When it comes to the biggest name in wrestling history, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin really can’t be any lower than Number 3 on the list. Hulk Hogan had more staying power and ‘The Rock’s’ had major Hollywood success as a mainstream action star, but there’s an easy case to be made that Austin is the biggest star ever.
Interestingly, Mattel hasn’t flooded the market with variant after variant of Stone Cold figures. I’m still holding out hope for a ‘Stunning’ Steve variant. For its first Hall of Fame wave, Mattel decided it was time to dip back into the Austin well for a heavily anticipated figure ever since the prototype was revealed as part of the scrapped Legends 7 wave. Does the figure merit a “Hell Yeah” or is in need of a beer bath? Let’s find out.
Packaging: I’m still digging the the Hall of Fame packaging with the classy blue and gold color scheme. The side portrait that recalls a Hall of Fame bust and like the detailed bio on the back are top notch. Just like The Ultimate Warrior and Sgt. Slaughter figures in the wave, the ring attire section erroneously includes the year Austin was inducted into the Hall of Fame, not the specific match or timeframe for the attire.
Likeness: Austin’s likeness is tricky to nail down as there’s not a lot of distinguishing features to help. It’s a bald guy with a goatee. That said, this is a pretty good likeness aided by a better paint job than my Legends series 1 figure.
The figure smartly uses the same body parts so as to avoid any confusion from in ring to ring wear Austins.
Scale: At 6’2″ Austin wasn’t the tallest guy on the roster especially considering some of his regular opponents were the 6’5″ The Rock, 6’10” Undertaker and 7′ Kane. Paired next to the 6’2″ Mankind and Austin is exactly in scale. Kudos to whoever is in charge of that for Mattel. I appreciate your hard work.
Paint: Just as simple as Austin’s wrestling attire, this figure doesn’t have a lot by way of complex paint requirements. Slaughter and Ultimate Warrior must have eaten up the paint app budget. The Texas tattoo, while perhaps being a bit too big, is nicely detailed.
Not that Austin needs a whole lot, but it would have nice for Mattel to give the jean shorts at least one paint app as they look a bit too pristine for ‘ol Stone Cold.
Articulation: Austin has the regular Elite articulation of a ball jointed neck, torso, waist, ball-jointed shoulders, elbows, wrists, hinged wrists, knees, thighs, knees and ankle.
I’m torn if I’d prefer Austin to have two open hands so he could hold a mic in one and a can of beer in the other. Since Austin regularly found himself brawling while in this style attire, it makes sense for him to have a fist as well.
You won’t have any problems hitting figures with the Stone Cold Stunner. The knee braces are made of a soft enough plastic that they don’t inhibit any articulation.
Accessories: Short of a couple of beer cans, this Stone Cold has just about every other essential accessory necessary for a non-wrestling version.
There’s the trademark vest done in plastic, which is just fine. Mattel doubled up on the knee braces for this figure to go along with knee pads. Maybe it’s just me, but I found it amusing that Mattel didn’t bother indicating the knee pad inclusion on the label as if they’re just standard issue for Stone Cold.
I’m not a fan of the thick plastic used for Austin’s gold chain. It’s so wide and thick it looks like rope around his neck instead of a chain. Definitely will be worth trying to find a substitute for that down the road.
Austin gets a plastic “What?” T-shirt. If I could eliminate one catchphrase from the history of wrestling “what?” would definitely be it.
And if I could scratch one accessory choice from Mattel’s toolbox, it’d always be the plastic overcoats that are supposed to be T-shirts. Per the norm for this style, the shirt is too bulky and doesn’t fit naturally on the figure.
Worth it? Mattel doesn’t do a lot of Elite figures that aren’t wearing their wrestling attire, but it’s easy to understand why Austin gets his third ring wear outfit. Of the three, the shorts/vest combo is arguably his signature look so the third time is the charm for the definitive non-wrestling Austin.
Rating: 9 out of 10
A little paint on the jeans, a cloth shirt and an actual metal chain a la the Junkyard Dog Elite 33 figure would have raised the figure to a perfect score. Beyond those issues, this is a very solid ringside Stone Cold and the only essential non-wrestling variant you’d really need.
Where to get it? The Hall of Fame line is exclusive to Target. At this point with the Wave 1 figures you might have to go on a hunt to find them as Wave 2 is out in full force. Austin was the heavily packed figure in the wave so your odds are finding him are slightly better though.
Failing that, you could hit up site partner Amazon.com and grab the figure. By using the following link, Amazon kicks back a portion of your purchase to help keep Lyles Movie Files operational.
Mattel, WWE, Elite Collection Hall of Fame Exclusive Action Figure, Stone Cold Steve Austin
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