I’m a self-confessed vintage toy nerd. I collect vintage wrestling action figures from the 80’s & 90’s. I started purchasing some vintage toys out of nostalgia. Well, WWE and Mattel sucked me into their new stuff. I now buy a few figures a month. You can view photos of my collection on my Instagram account.
Mattel has been including more flashback figures, which I love. I think it’s largely due to the success of the Target exclusive Hall of Fame series (by the way, series three should be in stores in the near future).
Elite 40 might be the best overall series released this calendar year. The WWE Superstars included in Elite 40 are Sami Zayn, Umaga, I.R.S., Rick Rude, Tyson Kidd and John Cena.
We give our thoughts on each figure and include some pictures.
Sami Zayn – This is Zayn’s first elite put out by Mattel. It is also the first time the NXT title came with a figure. This will be a hot seller since Zayn is a popular wrestler and the title will make it even more sought after. This is a must-own for any collector. If you miss out, I’m almost certain another NXT title will be included when Mattel release their first Kevin Owens elite in 2016.
Umaga – This might be the best elite Mattel has put out this year. The headscan is perfect and Mattel surprised a lot of people when they unveiled this figure at San Diego Comic-Con. Many didn’t know Umaga’s family signed a merchandising deal (usually details like that leak out months before a figure is ever released). This is a great overall figure.
I.R.S. – This figure was supposed to be included in Elite 36, but Bill Miekina, who is the head designer of WWE’s Mattel figures, said the head came back too small. They waited and Bill did a great job fixing this figure. It would have been cool if he was included in Elite series 36 because his two sons (Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas) were in that series. This will look great next to the upcoming Hall of Fame series Ted Dibiase elite when it is released.
Rick Rude – Rude already has an elite in the now-defunct ‘Legends’ line, but it was a short-haired version. This version is from the WWF era when Rude feuded with Jake ‘the Snake’ Roberts. I loved that feud. I freakin’ love elite 40.
Tyson Kidd – Kidd was in the middle of a nice run as a tag team with Cesaro…but he suffered a broken neck in a freak accident during a match with Samoa Joe. This figure is pretty sweet. The hoodie is a bit weird, but the headphones do fit under it well. I enjoy the ‘CATS’ and ‘FACT’ on his kickpads.
John Cena – If you’ve seen one John Cena figure, you’ve seen them all. I’m a fan of this color scheme, but the fact that it doesn’t come with a shirt is a bit unfortunate. It does come with the U.S. title. I enjoyed Cena’s run as U.S. champ, so it’s a cool figure to encapsulate those few months.
Elite 40 should be found at retail some time in early-January.
The official lineup for Elite 41 should be announced in the next two weeks. Once pictures of the MOC packaging is released, I’ll write something up.
You can pre-order everything at RingsideCollectibles.com. I’m not getting paid to plug them (although it would be nice to get a nice discount – wink wink). I just highly recommend them. I’ve been pleased with every purchase.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.