WWE Defining Moments
6.5 Inch Scale
Way back at Wrestlemania 7, two icons clashed in battle not for the championship, but for pride. Those two men were the Ultimate Warrior and Macho Man Randy Savage. The match had the added stipulation that it was a retirement match and whomever lost would have to end their career. It was hand’s down the best retirement match in wrestling history, far surpassing all previous and recent efforts.
At the time it as still pretty rare for two titans of the sport to lock it up in such a high profile match and Mattel has been paying homage to the event and the match with their recent Defining Moments brand. First with the Macho Man (to be reviewed here soon) and with today’s review, the newly released Ultimate Warrior. Both wrestlers were known for their flashy apparel and their confrontation at WrestleMania VII is a perfect example of this.
The Defining Moments SKU is replacing the old Entrance Greats line. As you may recall, the Entrance Greats line was mentioned in my Top Ten Toy Line Mistakes of 2010 because of it’s failure to really embody the concept. The flashier packaging on the new Defining Moments brand of toys, certainly helps to make it stand out on the shelf.
It has a little bit of a title belt vibe going on. I still don’t really get the window in the back, but in the case of the Ultimate Warrior, he does have a cool coat on so it helps show that off. There is also a little bio summarizing the bout and mentioning a bit about the custom outfits worn. It’s a shame they didn’t mention that the Macho Man (then Macho King) had previously cost the Ultimate Warrior the WWF Championship and that was part of their reason for feuding.
On the side of the package, still in the belt design is a picture of the Warrior from the event.
If you’ve followed the WWE Legends line pretty closely, you will immediately recognize this figure as simply being a repaint of the Wave 4 Ultimate Warrior figure. Head to toe, there is nothing new on this toy but the paint and the jacket. The body itself (overly muscled) fits the Warrior quite well, it has been reused for several other characters.
It’s a good design and certainly is very true to the Ultimate Warrior. His body was one that looked as though it had been chiseled out of stone and he had plenty of veins bulging and biceps nearly exploding with size. This body works quite well for the Ultimate one.
The head sculpt, while perfect for the Wave 4 Ultimate Warrior, doesn’t really reflect the Warrior’s appearance by 1991. The Ultimate Warrior’s looks changed so much that one of the more famous urban legends in wrestling is that the original Ultimate Warrior died and he was replaced by someone else. That’s of course, not true, but something pretty much every kid believed at some point. It’s also a testament to the fact that his late 80′s look was distinctly different than his early 90′s look.
His haircut should be slightly different and his hair should be much blonder. Mattel did do some nice blonde washes on the figure, but it’s still not quite right. Some people are upset that the Warrior isn’t showing a bit more “expression” in his face, but I’m okay with the rather basic look. It should be noted though, that pretty much every Jakks Ultimate Warrior’s head scan looked better than this.
The real selling point of this figure appears to be the paint scheme. In the 80′s-90′s many wrestlers would often wear tights specifically designed for a match. Ultimate Warrior was one of the more notorious guys for doing this and his tights depict pictures of both him and Macho Man on them. Of particular interest is that Mattel has replicated this really well, right down to the fact that Macho Man is dressed in his Macho King attire, which ironically he would not wear at this event.
Every little detail is reproduced, including the individual faces on the kneepads. Even the staunchest Mattel critic has to give them credit for replicating detail at a level that really hasn’t been done before in wrestling figures. One would assume that this is the purpose of the Elite and Legend brands in general. These types of outfits really shine as examples of what toy companies are capable of doing.
Mattel really nailed even the smaller details, like Warrior symbols on the top of the coat and the wrist tape. I would speculate that this is all done via some sort of tampo process as everything appears to be flawless. Truly a perfect execution.
Of course the one negative of an outfit like this is that it doesn’t really work as an “everyday” Ultimate Warrior. Personally that doesn’t bother me, but it might bother some folks who are just looking to buy one iconic version of someone. I would buy many more Ultimate Warrior figures however, especially if they had this much attention to detail.
