As has been the norm for Toy Fairs since Mattel took the WWE license, there were no massive new line-up reveals – those tend to be saved for Ringside Fest and Comic-Con. But between Mattel and other companies, what was revealed ironically allows the fans to finally do what Vince McMahon has such trouble with – create new stars and situations.
Finally bringing the WWE video games’ popular create-a-wrestler feature into the toy world, the new Create-a-WWE-Superstar sets come with body parts to make a figure, in-scale with other Mattels, who can either be a version of an existing star or someone else entirely. Extra body parts and a tattoo sheet are included, though I can’t imagine the tats standing up to rough kiddie play, unless they’re made of some sort of new material.
The Hulk Hogan set also allows you to make his masked alter-ego “Mr. America” for the first time – Jakks Pacific had tried to make him as a mail-away figure but WWE rejected it, presumably because the company had recently stopped using the gimmick, and Hogan’s on-again/off-again relationship with WWE had gone off.
If the line continues, it could be a more useful way to do build-a-figures than in those annoyingly hard-to-collect repaint sets we get every year around the holidays, and it could also produce enough generic heads to make a custom avatar of yourself. Assuming these toys are reasonably sturdy once out together, it seems a great idea.
And for those who have the space, yet another company has filled in a key vacuum in the wrestling toy world:
Yep, I don’t know where you’ll find the table or the floor to hold it, but Ringside Collectibles now makes a barricade and crash-mat set for the extra-large Elite Scale ring, to make the most complete arena set up possible. Combined with existing entrance stages and such, you could fill your entire room with a diorama set up, though it’s tough to imagine either an adult collector with the space, or a kid collector secure enough that a stray parental foot won’t accidentally rain down destruction upon the set-up.
I am still very glad that it exists.
P.S. how out-of-touch is Vince that his big “free” pay-per-view show is going head to head with the Oscars?
Luke Y. Thompson has been writing professionally about movies and pop-culture since 1999, and has also been an actor in some extremely cheap culty and horror movies you will probably never hear much about (he is nonetheless mostly proud of them, as he met his wife on one). As editor of The Robot's Voice since 2012, he can take the blame for the majority of the site's content, all of which he creates because he loves you very, very much. (Although he loves nachos more. Sorry.)
Prior to TRV, Luke wrote for publications that include the New Times LA, Los Angeles CityBeat, E! Online, OC Weekly, Geekweek, GeekChicDaily, The L.A. Times, The Village Voice, LA Weekly, and Nerdist