WWE Wrestling (Deluxe Classic)
7.5 Inch Scale
By: Jakks Pacific
$12.99 ($25+ Online)
In 2006, after years of successful WWF(E) toys, Jakks decided to offer their popular Classic figures in a new scale with better articulation, known as Deluxe Classic. They had previously debuted their regular figures in a similar line known as Deluxe Aggression. The result was more classic figures, often in different outfits and decos than the traditional classics and they included much more poseability.
Of course you can’t do a classic line without the legendary “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, arguably the greatest wrestler of all time. Jakks had already made several modern Ric Flairs, a WCW 1990’s Ric Flair and even an 80’s Flair, but this marked the first and only time that Jakks really made a late 70’s-early 80’s Flair. Here Flair appeared in all his Heather Locklear feathered hair glory. The head sculpt on this figure is excellent and it’s the main draw to this particular incarnation of the Naitch.
The Deluxe Classic line uses a package similar to the regular Classics line, but has been slightly tweaked. The back is different and the interior lining has some different logos as well. The sides are adorned with a few advertisements on the increase in articulation.
The back of the package looks nice and it shows off the rest of the series. Check out that Wave 1 lineup, Hogan, Flair, Piper, Austin and Rock. Hard to beat that! It also lists a handful of Flair’s stats, but it’s missing a ton of titles and it’s a bit confusing. As an example, it lists Flair as WWE Champion, Heavyweight Champion and WCW Champion. What belt are they claiming to be the Heavyweight Championship?
In current WWE, they call the old WCW title the Heavyweight Title, but Flair never held it when it was called that. I’ll just assume they’re saying it’s the NWA World Title and they couldn’t call it that for legal reasons. Of course, Jakks is notorious for getting these titles wrong. Also, why not list Flair’s Royal Rumble victory or his like 50 US Title runs? At the very least they should mention Flair has more World Titles than anyone!
The Deluxe figures from Jakks really amp up the cartoonish proportions of the characters. This hasn’t always been a popular choice and at times I don’t care for it either. I don’t think it looks terrible on Flair, who was actually pretty buff in the late 70’s, but it’s certainly not super realistic either. Most these guys share a large portion of the same bodies.
Flair comes adorned in a red robe. Ric Flair is probably most known for wearing red, although he’s worn every color of the rainbow in tights. Actually when he was first breaking into the sport, he actually wore rainbow colored tights, but I digress. Flair’s most popular colors through the years were red, green, purple, pink, black and light blue.
The robe has his name on the back and is similar to one of his 80’s robes. If you look at the picture I included above, it seems the robe is based off that. I would have liked some feathers, as many Flair robes had feathers, but this one does not. It’s virtually identical to the robe that came with the basic Classic Series 1 Ric Flair. This is similar although not the exact same as the robe that nWo Hulk Hogan stole from Flair, ripped the sleeves out of and beat the crap out of David Flair while wearing. Something that, Flair, in his book says he did not appreciate.
Once you remove the robe, you get to the body. Unfortunately the damn robe has stained the body red in several parts. This is a recurring theme with wrestling figures, especially with the color red. Granted, my figure has been in the package since 2006, but I have bought recent figures that have had this issue as well. It’s something toy manufacturers really need to address.
The body is obviously too buff, but I don’t mind it terribly. Jakks later made an older Flair for this line and gave him a more appropriate body. If you’re going with a buffer, younger, Flair, this isn’t too bad. Considering how the line works out in general.
The head sculpt is brilliant. Jakks did many Flairs, but this one really nails that particular period in his career. I really wish they’d used this head sculpt a few more times, but sadly this is the only time it appeared. The other classic Flair sculpt has him doing a “WHOOOOOO”, which is nice and all but I generally despise faces like that which can only be used in a handful of poses. Perhaps Jakks will reuse this head at some point with Flair in the TNA line. We’ll have to wait and see.
While the regular Jakks figures aren’t much different in scale to the Mattel figures, the Deluxe line is much bigger. This is one of the reasons that many fans never grew to love the Deluxe figures from Jakks. It made all their older scaled figures, obsolete. Something that Jakks never seemed to care about.
The good news is that these figures fit in perfect with the current TNA Deluxe figures. That means you can have Hogan and Flair duke it out just like they did in the old days. Or even like they still do! I could watch Flair and Hogan brawl it out until the end of time.
All the usual details are there, including RFs on the boots and trunks. The only real issue is the “Deluxe Kneepads” which are oversized and bulky and nothing at all like the kneepads that Ric Flair has worn around his shins for the past 30 years. Mattel uses a similar kneepad from time to time as well, but I have no idea why.
The big problem with the original Jakks figures (dubbed Ruthless Aggression) was their limited articulation. That’s why they had to make a new Deluxe line with the Deluxe Aggression and Deluxe classics. The RA style figure can barely move.
You can do tons of poses with this figure, which is very nice. It’s a shame that the RA figures didn’t have this articulation. Wrestling figures need to be poseable. I should note, that some of the leg flesh paint chipped when I moved his legs about. Not cool.
Jakks were always accessories people. I think that’s a big reason why the early Jakks WWF figures were more popular than the WCW figures from other companies. It’s a trend they continued on up until their last few WWE figures.
Flair comes with a really nice representation of the WCW World Championship, dubbed the big gold belt. Technically this is the WWE version, as evidenced by the damn WWE logo on the top of it. It’s still the best looking Heavyweight Championship belt. This version even has the rubies painted red. It is a tad too big, even for Deluxe figures.
You also get a classic ring skirt which fits the Jakks Real Scale Ring. This is really cool. Unfortunately it’s just one side which means you have to have four of these to complete a ring. Still, it’s a really nice addition and a great way to give fans new skirts for their rings.
Finally you get the aforementioned robe. This thing is nice, except that it turns your figures red. Of course of all the figures to turn red, it’s okay for Flair. Ric Flair used to get so fired up that his skin would seemingly turn bright red. Flair also used to spend around $5,000 a robe and sometimes upwards of $10,000! That’s of course, why Flair is still wrestling today. He didn’t save any of his money.
I got to thinking and there’s been more WCW Heavyweight belts made than any belt, perhaps even more than WWE titles. This version is probably the most accurate, though. This would make a cool ring for your finger.
When these first hit they were about $12.99, which is still cheaper than what the Mattel WWE Deluxe figures go for today. Obviously the Mattel figures are a little nicer in terms of realism. Of course, good luck finding a Ric Flair for anywhere near that price. The Wave 1 of the Deluxe Classics did not get as wide of a distribution and they’re damn tough to track down. Flair goes from $25-$75 MOC, give or take. You can get him for much less loose, though.
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 7
Articulation – 10
Accessories – Robe, Belt, Ring Skirt
Value – 7
Overall – 7.5 out of 10
Flair gets a 7.5 out of 10. The head sculpt is great and the entire reason I bought this guy. Unfortunately, prices aren’t as low as they could be and the robe staining the figure definitely takes away from the value. He’s a great figure for me, because I bought him for a custom. However I wouldn’t want this to be my only Flair.
“What the hell kinda belt is this, brother?!”
I’ve got plenty of classic and modern wrestling figures to be reviewed in the days and weeks ahead. It’s going to be chaos, dudes! Lace up your boots and get ready for a Royal Rumble!