You can look but you can’t touch is the theme of the WWE’s version of Twin Magic – Brie & Nikki Bella.
WWE figure fans can settle for the next best thing of one half of the main stars of ‘Total Divas’ with the latest Brie Bella figure in Mattel’s WWE Basic Line. Is it magical or will it leave you channeling your inner ‘Brie Mode?’
Packaging: The Basic packaging doesn’t get points for being special, but it’s effective and I actually prefer the larger portraits on these than the smaller ones used on the current Elite line.
If packaging mattered at all to me, the most underwhelming aspect of the Basic line is the lack of any personalization on the back. Since this wave is another in the endless Wrestlemania Heritage Series, there’s a sticker on the front and the Wrestlemania 30 logo on the back.
I’d love just a few sentences to explain what Brie was doing at the show like who she was fighting and if she won. It’s not as essential for the modern wrestlers since most of us would remember something from a year or two ago, but it would be helpful for the Basic Flashbacks (Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan and Booker T) in this series.
Likeness: Considering the other options, this is definitely the best likeness of Brie we’ve gotten so far. The previous Brie figures were likeness-challenged. This is a lot better, but I don’t know if you could show this to anyone and them immediately getting that this was Brie Bella.
A lot of times I don’t find Mattel’s figures faring well in comparison to the portrait on the package, but in this case, it’s helpful as you get almost the exact expression Brie has in the portrait on the figure so you can see what they were attempting.
As we’ve seen with the Stephanie McMahon and the final AJ LEE (WWE SERIES 53) figure, Mattel can every so often get an excellent likeness, but that’s been more the exception than the norm. Brie is closer than most, but not top of the line (although there may be a way to enhance the likeness).
Oddly, from the left profile perspective, it’s a perfect likeness but somehow something is lost looking straight on at the figure.
For some welcome authenticity, Brie’s headband is sculpted and the back layer of her hair pushed up to simulate the look. It’s a lot better than painting a stripe over her head. It’s a minor detail, but I’m glad to see Mattel made note and didn’t cheap out with the hair sculpt.
I’d love to see Mattel add in a few more parts to help scale up and down the Divas as needed. In the same way that few of the male members of the WWE roster are the exact height and the figures reflect that, I’d love to see a bit more attention given to the Divas for those that do collect them otherwise there’s little point in half-doing it.
Paint: In looking at the portrait it’s clear Brie has a slight touch of makeup and I wonder if just a hint of it along her cheeks would help make the figure look more like Brie? The eyes are painted nice and straight, which is normally the most consistent problem with Mattel WWE figures so that is a major win to the point I can nearly forgive Brie’s paint gaffes.
Remember me saying how Mattel needs to add a few more Diva parts? It rears it’s ugly head here. Even though a lot of the Divas wear a sports bra style top, Mattel doesn’t have a dedicated sculpt for the Divas to incorporate that. Instead, Mattel paints over the sculpted sports bra to finish the outfit.
The paint woes continue along the right inside strap, but the boots with the more complicated dragon style design — remember she’s married to ‘The American Dragon’ Bryan Danielson — is flawless. It’s always interesting to me that the parts I’d be more understanding of paint issues being fine when the simpler areas are more problematic.
In some cases, like the Basic Emma, it’s done so well it’s not an issue, but when the paint is splotchy, like with Brie, it looks bad.
Articulation: Like all Mattel Divas, Brie would benefit from just a few more articulation points specifically a deeper chest/torso and double knees. It’s kinda frustrating how close the Divas come to being able to hit all of their moves if you were just able to cinch in a bit more at those two points.
It’s even more annoying if you’re used to posing the male Elite figures and expecting that same level of clearance to be able to pose the Divas.
After Mattel’s WWE presentation at SDCC, Figure Designer Bill Miekina did a video Q&A with Ringside Collectibles and one of my questions was answered about increasing articulation for Divas. Jump to the 7:02 mark:
So sadly, we won’t be getting any more articulation in the Basic format. I’d be fine moving all the Divas to the Elite line so we could get more articulation especially for Sasha Banks, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch.
Accessories: Similar to every Basic figure, Brie doesn’t come with anything extra as expected. That’s the trade-off for a $10 figure.
Worth it? This largely this depends on how extensive you want to make your Divas collection. I got Brie so I could have someone for Emma and Paige to whoop up on and also accompany my Daniel Bryan figure to ringside. Mattel revealed a new Bellas two-pack coming later next year so for those who want both Bellas in one shot that may be the better option.
RATING: 6 out of 10
Where to get it? Divas are normally packed 1 in every other case so it almost feels like a small miracle when you see one on the pegs. You may want to consider playing your numbers that day if you’re into the lottery.
I stumbled across Brie at K-Mart of all places. I haven’t had any luck finding her at Target, Toys R Us or Wal-Mart.
If you don’t want the hassle, grab her from Amazon.com: WWE Figure Series Brie Bella Figure