WWE Basics – Series 2
Vladimir Kozlov
7 Inch Scale
By: Mattel

Haiku for Kozlov:

Vladimir Kozlov
Russian Monster Wrestler, Yeah!
Basic Head Sculpt Best

I don’t believe any other website has ever even reviewed a single Vladimir Kozlov and this is now my SECOND Kozlov Review. Why the hell would I buy two figures of this guy? I’m not sure. Mostly because the Elite body sculpt is nice, but the Basic had the only good head sculpt. Actually there were two Basics, each with their own unique head sculpts. I prefer this one, even though it’s a bit soft, it reminds me of how Kozlov typically looks.

Or should I say looked? Kozlov received three figures from Mattel, all with unique head sculpts but he’s since been canned. I believe he went to NJPW, where they’ll likely appreciate his big lumbering style a bit more. Anyway, I did buy this guy, I might as well review him.

Vlad comes in the standard Mattel WWE Basics card. It’s not bad, but Mattel must have gotten bored with it, because the newest series come on a brighter white card. Anyway, these aren’t too bad and the stylized picture of Kozlov is actually kind of nice.

The back shows off the rest of the figures in the series. Mark Henry and CM Punk are the only two on the back who are currently doing anything, but it’s not a big deal.

This sculpt is actually quite good, given that Kozlov is a big guy in plain white trunks (or at least he was at this era) and Mattel didn’t have to go too far outside of their wheelhouse to perfect a guy like this. For a Basic he actually comes with a bit more than most, with two kneepads and elbow pads. Sometimes Basics seem to get screwed on their proper number of pads.

I like the idea of a big strong Russian monster. It’s a shame that the WWE could never figure out a way to push him and make it compelling. I think he needed a manager, or something… The body choice is appropriately large and since Mattel doesn’t use this body much (as opposed to the Cena “buff” body which every other figure gets) he looks almost “fresh” by comparison.

With a figure like this, it’s all about the head sculpt. Kozlov’s sculpt is a little soft, but as I mentioned before, it’s the best of the three sculpts available for this character. It’s 900 million times better than the Elite Kozlov, who’s face looks like an anime Muppet. That’s probably Mattel’s worst WWE sculpt to date, and while this one won’t win any rewards, it serves it’s purpose.

His head is a bit of a bean shape on top, which I don’t think is horribly inaccurate as his dome does sort of look like this in real life. It’s probably just a little over the top here.

“We are two WILD and CRA-zy guys!”

The body itself is slightly smaller than the Elite counterpart, but I think that’s more to do with the giant melon on the Elite screaming scan, than anything else.

There’s nothing in the sculpt that should make you run out and get this guy, but if you want one Kozlov, this is the one to get. Even though he’s a bit boring. His plain white trunks look like underwear, but his boots actually have a neater star logo on them than the Elite version.

WWE Basics don’t have the greatest range of motion, but there are a few good points.

His arms can stretch out enough to do his bear hug. It’s a minor thing, but it really emphasizes how much more movement you can get out of the shoulders, elbows and wrists, than the old Jakks WWE figures.

The legs still don’t move all the way forward like they should. This was one of the main complaints I had with the Jakks RA style figures, so it’s a shame that Mattel doesn’t have this issue licked yet. Sometimes a figure can lift his leg all the way forward and sometimes he can’t. It just depends on the sculpt.

The range of motion going backwards is much better, though.

Bupkis! Unless you count the elbow pads and as I mentioned above, sometimes that’s not always accurate on the basics, so this is a “bonus” in that sense.

I really don’t know why Mattel can’t cost out some accessories for the basics, especially since 90% of the figures use recycled parts, but whatever.

These guys are overpriced at nearly $11 a pop. It’s just the cold hard truth. If you can find them for $9 and under, don’t be afraid to pick them up. Last year around Christmas time, Target had them for closer to $7 and I’d like to see Mattel’s WWE Basics return to that pricing year round. It won’t happen, though.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 8
Paint – 7
Articulation – 7
Accessories – NOTHING
Value – 6
Overall – 7 out of 10

Nobody should have to own two Kozlov figures. I do… I’m not sure why as I never really cared for the guy, but once I bought the Elite for cheap, I needed a better head. I think I found this guy on sale (I don’t remember I bought him 6-7 months ago) so it likely lessened the blow. Mattel is doing good things with the WWE line and even the Basics aren’t bad, but tend to be fairly overpriced for what you get.

If you need another figure to add to your Kozlov collection, this is one.

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