When Elite Series 40 first came to stores, we saw a few of them at Walgreens (like Umaga) and they even had a handful at this Walmart but not Sami Zayn. We went back recently- and this has been months later now- and it looked as if Walmart had just put out a fresh case of Elite 40, which was odd to me but since Sami Zayn was there we got him. They actually had two Sami Zayns and neither one had the NXT Title stolen (Which I've read has been a rather large problem) but when we went back a short time later the second one had also been bought, so he's pretty much flying off of pegs I suppose.
The selling point for this figure- for me- had always been the NXT Championship belt and why not. It's the first time anyone has come with it and it's just such a great title. I originally was going to put the title with Demon Balor but he has since lost it and we have since purchased an Elite Samoa Joe so it kind of worked out in that way as well. I knew that there would be an Elite Kevin Owens coming out after this figure which was my backup plan for getting the NXT Title, but that Kevin Owens Elite is a lot like the Basic figure we have of him so I'll gladly pass on it since we got the title with Sami Zayn.
I remember Walmart did a reset- I think for Summerslam, oddly enough since that's what time of year it is right now- and they put out a bunch of Sami Zayn, Adam Rose and Summer Rae as their "first time in the line" Basic figures. At the time, Sami Zayn was really the first person from NXT to be featured in action figure form and given the NXT logo on his packaging. At the time I assumed that an Elite Sami Zayn (or an Elite version of anyone in NXT) wasn't possible and when they came to the main roster then they'd get an Elite. Even though I'm not the biggest fan of Sami Zayn, I was excited for his first figure, which was a Basic.
And that first Basic was pretty, um, basic. It had little details on the tights. It just felt so simple. This Elite Sami Zayn has the articulation needed to perform some of Sami's moves you otherwise cannot (Though for me Sami's moves mostly consist of going through tables) and he has much more detail on the tights and chest hair. It is kind of strange to me though that he didn't come with a shirt or even hat (Since they could have just re-used that hat from Bluetista) and that his only accessory and really only selling point is the NXT Title.
I keep saying and feeling like we're going to collect only certain Elite figures which will go on display on shelves while Quentin plays with the Basic versions of them. This works with this Sami Zayn figure, though as of right now we have an Elite Samoa Joe and no Basic of him (And I won't buy the one that is coming out soon) and likewise we have the Basic Hideo Itami but no Elite of him. Still, imagine a shelf one day with Elite versions of Samoa Joe, Sami Zayn, Demon Balor, Hideo Itami, Tyler Breeze, Shinsuke Nakamura, AJ Styles, Austin Aries, Kevin Owens and then possibly even guys from the CWC (like Ibushi and Gran Metalik, who have been signed by WWE) and it just makes me so happy. So, right now, yes, this figure might be the start of something great as well.