Saturday, July 30, 2022

Just When You Thought The Legends Line Lost Its Way…

I may be in the minority, but I wasn’t too thrilled when D-X found their way into the Mattel WWE Legends line. Certainly they made their impact on the business in that era, but they just aren’t my cup of tea. There was a time when I was frantically pre-ordering every figure in this series that was announced, but that has dwindled in recent waves. With the announcements at San Diego Comic Con my love and utter amazement for the line is coming back. Paul E. Dangerously and The Samoan Swat Team? With variants as The Headshrinkers? Are you kidding me? The Dingo Warrior? Even WCW AJ Styles brought me the tingles. Deep dives are what we all love and Mattel is once again truly bringing Legends to the table. I will say that my most recent purchases may not be that deep and one is even slightly out of my preferred wheelhouse, but they’re FUN. And, I’ll go as far as to say that one is the definitive version of this particular legend. 

Mattel WWE Legends 15, exclusive to Target of course, consists of Lex Luger, Stacy Keibler, X-Pac and Kane. While I’m a fan of the latter two I just don’t need any more figures of either at the moment and I obviously would’ve preferred others in those two slots. Luger and Keibler are a different story. I’ll get into my enjoyment of the Luger figure in a bit, but Stacy might be considered an odd one for me. While she’s definitely not what most think of as a wrestling legend, she certainly made her mark on the business. Aside from always seeming like a sweetheart of a person, Stacy certainly had the look and charisma to leave a lasting impression. While she didn’t exactly change the business, I’d consider her a minor draw and was definitely a big part of the huge WWF/WWE Divas marketing push of two decades ago. 

One thing I will address early on is how easy it has become to collect these Legends waves, even the so-called chase figures. Ever since last years debacle of Brutus Beefcake and Diamond Dallas Page never making it to brick and mortar Target stores, the availability of all of these figures has taken a complete turn. It’s a wonderful thing. I’ve never been one to champion making anything out of reach for any collector. No one will deny that there is a certain thrill in having something that was limited, but I can’t think of a single figure in history that I would choose that status over it being readily available for everyone. Ultimately toys are meant to be played with. Every child, and adult, who wants these figures should have them. It’s just the way that it is. 

Kicking it off with Stacy Keibler who, due to the aforementioned “deep dives” recently taken by Mattel, I’m actually surprised isn’t labeled “Miss Hancock” on the package since that’s really the gimmick that this figure represents. The bio on the back does indeed mention the name, however, and I’d argue that her WCW run was a tad more memorable than her WWE days even if she had more exposure (no pun intended) in the latter. With Stacy you get two heads (alternate hair), her eyeglasses, alternate hands and Miss Hancock’s ubiquitous clip board. This figure actually gives me visions of what could be if Terri Runnels were signed to a WWE figure deal. After what we’ve gotten and what’s upcoming, I truly feel we’d see Alexandra York in figure form. But going back to Stacy, I do believe that this is only her fourth figure in history. I can only recall three previously made (by Jakks) and I did in fact purchase them all. The “wrestling gear” Stacy was pretty coveted at one point and Jakks always seemed to do a good job with her. For their first venture down Keibler Lane, Mattel is continuing that legacy. 

Flexy Lexy brings a whole different discussion to the table. I truly feel that this is the definitive Lex Luger figure to date. When I say that I’m thinking more of the chase version here, but aside from the color of the trunks they’re both the same. Being an ‘80s fan, the chase clad in orange is my preference. Both include alternate heads, alternate hands and a soft goods nWo shirt. While the shirt doesn’t really work with the orange version, throw it on another figure. It doesn’t ever hurt to have extra shirts, especially soft goods ones worn by many different stars. The previous Mattel Lugers have been good but very era-specific. The best was the “Bash at the Beach” version from a three pack with Sting and Randy Savage. That Luger had the Sting face paint. The Narcissist was a solid figure but comes from a very short incarnation of Luger. The “All-American” version was good but honestly should be redone and with the current “New Generation” kick that Mattel is on, such an undertaking wouldn’t surprise me at all. The only “generic” Luger figure was a basic and really reflected the late ‘90s more than anything, though it could be fudged. 

This chase Luger really gives us the earlier Lex we’ve been needing. The interchangeable heads add to it greatly as Lex was known to wear a ponytail even in the ’80s. Throw any of the NWA/WCW belts that Mattel has fast been releasing and you’ve really got a great looking figure. Would I have chosen blue or green as opposed to orange? I don’t think that I would have. While I’d welcome any color of trunks for a future release, I’m always a fan for bright colored figures since it’s something that’s seriously lacking in the present day. For my money this is…The Total Package. 

I had to do it. 

I feel that the Mattel Legends are finally getting back on track as far as what us true old school fans really want. I commented to my friend that, after the great things we saw at SDCC, perhaps Mattel is taking note of what the smaller, “boutique” companies are appeasing us with. Whether or not they’re even paying attention to that is anyone’s guess, but some great new names and “deep dives” (sick of that phrase yet?) do have me wondering. At press time both Lex and Stacy are available to order through Target. Again, the newly found availability of these legends is tremendous. I feel that I run into the chase versions as much as I do the regular and both myself and my friend received one of each with our initial pre-orders. I feel like I’ve said it in virtually every figure review as of late, but it’s a great time to be a collector, especially of the legends we adore.

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