Mattel’s WWE design team made a big showing at this weekend’s Las Vegas Super Toy Con. The maker of the most important wrestling toy line revealed several long awaited classic superstars figures, including the first Mattel action figures of Sting, Stephanie McMahon, Stardust, Barry Windham and Tito Santana. And it’s clear that Hulk Hogan is going to be a big part of the line going forward, but don’t expect NWO Hollywood Hogan until 2016.
Here’s a peek at some of the figures to expect later this year.
Defining Moments Sting
Sting’s debut figure may be Mattel’s finest work yet — and oddly it’s not a WWE star. Mattel is immortalizing Sting’s WCW Crow persona from the Monday Night War Era, and they’re doing it right with baseball bat and cloth coat. Sting was the big surprise at last year’s San Diego Comic-Con International, where Mattel surprisingly showed images of a prototype of this figure. Now it’s in 3-D, and it’s damn-near perfect.
Hall of Fame Series (Target exclusive)
The WCW and NWA figures keep coming and the biggest news out of Super Toy Con was the reveal of the Four Horsemen Hall of Fame box set. Collectors have begged for figures of NWA stars Barry Windham and Magnum TA for years, and the Widowmaker can finally be crossed off want lists .
The Horsemen — 2012 WWE Hall of Fame inductees — get the plastic treatment, including another “Nature Boy” Ric Flair figure as well as repaints of Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard. The Brain Busters were previously released through Mattel’s Matty Collector program, and many collectors missed out on picking them up. Blanchard especially is difficult to find. On the secondary market, Blanchard’s figure has sold for anywhere from $50 loose to $175 bundled with Anderson. So whatever price Mattel and Target put on this set, it should be a bargain in comparison.
Mattel also showed off the next four single figures in the Target exclusive Hall of Fame line. Series 2 features the first Mattel figure of Tito Santana, and new versions of Yokozuna, Hulk Hogan and Eddie Guerrero.
This is essentially a revived version of the defunct Legends line. It’s exciting to finally have a chance to pick up some Hall of Famers who might not otherwise fit into Mattel’s WWE line.
Santana comes in his most iconic 1980s look in white trunks and red wrist bands. Guerrero features his “Latino Heat” shirt and his trademark mullet haircut from his WCW and early WWE runs. I can’t find a point of reference for Yoko with a beard and white trunks, but it’s a definite improvement over his first release. Hogan comes in his WrestleMania IX Yoko slaying attire with red pants, red Hulkamania shirt, Hulkster weight belt and yellow cowboy boots.
Ringside exclusive”American Made” Hulk Hogan
Ringside Collectibles’ next exclusive action figure release is “American Made.” Well, the figure is made in China but it’s “American Made” Hulk Hogan. If you remember the 1985 WWF winter catalog (and of course you don’t), the Hulkster appeared on the cover wearing the white T-shirt and headband. It wasn’t shown, but hopefully Hogan comes with the 1985 WWF Championship. For fans of the 1989 classic film No Holds Barred, this figure is a double bonus as its the same attire Hogan wore as Rip Thomas (see the comparison above).
Now if we could just get a Zeus action figure.
WWE Series 51 (“Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Heath Slater, Stephanie McMahon, Dolph Ziggler, Stardust, and Dean Ambrose)
There are going to be a lot of “first-time-in-the-line” figures in 2015, and Series 51 features the debuts of Stephanie McMahon and Stardust. Both are must-haves — no Authority collection could be complete without a businesswoman Stephanie — and Stardust is a work of art and the best (don’t call me) Cody Rhodes headscan yet.
Dolph Ziggler finally gets an updated headscan, although it should have come in on an Elite Series figure. It’s always good to see “Stone Cold” and this is the first Mattel figure with red knee braces. Dean Ambrose’s headscan is still not quite there (more on this in a minute), and Heath Slater gets a post-3MB, Slater Gator update.
This set is up for pre-order on Ringside Collectibles with an early- to mid-May release date.
Elite 36(?) Dean Ambrose and Bo Dallas
The first post-Shield Elite Dean Ambrose figure comes with an updated headscan that captures his unstable persona. (Don’t get caught up with his pink vest, this is a prototype.) That looks like a guy who would walk to WWE headquarters in a blizzard.
Bo Dallas may not be on TV, but he will be in the toy aisle. I Bolieve this figure perfectly showcases Dallas’ insincere character. Also rumored to be in this series are Dallas’ brother, Bray Wyatt, and father, IRS, as well as Goldust and Stardust.
WWE Series 52 (Chris Jericho, Mark Henry, Adrien Neville, the Miz, Nikki Bella and John Cena)
The NXT Takeover is here. Sami Zayn was the first developmental star to get an action figure. Next up is “the Man Who Gravity Forgot” Adrien Neville. The high-flying superstar gets a detailed treatment with his big ears, metallic boots and Union Jack tights.
Chris Jericho comes in his 2014 look. The hand tattoo is a nice touch, but where are his shoulder and biceps tats? That’s a pretty accurate Miz scan, and John Cena must be angry because the Nikki Bella figure keeps talking about having kids someday.
WWE Series 53 (Tyler Breeze, AJ Lee and Damien Mizdow)
The NXT Revolution continues with the debut figure of “Prince Pretty” Tyler Breeze. The only bummer here is that he likely won’t come with a tiny cellphone accessory and furry coat. Breeze and AJ Lee would look a lot better with molded belts, but that’s a nice looking figure of the MIA Diva. Mattel killed the headscan. Damien Sandow as the Miz’s stunt double is also on the way, so you can mimic your Miz toys.
Battle Packs Series 34 (Lana and Rusev, the Road Warriors, and Hornswoggle and El Torito)
Rusev, crush! Mattel gave us the first look at non-prototype Lana, and it may be one of the best female figures ever released. I especially like the clinched fist for — what else — crushing.
The Road Warriors are a Flashback to their WCW Monday Nitro run with blue shoulder spikes. These look great, but I barely remember this look.
Last year’s Extreme Rules WeeLC match is getting immortalized in plastic with updated El Torito and Hornswoggle figures. The detail on Hornswoggle is staggering, although I’m guessing some of his Muppet tattoos won’t make it onto the figure.
Series 34 is slated for a mid- to late-April release, and you can pre-order them at Ringside Collectibles.
Battle Packs Series 35 (Jack Swagger and Zeb Coulter, Curtis Axel and Ryback, Kane and Roman Reigns)
We got a first look at Battle Packs 35, and the standout figure is an updated Zeb Coulter. The former “Dirty Dutch Mantel” looks even more Tea Party in his second figure, with a long-sleeve red shirt, blue vest, black tie, cargo pants, and, of course, his Yosemite Same mustache/beard.
I’m a little surprised that Roman Reigns doesn’t have a taped-up closed fist for Superman punching. I’ll likely be passing on everyone else here but Coulter.
Superstars Entrances (Bad News Barrett, Hulk Hogan, Kofi Kingston, John Cena and Bo Dallas)
The Hulkster is obviously a big part of Mattel’s line now, and it shows with this “Hulk Rules” T-shirt series figure. I’m not a big fan of this Walmart exclusive series, but the Hogan is a nice nod to the late 1980s, early 1990s era of Hulkamania.
Overall, a strong showing from Mattel that’s going to empty collectors’ wallets later this year.
Credit to Ringside Collectibles for the photos and videos.