This is the first ever "Then Now Forever" set of two packs from Mattel and this particular set- Ultimate Warrior & Sting- is the only two pack in the series not to be changed before release. Originally, John Cena was to come with Hulk Hogan and Dean Ambrose with Steve Austin but due to Hulk Hogan being racist and WWE cutting ties with him, Cena got paired with Austin and Dean Ambrose found a friend in Brian Pillman. Now, Brian Pillman is my all-time favorite wrestler, but even I had to pass on that Ambrose/Pillman set since I have the Legends figure of Pillman. Oddly enough, I first saw these two packs at Walmart and they had everyone except for this set. Then, when I finally did see this set in stores I asked Quentin if he wanted it and when he said yes it sealed the deal for us.
As far as Mattel WWE figures go, I have a small checklist (about ten figures or so) of characters released by Mattel already who I do not have figures for yet but want to get one day. Names on this list include "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (I might just get that Defining Moments figure of his if I see it in stores again), Bret Hart, HHH and up until this two pack, Ultimate Warrior. I am in no way stating that we will never buy another Mattel Ultimate Warrior figure but for us, for our Mattel collection spanning countless eras and promotions (because if you think of guys like Alberto Del Rio and Samoa Joe, who both got around), this at least ensures that we have one Warrior and I really like it.
I don't really have a favorite era Ultimate Warrior, as a lot of wrestling fans probably do. There isn't really one iconic look for me that I would say, "That's the Ultimate Warrior figure I need". However, should he be released in his attire from his return to WWE (his last run) when he faced HHH at Wrestlemania, yeah, I'd probably be inclined to buy him in that form. I'm not sure when this attire is from and I'm not really bothered enough to look it up. It's a nice mix of red and pink with mostly white and, I guess, in some ways it even reminded me enough of the Texas Tornado to justify wanting to get him looking like this. (Plus, he was in a two pack for about $20 and he comes with Sting, so there is also that)
Should they make another Ultimate Warrior figure I want though I hope it is in Elite form, though I don't mind this one being in a Basic form because he still has the tassels on his arms and knees and then the fringe above his boots is actually modded on there and not freestanding like we've seen in the past with John Morrison and Tyler Breeze. This probably isn't really news to those who already have Ultimate Warrior figures from Mattel but it is to me because this is my first one.
With Sting, the funny thing is that this is actually our third Sting figure. As a general rule of trying to own only really one version of each character we like, I find it odd that we have three Sting figures already and in terms of what is in stores right now the only Sting we actually don't have is his Defining Moments figure, his first Mattel release. The differences between this Sting and his previous Basic figure are small but they're nice still. This Sting has a t-shirt instead of a tank top and his hair is slicked back instead of falling down on the sides of his head.
In some ways, I like to think of this Sting as being some sort of cross between the first Basic Sting we have (which is really The Crow) and the Elite Sting because that one has the t-shirt and hair slicked back. I'm not the one who watched WCW during the Monday Night Wars and was in love with Sting (I actually preferred DDP if you're asking), but yet, here is our third figure of him none the less and it's somewhere between the other two that we already have. I mean, I'd understand if it was a Surfer Sting and had the blonde hair so didn't look anything like the other Sting figures we had already, but yeah, it is even strange for me that we own three Sting figures but I'm weirdly okay with it.
It's funny to me that Sting and Ultimate Warrior started out in the business of professional wrestling together as the Bladerunners and this isn't representative of that, yet I still felt the need to get it. But if we get a modern version of the Ultimate Warrior, ala the Hall of Fame and following Monday on Raw appearance I'd buy that as well. I can't think of another version of Sting I want, though that doesn't mean we won't pick up a Surfer Sting in stores if/when we see them.
As a somewhat embarrassing confession: I never paid enough attention to this set when seeing photos of it online or purchasing it and as such I thought the white-strapped title with it was the IC Title. It wasn't until we got home and got it out of the package I realized it was a World Championship. It does look rather nice on Sting though.
This definitely seems to be the hardest to find two pack of the three in the series and if you can find it I would recommend getting it if you're a fan of either wrestler. For us, it's our third Sting Mattel figure and first Ultimate Warrior Mattel figure but they just feel very much at home in our collection.