The Set Up
Ah, Roman Reigns. Roman bloody Reigns. Let’s just get one thing clear (well Two actually); 1) I fully understand that I am not the target audience for this character. Kids love him, the ladies love him but generally speaking, men in their 30s+ don’t. Some will, but a vast majority won’t. And that’s fine because point number two is…there are wrestler we love, and there are wrestlers we hate. Opinion and choice are completely subjective. I love The Miz, and I hate Roman Reigns. Simple as that. So despite my hatred of ‘The Dog’ (or whatever it is he chooses to call himself), my review will be ‘professional’ and completely unbiased. Also, this is more a comparison than it is a review, so I won’t be going into as much detail with regards to the wrestlers’ background, as I normally would.
Back Where It All Started
If you’re a wrestling fan in yours 30s (or older) it’s very likely you had a bunch of WWF Hasbro action figures. I certainly did, and fondly look back at recreating many (now) historic match-ups. As the years went on, the figures became more life like (with ‘new’ face scan technology) and our once beloved Hasbro collection became child’s play compared to these ‘adult collectors’ figures we now bought. If only we knew…
The Year Of Retro
Fast forward 25+ years and Mattel are throwing us oldies a bone in the shape of old school wrestling action figures. New heroes like Kevin Owens, Brock Lesner and of course…Roman Reigns, are getting the old school treatment, and it’s becoming a massive hit. All of a sudden the secondary market is full of collectors selling off their old wrestling action figures. They haven’t been in the public eye for decades and now every Tom, Dick, and Harry is selling some off, and it’s all in part due to Mattel. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are collectors out there who specifically specialize in older figures. The guys at Fully Poseable are well versed in all things wrestling figures (seriously if you’re not already a fan, do yourself a favour and check out their weekly Podcast. They know more about wrestling action figures than you’ve had hot dinners) so the love for older Hasbro figures has always been there, it’s just been more ‘underground’. With all that being said, how do they stack up against each other? Are they more detailed? less cartoony? bigger? well, let’s take a look and find out for ourselves.
It’s My Yard Now
Straight off the bat, you can see that the Roman Reigns figure has a lot more detail, but I feel that’s an obvious unfair advantage given the 26-year difference, so we’ll discount that. What I would like to touch on though is the plastic, especially on the head. As you can see on the Jerry Sags figure, the paint on his head has lost some paint. These things took quite the beating and as a result (due to the plastic) the paint came off. The new Mattel Retro figures, however, have a rubber head. So not only can you see more detail, but it will also stop any paint from fading away. The body proportions are much chunkier too. Looking at Reigns fist, it is literally twice the size of Saggs! So the newer figures are overall chunkier too.
Action Feature Details
One thing that is lost in today’s market (from a kids perspective) is the ‘action feature’. Yeah, we have lines like ‘Tough Talkers’, but the Hasbro figures had ‘real’ features. They could jump, perform a gorilla press or even a good old fashioned clothesline. All these things added to the charm of the figures, and something that some people would say is missing from today’s regular line. The Retro figures have not only kept these beloved features but also hid their mechanics. Back in the day, you would have been able to see the spring in the arm of the Superman punch. No major issue to be fair, but Mattel has upped the game and simply hidden it to look like it’s part of the figure. It sounds so silly and obvious, but it’s a really genius subtle touch that once again shows just how far figures have come in detail and aesthetic.
If you were a fan of these the first time around, you’re definitely going to love them again. The fact that we have current superstars mixed in with legends like The Ultimate Warrior and The Undertaker makes them that much greater. If you’re a parent (like myself) then introducing this once loved line to a whole new generation is even greater still. I won’t mark this figure on it’s own, but I will give the line as a whole a perfect…
A quick shout out to Yellow Pinkie for the opportunity to review this figure (give them a follow on Twitter & show your love) and let me know what you think of this new line. Is there anyone out there who isn’t a fan? I’d love to hear from you. Let me know in the comments below, and as always, thanks for reading!