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 41 might be the best overall series released this calendar year. I know I said that for elite 40, but Mattel keeps outdoing themselves. The WWE Superstars included in Elite 41 are Finn Balor, 1-2-3 Kid, Terry Funk, Lita, Dean Ambrose and Ryback.
We give our thoughts on each figure and include some pictures.
I actually pre-ordered the entire Elite 41 set and should receive them next week. I’m impressed with this entire series. This set should sell really well.
Finn Balor – This might be the best elite Mattel has ever produced. The detail on the paint is impressive. Balor is possibly the hottest superstar in NXT and possibly the entire WWE roster. I’ve been waiting for this elite since his debut in NXT nearly a year ago. This is a must buy.
1-2-3 Kid – I have a fondness for the 1-2-3 Kid. He has one of my favorite WWF Hasbro figures and I loved when he debuted on WWF Raw back in the 90’s. He had a nice feud with Razor Ramon from the beginning. I’ve been waiting for this figure since we got an X-Pac elite last year. I also like that he comes with a classic tag team title.
Terry Funk (flashback) – This flashback figure is from Terry Funk’s time in the original ECW. I loved his resurgence on ECW television. He was a staple in the 70’s and 80’s and found a niche in hardcore. If you watched him when he was young, his style was hardcore before it was called that. I love that it comes with the ECW title. This should be a hot seller for those who watched ECW back in the day.
Lita (flashback) – Lita was a crucial part of the Attitude Era. She was the first diva that incorporated a high-flying style. She was also manager of the Hardy Boyz…a tag team I hope returns to the WWE at some point so we can get flashback figures of those guys as well. Diva figures fly off the shelves, so get this while you can.
Dean Ambrose – This figure was from the moment when Dean Ambrose was arrested and he came back in the arena in a paddy wagon, cop hat and a nightstick. It was a cool moment, but I’m not sure if it was iconic enough to get an elite. Ambrose figs are good sellers, so many Mattel was just looking for a new angle to release a new elite. I’m fine with that.
Ryback – This is Ryback’s first elite since Elite series 30. He has changed his gear a little since then, so a new elite was long overdue. I like that it comes with a weight belt and I’m completely fine that he comes with a plastic shirt. He barely wears the shirt and is always cut on the sides, so it works. I hope this sells better than his earlier elites.
Elite 41 should be found at retail some time in early-March.
The official lineup for Elite 42 hasn’t been released yet, but unofficial lineups have leaked over the last few weeks. I’ll write up another post when prototype pictures for Elite 42 are released.
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.