TNA Wrestling (Genesis Style)
AJ Styles
5 Inch Scale
By: Jakks Pacific
$3.99

AJ Styles is one of the most amazing wrestlers in the business today. His moniker, phenomenal, isn’t just a tag given to him to help market his character. In the case of Styles, it’s truly the only word that comes to mind. AJ isn’t just capable of death defying high risk maneuvers, but rather he’s one of the few wrestlers who can suck you in to almost any match and have you on the edge of your seat. Whether Styles is taking a beating or dishing it out, it’s his ability to get the viewer immersed in the action that make him, Phenomenal.

Jakks has had the TNA license for a while now, putting out a wide variety of product. Today we’re looking at a discount store figure, slightly different than the Ruthless Impact figures that I reviewed last year. Jakks produces these figures specifically for Dollar Stores, Big Lots, etc. When the WWE license was held by Jakks, these were called Havoc Unleashed.

Often when Jakks did the WWE line, the Havoc Unleashed figures had their own head sculpts and oddly, I often found that the head sculpts were better on that line than the actual Jakks WWE main line. However, for the first series of TNA figures in this scale, dubbed Genesis (after a TNA pay-per-view), the figures re-use the Deluxe Impact head sculpts… To mixed results.

Packaging:
The packaing here is bare bones. Obviously these figures are designed for economy and thus, so too is the package.


For what it’s worth, the front of the package is actually not bad. It has the TNA ring, the Genesis logo and doesn’t really seem all that cheap. The back however, is devoid of anything other than legal information. No bio, no advertisements for the other figures in the series… Nothing.

Sculpt:
Jakks is known for reusing parts and the Havoc Unleashed line mostly used the same body style over and over. I think there might have been one or two different sets of legs, but for the most part all the figures had the same body with a different head. That’s the same deal here with the TNA Genesis figures.


And yet, there’s something on a very basic level that works for me. I’m sure someone will say I’m biased or whatever, but I actually like this figure. It works as a little wrestler. It’s not a great AJ Styles, exactly, but it works as a toy. I’m reminded of the old Remco AWA figures. I loved those back in the day.


AJ’s normal tights have a lot of logos on them, but the Genesis version, to be budget, simply has one logo plastered on the front of his crotch. This is pretty much true of all the Genesis figures. It helps add a little diversity to the figure, but let’s face it, this isn’t going for much in terms of authenticity.


Surprisngly, despite the fact that this figure is several inches smaller than the regular Deluxe Impact TNA line… The head sculpt fits well. It might be a tad big, but not much. The problem comes in other figures (like Samoa Joe) who already have an oversized head. Then it looks absolutely gargantuan on the smaller body. However, AJ makes out pretty good.


To help differentiate these from the main releases, the head sculpts received slightly different paint decos. Some are more drastic than others. In the case of AJ, he’s got a 5 o’clock shadow going on. It’s both sculpted and painted.


That works a little better in premise than execution, as most of the paint isn’t really where the stubble is sculpted. It looks okay to the naked eye, except in the front where my AJ is missing about half his moustache. I’m reminded of that time Big Bubba shaved John Tenta’s head and then Tenta shaved half his beard off to match.


These guys aren’t in scale with any of Jakks other stuff. They are a scale all their own. However, since the heads are all the same, you can use them for the other figures if you wanted to boil and pop them off. Also, as previously mentioned, these are in scale with the old WWE Havoc Unleashed figures.

Articulation:
The articulation here is very, very basic. Think Kenner. You get a swivel neck, arms, waist and legs. It’s not much, but I actually like basic articulation when it’s implemented well and surprisingly, this is.


You won’t be able to get AJ into a ton of moves, but he is sculpted in a way that you can make the most out of what you have here. The half bent elbows and knees, a Kenner staple, work just as well here as they did on most your figures in the 1980’s.


By no means am I saying this is a super poseable figure, but actually you are able to pose him better in some respects than you can the Ruthless Impact style figures. Because his body is sculpted in a more neutral position.

Accessories:
Nothing.

Value:
I picked AJ up on clearance for $3. At that price, it’s hard to complain about anything. That said, he actually retailed for $3.99, which in this day and age, also isn’t bad. However, the value becomes a bit subjective when you realize that the Deluxe Impact figures, which have a ton more articulation and paint, are only $9.99! I’ve seen these figures retail for as high as $5 in some stores and that’s just too much for what’s offered here.


Score Recap:
Packaging – 4
Sculpting – 5
Paint – 2
Articulation – 3
Accessories – Nothing
Value – 6
Overall – 5 out of 10

A lot of people are quick to dismiss these figures as garbage. I guess I’m old school, but I could totally see having a bunch of these and enjoying them as a kid. These are designed for, well let’s face it, poor kids. At $3 or $4, these make a decent toy for a kid who may not be able to afford the better stuff. AJ is far, far from perfect in this plastic incarnation, but he’s hardly garbage either. Your enjoyment of these style figures will be entirely dependant on your own cynicism.

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