Thanks to the Internet I found out that Walgreens had been stocking a holiday cube with figures from WWE Series 53, which is funny because Series 52 has Neville in it and despite my finding 52 at both Walmart and Toys R Us I have yet to find Neville. I just keep telling myself it's okay because I can wait for the eventual Elite with a cape. I know I'd buy both the Basic Neville now and an eventual Elite, but this would save me some money, especially since we got this Tyler Breeze Basic and will ultimately buy an Elite of him as well. So Quentin and I went to our local Walgreens one day when I was off and while he was playing with the toys I noticed the holiday cube was up but there wasn't anything in it yet. I kind of watched as the employee stocked the cube with everyone from Series 53... Everyone except for Tyler Breeze. I even asked if those were all of the figures and then wondered if maybe another employee hadn't already snagged Tyler Breeze.
A short time later I was off again and Quentin went to the doctor to get his flu shot. There is a Walgreens not too far from his doctor's office so I told him we could stop there to look for Tyler Breeze. After a stop at Walmart we hit Walgreens and sure enough, sitting behind The Rock was the Tyler Breeze figure we were hunting. The funny part of this story is that when we got to Walgreens we ran into the manager there- who is a huge Mets fan- and it was the first day of the World Series so he was talking to us and Quentin was somewhat focused on that. So when Quentin kind of looked back over towards me I showed him Tyler Breeze and his face lit up. Then, as we were going to the register he dropped the toy and exclaimed "Oh no! Tyler Breeze!!" It was pretty funny.
Though this figure doesn't come with the entrance gear no one really expected it to because it's a Basic not an Elite. The way the tassels were molded over the boots seems to be an improvement since the days of Mattel doing it for John Morrison and then this figure just has a nice overall design that I feel captures Tyler Breeze rather well. I think he's a little bit more ripped than this torso choice lets him be, and some of that definition will be lost in an Elite, but I feel like WWE just wants him to seem smaller somehow and less toned. I'm not sure why, but I just do.
It is worth noting that since this Tyler Breeze figure hasn't really hit all of mass retail in full yet, Breeze joins the likes of Adrian Neville as having a figure released after they were on the main roster. When we first saw prototypes for these figures though we thought, "Cool, we're getting some NXT guys" but Neville has been on the main roster for a while now and only hitting stores in the past month. Tyler Breeze on the other hand just debuted on the main roster and his figure should be hitting other retailers soon enough. This means- oddly enough- that the only figure of an NXT wrestler to be announced and come out without that wrestler being moved up to the main roster in the time between is Sami Zayn. That's got to kind of sting, huh? (Though there are hopefuls of Hideo Itami and Bayley coming out, so we'll see if they're moved up before their figures hit stores)
While an Elite version of Tyler Breeze could be better than this (if only for that entrance gear) I must admit that this figure just seems flawless and is among my favorites not just for this year but possibly that Mattel has ever made. It just feels like Mattel captured the likeness of Tyler Breeze so perfectly and sometimes their figures have these little things about them, especially in the scans, but there is just nothing to really complain about here as even the torso choice doesn't bother me that much. This could quite possibly be the best debut figure for a WWE wrestler and if nothing else it will certainly be giving all others from this point forward a run for their money.