WWE Legends Series 5
Rick “The Model” Martel
7 Inch Scale
Rick “The Model” Martel was one of the few heels I really hated as a youngster. Martel feuded with Jake “The Snake” Roberts, one of my favorites, which really made me despire Martel. Yet, even then I realized that Martel was a great wrestler. I think that’s part of the reason why I hated him. He was good and he knew it. He could talk the talk and walk the walk. Plus he was French-Canadian! What’s not to hate?!
Martel was once a popular face character, an AWA World Champion and a multi-time WWF Tag Team Champion, but it was his role as the “Model” which really made him stand out. The storyline where he blinded Jake Roberts with his Arrogance cologne, is one that fans still talk about today. It also led to the only logical blindfold match in wrestling history.
Martel should have been a big time player in the WWF with multiple Intercontinental Titles and maybe even a run against Hogan for the World strap… But for whatever reason it was never in the cards. One of my favorite eras for Martel was actually his last, as he showed up in WCW in an elder statesman role and had an incredible series of matches with Booker T and others for the WCW TV Championship. Sadly an injury cut this resurgence in his career short.
Mattel has put together one of their finest figures in their entire WWE line in Rick Martel and yet, if you continue to read, you’ll find it has some serious flaws. If you’re thinking about picking up the Model, you’ll want to read this review.
The Legends packaging hasn’t changed much. It has a nice color scheme to it with a stylized photo of Rick Martel on the front and back. The back of the package talks about the infamous blindfold match and lists his titles.
Mattel really went all out on their Rick Martel figure. He has a ton of accessories and a great sculpt. His body is proportioned well, although his biceps seem a little too big. He’s made of previously existing parts with the exception of his head sculpt and his upper boots.
The head sculpt is really impressive and definitely captures a likeness of Martel. He has a small ponytail in the back, which really shines a light on detail. Martel often wore his hair this way during the era. There is even a little purple band in his hair holding it back.
Jakks had previously made their own version of Rick Martel as the Model, but Mattel’s definitely feels superior. Jakks made sort of a “catch-all” head sculpt of Martel, which they used on all his figures. Mattel’s is definitely more specific to this time period in his career.
Martel had three iconic attires during this era, light pink as reflected in the Jakks figure, powder blue (as reflected in another Jakks figure) and purple as reflected in the Mattel figure. Of the attires, the purple is probably the most iconic, but you could make a case for any of them.
There is no doubt this is a great Rick Martel sculpt. The body parts are well chosen, the head sculpt looks good and the paint is pretty spot on. I did have a bit of minor rubs on the hair, but I was willing to overlook them.
Unfortunately I have a much, MUCH harder time overlooking the huge stains on the figure from his entrance jacket. This is the absolute worst Mattel WWE figure I have bought in terms of the staining. It is completely unacceptable.
Both of Martel’s shoulders are covered with fabric pattern as well as his forearms and elbows. The worst part about all of this (aside from the fact that these stains can not be removed, not even with acetone!) is that Mattel has been aware of this problem since Wave 1. This is Wave 5! Mattel knows that the fabric coats/shirts stain figures and yet they still chose to put this one on Rick Martel.
I know for a fact that Mattel is aware of this as I have told them in Q&As, I told the WWE design team in person at C2E2 and hundreds of others have complained about this on various message boards and forums. So why after 5 waves of classics and 9+ waves of Elites am I getting a Rick Martel figure with stains all over his body? Mattel simply must not care. It’s beyond frustrating as this figure looks like crap as a result. I would love for the Mattel design team to see this review and offer me a replacement figure, by the way.
Martel has the standard Legends/Elite articulation with double knees, ball neck, torso hinge and the ball hinge legs. There are the normal assortment of hinges and swivels as well in the arms, wrists and legs.
This allows Martel to do his trademark Boston crab. I used to love the WWF Royal Rumble game on Sega Genesis because I could play as Martel and put people in the Boston Crab. Nobody really does the Boston crab anymore… I dunno why. Except for Chris Jericho, who turned his awesome Liontamer move into the poorest version of a Boston Crab known to man. Seriously, it’s like he doesn’t even try.
For whatever the reason, Martel feels like one of the most poseable WWE Mattel figures I have. I think this is sort of random and not necessarily something special with Martel, but I can’t say for certain. It seems like some WWE figures are stiff as a board and others, like Martel, are super easy to pose.
I really don’t feel like much is missing from the articulation department. If it wasn’t for those horrible stains all over him, I’d have next to nothing to complain about. Sadly, those are a big deal.
Ever since Mattel stopped giving the stands in some of the earlier waves, it’s began to feel like we’re getting less and less for our money. Rick Martel is probably the best figure to date in terms of accessories and definitely shows a step in the right direction.
Martel comes with some awesome 80’s style sunglasses. These are a new sculpt and are considerably bigger than any of the other sunglasses that have come with other WWE figures. I used to have a ton of sunglasses like these and fannypacks and neon spandex shorts and… Yeah, moving on.
He also gets a little rubber bowtie that can be clipped on. It’s pretty awesome, as is his most important accessory, the atomizer of Arrogance! This is an incredible accessory and one that really takes this figure to another level. There are some scratches in the paint, which some claim is intentional, but I suspect comes from the dynamic posing in the package. Some have speculated that Martel never carried a purple version of the atomizer, only a light blue one, but that’s simply not true. He’s pictured on the card with it, for Christ’s sakes!
Finally he gets his entrance jacket with oversized “Yes, I am a model” button. It’s really great and I love that it’s included… But it should not have been packaged on him. That’s how the stains got on the figure and ruined him. I don’t know why Mattel can’t figure out to put a plastic liner on the inside of the figure. Even a removable plastic bib like they put on Revoltechs to prevent scratches would be fine. This staining is just so frustrating.
At $16 (even more at some places!) Rick Martel isn’t cheap. With all the accessories though, he feels like a good value… UNLESS HE’S STAINED TO HELL! Then it feels like you wasted your money. This figure looks like some kid has taken a magic marker to it.
Which leaves me at a real quandary on whether or not to recommend this figure. On one hand it’s one of the best that Mattel has made in the Legends line to date. In the other fist, you have no idea if your figure will be stained up or not. The only way you can know is if you buy him and open him up and take the coat off. It’s completely random, but you can expect that most figures will have some stains. Sadly the longer these sit on shelves, the greater the chance of stains.
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 8
Paint – 7
Articulation – 8
Accessories – Arrogance, Bowtie, Coat
Value – 8
Quality Control – Negative 1 Million
Overall – 8 out of 10
Overall with stains – 2 out of 10
In terms of overall sculpt, accessories and design, this very well could be Mattel’s best work in the Legends line. However the potential for stains on the figure make this toy version of Russian Roulette. If you’re feeling lucky, buy the Model!