Monday, December 21, 2015

Toy Review: WWE Series 55 Sting (Mattel)

As a kid, I grew up watching WWE.   I was never really that into WCW though I did once attend a live episode of WCW Monday Nitro in Connecticut (I believe the only time they ever came to Connecticut) and the Ultimate Warrior debuted.   But the one thing no one ever likes to remind you of the Monday Night War was that while WWE had RAW on from roughly 9pm to 11pm and so did WCW with Nitro, there was a replay of Nitro at some time during the middle of the night-- a few hours later.   I'd often use my VCR to record these episodes of Nitro and watch them the next day so that, duh, I could see both products.    But I'd rarely watch WCW live.   I'd flip, see Raven or someone else from ECW I loved and then decided to set the VCR.

One thing I never understood about WCW and Sting was how they were able to get away with having Sting basically look like the character of The Crow.   It was so much to the point that he is often referred as "surfer Sting" in his early, blonde days and then "Crow Sting" during this time.   Sure, the bWo couldn't get sued because it was parody, but how was this a parody?   How was this not Sting just straight up ripping off The Crow?   So let's say somehow under the WCW (and Ted Turner) umbrella the likeness for The Crow was owned and so everything was cool.   It still wasn't really creative.   I mean, who was The Rock based on?   Who was Degeneration X based on?   It wasn't like someone in WWE was dressing up and acting like Spider-Man.  

So needless to say I never really got into Sting.   Aside from DDP and Chris Jericho, most of my favorite wrestlers in WCW were former ECW wrestlers.  (During the Monday Night Wars at least, when Sting looked like The Crow)  When I began collecting WWE Jakks action figures and they switched over to the Ruthless Aggression line- the longest running line WWE and Jakks had together- they began producing classic superstar figures and everyone wanted Sting.   I thought it'd be cool for the nostalgia or whatever, but I never felt like I *had* to have Sting.   Still, think about the fact that Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Bruno Sammartino, HHH, Ultimate Warrior, Andre the GIant, Roddy Piper, Dusty Rhodes, Bret Hart, Randy Savage, Ric Flair and now Sting all have come together in the same figure form.   I'm not sure something of this level of complete collecting has ever been done.

When Sting came to WWE I knew we'd end up having a figure of him sooner than later.   It was only a matter of time before Quentin would want a figure for him.   And so the first figure we actually saw was the Defining Moments one which is up near the $30 price range I think.   I didn't want that one, though it does seem like the ultimate Sting figure to get when he is The Crow, but I was still holding out for a current looking Sting.   Sure, Quentin wanted the Defining Moments Sting but I kept telling him no, we'd wait.   Then we saw this Basic Sting figure at Target (with the rest of the series minus Charlotte) and I decided it was time to get him, especially since Quentin was really excited for him.   

The Defining Moments figure is ideal for collectors but this Sting figure is for play.    He doesn't have his coat to take on and off or his trademark baseball bat, but that's fine.   He doesn't need those things when he's fighting... Well, whoever Quentin wants him to fight.  (I keep positioning Sting around the house while wearing the WWE Championship and so Quentin has made it his mission to have whoever he chooses defeat Sting and take the title from him)   For the price of a Basic WWE figure (the least expensive they really get) this is a great Sting figure, especially since it will mostly be played with by an almost four year old.   I'm still debating whether or not to get that modern looking Sting as an Elite, so we'll see.

Back when Jakks lost the WWE license they teamed up with TNA and made Sting as both an RA and DA figure, which was cool because long time collectors who didn't jump ship and sell all of their Jakks WWE figures (like me) had the chance to add new names and faces.   Still, Jakks was never able to get Macho Man Randy Savage and while I try to keep our collection modern (Hey, Vader could be modern, right?  And Brian Pillman was a must!) I still might buy a Macho Man one day for the same reason why we might get the Ultimate Warrior.   And if the fact of having all of these names together for the first time isn't a good enough reason, well, I keep telling Quentin if he wants to see old matches of Sting as The Crow he can find them on The Network!

This seemed like an easy enough figure to make, right, because his face is painted and so he already looks sort of cartoonish?   But he has the pads down his legs like in real life- which I do believe were molded on just for Sting- as well as boot buckles in the back.   So these little extra details make this figure that much better.    He does feel rather detailed for a Basic figure and that's one of the reasons why I found it so hard to pass him up as well.   If you only want one Sting figure and it must be perfect for display, yeah, dish out the money for the Defining Moments one-- no doubt.    But if you're into collecting all of the Sting figures or just want one for play this is a great addition to any collection.  

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