Mattel has had great success with their WWE toy lines, producing numerous action figures and playsets for fans to collect and play with. But since the WWE Network came online, one question has been on the minds of collectors: would we be getting a dedicated line for NXT figures? They have sprinkled some of the bigger names into the line already, but mostly after they had already been called up to the main roster. A dedicated line would allow for even more variety, and would not necessarily have to include veterans or alumni like the main Elite and basic lines already do.
Happily, they announced an NXT line of figures about a month ago across the WWE social media accounts, this after showing off prototypes of some of the figures at New York Toy Fair earlier this year. It was also announced that the line would be exclusive to Target stores. A weird decision, but also a smart one. If the line crashes and burns at just one store, they can minimize the damage. But if these figures I am about to talk about are any indication, this line is going to be awesome and I would expect it to expand by the end of the year. I managed to get my hands on one basic figure, one Elite figure, and the NXT ring. Normally I wouldn’t get a ring, but my daughter has wanted one for a little while now, so it seemed like a natural opportunity to finally pick one up.
First lets talk about the basic figures. I picked up the Tye Dillinger, one of my personal favorites. As far as the figure is concerned, there really is not a difference between this and any other WWE basic figure. Where these shine is in the details and what is in the package. Tye has a great headscan, right down to the man-bun in his hair. The tattoo on his shoulder is also perfect. Basics have really gotten a lot of attention from Mattel the last year or so, to the point where some of them look better than the Elites. There is little to no paint issues or run with his gear, which has also been a problem in the past. Just an all-around strong figure. The basic in this line also come with pieces to build Bayley’s inflatable wacky waving arm tube men, so even more bang for your buck so you can create dioramas.
Now the Elite. Up above I said that it would be cool if the NXT line had superstars we haven’t gotten already, and while there are some of those, the vast majority of this first wave is NXT alumni. I get it, lets just hope future waves are more dominated by first-time in the line figures. That being said: the Elite packaging here is the coolest they have ever done. The odd shape to the box, the giant window in the front to show off the figure, the info on the back. Every side of the box has a little something. Perfect.
So yeah, even though I want new superstars, this Seth Rollins is amazing, and hands down the best they have ever done. Everything about this figure is perfect, right down to the detail on his boots. That scarecrow could have turned out horrifically, but they completely nailed it. I wish it had his elbow pads he wore back then, but they limit joint movement so I understand why they left it out. The sneering face sculpt only adds to the awesomeness. Including the NXT Championship (for those that don’t know: he was the first) is just the icing on the cake. Get this figure.
The ring itself is pretty cool as well! What a trip this was, I remember getting the old blue ring when I was a kid, and this brought back so many memories from back then. It is super easy to set up, the only thing that really took time was applying the stickers to each turnbuckle. The posts just snap into the ring, and the ropes stretch underneath the turnbuckles, and that is it. You are ready to go. The entire mat is a springboard to allow launching the figures into one another, which works to varying degrees.
The ring also comes with an exclusive basic Finn Balor. This is my favorite figure of the three here. It is also my favorite Finn they have done so far, including Elites. Just look at that paint work. There is no imperfections there. No paint run, no white mixing into the black. Nothing, just an epic looking Finn figure all around. The head sculpt is perfect, and I love that you can see his smirk underneath the facepaint. It was worth picking up the ring just for this figure alone.
All around this line is off to a great start. For wave two, lets move into doing just NXT stars and less on alumni and people running around on the main WWE roster. FOr the love of god give us a Bobby Roode in a robe!
Down below, check out some pics of the figures in action, because I am 33 and still play with my toys. Also: photo evidence of my daughter laying with the ring. The Ninja Turtles made a run-in and defeated Triple H and Kevin Owens!
Toys are awesome.
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