Thursday, 1 September 2016

BONUS Crappy Review: Mattel WWE Triple Threat Match

I found a review I forgot to post. This should have gone up during the early stages of the Long Look at Sonic the Comic but I completely forgot to post it, as I have it fully written and have all the pictures taken for it, I thought you lucky fellows could have it as a bonus post.  


In’s 2016, do you know where your smiles are?
Following on from our last Pay-Per-View Mattel WWE review we’re having a Triple Threat Match because the card is subject to change I bought three figures off Ringsidecollectibles.com. Ringsidecollectibles is THE place to buy current wrestling merchandise, it’s a good resource to know what’s coming out and it’s prices for the actual figures is pretty respectable, especially once you factor in the dollar-to-pound conversion BUT the postage is pretty over the top, you can pretty much buy another figure for the price it costs to send one toy to London, but if you order enough it can spread the cost and everything becomes about acceptable – that’s why I bought three, I’m not greedy I’m just tight.


Our contestants for tonight are two WWE figures and one WWE Elite figure, WWE are Mattel’s lowest price point ‘basic’ line of figures and Elite are their mid-price ‘standard’ line that used to be their top of the range line until they debuted Defining Moments (look it still confuses me so I’m gonna keep repeating this in every WWE QCR): WWE Series 62 Becky Lynch, WWE Series 59 Honky Tonk Man and the Ringsides Collectibles’ Exclusive WWE Elite Shawn Michaels.


First to the ring is Becky Lynch because I want to get all the bile out of the way first. Becky Lynch is a steam-punk themed ‘WWE Diva’ (god I hate that name) and a pretty recent wrestler for my selection of toys, having made her debut on WWE programming 2013 as part of NXT’s roster, she’s subsequently moved up to the ‘main roster’ as of 2015 but I have completely fallen in love with her, mostly because of her dress sense and because she’s utterly gorgeous but also because she’s a good wrestler and she beat the shit out of Sasha Banks, who needs to fuck off, and best of all I have a match between her and Paige (who incidentally is only not the queen of all female wrestlers ever because Daffney exists) saved to my hard drive: Becky Lynch vs Paige is about the best match possible.


Her figure is not so great though, and again it’s the face – side on it’s good, though it needs a lot more eye makeup, but face on it’s well, I don’t get it, they scan these faces right? How can a computer turn one of the most beautiful faces in wrestling history into a sulking aunt, I think she’s supposed to be sort-of pouting like in her promotional photos but she just looks like she doesn’t want to be at Disneyland. She’s also very light on possible poses, she can shake her fist, put her hands on her waistband or flex one muscle and she has that giant hand that Lita had, why do all Divas have huge left hands in the mind of Mattel’s WWE design team? I demand answers! Actually other than the slightly off likeness (and the giant hand) she’s a pretty good figure, her hip joints are a little ugly but they’re ball joints which is very rare for basic WWE figures, her thigh swivels and ab crunch (again both rare for the basic WWE figure) are well hidden by her outfit, as are her ankle joints which are those combined swivel-hinge joints, her hair is brilliant, her goggles are fantastic and, oh god this is going to sound really bad but it isn’t meant to be pervy (this time), the sculpting of her shorts being pulled tight by her arse is really good, that’s not something you usually see a sculpt team put effort into when it comes to action figures (I can’t imagine why). So yeah, as long as you don’t look at the figure straight on it’s great. She doesn’t have any accessories other than her goggles, which are a separate piece and do come off but she can’t wear them anywhere but on her head so I’m not sure they even count as accessories but rather a piece the factory forgot to glue.


Next up is the greatest Intercontinental Champion to ever wrestle – and yes he paid me to say that and yes Randy Savage has taken to haunting me and whispering expletives ever since I agreed – The Honky Tonk Man! Honky is played by Roy Wayne Farris (well when I say played, he is a character created for the WWF but I’m not sure Farris knows this as he seems to always be playing Honky Tonk Man) who was a wrestling Elvis impersonator who became popular after becoming a cocky villain without the balls to back up his boasts and he was great. He feuded with Jake the Snake before becoming Intercontinental Champion and going up against the likes of Ricky Steamboat, Macho Man Randy Savage and, um, Butus Beefcake until the Ultimate Warrior squashed him in about 30 seconds. He was in a tag team with Greg ‘The Hamer’ Valentine for a while but after his IC run (which lasted for a record 64 weeks) he didn’t do much in the company except commentary and the odd appearance.