Of course there are still some painted portions of the figure. Surprisingly, I have no issues at all with the paint. The tampo areas and the painted areas flow together and in some cases appear to be on top of one another. There isn’t a single paint error that I noticed on my figure.
I’m not sure if that’s something that is universal or I just got lucky. I would hope that the Defining Moments brand is getting the absolute most attention paid to it as it relates to quality control. Especially given the price point of these figures. It certainly appears as though that’s the case with this Warrior, so no complaints here.
Even the coat is loaded down with really good “print” application.
Mattel obviously spent a lot of time looking at reference pictures and footage to ensure they got this right. It’s a really well done bit of entrance gear and goes well with the entire amount of detail and paint on the figure.
The articulation is the typical WWE Elite style as seen on all the Legends figures. This is a big step up from the Entrance Greats, which had the basic articulation. It was one of the many things fans asked for with this line and Mattel was smart in providing it. The way the crotch piece in particular is one solid mold allows for greater detail in painting, as well.
However there are some issues with this articulation, specifically in the legs. Many fans will swear that the Elites actually have LESS articulation than the Basics. Why? Because sometimes the leg articulation in the Elite figures just do not work.
Thankfully my Ultimate Warrior figure can bend his legs all the way forward to sit down. My Macho Man, however, can not. Despite the fact that both men have the same articulation. I suppose boiling the figure may help loosen the joints up, I’m not sure. My Macho Man hasn’t had a dip in the jacuzzi yet, but my Warrior doesn’t need it.
One of the things that supposedly raised the price of the Entrance Great figures was the electronic base that played like 30 seconds of an entrance theme. That’s been omitted here, so naturally we’re going to be able to get some extra accessories, right? Not exactly.
The Ultimate Warrior comes with his entrance coat from the event. As mentioned before, it has a really profound level of detail to it. It’s made of a soft pleather-like material. Of course given the history of the soft goods causing color changes to wrestling figures, I immediately pulled this off my figure.
His only other accessory is a gold stand with the paper nameplate. This is an interesting inclusion as the Elite and Legends (and Basics) no longer include these stands. So the Defining Moments get a stand, but no other SKU. I don’t really get it, but I suppose it’s a nice bonus.
Of course I also think it’s worth noting that Macho Man’s gold stand and Ultimate Warrior’s gold stand are two completely different shades of gold. This will likely drive people who like uniformity nuts. It’s a rather startling difference in person, almost like two completely different colors. I have no idea if this is a running change, a bad batch, a fluke or what. I don’t use the stands anyway, so it doesn’t bother me.
Ack! This is where such a beautiful (albeit not perfect) figure takes a big hit. This version of the Ultimate Warrior retails at $22.99 pretty much everywhere. That works out to being around $25 with tax for a single figure with no real accessories. It’s a tough pill to swallow. While Mattel did amp up the articulation from the Entrance Greats, they removed the music stand. That’s their justification for evening out the difference, but in many places the Defining Moments are now more expensive than the Entrance Greats were.
Unfortunately, as cool as this figure is, he’s not worth that. The complete lack of tangible accessories and other issues make this guy about $5 overpriced. There’s really not much here that makes it stand out from a regular WWE Legend figure, with the exception of the paint/tampo work. I picked this guy up on sale for $18 and I’m fine with that price. If Mattel could figure out a way to get the Defining Moments down to about $18, I think they’d be on to something. As is, it’s a bit steep.
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 9
Paint – 9
Articulation – 8
Accessories – Stand, Coat
Value – 7
Overall – 8 out of 10
This is a really good Ultimate Warrior figure. Even though the Warrior is totally a product of his time and in real life has become such a screwball that it’s hard to believe anyone ever liked him, he did encapsulate a certain energy and emotion in his era. There is no doubt that the Ultimate Warrior was absolutely amazing during his original run and this figure is a fitting tribute to that character and to this particular, Defining Moment.