Toy Review – WWE Elite Walmart Exclusive The Rock from Mattel

There have been some changes to my collecting habits since I reviewed Mattel’s Ultimate Edition Ultimate Warrior.

I’m pretty sure you collectors will be able to identify with this.

I was doing my best to just collect Mattel’s Retros, female Elites, and Mattel WCW figures, with the occasional clearance or markdown figure here and there – just figures I could get for ten bucks or less. Despite some pretty big temptations I have been sticking to that.

Of course, the tremendous Major Wrestling Figure Podcast has not helped my resolve to minimize my wrestling figure collection. But overall I’ve been strong.

Then this Walmart (ugh) exclusive figure of the Jabroni-beatin’, pie-eatin’, most electrifying Superstar in the history of sports entertainment came along and it looked so damn good that I couldn’t help but start looking for it.

This Rock was released alongside a set of WWE/Ghostbusters crossover figures that, aside from their hilariously tiny proton packs are pretty good but not for me. The Ghostbusters seemed timed to coincide with Halloween, while the SmackDown-branded Rock might have been conveniently aligned with the brand’s debut on the FOX network.

Whatever the case, the things aren’t showing up in Georgia. In the frequent and relatively wide-ranging toy hunting I do I have found them exactly once. There were two Rock figures and three of the four Ghostbusters and that was the only time I have seen them. If I had to bet, I’d put money on these figures showing up in massive quantities at discount stores like Ollie’s and Big Lots, possibly before the end of the year but definitely by February.

The best part is that the Ghostbusters/Rock combo wave is shipping in its own display that mounts on the side of an endcap. The ones I found were just on the pegs and I have never even seen one of the endcap displays in person. Not even an empty one.

Fortunately, though, I got my Rock. I hate Walmart exclusives because they are the absolute worst retailer on the planet and put zero effort into featuring or emphasizing any exclusives they might get. And because they are by default the biggest toy retailer in America toy manufacturers are all too eager to cut exclusive deals with them because they then have a guaranteed purchase in massive numbers. Once the deal is done it doesn’t matter what Walmart does with the product.

Pardon my cynicism, but I’ve been playing this game for decades and my stomach drops every time an exclusive I want is announced for Walmart.

So was this Rock worth the hunt or should I have just waited for this one to FINALLY… show up… in TJ Maxx? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – WWE Elite Walmart Exclusive The Rock from Mattel”

Toy Review – WWE Ultimate Edition Ultimate Warrior from Mattel

In the time that has passed since I reviewed the other figure in this case pack, Ultimate Ronda Rousey, I have been unable to resist expanding my collection of wrestling figures.

For a long time I was just collecting Mattel’s Retros and female figures. The Retros were charming throwbacks to Hasbro’s WWF figures and for the most part I find WWE’s female performers more interesting both in the ring and visually than the males. Objectively, females tend to be more toyetic.

Now, however, I have ended up collecting Mattel WCW figures as well as a few odds and ends here and there – mostly stuff I find on clearance. How could you possibly pass up Big Strong Boi Tyler Bate with the NXT UK Championship for twelve bucks? Or Ricochet, Tommaso Ciampa, or (Mustafa) Ali for seven bucks each (due to a nationwide screw up on the part of Walmart)?

The bottom line is that Mattel is making some of the best action figures on the market, but only if you’re into wrestling toys. I’m resisting going all-in, but as a lifelong fan of action figures and wrestling, some of these releases really give me the itch. Especially these Ultimates.

The first wave of these consisted of Rousey and this Warrior, the next – which should be hitting stores soon – includes Shinsuke Nakamura and Bret Hart. I’m not sure yet if I’ll end up getting those, but Rousey and Warrior both fit into what I’m already collecting, though I didn’t realize the latter did at first.

I’ve never been much of an Ultimate Warrior fan. Body guys never did much for me. Don’t get me wrong – I admire their dedication to what I think must be a very difficult lifestyle. But I like guys who can work and who look like they’re built for ass-kicking, not for wearing a G-string and flexing on a stage. Warrior had charisma for sure, but he was the shits in the ring. He’s not a guy I’m going to collect.

But then I found out from the Major Wrestling Figure Podcast that this look is based on his time in WCW and that was a very interesting run.

Not good, but interesting.

Between my love for wrestlecrap and the fact that I am actively collecting WCW figures, I knew I had to get this guy.

Is it truly the Ultimate Warrior? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – WWE Ultimate Edition Ultimate Warrior from Mattel”

San Diego Comic Con 2019 – The Toys

I’ve never been to San Diego Comic Con and I can’t foresee a time when it will ever be practical for me to attend, but I do follow the excitement from afar every year.

As an avid fan of pop culture and toys in particular, SDCC is like a blitzkrieg of delight that assaults my mind and my wallet. Film studios and toy manufacturers drop years’ worth of news in the span of a few days. It’s a lot, and if you’re like me it’s helpful to have a place to distill it down to the best stuff.

That’s what Needless Things is for.

Today I’ll be writing about all of the coolest toy news from this year’s Comic Con. Then, for the next two Fridays, you’ll be able to hear me and our pop culture experts Ryan and Jay discuss toys, movies, and more on the Needless Things Podcast!

