In the early days of the Attitude Era, the WWF was moving away from the heroes of the mid 80s and early 90s and ushering in a new generation of superstar. At the forefront was “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, whose no-nonsense, anti-establishment attitude made him the most popular WWE star of all time. But other stars were also climbing to the upper echelon of the promotion to challenge Austin for supremacy. Few matches more literally embodied that than the SummerSlam 1998 encounter between two rising upstarts — The Rock and Triple H — in a ladder match for the Intercontinental Title.
Mattel commemorated that match-up with its SummerSlam Heritage Series. Is it worth adding to your collection? Read on!
Packaging: The Heritage Series features a classy streamlined package with a big portrait of Triple H. I always consider these risky as you can clearly compare the figure to what he’s supposed to look like. There’s not a lot of personalization on these. I’d like to see a mention of the outfit’s inspiration even if it’s just saying the match is from SummerSlam 1998, which could prove all the incentive curious fans need to check out the WWE Network to rewatch this classic.
Likeness: The Basic Line is what it implies — a more cost-effective, less detailed version of WWE superstars. In this case though, the figure compares very favorably with Triple H’s outfit for the night even down to the logos on the knee pads.
There’s no mistaking this is “The Game” at the peak of his tenure as the ringleader of DX right down to the flowing hair and cocky smirk. The hair is a bit less defined than the Elite 23 Flashback, but it seems more era appropriate.
I liked the head sculpt so much that initially I got this figure for the sole purpose of swapping the head to put on the Elite 23 figure.
And the Basic figure more accurately captures Triple H’s solid, but not quite chiseled physique that he would develop in his solo run.
Paint: Mattel’s paint masters have problems adequately reproducing purple so instead of the shiny purple, the figure has more of a pink violet tone. Without a reference picture in front of you, it’s doubtful you’d notice, but it’s something Mattel needs to improve on. Mattel rarely has issues with poorly painted eyes and such and Triple H is no issue either. They’re a company where it’s more of a surprise if there’s some paint problems. Still, the magenta/not quite purple is a frustrating slip up.
Scale: One of the best aspects of Mattel is they actually care about the scale of the wrestlers. Triple H fits in just about right although if you wanted to be nitpicky, he should be looking up at The Rock as he’s billed an inch shorter. In this category, the Elite figure is more properly scaled for those of you (like me who are slaves to scale accuracy).
Articulation: Here’s where the figure takes its biggest knock if you want to pose Triple H doing anything more complicated than preparing to throw a punch. Forget being able to do a Pedigree or DX’s signature Crotch Chop.
Accessories: Again, you’re not getting a whole lot with a Basic figure. A microphone would have been a nice addition to capture Triple H right before his trademark “Are You Ready?” pre-match spiel, but it’s hard to complain about the price.
Worth Adding?: This was a highly-requested Triple H attire for an Elite figure as this marked his greatest accomplishment up to that point and signaled Triple H would become a major player in the WWE for years to come. For $10 you get a wrestler in something other than some variation of black and a highlight color, which counts for a lot. Mattel hasn’t announced any plans to revisit this look as an Elite figure so if you’re a big Triple H fan this is an essential addition to your collection and for the price point, it’s not gonna set you back too much.
Want to get it? Amazon has it for $10, which is a great deal (WWE SummerSlam Triple H Figure).
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