It’s going to be a December to Dismember … your bank account. The holiday shopping season is here, and Mattel has begun releasing some long desired action figures and many first timers. Whether you collect to display or buy to play, there’s something for wrestling fans of all ages. We’ve put together a guide to the best of the shelves.
Ric Flair (Defining Moments)
Diamonds are forever and so is Mattel’s first Ric Flair figure. Mattel revived the Defining Moments line and kicked off the re-release with the 16-time World Heavyweight Champion. This Flair figure is an amalgamation of classic Nature Boy style, featuring the black robe that he wore during his early 1990s WWF run, the World Heavyweight Championship belt that is synonymous with the champ and his classic look of bleached blond hair, baby-blue trunks and dark blue kneepads and boots. $24
The most opportunistic superstar of all time is the latest Ringside Collectibles exclusive figure. This Edge is classic black and red Rated-R Superstar with duster jacket and sunglasses. It’s a must grab for collectors who missed out on his previous Elite-style action figures and a must grab for those who did with the first release of the Rated-R Spinner Championship. The face is a little off but the attention to detail on Edge’s tattoos is fantastic. Now if we could just get a Lita figure. $27.99
WWE Authentic Scale Ring
You want realism? You got it. Wicked Cool Toys’ Authentic Scale Ring is 22-inches by 22-inches with glassy ring posts, die-cast buckle connectors, a two-piece mat, ringside stairs and an official Raw ring skirt. Order the ring through Ringside Collectibles and you get an added bonus: an exclusive SmackDown ring skirt. It’s not cheap ($69.99 at Ringside), but it doesn’t get any more real than this. Also available at Toys R Us.
Celebrate the One in 21 and one with this exclusive Brock Lesnar action figure. The reigning WWE Champion comes with “Eat Sleep Break the Streak” molded plastic T-Shirt and a goofy grin on his face, which I believe is the look on the Next Big Thing’s face after defeating the Undertaker at WrestleMania 30. The back of the box captures the moment with a stunned Paul Heyman and a joyous Beast Incarnate. $19.99
Rocky Maivia (Target exclusive)
Before he was The Rock, Dwayne Johnson was smiling, uber-babyface Rocky Maivia. Rocky was shoved down fans’ throats to the point of backlash with taunts of “Rocky sucks” and “Die Rocky Die.” Relive the Rock’s rookie year with this Target exclusive figure. Bonus: Target has free shipping on everything through the holidays. $20
Mankind (Amazon exclusive)
The long-awaited “brown” Mankind figure was finally released in the summer. Once slated to be a Toys R Us exclusive, Mrs. Foley’s baby boy ended up on Amazon.com after leaked figures sold for hundreds of dollars on eBay. Collectors were excited to finally get the debut Mankind, complete with torn out hair pieces, for just $14.99. At that price, buyers couldn’t help but have a nice day.
Rusev (Basic Series 47)
The first figure of the
“Bulgarian Brute” “Russian Super Athlete” should be out in time for Christmas. Rusev’s rookie figure comes in Mattel’s no-frills Basic Series. A Lana figure is coming out too but likely not until 2015. $18.99
Elite Series 33 set
Elite 33 features the first Mattel figures of X-Pac and Junkyard Dog. But this isn’t just a set for classic wrestling fans. Modern-era fans will find new figures of ex-Shield teammates Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins. Unfortunately, Rollins is still in his pre-sellout gear. Batista also gets an update with his one-night only Bluetista outfit. Cesaro also gets a fresh coat of paint and a breakaway Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal trophy. $149.99 for the set
Daniel Bryan’s best action figure to-date comes in Elite Series 32. Get the former “American Dragon” in all of his bearded glory with an added bonus: a Wyatt family jumpsuit. Remember those few weeks when Daniel Bryan became Daniel Wyatt? Uh, yeah. Mattel highlighted the goat-faced killer’s brief cult adherence. The other notable figure in this otherwise skippable series is a flashback figure of Rey Mysterio in his Starrcade 1996 attire. Unfortunately, WWE revisionist history has Mysterio coming with the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. Oh well. Now if we could just get a Jushin Liger figure. (Other figures in Elite 32: Mark Henry, Sin Cara, Cody Rhodes and Big E) $22.99 each
Dean Ambrose, Vader, Jimmy and Jey Uso (WWE Elite Series 31)
Two words: Mastodon helmet. Mattel made old-school collectors’ dreams come true with the reproduction of Vader’s menacing, steam shooting helmet. Oh, yes; it’s Vader time. This series also features the first Elite action figures of Jimmy and Jey Uso — two of the most colorful figures of the year — and Dean Ambrose (unfortunately still in his Shield gear). (Other figures in Elite 31: sing-along with The Rock and Kane) $21.99 to $27.99 each
Need someone to slam Yokozuna on your G.I. Joe aircraft carrier? Mattel has finally released the “Total Package.” The red, white and blue may not be Luger’s most iconic look, but it is one of his most memorable career moments. Now can we get a real-scale Lex Express? If you missed the first release of Hawk and Animal in classic NWA attire, the Legion of Doom is now available with red and black shoulder spikes and gauntlets. Mattel’s most detailed figure to date is Elite 30 Batista. His tattoos are in full color, and this figure is a work of art. (Other figures in Elite 30: Brock Lesnar and Ryback) Grab them at Kmart at a big discount ($14.99 each).
Ricky “the Dragon” Steamboat (Basic Series 45)
It was a mild letdown that Ricky “the Dragon” Steamboat’s most recent figure wasn’t in Elite style, especially given his attire: WrestleMania III white trunks. The greatest match in WWE history — with “Macho Man” Randy Savage — doesn’t deserve an elite? Better to have the figure at all than not. Grab your Intercontinental Championship and relive the magic of one of WWE’s most historic moments. $13.99
John Cena and Ultimate Warrior (Battle Pack 31)
The first figure after the death of the Ultimate Warrior comes in a two-pack with John Cena. This Warrior was among the most wanted: 1991 Royal Rumble red, white and blue. Now we can always remember the end of Warrior’s WWF Championship reign and the continuation of the Sgt. Slaughter’s horrible heel turn on America.
Wyatt Family 3-pack (Kmart exclusive)
Bray Wyatt may have set his minions free, but they’re forever together in plastic. This Kmart three-pack features everyone’s favorite cult leader and followers (Harper and Rowan). Follow the buzzards … to Kmart. $24.99
Paul Bearer build-a-figure (Toys R Us exclusive)
The U.K. and Canada have already received this build-a-figure set. However, the late, great Paul Bearer has yet to materialize in the United States. Blame it on a glut of Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio figures clogging the racks at Toys R Us stores across the country. Halloween may have come and gone, but hopefully Paul Bearer will come home for Christmas. TBD
Corporate Kane build-a-figure (Toys R Us exclusive)
The next, next build-a-figure set may not make it on shelves in time for the holidays. Just in case, here goes. We got a glimpse of Toys R Us’ exclusive WrestleMania 30 BAF Kane set at the San Diego Comic Con. Featured in their attires from the “Showcase of the Immortals” in New Orleans are the Undertaker (in red and black hat and duster ), Bray Wyatt, John Cena and Daniel Bryan. TBD
Finally, a few tips to save you some bucks.
1) If you order from Ringside, use the code wfigs to get 10 percent off. The code is good just about anytime. Also, Ringside does some pretty killer sales around Black Friday.
2) Kmart is selling Elite figures for $14.99. That’s a great price. Pick up Kmart’s 2014 toybook, and use the ad to price match Elites at other retailers.