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WWE Elite – Series 18 “Flashback”
Jerry “The King” Lawler
7 Inch Scale
By: Mattel
$15.99 $19.99

Jerry Lawler has lived a pretty incredible life. From appearing in major motion pictures to feuding with stand-up comedians, he’s hung out with Batman, wrestled Frankenstein and nearly died on national television. Lawler’s life has been outrageous and his life story is worthy of an entire series of books. Through it all, The King has managed to remain pretty level headed and aside from an affinity for young women, he’s remained mostly scandal-free.

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I would imagine most people today know Lawler from the WWE, where he’s been the voice of Monday Night Raw for the past 20 years. By the time Lawler first stepped foot into a WWE (then WWF) ring, I had been watching him for decades. Lawer was the King of Memphis wrestling, which was, without a doubt, the hottest wrestling territory of all time. Other areas may have drawn bigger crowds or made more money, but Memphis was consistent. Memphis was the last territory to die, falling apart during the Monday Night Wars, whereas every other territory died in the 80′s. Hell, Memphis might still be around today if it weren’t for some bad business deals.

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And a huge part of that was Jerry Lawler. He was Memphis’ top draw and even today, Lawler can still draw a crowd in Memphis like few others. While I didn’t grow up in Memphis, I grew up in one of the surrounding areas that fell under their territory. That meant that Jerry Lawler was in my town once or twice a week and on my television screen just as much. He was as much of a local celebrity (like a weatherman or something) than he was a bona fide TV star. Lawler remained the top Memphis star for decades and as a result holds the world record for amount of championships held. Nobody else is even close.

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Jakks made by my count, six versions of the King during their run with the WWE license. Perhaps even more. For some reason though, Mattel really dragged their feet on getting around to Lawler. I suppose the story is that kids might have a hard time relating to buying a figure of an “old man” but Lawler has mostly seemed eternally young. Likewise, he spent the better part of 2011 competing for the WWE Championship. In fact, the WWE was within a cat’s whisker of putting the belt on the King. Even a few months ago Lawler was giving CM Punk a run for his money, before having a heart attack, that is. I was starting to wonder if Mattel wasn’t going to make a “Superstar” Bill Dundee figure before they got around to Lawler. Thankfully Mattel finally got a King out into the stores. But is he worth the wait?

Packaging:

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The Elite packaging is what it is. The window box works for the most part and it stands out on the shelves. My only complaint would be that it can be a bit of a hassle to see who’s in the box from the aisle. This is one where you have to get up and thumb through the figures. The Flashbacks do have added logos though to help distinguish them. The package seems a bit streamlined since the last time I looked at them.

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The package has a little bio of Lawler, but it mostly talks about his feud with Michael Cole from 2011. That makes this figure the least “flashbacky” of the Flashbacks. This could have just as easily been a regular Elite. Hopefully someday we’ll get an honest to goodness FLASHBACK Lawler from the 70′s, 80′s or 90′s.

Sculpt/Paint:
When I first saw photos of this figure, I was really disappointed. The head sculpt looked pretty bad in my view, especially in comparison to the previous Jakks efforts. They also had him smiling, which I dislike. Again, I grew up with BADASS Jerry Lawler, who didn’t smile so much as he wiped it off other people’s faces.

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But I have warmed up to the head scan some. It’s still nowhere near as good as the Jakks efforts, which themselves weren’t perfect. That seems to be a recurring theme with the Mattel figures. I’m not sure why all their scans seem to be worse than the ones Jakks did/does, but it doesn’t make much sense.

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There is some Lawler in the sculpt though, particularly from the side. As much as I feel Jerry is ageless, Father Time does seem to have caught up with him a bit more in recent years. This reflects a slightly older King. But it’s still more off model than anything.

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The body is perfect, though. Mattel made a new torso piece for Lawler, giving him his trademark single strap singlet. When Lawler “Hulks up” he pulls the strap down. You don’t want him to pull the strap down. He’s just “pudgy” enough too.

