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Can Mattel Wrestling Figures Beat Ben 10 And Bakugan?
Will Mattel Wrestling Figures conquer the hearts of fans and collectors?
The world of wrestling figures has recently been turned upside down with a massive change of licenses other the past few months.
First of we had the news that Round 5 had snatched many of the UFCs top stars away from under Jakks Pacific's nose just as they were signing an exclusive license to produce official UFC figures and merchandise.
It has since been announced that Round 5 and Jakks are to work together on their respective licenses and producing top of the range UFC figures for the benefit of the fans and collectors.
Then came the biggest announcement, and the most unexpected of them, that Jakks Pacific had lost their prestigious WWE license which was award to Mattel instead!
I have traded in Jakks wrestling figures since the beginning, when the WWE was still known as the WWF, and will be sad to see the last of them. Jakk's license expired on December 31st 2009 license.
But before you despair, it seems Mattel have been courting the WWE for sometime, determined to land this sought after license to complement their portfolio.
But what does this mean for toy collectors?
Mattel Wrestling Figures started hitting toy shelves across the globe on January 1st 2010 and much to the surprise and relieve of fans and collectors it seems Mattel have done an excellent job on these.
When Mattel first decided to take on the WWE license they jumped in with both feet, determined to get it right and provide fans with a line of figures that would appeal to all ages and tastes.
Mattel had from the start had three main focus points:
1) To create wrestling figures that had better accuracy than any previous figures. This was a main concern of collectors, and a point of contention with previous figures.
2) Mattel also decided that any new line of wrestling figures should have added depth and not only include the highest profile figures. As a result Mattel will be releasing no fewer than 76 new figures throughout 2010, and many more to come!
3) Lastly, Mattel are committed to continue and even improve on the "Superstar Scale in order to keep fans who have already been collecting figures for years happy.
Mattel took a very scientific approach on how to best achieve this and how to get the best results.
One of the first tasks of the Mattel Designers was to categorize each of the wrestlers by height and body type with 3 overall categories and then many sub-categories with varying height differences etc.
This information was used to create a huge bank of varying parts that could be mixed and matched to create hundreds of unique figures! For the head sculpts Mattel turned to Gentle Giant who used their digital scanning to create perfect representations of the wrestlers.
Mattel also used a new form of sonic welding on some of the joints. This technique closes seams perfectly without binding the articulation within, creating much more realistic-looking, but still fully functional joints.
Mattels line of WWE figures contains several "layers" of figures, each distinct from the others and targeting a slightly different segment of the market in order to appeal to all ages and types of fans and collectors.
A new wave of Mattel Wrestling Figures , featuring six wrestlers, will be released each month with Pay-Per-View event-specific waves, every other month, and "Wrestlemania Heritage" waves.
Mattel have made a very real attempt here to provide something for everyone and to answer their concerns and provide a product that they will love.
The first wave will hit stores in on January 1st, 2010 with six figures in each wave and one new wave debuting each month (at least for the first year)!
There will also be 2-Packs of the Basic Mattel Wrestling Figures figures every other month matching up classic and current rivalries and partnerships.
The Mattel Wrestling Figures Basic Figures
The "Basic" figures are a line of figures targeted toward kids with ring play sets, and championship belts from the different WWE brands and will allow kids, as well as hardcore fans get hold of wrestlers from Monday Night Raw, Friday Night SmackDown, ECW, and Pay-Per-View events.
These amazing figures have an average of 18 points of articulation; complete with authentic tattoos and armbands, and feature incredibly life-like sculpts thanks, to state of the art digital scanning technology performed by Gentle Giant Studios in Burbank, California.
Mattel has also stuck with the True Superstar Scale (approximately seven inches) for these basic figures, with the initial series featuring Batista, Big Show, Evan Bourne, John Cena, Kofi Kingston, and Triple H.
But wait for it….
Just to add a little more fun and collectability to this line the first 1,000 basic figures of each WWE Superstar will come packed out with a "1 of 1,000" commemorative figure scale championship belt decked out in die-cast metal and real leather! Each Basic figure will come with a display stand that includes the name of the wrestler.
Mattel Wrestling Figures The Elite Collection
The "Elite Collection" are deluxe versions of the Basic figures. These figures are the same scale as the basic figures but feature an amazing 28 points of articulation, compared to the 18 on the basic figures.
The Elite Figures also feature authentic ring attire in the form of additional clothing and accessories, including soft goods, jewelry, and more.
Mattel Wrestling Figures Entrance Greats
The Entrance Greats figures feature some of the most outlandish, and extravagant Superstar arrivals of the WWE in all their glitz and pomp.
These figures come with a host of accessories which are fully removable and they come with a substantial display stand that will play the entrance theme of the featured wrestler.
Look out for these ones as they are more limited than the Basic and Elite figures.
FlexForce Mattel Wrestling Figures
One of the most innovative and original products in the Mattel Wrestling Figures are the FlexForce figures. These figures allow fans to capture the WWE Superstars' signature moves. Each figure will feature the same excellent sculpting and detail as the Basic and Elite figures and are in the same scale and has a special action feature. There are three different action features in this line: the hook throw, leg flip, and body slam. They also have "gripping" hands to enable them to grab other wrestlers and accessories etc.
There are also FlexForce Action Figure Accessories assortments available to go with these figures which include a variety of "tools of the trade" such as a huge speaker with stand (Undertaker), tables, ladders, ring steps (Matt Hardy), and more.
But what good is a wrestler without a ring?
To complement the figures, the Breakdown Brawl Ring allows fans to recreate the action they see on the TV.
Strategically placed launch points work with the Flexforce figures and accessories, so if kids slam hard enough into the mat the ring will break wide open!
Mattel don't seem to have left anything to chance as even the packaging is very innovative and stylish with its "chevron" shape also all the packaging is primarily black with elements in red and yellow, giving it a very sleek and cool look.
The front of the packaging includes detailed character art on the top right corner of each Basic figure card and great windows on the Elite figure packages. The back of the Basic cards have cross-sells for the other figures in the same wave, the 2-Packs a story of the rivalry or partnership depicted, and the Elites bios and a "did you know" fact.
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