After ten years, the Mattel WWE line year in and year out gives us more figures than really any other line out there. Wrestling collectors, we are spoiled. There is so much good stuff being presented right now, and every era of wrestling can be displayed proudly on your shelves. Not many guys and gals are not available in plastic form, but there was one really big, gaping hole in every Mattel collection. "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan was shown off years ago at SDCC to much fanfare. Then this happened. Needless to say, the figure went unreleased and was brought up constantly. Now, years later, rightfully or not, Hogan is back in the good graces of WWE and back under a deal with them for merchandise. Wasting no time, Mattel put Hollywood into production, and the figure is here.
On the other side of the spectrum, Bray Wyatt's "Fiend" gimmick is one of the hottest characters in years, and the night he debuted, fans cried, "Make us a figure!" We have a regular Elite already and a basic, but now The Fiend gets his own Ultimate figure. Both of these are the most highly anticipated wrestling figures of the year, so let's take a look at both and see if they live up to the hype.
Rest Easy WWE Collectors; They Are Fantastic
I must say, I am still not a giant fan of the Ultimate packaging. I get what Mattel is going for here, making it easy to reseal and have an on-card figure while still being able to enjoy the figure. I just don't like the design of the package. The colors are kinda blah, and they use so much tape that it ends up ripping when you open it anyway. The figure photography is cool, and I like the giant window, but I prefer something more like WWE Defining Moments. To each his own, though.
We will start with the Fiend. So much about this figure is perfect; I will just say that the only thing I do not like is that Bray's lantern is not included. As the Ultimate version of a WWE superstar, it should come with everything. Yes, the lantern came with the Elite, but it should be here also. Other than that: this is flawless. I love the detail work on his tattoos; I love the details on his shirt and boots. I love both head scans. It was going to be hard to capture how sunken Bray's eyes look when wearing the mask, but they did it. I love how poseable he is. I love how you can swap out his arms to put on the jacket; that is such a genius design move. The Fiend WWE title included is masterfully done. I have nothing negative to say about this figure.
Now, Hollywood Hogan. There is so much to like here. I wrestled with adding this to my collection. So many wrestlers over the years have become problematic. Hogan's actions are unforgivable, and I am not here to debate that. I was not there when he made his amends; I do not know how sincere he was. I don't own any Ultimate Warrior figures. I don't own any Chris Benoit figures. They are deplorable human beings. As a wrestling fan of a certain age, I cannot deny how important Hogan was to my childhood, however. I was always more of a Macho Man guy, but hearing that music even now and seeing Hogan come out makes the hair on my arms stand up. I hope he was sincere. I hope he truly feels bad about his actions and is trying to better himself out of the public eye. He probably isn't, but I hope so. His heel turn to the Hollywood persona and what it meant to WCW and the WWE both cannot be denied, so I added this figure because of its historical significance.
And what a figure this is. Mattel, thank you. This is the Hollywood Hogan figure we have always wanted. Storm Collectibles did a great job as well, but having this version to match the rest of our collections was so important. The Ultimate design allows for so many of Hogan's iconic poses. This was the only way to do this figure. His boots look amazing. I love that his NWO shirt separates from the front. I love all three head scans. I even love the ridiculous boa, which fits better than I thought it would. I do wish the glasses fit his face better. Besides that, another flawless job as far as I am concerned.
If you collect WWE or just wrestling figures in general, these are must-buys. You have to own them, period. A classic edition long requested and a modern character destined for greatness, these two figures are why we collect. In-store, these will be impossible to get, so place a preorder here for when they start shipping again.