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There’s some nice paint/tamp work on the legs and wrists, showing off the crowns on his tights, boots and wristpads. He also has some chest hair, which is very important for an accurate King. Although he has shaved that off in some of his more recent years.

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Scale wise he’s just about perfect too. Lawler was never a huge guy, but he wasn’t little either. THe body choices are pretty much perfect across the board here.

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With one minor exception… The choice of attires. Okay, to be fair, this attire is perfectly accurate to the WrestleMania match that it’s supposed to reflect. And yes, Lawler has worn this attire quite a bit in his recent WWE outings… But that doesn’t mean I don’t wish he was wearing his infamous red and black garb.

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Heck, Lawler has had thousands of neat costumes through the years. The black attire choice just seems a bit bland. If this turns out to be the only Jerry “The King” Lawler that Mattel gives us, this attire will seem like the wrong one. Of course, maybe Mattel has several more planned. Red and black and white and blue, please!

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I also sort of wish they had given him regular boots. While these are accurate to a large portion of Lawler’s career, he also wore regular boots at times. I prefer that look to the “cowboy” boots. Thankfully Mattel’s boots do look better than the cowboy boots that Jakks used, so I guess I should applaud them for that.

Articulation:
Jerry has the normal Elite articulation, which means you can pose him in tons of good positions.

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That’s very important for wrestling figures. I really can’t stand the thought of basic wrestling figures anymore.

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Of course, it’s not like Jerry Lawler needs a lot of articulation. While he was a decent wrestler, he was not a high flyer or submission specialist.

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But piledrivers? Man can he throw some piledrivers! Thankfully, so can this figure!

Accessories:
The King comes with quite a bit too, which helps you feel like you’re getting a bit more bang for your buck.

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Lawler is loaded up with his full entrance gear from the WrestleMania match. The nice part about this gear is that it’s also a throwback to some of his 70′s attires. I’m not sure if Lawler had a new set of garb made to look like vintage stuff or if he actually dug out this old gear for the match.

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Either way, King has his crazy entrance coat/vest/cape deal.

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It’s loaded up with paint and sculpted details.

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It’s made of hard plastic, but fastens well and can come off the figure easy enough. I do worry a bit that the paint might rub off on the figure. Of course if you’re just displaying him, it probably won’t happen much. Certainly not as bad as staining a figure.

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This was a good choice by Mattel.

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Mattel also put a lot of bells and whistles on the crown. They knew that Jakks did a good job on their crowns, so I think they tried to one up them by adding lots of sculpting and paint. Honestly, the crowns are very similar, so I’m not sure the extra work was worth it. Still, it’s a nice crown.

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Overall, this figure comes with pretty much everything you could want.

Value:
This is the frustrating part. This figure is very hard to find. I was very lucky to find him right as he came out at a Toys R Us. Unfortunately, TRU have decided to play the role of scalper and have jacked Lawler’s price up to $19.99 for no real reason. I argued with a Toys R Us employee to get the price changed, but the refused because TRU is run by a bunch of jerks. I hate paying $20 for a single figure. But if you see Lawler on the shelves, you have to pay whatever price that he’s listed because you’ll never see him again thanks to Mattel’s terrible distribution and them packing him 1 per case. $20 it is then!

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Score Recap:
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 8
Paint – 8
Articulation – 8
Accessories – Cape, Crown
Value – 7
Overall – 7 out of 10

I really like this Jerry Lawler figure, but he’s got a few things that keep him from being perfect. The head sculpt just isn’t as accurate as it could be, the tight selection isn’t the best and Toys R Us jacked me up on his price. Overall, he’s still very solid, but he could be better.

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The foundation is there, though. Which means that Mattel could very well produce some more awesome Lawler figures.

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I of course, am very hopeful that this will happen. Hell, I’d buy a whole USWA roster. Bring on Brickhouse Brown!

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I’m glad Mattel made this figure and I’m glad that Jerry was able to fully recover from his heart attack. He claims that since he was legally dead for several minutes that he’s now a zombie. That’s just nuts. LONG LIVE THE KING!

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