The upcoming Rocky Johnson Elite action figure will have his tattoos after all. Mattel WWE senior designer Bill Miekina shared an updated sample of the upcoming Collector’s Edition figure today that includes the bird tattoos on Johnson’s chest.
The omission of the tattoos on the figure shown during the Comic-Con reveals left many collectors wondering why they weren’t included. Credit Mattel for making the change.
In other WWE Mattel news, Mattel WWE marketing manager Steve Ozer continued answering collectors’ questions on the WrestlingFigs.com forum. With the very first Mr. T Elite and Slim Jim “Macho man” Randy Savage now in the books as successful Comic-Con exclusives, Ozer wrote that he is already working on next year’s exclusive and more.
“Oh yeah, I have several years worth of SDCC ideas,” he wrote. “It’s just a matter of can we actually accomplish some of them or not.”
Ozer added that the success of Mr. T and Macho Man have shown that these releases need “some wide appeal.”
“We’ve obviously tried several different types of SDCC offerings over the years and the current formula has obviously been very successful,” he wrote. “Give you guys something unique and unexpected, draw lots of attention to the line overall from a PR and collector community perspective and of course sell well so we can keep doing more.”
Here are some more highlights from Ozer’s running Q&A:
Ozer explained why some future figures were revealed at Comic-Con without their tag team partners.
“My thinking on including some of the half tag team members, specifically the Legends, is that talent availability does fluctuate and those looks are important,” he wrote. “I’d rather get a Bulldogs era Davey out with the hope that we someday get access to Dynamite rather than never do this look and, for whatever reason, we lose access to Davey Boy.”
On the short arms chosen for E78 Matt Riddle, Ozer wrote that he has “passed on notes to improve the arms on any potential future Riddle figures.” He added that he will “continue to attempt to correct any issues I catch when I do have visibility as well as pass on constructive comments from the community.”
Asked if Mattel would ever do a line of figures based on the WrestleFest arcade game, Ozer shared that was the initial intent of the one-time Gamestop exclusive line RetroFest.
“The original intent was to do characters and looks featured in WrestleFest and Superstars but for whatever reason, Design veered away from that,” he wrote. “That change happened before I started on the brand.”
Asked why there isn’t more than one build-a-figure wave a year, Ozer replied that “it’s just the way it is at the moment.”
“Doesn’t mean it can’t be expanded to other lines in the future under the right circumstances,” he added.
Asked when the voting for WWE Elite Fan Takeover series 3 and 4 will take place, Ozer said “this year.”
Braun Strowman and A.J. Styles have been featured heavily in 2020. One collector wanted to know if they would be de-emphasized in 2021. Braun and A.J. will be “present in the line,” Ozer wrote.
Asked if Mattel fixed the color of the upcoming WrestleMania III “Macho Man’s trunks, Ozer wrote that although he hasn’t seen an actual sample in-person to match for accuracy, “I did my best to ensure the trunks better matched the WrestleMania III colors.”
Asked if a WWE Superstar’s figure deal is done once they finish up with the company, Ozer replied “typically.” Specifically asked if Mattel could make a Kairi Sane figure in her Kabuki Warriors gear if she signs a Legends deal, Ozer wrote that Mattel could explore the look ‘if she were under a Legends deal, but I don’t realistically see that happening.”
For those wondering why Huskus the pig wasn’t included with the upcoming Ringside exclusive Firefly Funhouse Bray Wyatt, Ozer explained that Huskus wasn’t included because the budget for the set was “maxed out.”
“Hopefully we can find a suitable home for him elsewhere in the line in time,” he wrote.
Asked which accessories will come with the Top Picks Elite Fiend action figure, Ozer said he will come with the lantern.
Also, Ultimate Edition Fiend will have the praying hands on his chest.
Legends Brutus Beefcake will come with entrance coat, Ozer wrote. And the lineups for Legends 9 and 10 are finalized
If Bob Holly was to get an Elite, Ozer wrote that he’d prefer “Hardcore” Holly first, before Sparky Plugg. “But we’d have to discuss as a team and then with licensor of course,” he added.
Asked how attires for first-time-in-the-line figures are chosen, Ozer explained that sometimes marketing discusses with design and “sometimes design makes a choice.” Factors that go into that decision are “perceived fan demand, deco cost, accessory possibilities, tooling needs, cost of wave and more.”
Ozer also explained what Mattel considers to be “an anchor talent” for the waves.
“They’re talent who we feel can be heavier weighted and help carry the wave,” he wrote. “Lots of factors can come into play; past sales info, prominence in content, forward-looking positioning of the talent, perceived consumer demand, licensor feedback, retailer feedback, etc.”
So when will we get more reveals? They’ll come before Ringside Fest, Ozer wrote.