With Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Diesel, Razor Ramon, Lex Luger and The British Bulldog, the WWF’s New Generation boasted arguably the deepest roster of faces in the promotion’s history. Unfortunately, this coincided with the most shallow of main event level heels. There was Owen Hart, King Mabel and Sid, but the one heel that came closest to dominating this era was Yokozuna.
Mattel already released a Yokozuna way back in Elite 15 featuring the quintessential two-time WWF champ so is this HOF figure worthy of display induction? Read on and let’s find out.
Packaging: Of the four Elite figures packaging options, the Hall of Fame is my least favorite. There really should be more personalization here as the signature replica and a big portrait is a bit underwhelming.
Likeness: I didn’t think the first Yokozuna sculpt was bad, but this new sculpt is even better. Yokozuna didn’t start rocking a beard until he formed a tag team with Owen Hart, but that’s just being technical. Besides, the Elite 15 and the HOF heads are easily swapped for those who want a bit more accuracy.
Paint: All the paints were nice and clean here. White can sometimes be tricky, but Mattel got it right and thankfully didn’t do that weird blue-grey hybrid used far too often for ‘white’ in the DC Classics line.
Yokozuna doesn’t have an intricate color scheme but in my experience sometimes those are the ones that manage to have the most problems.
Scale: Yokozuna was 6’4″ yet Mattel kinda botched his height making him about 6’7″. It’s the old comic book deal where bigger characters frequently get scaled up.
Fortunately, he’s got enough give in his hip joints that you can ‘squat’ him down to a more appropriate height. The new head fits into the body better to help trick you into thinking he’s smaller.
And yeah, he could probably still have more girth, but Yokozuna is a sizable hunk of plastic all the same.
Articulation: Part of the charm with the Yokozuna figure is his size. Mattel could have sacrificed some of the articulation to accommodate the sculpt, but they engineered a solid blend of functional articulation for this unique body.
You’ll be able to hit the Banzai drop and Yokozuna’s savate kick. I was very impressed that I could get him to do the savate kick and he could hold all that weight on one leg.
My only gripe is that I would have liked some open hands to allow Yokozuna to do his nerve pinch.
Accessories: For those who picked up the Matty.com exclusive Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard, which also included the classic tag team titles, Yokozuna doesn’t offer anything useful beyond a spare set.
I’d like to see Mattel work in a Japanese flag at some point and a Yokozuna variant seemed like the best chance. It’s all on you now Orient Express…
But, consider the Elite 33 Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns each came with a tag title and we get both classic titles with one character. Collectors have been begging Mattel to re-release the classic tag titles and this was a good option to get them on shelves for the first time.
The one unintended problem is including tag team titles with Yokozuna with his tag team champion partner Owen Hart still on the ‘can’t get a figure list.’ And it’s not like Mattel isn’t sick of us asking for some miracle on that front before.
Is it worth it? This wasn’t a variant on my Top 30 or 40 list and I’m still not completely convinced it was necessary. It’s a nice niche outfit, but it kinda feels like it’s coming at the expense of another Shawn Michaels, Randy Savage, Rick Rude, British Bulldog, Mr. Perfect and Bret Hart variant. Have to figure part of the decision here was so Mattel could recoup some money off of the body sculpt since there’s not a lot of other viable characters that could use it.
Still, the new head sculpt and tag titles makes the decision tolerable. If you have the first Yokozuna, this is really only worth it if you want an outfit to reflect his earlier WWF run, you want the new head sculpt or missed the tag titles. If not, you can safely skip this one.
RATING: 7 out of 10
Where you can get it? The Hall of Fame line is exclusive to Target so that’s the only place you can find them until sellers put them on Amazon and eBay for a higher price.