Wednesday, January 13, 2010

WWE (Mattel) - Batista

QUICK INFO:
Name: Batista
Line: WWE Series 1 (Mattel)
Year: January 2010

Price: $9.99



This is a first for Random Toy Reviews today. I often review toys from lines of which I grew up playing with, but today I'm going to venture into a type of action figure that I've never played with as a kid or even owned. Wrestling figures. Today we're going to take a look at one of the figures from Mattel's newly acquired WWE licensed series 1 action figure line. If you are like me and wondered how Mattel would handle the WWE super stars as compared to Jakks Pacific (the last company to hold the license) then take a few moments as we look at Batista!


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I gotta say that I really like the packaging...well at least the front. The blister card is rather slim in design and allows a good view at the wrestler depicted on the back of the card. The back of the card however is another story. I understand Mattel's desire to want to sell other figures, but the cross sell is a little overkill here. There is only one small picture of the actual product and it is at the bottom of the card. Usually the item you're buying is largely depicted on the card with the thumb nail like pictures of the cross sell items across the bottom. Yeah it really isn't that big of a deal, but it still bugs me some.

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Upon the first time picking up on these packages I was surprised to notice the air holes on the sides of the blister bubble. The first time I had ever seen this done was with Mattel's very own Masters of the Universe Classics line. I'm guessing this is geared to the collector's who don't want to open their figures, but worry that the plastic could degrade and break down inside the package without proper air flow. Personally I think that idea is silly. I understand the desire to collect figures and not open them (I have all of the Cobra figures from the 25th Anniversary G.I. Joe series carded, in display cases on my wall @ home), but the idea of the plastic deterating inside the package? I'm sure though to a lot of fans and collector's alike the air holes are a welcomed addition to the packaging. You can also see a small action shot if you will of the product printed on the small piece of cardboard insert.

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Here you can see Batista freed from his plastic & cardboard prison. My first impression of the figure is that he seems pretty solid and the likeness is fairly spot on. I know that Dave Batista is a very chiseled athlete, but the sculpting of the muscles on this figure just seems to rigid and stiff. The tattoos resemble the real thing which really surprises me. The red used for his outfit is too bright in my opinion and that really takes away from the overall presentation.

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Just take a look at the detail on the large tattoo that covers the majority of Batista's back. Amazing. Kudos to Mattel for giving this as much detail as they did. Too bad this detail can't be seen while packaged as I think this could be one of the figure's strong selling points.

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As I mentioned earlier I thought Mattel did a fantastic job capturing the likeness of Batista in plastic form...especially in the face. While the figure may not be as bronze or oily as Batista on a episode of Friday Night Smackdown, they were able to capture a lot of his facial features down to his signature gotee. Having never bought or paid much attention to the Jakks Pacific figures in the past it's hard for me to comment or make comparisons, but I'm going out on a limb and say the likeness of the Mattel figures is much greater to the athletes than what was produced in the past.

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What good is a wrestling figure you may ask if you can't pose it in a number of ways? Well I'm happy to report that this figure isn't lacking in the articulation department. I count 20 points of articulation to be exact. The head and rotate a full 360 degrees as well as up and down. The arms can rotate 360 degrees at the shoulders, biceps and wrists. Both the elbows and the wrists also bend back and forth. You can rotate the figure 360 degrees at the waist. Legs are articulated at the waist, but can only be moved back and forth. Knee joints bend as well as the ankles. The feet can be swiveled 360 degrees as well. There isn't any toe articulation as seen in other 8 inch scale action figures...but I like that. It gives the foot a more solid look and stable base. Batista's right hand is sculpted in manner which would give you the idea that he could hold something while the left hand is sculpted in a more open position. I'm also happy to report that the plastic used for the elbow and knee pads is made of a soft flexible plastic so it doesn't hinder the articulation in those areas. The knee pads on my figure do slightly move up and down, but for the most part are fixed into place...they are not removable.

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I'm a sucker for action figure stands and I'm happy to see more stands included with the toys. The stands are rather simple, made of black plastic with the now classic WWE logo recessed in the center of the stand. There is one peg that firmly rests in either peg hole on the bottom of the figure's feet. Also included is a thin cardboard name that clips into the front of the stand. While I feel this was a cost cutting measure versus stamping the names on each stand it still is a nice little touch. I just foresee these name tags easily being lost or damaged down the road.

I grew up watching wrestling with my grandfather and older brother. Many of my memories of my grandfather include gathering at his house to watch the then quarterly pay-per-view events. We watched more NWA/WCW growing up, but I remember the flashly WWF broadcasts back the in the day. Flash forward to 2010 and it's clear to see that the WWE hands a firm grasp on the professional wrestling genre. I can see from a business perspective why Mattel wanted to jump in the ring (no pun intended) and manufacture wrestling toys, specifically WWE toys. I'm sure this will be a cash cow for Mattel if they continue to make the figures as they have with this newly released series 1. All in all I have to say that I'm fairly impressed with Mattel's take on the 8 inch scale wrestlers. The attention to detail, articulation and overall likeness of the characters are handled very well and I'm sure the WWE loyal will appreciate this and gobble up just about everything that is released. Will I buy any more of these figures? I doubt it, but that isn't because the figures lack quality. If you are a die hard wrestling fan I believe you will like what Mattel has done with the license. As for me, I'll just stick to watching wrestling on TV and stick w/ my other action figures.

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