I’ve included pictures where I can, but mostly just official releases when the companies have put them out (which they have gotten much better about since I started doing these). Toy Ark has massive galleries of the toys and our pal Action Figure Attack on Instagram and Facebook for the best pictures from the show. Continue reading “San Diego Comic Con 2019 – The Toys”

Toy Stories: How to Make A Zubaz Ring

After generating a little bit of social media buzz, I got a few inquiries about this. Never one to miss out on an opportunity to add to our dozens of fans, I thought it would be a good idea to write a post about how I made

THE MAGICAL MAJOR WRESTLING FIGURE PODCAST ECW SANDMAN TRIBUTE ZEBRA STRIPED ZUBAZ RETRO WRESTLING RING

It’s utterly silly and also wonderful at the same time and customizing it brought me tons of joy, so I’m more than happy to share the process. Especially since I actually thought to take pictures every step of the way.

Continue reading “Toy Stories: How to Make A Zubaz Ring”

Toy Review – WWE Elite 63 Dusty Rhodes from Mattel

Seeing as Independence Day is this Thursday I thought it would be a great time to take a look at the American Dream!

Dusty Rhodes is one of my favorite wrestlers.

We all know he could talk. Every time you see anything about Dusty he’s got a mic in his hand. I became a Dusty fan thirty years ago when he pulled Sapphire out of the audience and made her his manager. Those two were pure joy. I don’t remember a single Dusty match from that era, but I sure do remember Dusty and Sapphire dancing and Dusty cutting white-hot promos on Randy Savage.

It wasn’t until WWE started releasing their excellent DVDs collecting old AWA/NWA matches that I truly started to appreciate how incredible Dusty was. His work rate was amazing. He didn’t move or work like a big fat guy. He fought as hard and looked as good as any of his opponents, keeping pace with the likes of Ric Flair, Terry Funk, Harley Race, and everyone else.

That was when Dusty became one of my top guys and a part of every wrestling conversation I would have from then on.

In the years before his passing, Dusty cemented his legacy and became one of the most important figures in professional wrestling through his work with the young generation at NXT, WWE’s evolving developmental territory. To this day every wrestler who passed through NXT during Dusty’s time there credits the Dream as being key to their success.

As soon as I finished writing my Mattel WCW post, the first figure I tracked down was the American Dream.

If we’re ever lucky enough to get a Dusty/Sapphire two-pack I will buy that for sure (someone tell Bill that November 25th is the anniversary of Sapphire’s entry into the WWF), but this version is the Dusty I had to have and fits with my sort-of-strict WCW Elite collection.

Is Mattel a hit-maker and a record-breaker or are they in the midst of some hard times? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – WWE Elite 63 Dusty Rhodes from Mattel”

Toy Stories – Exclusivity

NOTE: This post was written last Thursday after a particularly disappointing internet experience. The author was despondent at the time.

Let’s talk about exclusives.

Exclusive toys are neat-o. They’re something special and different and a significant badge of honor that you were willing to do some specific thing that others were not.

Whether that thing was pay a premium, wait in a ludicrously long line, stay on top of a timed online release, or simply be patient enough for interest to die down in order to get a reasonable price, exclusives require something more than simply grabbing a toy off the peg or pressing the “Buy” button on your favorite website.

I’m writing about this today because of NECA’s 2019 San Diego Comic Con Exclusives. I can’t get one and IT’S PISSING ME THE F**KING A** SH*TF**K MOTHERBI**CH OFF. Continue reading “Toy Stories – Exclusivity”

Toy Review – WWE Ultimate Edition Ronda Rousey from Mattel

I mentioned in my Mattel WCW post that I am only collecting three types of modern wrestling figures at the moment – Retros, the WCW roster, and the Women’s Division. Retros because they’re fun and nostalgic, WCW because that’s my favorite era of wrestling, and the women because they’re more visually interesting than the men and they are providing the highest level of entertainment on WWE TV these days and have been for a while.

Mattel can’t get a Lacey Evans out soon enough.

Ronda Rousey was a big part of the Women’s Division being so superior. Her current status might be inactive and her future might be in  question, but in my opinion she took to the business in a way that no athlete from an outside sport has since Kurt Angle. She had a believable, engaging charism that was unique on the roster and every match she had was at worst very good.

During Rousey’s brief tenure in WWE she was the proverbial Human Highlight Reel, with her every action being notable and a discussion-worthy part of that week’s action. Part of it was a very carefully cultivated program by WWE’s creative team, but even the best-executed writing will fail without a competent Superstar to carry it out on screen. And thanks to whatever magical combination of talent and execution occurred, Ronda Rousey was WWE’s biggest star in 2018-2019.

She might have hit the occasional bump, but this was her first year in the business. I can’t even imagine what she could be capable of if – hopefully when – she returns.

Due to the brevity of Rousey’s tenure and the nature of the action figure business Mattel has only released three Ronda Rousey action figures to date – one Basic, one Elite, and today’s Ultimate Edition. I passed on the Basic, but the Elite was a very good figure for what it was. I’m not the biggest fan of wrestling figures who aren’t in ring gear, but Mattel did such a great job with Rousey’s likeness that I had to grab that one when I saw it.

This Ultimate Edition is an all-new concept from Mattel. Replacing their Entrance Greats line, it is an attempt to deliver everything that wrestling fans might want from an action figure – entrance and in-ring looks, multiple hands, multiple portraits, and ultimate articulation. The first two releases were Rousey and – obviously – Ultimate Warrior. I mean, they had to, right?

Is this Rousey truly the ultimate and a ten dollar step above Mattel’s Elites? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – WWE Ultimate Edition Ronda Rousey from Mattel”