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.
The lineup in Elite 51 is above average. Any set after Elite 50 was going to be a little underwhelming. That set was fabulous.
The WWE Superstars included in Elite 51 are A.J. Styles, Mankind, Scott Hall, Roman Reigns, Berzerker and Sami Zayn.
We give our thoughts on each figure and include some pictures.
A.J. Styles – Since his first elite was nearly impossible to find at retail, Mattel knew they wanted to crank out another one as soon as possible. This one is more of a ‘Bullet Club’-ish type attire, which is desirable. He is the best and most popular wrestler on Smackdown Live, so this one will be hard to find at retail as well.
Scott Hall (NWO Flashback) – It was only a matter of time before Mattel released an Outsiders version of Hall to go with Elite 17 Kevin Nash and the Ringside Collectibles version. This is probably the most iconic attire Hall wore in WCW, so this is fantastic.
Berzerker (WWF Flashback) – I was quite surprised this was getting released since John Nord, who played the Berzerker in the WWF, is currently in the class action suit against the WWE for concussions. Just like the Warlord in the previous set, Mattel is releasing figures of guys in the lawsuit if they were already working on them. The attire on this figure is quite ornate. I like all the accessories and adds to the figure. I hope this sells well at retail, but I do worry since he only had a short run in the 90’s.
Mankind (New Generation Flashback) – Mattel releasing this figure again is a bit disappointing. This figure was first released almost five years ago and was a Toys R Us mail-in exclusive. There was almost a myth of this figure cause not many were claimed. About two years later, they popped up on Amazon, although many came pretty beat up. I assumed they were stored for many years somewhere and Amazon acquired them. It’s a cool figure and will fill in new collectors’ holes in their collection while we still wait for Mattel to release a Dude Love to complete the ‘Faces of Foley’.
Roman Reigns – I’m not thrilled with many, if not all, Roman Reigns figures. He has barely changed up his attire since he debuted in The Shield. He has added some color around his logo and that’s it. This figure will still sell pretty well and adding the U.S. title will help secure it won’t collect dust on shelves.
Sami Zayn – His first elite and basic figures were hot sellers. Since he debuted on the main roster, his figures haven’t been as wanted. He had an elite that was a Walmart exclusive and out of that set, his is the only one that is still at my local Walmarts. He is almost a mid-card jobber at this point on both RAW and now on Smackdown Live. He seems like a really good guy, but the WWE is killing his character by making him annoying.
Elite 51 should be found at retail in late-July.
Elite 52’s lineup has already been leaked, but not officially announced. Once MOC images are released, I’ll write something up for the site.
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.