Monday, February 14, 2011

The Buzz: Mattel WWE (Toy Fair 2011)

The 2011 New York Toy Fair wrapped up yesterday and there was tons of great upcoming stuff revealed! Like many fans I did not attend the event, but kept up to speed on the reveals thanks to several sites covering the show. I'm focusing on Mattel's reveals for their World Wrestling Entertainment lines. I recommend you click over to and/or Toy News International to view images of the figures.

First up is "WWE Defining Moments." So far, I think this line has been pretty cool. It's definitely not priced to purchase every figure, unless you only collect these, but Mattel's delivering very cool, highly-detailed versions of fan favorite Superstars. Wave 3 will include Triple H and Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat. Triple H's figure is taken from his return to the WWE after a near-career ending injury. I'm a longtime fan of Triple H, but I'll have to see this one up close at the store before I decide to buy it. Ricky Steamboat will arrive in his awesome dragon attire and this is a must-have for me! He looks great with all the costume details and even includes a fire stick. The only thing that would make it better would be a removable flame you could attach to his mouth... or if he could actually spit real fire.

The following wave will include Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Undertaker. Unlike Triple H's "Moments" figure, Austin's jeans are sculpted. I think it looks better than the cloth pants. It would be really great if he came with his smoking skull championship belt, though. I think he'll look badass with the vest from his "Legends" release, recreating lots of his old promotional poses. The Undertaker was a total surprise to me. Apparently this look comes from the time he first feuded with Manking, but I don't remember it all. I guess I wasn't watching during the time. It's a pretty bizarre look, but he's the Undertaker, so it's to be expected.

I'm happy to see WWE Legends continuing and if you hadn't seen series 5 yet, now is your chance. There are only 4 figures in the fifth wave, which are: "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Bam Bam Bigelow, Rick "The Model" Martel and Akeem "The African Dream." I dig Macho and will surely pick him and Bam Bam up. I'm a bit on the fence about The Model, but will probably get him, too. Akeem is a rather easy pass for me, unless I can grab him during a sale.

Series 6 seems to have 5 figures: a new Ultimate Warrior, this time with the classic "winged eagle" championship belt, Eddie Guerrero with the Undiputed Championship and the Von Erichs. This version of the Warrior looks awesome, they nailed his expression this time around and I'm also glad they added the classic heavyweight championship belt (albeit with a yellow strap). Guerrero? No question he will be added to my collection. Now, the Von Erichs are an easy pass for me. They're from "before my time", so I was never a fan. Interestingly, Mattel announced two of the Von Erichs (sorry, I don't know all of their names) as a two-pack in the Toys R Us-exclusive series back at SDCC'10. I guess the 2pks didn't do very well, I still see plenty of them clogging up the pegs at my local stores.

WWE Elite Collection will continue to produce current Superstars, albeit with dated looks. Oddly, Mattel didn't showcase the soon-to-be-released series 8 (you can view images on Mattel's WWE Facebook page). I'm looking forward to the new version of The Miz, although he comes with the U.S. title. It looks awesome, though. Aside from that nothing in series 9 or 10 truly excites me. Maybe it's a generational thing, I'm just not into the whole PG programming and many of the younger Superstars seem like carbon copies of each other. I like the new head sculpt on Randy Orton and Big Show packaged with the old RAW & Smackdown tag belts (currently, they've been unified with new belts) is interesting. I may finally add Kofi to my collection, but the rest of the guys I have no interest in.

That's pretty much it for WWE's collector lines. I'll also point out that it seems upcoming Basic figures will feature title belts when appropriate. While they'll be more current than the Elite figures, the Basic belts are very plain looking, with no vacuum-metallic finishes or paint.

Look forward to some thoughts on other toy lines showcased at Toy Fair for the rest of the week and perhaps a couple of reviews.
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