Thursday, January 20, 2011

WWE Legends, Ultimate Warrior - Review

In the world of professional wrestling there have been many great warriors, but only one man was... ultimate.

That's right, one of the most charismatic Superstars in the history of pro-wrestling finally arrives in Mattel's exemplary collector line, WWE Legends. If there is one wrestler that can bait the non-toy buying crowd, it's definitely the Ultimate Warrior, making it just a bit more difficult for collectors to find him. Let's take a look at what he has to offer with his inaugural figure from Mattel.

Ultimate Warrior
WWE Legends Series 4
Mattel/ 7" Scale
Approx $14.99

I think it's safe to say that if you were a child in the late '80s/early '90s, you not only knew who the Ultimate Warrior was, but chances are you were a fan. This dude was all over the place: toys, t-shirts, breakfast cereal, "Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee", I mean everywhere. What he lacked in character depth he made up for in pure, non-stop action. He was lightning on a rampage. I can understand how recreating that in seven inches of plastic can be difficult.

Warrior received a totally appropriate, monstrously ripped sculpt. It perfectly recreates the powerhouse physical specimen he was. And that only adds to my disappointment in the face sculpt. It's not bad by any means. I'm just not happy with the very bland (and tame) expression. He's just staring forward, day-dreaming, or trying to remember whether or not he put the fire out before he left his ultimate-cave. That's not something the Warrior was known for. If he was staring at you, he looked like he was going to run through you and obliterate you. This face is like the Warrior on tranquilizers. Fortunately, that's my only complaint with the figure.

Like the sculpt of the body, the hair is phenomenal. It captures that "big hair" look of the '80s and you can easily imagine UW bobbing his head to the Go-Go's! Just kidding. He's more of a Twisted Sister fan. Also, the work on his tassels and boots is fantastic! The tassels on his arms are one solid piece made from a similar material to the one used for the knee pads. They can be rotated around his monstrous biceps. Warrior's pads are newly sculpted with the tassels molded on to the rear of the pads. Unlike the boots on the John Morrison figure which feature a separate rubber piece of standard boots to recreate the flurry look, Warrior's boots are molded in one piece with all the frilly stuff.

The paint work on the Ultimate Warrior is, well, ultimate! It's superbly done, especially his famous face paint, which I'm sure posed it's own unique challenges with such thin line work so close together. Mattel really did a great job. I can't help but think that perhaps the face paint is the reason for the bland facial expression. Maybe a snarling Warrior head would have made the painting process too difficult.

Nothing new in the articulation department, everything is pretty much standard on UW. However, the elaborate boot sculpts hinder a bit of the ankle movement. He also has the usual hindrances present when using this bulkier, super toned torso. It does not hurt Warrior since he wasn't known for pulling off the "Sharpshooter" or many intricate wrestling holds.

Ultimate Warrior's sole, and I do mean SOLE, accessory is a classic Intercontinental Championship Belt. That's right, gone are the display stands and name tags. While I don't miss them much, I would have preferred they upgraded to a nicer stand featuring a stick-on name tag. Anyway, the belt is the same we've seen with series 3's Mr. Perfect, however, it features a lighter blue color for the globe on the main plate. The belts may be a bit large, but I love the detail on these and can't wait to have the classic "winged eagle" World Championship. Perhaps with a future version of the Warrior?

So, am I happy with this figure? In a word, "Yes." It's the f*cking ULTIMATE WARRIOR, people! He's an awesome part of WWF, er, WWE history and every fan of old-school WWE should own one. I am sad to see this same face sculpt is already being reused for the Warrior's "Defining Moments" figure. I hope that when they inevitably release another version of UW, it will feature a mean, snarling facial sculpt. My pick: a WrestleMania VI version.

"You may be a great warrior..., but only I am ULTIMATE!"
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