sure, they have a great product that we can't get enough of. But what does it take for us to get it? Lousy distribution. Much-wanted product that is deliberately made to be "chased." But here we are. And here is another review of a series that can be classified under all of the above.

Mattel WWE Retro Series 5 should have been available everywhere. You have one of the most popular acts of the last few years debuting in a hot line and an all-time great making his "re-debut" in the style. Aside from some appearances at online retailers and, shockingly, in the bargain basement, this series really didn't show up much of anywhere. The sad part is that without these four the Retro set and collection has a glaring omission. Nevertheless, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Big E., Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods have arrived.

In my opinion, The New Day was a must for the Retro line. They fit the style, they're fun characters, and the men behind the characters are likely getting a huge thrill being immortalized in the type of wrestling figure that they grew up playing with. The pink and blue color combination is a ray of sunshine in a line that was getting somewhat dull in looks. Sure, many superstars of today lack vibrant colors, but one of the Hasbro WWF figure legacies is exactly that. It was a reflection of the roster at the time and this line should continue that. The current WWE Champion (as of press time) and his crew do just that. Be sure to check out Woods' very Sheik (chic?) boots and the fact that Big E's figure feels very much like Hasbro's Warlord of decades ago.

For me, Randy Savage is the sleeper here. You can't have a bad figure of The Macho Man. It just does not happen with what a larger-than-life character that he was. That being said, I wasn't too excited when this figure was first revealed. The nWo black and white colors just don't do it for me in this style. I would have preferred the Savage that we should've gotten in 1992, but didn't. A simple repaint of the "Macho King" figure with vibrant pants, similar to the figure included in the Hasbro Royal Rumble mini-ring. After having the figure in my hands, I can say that I was pleasantly surprised. It really screams "Savage" (or "Oooooh yeah," perhaps?) in the WCW/nWo era and goes well with other figures in the line such as Sting, Goldberg, and Ric Flair. It should be noted that a packaging variation has been discovered with Savage. In some releases his left arm is raised inside of the bubble.

My only real gripes are the packaging, which has changed for the better in future series as documented in the last entry, and the fact that I would've swapped the "Real Wrestling Action" moves of Woods and Kingston. It's a solid lineup and good to see The New Day released together. If they all weren't so difficult to find I would say that Kingston would be the most popular due to his recent successes, but you'll pretty much have to go the online route to ensure that you pick up the set. There is already another Savage available in the line that I'm sure we'll be seeing here on the blog sooner than later, but it does not really fill the void that I mentioned above. I would not be surprised to see The New Day redone in different colors down the line also.

Thanks for still checking out the blog even on our reduced schedule. There's plenty more to come...

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