I really do feel like since this Hall of Fame series has started I've had the idea of not really wanting anyone in it and then ending up picking up a few figures here and there, though aside from the Four Horsemen box set the only figure I have other than this one is Yokozuna, who was in Series 1, but still, when this set hit stores I did consider buying Trish Stratus at one point and I might still buy Sgt. Slaughter yet.
The story behind this figure for us a rather simple one. I have a short list of wrestlers that exist in Mattel form that we don't yet have figures for but that I would like to have figures for one day. This list includes Mick Foley, Bret Hart, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and others, but yes, before we got this figure, Steve Austin was on the list as well. When we were at Walmart and found Basic Series 60 (Which got us Renee Young and Kalisto figures), we also saw the Defining Moments Steve Austin figure. I picked it up, showed Gina and said, "This is probably that one Austin figure we'll get eventually".
Little did I know we were about to go to Target and they had their Hall of Fame figures on sale for $10. Wait, what? Hall of Fame figures for half price? I'm not really a huge fan of the HoF Eddie Guerrero figure and I can pass on Tito Santana a hundred times a day, but when I saw this Stone Cold figure once I almost wanted to get him even at the $20 price point. So to imagine him being $10- the same price as a Basic figure- just blew my mind and I knew we had to have him and this would be the way.
Now I don't know what other "Stone Cold" Steve Austin figures exist out there from Mattel in Elite form. I know he has a two pack with Bret Hart, he's had at least one single-carded Basic figure that I've seen in stores and he is also often in those big box sets that they like to make. (He is also part of an upcoming Battle Pack with Vince McMahon) When it came down to getting a Stone Cold figure though, it was always between this one and the Defining Moments one.
Aside from this one being $15 cheaper with the sale price, I also just didn't remember the DM Austin coming with anything really other than three title belts. So, based upon accessories, this figure is the same as the DM one to the extent that they both have vests, necklaces, etc. The only difference is with the HoF figure you get a shirt and with the DM figure you get three belts. I'm not sure why, but I kind of wanted the shirt more.
Additionally, the other main difference between the two Stone Cold figures I thought about getting is that the DM figure has Austin in his black trunks (i.e. wrestling gear) while this HoF figure has him in his jean shorts (i.e. gonna stun some sumbitches gear) Why that mattered to me, in terms of getting the HoF figure over the DM for that reason is because we tend to buy the more modern or current looking figures than their classic counterparts (see: Hulk Hogan)
So having this Steve Austin figure just makes it easier for him to come out and give the short-haired Chris Jericho figure we have the stunner. Or Kevin Owens or Finn Balor or John Cena or Sin Cara or just any of the figures we have-- you get it. I just like it to that extent where it looks more like what SCSA would actually wear if he was to just show up on Raw tonight as opposed to being in his wrestling trunks. He has his "What?" shirt, but it shouldn't be hard to make him other shirts if we really wanted to do so.
Now one of the things I like about this figure, as I've said, is the accessories. His necklace was given to him by Brian Pillman and his "What?" shirt started one of the most annoying parts of all of professional wrestling but it still is something that has stuck around ever since so it's kind of symbolic in that way.
I really like the head scan Austin has, though bald guy with goatee doesn't seem to be too hard, and he seems to be of the right size and boots and such otherwise. He also has the Texas tattoo on his leg which got lost in my younger days of collecting. You know, the first figure I ever had of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin was his Bone Crunching Action figure by Jakks. One day, my Dad and I went to the KB Toys on the Berlin Turnpike and found him. I remember just being so shocked because the Internet wasn't what it is now back then, so you didn't really know what figures were coming to stores until you found them.
While I believe I had a number of different Stone Cold figures from when Jakks went into their Ruthless Aggression line, for some reason all I can remember are the mock LJN one they did and the one from the Hollywood Blondes two pack. Ah well. I still remember all of the jeans and t-shirt Austins that Jakks made in their BCA form. It felt like they'd stamp about anything on an Austin shirt to get you to send in UPCs or a PPV receipt or whatever.
I know perhaps the perfect "Stone Cold" Steve Austin figure would come with jean shorts you could take off to reveal the wrestling gear, thus combining the DM and this HoF figure to some end, but I don't really think Mattel will do that and I'm fine with him in his jean shorts and not wrestling gear look. So, for me, this is that one "Stone Cold" Steve Austin figure we have in our collection and, yeah, it's pretty great.