Due to extended Comic-Con coverage, there will be no This Week in Wrestling Figures column, uh, this week. Instead, we’re giving you the hits and misses of Comic-Con. Sound off in the comments.
SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON 2022 HITS
1. J-E-Double F, J-A, Double R, E, Double T
Check Jeff Jarrett off your want lists because his first Mattel WWE figure will be in the 17th wave of Ultimate Edition figures. We’re always looking for first-time-in-the-line figures and Double J fits the bill.
Although this isn’t Slap Nuts era Jarrett, it’s hard not to be excited to finally get him in the line. Although we’re still waiting on some long standing Golden and Attitude Era figures — Haku, Hercules, Barbarian, The Mountie, the Steiner Brothers, Brother Love, Raven, Val Venis, and Al Snow, among others — this was a major want off that list.
2. More WWE Ultimates, Including the Coliseum Collection
The LJN line will always have a special place in my heart and the new Mattel Creations Ultimate Edition Coliseum Collection line hits me right in the feels. From the attires being nearly identical, to the tribute card backs, to the posing, to the new championship, Mattel knocked these out of the park.
I can’t wait to snag these, which I hope are plentiful and a better experience than attempting to order the No Holds Barred 2-pack. And I can’t wait to see where this sub-line goes from here.
3. Elite 100
I’m a bit surprised by the negativity for this set. We’ve all built it up in our heads, so I get that it was probably never going to live up to the hype. But what we’re getting is, I believe, six new championships, a much wanted “Stunning” Steve Austin and heel turn Andre the Giant (plus, a Rock ‘N’ Wrestling attire), a proper WCW Rey Mysterio, a proper spinner WWE Championship, and some of the biggest names from the line: The Rock, Becky Lynch, and John Cena.
Easy E is coming to the Ruthless Aggression line. Paul E. Dangerously will be in Legends 18. And later era “advocate” Paul Heyman will be an exclusive in an Amazon 3-pack. Managers are getting great representation in the WWE line. Toss in build-a-figures of “Ravishing” Rick Rude from his DX and nWo days and Dok Hendrix, and Mattel is filling in some of the gaps in our collections.
Now if we could just get Mr. Fuji, Captain Lou Albano, Jim Cornette, Brother Love, etc.
5. WWE Retros & Superstars
Mattel seems to have found right formula for success for nostalgic lines. Retros are back and expanding beyond the confines of Mattel Creations drops, with Ringside offering tag team packs of the nWo’s most prominent players: Hollywood Hogan and Syxx and the Outsiders (Scott Hall and Kevin Nash).
WWE Superstar is also killing it, with the reveals of “Macho Man” Randy Savage, The Rock, Mr. T, “Ravishing” Rick Rude, Earthquake and Typhoon.
These other lines appear to be healthy and growing, which is obviously a great thing.
6. WCW Nitro Stage Smoke Show
Mattel is teasing a major collector want again. Following the Attitude Era Raw stage display during WrestleMania weekend, Mattel topped itself with the reveal of a WCW Monday Nitro stage. This is absolutely beautiful and I hope Mattel finds a way to make this a reality (at a price point that doesn’t involve a Brinks truck).
7. 1 Week Pre-Orders
The surprise pre-order for “American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes caused a bit of anxiety. Do I go for Cody? Do I go for No Holds Barred? But those anxieties were quickly quelled when Mattel announce that the pre-order would last a week and there were no limits on how many you could order.
The $45 plus shipping and tax price tag was a bit much, but this is a made-to-order figure with soft goods entrance robe. Yes, it’ll be a 1-year wait for Cody, but what did we expect? WrestleMania was just three months ago.
Mattel WWE marketing manager Steve Ozer wrote on the WrestlingFigs.com forum that Cody’s packaging will come with a similar outer box to the Comic-Con exclusive Sgt. Slaughter, with the “Ultimate style image on the spine so you can still bookend it.”
8. Multipacks are Back in a Big Way
Another theme coming out of Comic-Con is how much Mattel is leveraging multipacks. We got the Target exclusive WWE Elite Raw 30th Anniversary 3-pack with Undertaker, Razor Ramon and 1-2-3 Kid; a Ringside exclusive 2-pack of the Mega Powers; an Amazon 3-pack featuring Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman and Roman Reigns; the Coliseum Collection Ultimates; the No Holds Barred Ultimates; and all of the Retros.
I 100% love the Jakks BCA tribute packaging for the Raw 30th Anniversary pack — plus we get plastic R-A-W letters. Let’s hope these trends continue.
9. New Legends
Whether it’s first-time-in-the-line stars such as the Samoan Swat Team and Torrie Wilson or legends figures of guys from eras you’d never expect — World Class Championship Wrestling Dingo Warrior, WCW era AJ Styles — Mattel showed us that it’s willing to go to unexpected places. Also, Mattel is finally getting a Mr. America figure into the line.
10. MORE ULTIMATES
The Ultimate line keeps getting better. Next up: Bret “Hit Man” Hart in all pink via Target. WrestleMania 7 Ultimate Warrior and ponytail Brock Lesnar in UE15. Another Rock. The Ultimate ling keeps chugging along and it’s among the best lines out there.
MISSES FROM 202 COMIC-COM
1. Sell Outs
Mattel is leaving money on the table. The No Holds Barred Ultimate Edition 2-pack featuring Zeus and Hulk Hogan sold out in about 10 minutes. Getting through the Mattel Creations catchpa, even if you were on right at noon ET, was a major pain with the page either reloading or stalling out. Even if you were lucky enough to get in line, chances are good you couldn’t get your order across the finish line.
Collecting is supposed to be fun, and pre-orders like this make it less so and leave those on the outside looking in frustrated and forced to spend hundreds to score figures that have long been desired. Maybe if the Cody Rhodes weeklong pre-order is successful — and I’m guessing it is since everybody is ordering multiples –it’ll be a catalyst for change.
All of that said, Mattel has pumped out several Mr. T figures following that Comic-Con. So there’s a chance Zeus could find his way back into another release.
2. Pat McAfee Gets a … Basic
OK, small quibble here. This clearly shows the door is open for an Elite, at least. But Pat deserves more than a basic.
3. Muted AEW Reveals
So … yes, it’s cool we got a first look at the upcoming Ringside exclusive CM Punk — even if it was after pre-orders had already gone live. But where were the AEW reveals for Comic-Con? We’d already seen pretty much everything during Double or Nothing Fan Fest — or Amazon had already posted the pics of the Young Bucks.
For this being Jazwares’ first Comic-Con with AEW, I expected a bigger splash.
4. Brodie Lee Exclusive
There was only one way to get this exclusive Brodie Lee 1-of-1,000 figure: Buy it in-person at Comic-Con. I get it. It’s limited to 1,000. This is how things were done in the past. But it feels like there should have been a way — other than eBay — for those at home to get a shot at this. Maybe in the future.
5. WCW Nitro Stage
Yes, it’s a hit. It’s also a miss for all of the right reasons. Mattel did such an amazing job that now all of our hopes are up that it’ll somehow be one of the next crowdfunding projects. Hopes are now sky high for the next crowdfund. It’s gotta be the SmackDown fist stage, right? Or has Mattel just been feeling us out with the Nitro and Raw stage? Either way, we’re all probably dreaming bigger than we should be.
6. That Same Roman Reigns Scan
This is the same ol’ Roman head, isn’t it? How many times is Mattel going to roll this one out. Roman is overdue for some updated all-purpose head scans.
Overall, I’m seeing more hits than misses with this year’s Comic-Con. That alone is a major W.
Have thoughts on this year’s Comic-Con reveals? Let us know in the comments.