2 Inch Scale
By: Jakks Pacific
A few years ago, Jakks Pacific entered the miniature figure market with their WWE Micro Aggression series of toys. I never gave the figures much thought, although I did at times look at them at the store. They were tiny, two inch versions of the WWE figures. While some of the Micro Aggression figures did look quite good for their size, most were pretty unimpressive in comparison to their larger counterparts.
When Jakks began making their TNA figures, they introduced TNA versions of the mini figures, called Micro Impact and again, I looked them over. I did find the TNA ones slightly more interesting, if only because some of the TNA characters seemed more colorful than the previous WWE Micro Aggression figures. Again, however, it wasn’t something I was going to buy. Why buy tiny figures painted half as well, when I can buy larger figures with much more detail?
Strangely, when the Jakks generic wrestling figures, dubbed Ring Starz began to hit… I wanted them. Jakks originally planned on launching several wrestling lines and although I’m not sure if they will continue to do so, it wasn’t a bad idea on the surface. Offer TNA as a premium brand, then offer a generic brand as well, which could sell for less. Then why would this generic brand appeal more to me than the TNA or WWE figures? Especially at this small size?
I thought about this long and hard as I worked to track these figures down. Then it hit me. These generic Ring Starz all have colorful luchador (Mexican Wrestler) outfits for the most part. They’re generic with no real story and they’re tiny. They’re like modern M.U.S.C.L.E. men! That was what drove me crazy about these guys! I don’t necessarily want a pint size Shawn Michaels figure, because better HBK figures are out there. But a pint size guy I can make up my own story for? A colorful Lucha star that is a clean slate? That’s an idea I love.
Micro Aggression and Micro Impact are generally sold in three packs. Although they do have a couple of larger pack outs, none have been as big as this. This figure set comes with ten figures and some accessories in one box.
The box is dull. Way dull. I realize that Jakks was trying to make these a generic wrestling line, but they actually dipped their toes so far into the generic realm that these look more like bootlegs, than something from one of the largest toy companies around. Jakks could have easily whipped up a couple of generic wrestling scenes to place on the package.
The back is literally blank, sans a few legal notices. That’s not cool. All this area on the back could have been used to write a bio for the figures or at the very least advertise some other sort of product. This whole package looked so generic that my girlfriend actually asked me what the heck I was buying. It looks really like some dollar store bootleg toy.
No matter what you think of Jakks as a company, you have to admit that in many ways they’re very smart. They developed the WWE brand of toys over several years and since they had so many of those bodies at their disposal, they began to license other brands where they would only need minimal new tooling. Want a Rocky line? Jakks can provide it and use mostly old WWE bodies. That’s the same idea here. Generic micro wrestlers, using the same bodies they designed years ago for the WWE.
There are several body types. Micro Aggression ran for many series, so they actually made all types of bodies. Fat guys, skinny guys, heavyweights and cruiserweights all got into the mix. At this small scale the differences are minute, but they do exist.
My favorites are the masked men. They’re obviously supposed to be luchadores, but of course, masked men have been a staple of wrestling for generations as well. I followed Lucha Libre very close for a couple years when I covered Lucha Libre exclusively for 411Mania.com, so I have a fondness for the bright colored costumes of Lucha.
All of the bodies, even the generic regular guys have a fair amount of detail considering their size. It’s not a ton of detail, but there are wrinkles and folds. It’s pretty cool when you get them in hand and can see some of the miniature detail work in the sculpt.
The paint work isn’t “great” but it’s passable. I guess I’m crazy, but the slightly offness of the paint gives it a bit more character to me. That’s something I would almost never say about anything else, but I think it’s true here. Plus these guys are tiny, you’re never going to get them painted perfectly. Essentially, though, there are four styles of figures included.
You get two variations of Lucha guys. Three of each and all of them are painted differently. I prefer this second style of mask. You could literally repaint one of these figures about a million different times and have unique characters each time. Jakks should totally do this.
The “regular dudes” don’t come out as well. Yes, they look nice. However Jakks included two guys who look the exact same but have different trunks. Why not give them different hair colors? Obviously Jakks can’t reuse old WWE head sculpts, because those belong to real people. However, these generic heads need something to set them apart from one another.
You also get two generic black sculpts. Again and maybe I’m nuts here… But why wouldn’t Jakks make one of these guys white, and one of the white guys black? That would allow you to take the same four figures, but make them appear much more unique! The execution as it pertains to the regular guys is a tad off.
As I had never handled one of these figures, I wasn’t sure what to expect in the articulation department. I knew they had articulated limbs, but that was about it. Surprisingly, you can do a lot with what they have given you here.
Each figure has cuts at the shoulders, legs (V-crotch style), waist and neck. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but for the scale, it’s pretty darn good. Most figures this small have almost no movement.
One of the things that has frustrated me with the basic WWE figures from Jakks and Mattel is that they really aren’t very poseable, even though they have a ton of joints. These little guys can actually hit a lot of poses, even though they have very few joints.
The plastic is just pliable enough that you can bend arms and legs to allow for moves that perhaps you couldn’t with a larger figure. Again, it’s one part imagination and one part creativity, but it takes me back to the M.U.S.C.L.E. days or when I used He-Man figures as wrestlers. You don’t need a ton of articulation and sometimes, the damn articulation gets in the way!
The V-crotch isn’t perfect, but at least these guys can sit down. That already is better than a ton of figures on the market as it relates to wrestling.
Currently, for the Ring Starz they make two packs. A 20 pack which includes a ring and some accessories and this 10 pack, which has a fair amount of accessories, but no ring. Again, these are all reused accessories from the old sets, but they’re a lot of fun.
You get a set of steel steps that fits to the ring as well as a rather large ladder that folds up. Both are nicely detailed and work well with the figures. The ladder might be 1/10th out of scale, but it’s hardly noticeable.
My favorite accessory though, is the breakaway table. Perfectly made to this scale.
The table is definitely a present surprise.
All in all, you get a ton of accessories here. A trash can with removable lid, a shopping cart and the aforementioned instruments of destruction. It’s chaos in the palm of your hand!
Because there’s no license involved and Jakks already had most of these pieces in their sculpt archives, they can afford to sell these for dirt cheap. While a regular Jakks Micro WWE/TNA set sells for about $5 for 3 figures, this whole set only cost me $7.99! That’s an unreal value and I can only hope they pump out a ton more of these sets at this price.
Packaging – 2
Sculpting – 7
Articulation – 6
Accessories – Ladder, Table, Trash Can, Trash Can Lid, Steel Steps
Value – 10
Overall – 9 out of 10
In the end, the good greatly outweighs the bad here. The sculpting could be a little tighter or the designs could be a little more varied, but the amount of guys you get is great. The value here, and play value, are what really knocks this set out of the park. I have no doubt I will be picking up more of these guys.
This is one of those rare little toys that I know kids will love, but us old timers can appreciate. The generic versions, in my view, are better than the real versions. It allows us to recreate the magic of M.U.S.C.L.E. and other wacky mini figures of days gone past. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go continue my grudge match between El Morado Loco and Blanco Caliente!