Andre the Giant
By: Mattycollector.com (Mattel)
$20 + Shipping
When you think of legends, you think of the greats—the persons who performed so well or who were so well known in their given field that they’ve transcended their position and become ingrained in our minds as icons. We start to say things like, “There’ll never be another…” or “so-and-so was one-in-a-million.”
Today we’re looking at another Mattycollector.com exclusive. I make no claim to knowledge of the sport of professional wrestling. My attraction to the line falls squarely into the realms of nostalgia and respect for the true entertainers and athletes who helped define the sport as we know it today. For me, Andre “the Giant” Rousimoff is not only a true legend in the sport of wrestling, but also an icon of my childhood, having played the loveable giant with a soft heart, Fezzik, in The Princess Bride. Mattel really has done a number with their Elite and Legends figures, but Andre the Giant is one of those personalities so beloved that any attempt to capture it will surely fall under great scrutiny and criticism by his fans.
Will Mattel do justice to a true titan of the ring or will they get body slammed in front of 97,000 fans? Let’s take a look.
The mailer is par for the course at this point. I don’t use these things at all, but I suppose you have to appreciate them for the people who like to keep their figures MOC.
Jake “The Snake” Roberts decided to show up and help me out with some scale. I can’t be certain because I don’t have any Legends boxes lying around, but I’m pretty sure this is bigger than your standard box. I mean, Andre’s not even bending his knees and he fits in that bubble. Compared to Jake, that makes the box, what, a foot tall, roughly?
I’m not a huge fan of the brownish gold color they use for the background, but the box art is always fantastic in this line. I dig that the box tells you specifically which version of Andre this is, since wrestlers often go through many transformations through their careers.
If you didn’t feel like reading the bio above, this iteration of Andre the Giant comes from WrestleMania III all the way back in 1987. Also, oddly enough, the year that The Princess Bride
was released. Nifty.
The face is decent work, if a bit soft. If I just gave you the head without the figure, I would say non-wrestling fans would have a 50/50 shot of guessing who it’s supposed to be. My idea of the “iconic” Andre would have to include his longer, wilder hair and huge mutton chops, but I have no clue if that would be the same for all WWF/E fans. The only paint on the figure is on the mug, take it or leave it. The five o’clock shadow is kinda weird, but doesn’t look bad in person. The face does seem a bit thin to me, like they clicked and dragged an image of it vertically and called it quits. Then again, you could say the same for his body.
As you can see, Andre certainly is a giant compared to other figures in the line. According to their wikis, Iron Sheik is 6’, Jake the Snake is 6’6”, and Andre the Giant was 7’4”. All things considered, I’d say they got the height pretty danged close. The girth, I think, could still use some work. One of the reasons I think they might have stretched his face a bit was to make up for the body being a bit skinny. I would assume that since the Big Show is so often compared to Andre’s size, there’s some re-use, but I don’t have one of his figures to compare. I will say that Mattel didn’t just slap parts together haphazardly. The boots and hands are much larger than my other Legends, even if not perfectly scaled to Andre.
Granted, he was in pretty good shape at the time, but the figure doesn’t look to me like a man with a 71” chest. However, as has been pointed out before, these Legends seem to be a bit more of an idealized version of these superstars. It doesn’t bother me too much, as he still looks good next to his peers, but it’s noticeable enough to warrant mention.
I will say that minus his singlet, you can adjust the ab crunch such that his belly will poke out just a bit more if you want it to. I think it adds a bit more realism and thanks to the neck joint, it doesn’t quite leave him looking up all the time to arch his back in this manner. Which takes us to…
Okay, the above pose is a little ridiculous, but I want to give you an idea of how these Legends figures move. Sue me.
Andre features the standard articulation for the line. Check it: ball neck, swivel-hinged shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel-hinged wrists, ab crunch, ball hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, swivel boot tops, hinged ankles, and ankle rockers.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: these figures sport some of the best articulation currently available in this price range. He can take very basic poses and pull them off realistically…
…but the joints are so stable that much more complex posing options are available with little fuss. Andre’s designed to be a wrestler, and works very well with other figures. While the joint junkie in me would love to see double elbows and better range in the rockers for stability, what’s here is excellent. I had absolutely no trouble balancing him, even being a slightly heavier figure.
Andre is still available as of this writing at the MattyCollector webshop for $19.99. I can’t speak to the shipping since I had other things in my order, but I’d expect around 8 or 9 dollars. Since the line has been pulled from retail (sadface), this is your only option for picking up one of the most famous athletes of all time. So what comes in the box?
Mattel has done away with the stands since apparently a three-inch piece of flat plastic and a cardboard nametag are just pushing that MSRP too far. His only accessory outside of his singlet is the World Heavyweight Championship belt. I guess it’s a re-used mold, because it doesn’t go all the way around his midsection, but it looks very impressive with fine detailing and a dynamite vac-metallized paint job and tampos.
The only QC issue I noticed was a slightly misaligned shoulder joint. I don’t find any issue with the movement of the joint, and it’s probably just a fluke, but it’s worth checking out.
So you’re paying almost double what you would at retail for a Big Show figure. Is it worth it? I’d say yeah. The figure itself is only five dollars more than a retail release, and shipping costs have become intrinsic to the hobby if you’re into online ordering. He’s a large toy and won’t disappoint in terms of build. He’s got a decent accessory, even though I really do miss the nameplates. Overall, he’s a solid buy for me. He’s not my iconic Andre, but he’s the best we’ll probably see for several years.
I‘ll tell you now if you do like him and want to cut the cost of the figure down in terms of shipping, the new stands they’re offering at the webstore are pretty nifty. One set holds nine figures in three rising tiers that connect to each other to make one giant display and even have room o the front of each stand for the (now-defunct) nameplates. If we had displays like this for MOTUC, I’d be all over them.
Andre the Giant was known as the Eighth Wonder of the World for good reason. This may not be the best figure we’ll ever see of him, but he fits in well with the other Legends superstars and maintains that same level of articulation that makes these figures an absolute blast to play with and display. Long-time fans of the character and the man will have a tough decision, but I hope this helps to illuminate some of the pros and cons of the figure. Wrestling, Sports, Fezzik, and Dagoth fans are highly recommended to pick up this figure.
Now if Mattel would just make a dang Hulk Hogan Legend so I can see if Andre will balance on his shoulders for the body slam heard ‘round the world…
Thanks for reading and as always, it’s just a toy. Open the darned thing.
If you like classic wrestlers, make sure you check out Newt’s reviews of WWE Legends Kamala and WWE Deluxe Classic Ric Flair.