Friday, October 30, 2015

Toy Review: WWE Battle Pack 34 Hornswoggle vs. El Torito (Mattel)

Following some other figures in various series and mostly getting the Lana & Rusev set in this same series the idea of whether or not I would get this two pack was up in the air.   I like Hornswoggle enough as a character and am glad that he isn't either a) in an Elite form with the accessories himself or b) in his costume that makes him look like a Leprechaun (unless it was the movie version, but of course I mean the cartoon one when he used to hang out with Finlay) so this figure seemed like a good idea.   Of course having the first El Torito figure in brown and planning on getting the white one could make this one a pass but, hey, why not get all of the El Toritos because he might just become the new version of Rey Mysterio, right??

Thinking about Hornswoggle pains me.   He was once involved in a storyline where he thought Vince McMahon was his father only to later realize his true father was Finlay.   Yeah, and let's not forget Hornswoggle wasn't his original PG name either.   But when Hornswoggle found himself struggling for a place on the roster he was aligned with 3MB- back when both Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal worked for WWE- and this prompted the feud with Los Matadores and El Torito.   In many ways, Hornswoggle was brought into the rock star life simply so he could act as a rival to El Torito and, hey, I'm cool with that.    So they had a Wee-L-C match (instead of TLC) with mini-ladders, mini-tables and mini-chairs.   I'm not sure why a mini-ladder didn't make its way into this Battle Pack but as I've said before I thought it was originally going to be included.

Hornswoggle himself looks really good and the first thing I learned upon opening the package is that his hair comes off.   Just to show my WWE knowledge- mostly of things I shouldn't know- I do believe that Hornswoggle and El Torito had a match where it was hair vs. mask (So if El Torito lost he'd have to take his mask off, but since Hornswoggle lost he got his head shaved) but that might have even been the stipulation in the Wee-L-C match.   I'm not sure because I didn't see those matches.   I didn't have The Network back then but since I do now I will certainly be going back and watching them which is also why I'm not going to Google to look it up either.

I like that for as small of a figure as Hornswoggle is he still has a great amount of detail put into his tattoos.   If I have one gripe with him it's that he is shown on the package wearing a vest but doesn't come with one, but if it's not in the budget to get a mini-ladder then I guess that might be getting a little bit greedy.   As someone who had the Hornswoggle figures from Jakks back in the day and has admired the Mattel versions of him from afar I have to admit that this is my favorite figure of Hornswoggle ever.   In addition to liking his appearances on "Swerved" I also liked that he was in the movie "Muppets Most Wanted".

El Torito is pretty much a straight up repaint of the brown version just like the white one will eventually be.    When I first heard about this two pack and its accessories I searched for images of these two fighting in the Wee-L-C match and El Torito was actually in his white gear- which had me hoping he'd be white in this Battle Pack- so I'm not sure if I just need to go watch these matches or if in fact this attire is not based on the appropriate match.    Either way, we have a brown El Torito first, here is a red one and a white one is on the way so who really cares because it's not like we aren't going to get the white on ultimately anyway.  (Okay, quick Google search and I do see that El Torito is being powerbombed by Hornswoggle in front of a ladder and he is in fact in red so this is accurate.   Though the Wee-L-C and hair vs. mask matches might be two different things, but that's okay.  I mean, to be fair I also found images of them fighting when El Torito is in brown but that appears to be on Main Event.   Anyway, I digress...)

The accessories which come with these two might be the best part though a mini-ladder would have been the icing on the cake.   If you have the large table or remember the one I might have taken a picture of which came in the Andre the Giant & Big Show Battle Pack then just imagine a smaller version of the break away design.   The mini-chair however leaves something to be desired.   There are three pieces to the chair.   One is the main piece which has the upper backing on it and the second is the seat which attaches to the first piece around the middle.   Then there is another piece which makes the legs and though that can attach to the first piece it has no way of really connecting with the second piece- the seat- and what is most strange about this perhaps is that this problem does not exist with the full version of Mattel chairs.  So why not just scale down the larger version?  I'm not sure, but it makes it difficult to stand this chair up as if someone was going to sit in it.

Overall though this is probably one of my favorite Battle Packs made by Mattel.   Even if you think of the Andre/Big Show set I just typed about and how much plastic you're getting for your dollar this might seem like the opposite but in fact this one was probably a lot more difficult for Mattel to make.   For one thing, it was likely a hard sell to put these two together for fact of them potentially warming pegs.    It may or may not be a bigger risk than a divas Battle Pack, though that was a risk Jakks would never take and one which seems to benefit Mattel greatly.   On top of that, while El Torito is a repaint and I'm not certain what new parts went into Hornswoggle's body mold I know he at least has a new head scan with the removable hair piece.   This and the fact that these accessories are exclusively made goes to show you how much more this is than just two guys thrown together with a random accessory (Like that Roman Regisn and Kane set with orange traffic cones) and so it just might among my favorites and one I'll likely always remember no matter how long my son and I are collecting the WWE Mattel line.   And, yes, he is very excited for these figures and for the fact that Hornswoggle's hair comes off as well.

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