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.
Elite 42 was bit of a disappointment, even though I was glad to see the Nasty Boys get some figures. The lineup in Elite 43 is just beyond amazing. You have the first elites of three different superstars. The WWE Superstars included in Elite 43 are Samoa Joe, Kevin Owens, Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart, Alberto Del Rio and Kofi Kingston.
We give our thoughts on each figure and include some pictures.
I already received Elite 43 set earlier this month and I’m proud to have them in my collection. A couple of these could be hard to find at retail since they are the first elites of three of the wrestlers in the set.
Samoa Joe – Not only is this the first elite of Samoa Joe, but this is the first ever figure of him released by Mattel. Wrestlers usually get a basic figure before an elite, but Mattel was smart enough to realize that Samoa Joe was someone that needed to get fast-tracked to an elite. I expect A.J. Styles to get a similar push for an elite. This figure comes with a cloth t-shirt (I was surprised it wasn’t a plastic) and a towel. This one will be hard to find at retail.
Kevin Owens – Owens has already had a couple of basics hit the market. His elite has been anticipated for quite some time. He has an odd body type (not knocking him, just telling the truth), so I was curious to see which body mold Mattel would use. I think they did a great job. His biceps aren’t quite as big as his figure dictates, but I’ll can deal with the small error. Also, the NXT championship belt is a nice addition.
Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart – Bret has had a few elites made, but he has never been included in a regular Elite series. I like this figure only because it matches the Jim Neidhart figure that I will detail next. Hart elites are always a good seller for Mattel.
Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart – This is the first ever figure of Neidhart by Mattel. The Hart Foundation is finally complete…especially if you own the Target exclusive Hall of Fame figure of Jimmy Hart. Neidhart hasn’t had the best relationship with WWE since he had some legal issues in the past. I believe appearing on ‘Total Divas’ often with his daughter helped fix the previously burned bridge. I just love that we finally have a Neidhart figure.
Kofi Kingston – The New Day are getting the elite treatment with Xavier Woods in Elite 42, Big E in Elite 44 and Kofi in this set. He comes with an entrance jacket and a sign that dates back when the New Day feuded with the Prime Time Players. This is a must-buy if you’re a fan of the New Day and want to own updated figures in elite form.
Alberto Del Rio – The Elite 43 set isn’t perfect. Del Rio figures have always warmed shelves, so I was surprised to find that he was getting an elite so fast. He only came back to the WWE roughly six months ago. It usually takes about a year for a wrestler to get an elite. Mattel did take a shortcut and used a previous headscan for this figure. The inclusion of the U.S. title will help this figure out, but this one could clog up retail.
Elite 43 should be found at retail some time in mid-July.
The official lineup for Elite 44 has been released AND Mattel is putting out an extra series out made up of four re-releases and two previously unreleased figures. We will also finally be getting a Magnum T.A. figure that was supposed to be included in the original Legends line. It won’t be considered as Elite 45, Bill from Mattel has coined it Elite 44b.
Also, the San Diego Comic-Con is in mid-July. Mattel will be announcing a lot of new figures and alsohave many previously unseen figures on display. It’s like Christmas for WWE action figure collectors.
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.