Thursday, October 24, 2019

Help, Help Me Ronda

In the decade since the company acquired the WWE license, Mattel has tried seemingly countless lines to further the brand. The three most successful have been the ones so closely intertwined due to scale, those being the Elite, Basic, and Battle Pack (two-pack) lines. Aside from varying articulation, the figures are interchangeable. Due to this, Mattel has become quite a formidable rival to the vast variety offered by Jakks during their time with WWE. While that company had a much deeper roster of Legends thanks to the beloved Classic Superstars line, they did not have nearly the amount of current stars to create. Mattel has superstars from Raw, Smackdown, and NXT to produce, not to mention the stars of 205 Live and NXT UK.

In 2019 Mattel has introduced yet another line that, while fitting with the aforementioned Basic and Elite figures, ups the price point and, hopefully for Mattel, the desirability of re-releasing previously made characters. This is the "Ultimate Edition" figure series. At a price of around $30 per figure, Mattel is selling it as the ultimate in articulation for a figure as well as a way to package many different interchangeable parts with the figure thus creating different looks. The first series of two includes The Ultimate Warrior and Ronda Rousey.

Rousey was a polarizing figure in WWE for sure. I never had much of a problem with her being there, but I never felt that she added much to the product, either. This was at a time (continuing to this day) where I loosely watch at best, but her charisma seemed much more suited for the world of MMA than WWE. That being said, nothing that she did really put me off, either. Considering that her connection with "Rowdy" Roddy Piper was legitimate (unlike other current stars that WWE has attempted to link to legends), that was also fine with me. She was simply there. Another name. And here we have two or three of her signature looks in one figure.

The packaging is large but does show off everything that's included. Heads, arms, hands, a jacket, and her kilt. Opening the package wasn't as easy as opening an Elite. In fact it was a bit annoying. It's a nice window box, but maybe a tad too big. Once open, it is fun to lay out and think of what combinations can be made. To my knowledge, this is the only way as of press time to have a Ronda in pre-match entrance gear. While there was a Ronda figure with the jacket and one in wrestling gear, I think that this is the only one with the ponytail, jacket, and wrestling gear combined.

All of the Ronda figures have been spot on with the face, so all three of the heads are good here. The heads and arms aren't too difficult to change, but I had a bit of an issue with getting one of the jacket arms to stay on. Honestly, I'd rather have a soft goods jacket. Almost always. With any figure. It's just easier. The extra articulation in the arms really doesn't do much for me either. It doesn't look bad, but is it really necessary? Maybe there's a certain niche audience that Mattel is looking for here who wants that, but I'm more about the ease of changing the look of the figure with a product like this.

It's a nice figure, but not worth $30. I paid a sale price much closer to the cost of an Elite, which felt more reasonable. With the inclusion of extra hands, heads, and other parts in many of the Elite figures, it's really the extra articulation that should be considered for the price jump. Since I'm not concerned with it, that's simply not worth it to me. Aside from the first Basic of Ronda which seemed like a rush job (though unique as she's simply in her white t-shirt and pants), I held off on her other figures until this one was released. I'm glad that I did, but I don't feel any urge to pick up Bret Hart, Shinsuke Nakamura, Finn Balor, Triple H, or anyone else who may show up in the line as of yet.

The "Ultimate" Ronda figure? Yes. An ultimate pass for the rest as far as the foreseeable future.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, you didnt think ronda added anything to the product?! Look how much the product has sunk since her absence. No Ronda = no womens WM main event.
Awesome figure though. Glad i held off on the other releases as well.
Great Blog!