This figure’s great, Honky’s had an Elite figure years ago (I think this is the same head sculpt used on that) but he had a cloth suit on and it looks a bit silly, it looks like someone shrunk a G.I. Joe Adventure Team figure and put an Elvis head on it. This one comes without the suit but that sadly means he also comes without the guitar (Honky smashed guitars over people long before Jeff Jarret did it, and he did not at any time call anyone ‘slap nuts’ while doing so), I want, no, need a little six-inch scale guitar for this figure. Anyway everything from the neck down is standard ‘buck’ parts and other than not having the…what would you call them, sweat bands, wrist things, other than not having the wrist things sculpted on (that still annoys me) and the ‘Memphis’ on his tights being broken up by the articulation there’s not much to complain about, well unless you want to complain about the lack of ball joints at the hips but you know you’re gonna get that when you decide to buy a basic WWE figure, still it would be nice. The head is fantastic, utterly fantastic, it probably helps that Honky is a living cartoon and that makes any sculptor’s job a lot easier (while Honky has aged pretty well I’m guessing this was sculpted rather than scanned, he looks way too young), mine has some crappy paintwork around his right ear but it’s not like you can see it from a distance or on my shelf or anything I can just notice it because she’s about 10 cms in front of me by my keyboard. Other than, well he’s a simple toy with parts I’ve already moaned about and there really isn’t any other than that, he’s great, he needs a guitar.


Finally welcome ‘Mr Wrestlemania’ (yeah, bullshit Shawn) Shawn Michaels! Michael Hickenbottom aka Shawn Michaels is one of the best wrestlers to ever be in the WWF, of course he’s also one of the biggest arseholes to wrestle in the WWF. Apparently he’s found god and is not an arsehole anymore and given that him not being an arsehole is effectively proving god can work miracles you’d think that the big G-O-D would have turned up to tag with him when he was supposed to (that is not something I made up, he really did have a tag team match alongside God once). Michaels made his name in the WWF as part of the Rockers tag team but went solo in the early 1990s (199…2?) and became a fan favourite and then huge star, in fact the only reason he didn’t stay a huge star was because he got so full of booze and pills he couldn’t perform anymore (and did his back in for a while), so sat out most of the ‘Attitude Era’ before coming back – clean and with god on his side – to perform more amazing matches. His high profile until 2010 (he’s officially retired) might well be attributed to having a best friend who’s also married to the boss’ daughter but his talent at wrestling does go a long way to justifying keeping the old bastard near the top of the card for so long. This figure is how I always think of Shawn Michaels looking like, it’s based on ring attire he wore around 1994 (though he changed his tights nearly as much as Rick Rude, who later worked for him funnily enough) and it’s also the outfit his original Hasbro WWF figure wore, which of course is the most important thing.


This is an exclusive for ringsidecollectibles.com and it is fucking awesome. I have one complaint and that is his wrists look too thin for his hands, I think I’ve complained about this before, it makes his hands look big and makes the joints look more obvious? I’m sure I have. Anyway everything else about him great, he sports the maximum amount of articulation points an Elite figure seems to be able to have and nearly all of them work great with the design: his tights are mostly compatible with the thigh cuts (except for one red zebra patch on his left thigh) and if you keep his jacket on it hides all the ugly parts of ab crunch. His paint apps are spectacular, there is so much here and it’s all so complex and yet it’s all so sharp and it stays in all the lines and I can’t believe that’s praise for something, but buy enough action figures and you will see how much trouble a factory has doing what most 8 years can accomplish. My figure has some parts on his jacket’s belt where they missed a spot. His likeness is scarily good, Michaels was supposed to the ‘sexy boy’ and be gorgeous and shit and he is quite handsome but he has a weird collection of facial features, he’s got a chin like something out of Batman: The Animated Series, a nose he robbed off of the Wicked Witch of the West and beady little rodent eyes, when he wasn’t shaving he looked like a Jim Henson Production. All of this is captured in the head sculpt perfectly, the toy’s not quite as smug as I usually think of Michaels being but he looks a bloody lot like him and also a bit like a young Bruce Willis. The box lists his sunglasses and jacket as accessories, the sunglasses are probably the best in the line I’ve seen so far, they’re roughly the right size, fit nicely and look good on, the jacket is not an accessory, but it shares all the qualities with the rest of the figure.       

now who's screwed Michaels?
 The winner of our triple threat match is as forgone a conclusion as a Triple H main event – Becky Lynch is disqualified after spending to long trying to get at an angle where she actually looks like the real person for the cameras and Honky Tonk Man is taken out by Sweet Chin Music because you better believe the first thing I did when I took this Shawn Michaels figure out of the box was see if it could do a super kick. Conclusion: I don’t’ regret buying Becky but her face is off, Honky’s great, Shawn Michaels may very well be about to usurp Rick Flair as my favourite Mattel WWE figure, they’re going to have a ladder match on my bed spread to decide things for me. 

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