Bret Hart is one of my top two all-time favorite wrestlers and I’m pretty much a sucker for any figure related option featuring “The Hitman.”
As a longtime fan of “The Simpsons,” I got a huge kick out of Hart’s appearance as the new owner of Mr. Burns’ mansion. NECA has managed to keep The Simpsons figure fun going much longer than I expected with its 25 of the Greatest Guest Stars of The Simpsons line and today, I’m taking a look at the Bret Hart figure. Let’s see how excellently this figure was executed.
Here’s a clip of Bret’s cameo so we see what NECA was working with on the figure
Packaging: NECA uses a streamlined packaging that’s every bit as effective as some of its fellow peg-dwellers. The dressed up Homer on the right portion makes it clear this is a line featuring The Simpsons in case the familiar yellow hue of the figures wasn’t readily apparent. The red is a nice contrast and the bubble keeps the figure nice and tight with just one twisty tie to keep it in place.
The package back is what really stands out. Not only did NECA include a fantastic summary bio of the figure, the date of the cameo and episode title, but we get a couple of additional pictures to the side to accompany the larger source material drawing. And below we get the rest of the available figures in the wave. If I do year-end figure awards, this packaging is going to be very close to the top.
Likeness: Another benefit to the numerous pictures on the package, we see what NECA was going for with the figure. The shoulders and arms could probably stand to be a bit more exaggerated.
Otherwise this is a solid likeness to the animated version of “The Hitman” right down to the sculpted boot laces and stringy hair strands coming down to the singlet top.
A couple of mold lines in both arms are distracting especially since the figures generally don’t have them. It’s a bit more annoying since it’s on the bare skin portion of the figure.
My Mr. Burns figure is still packed away with the majority of my Simpsons collection so I can’t do an accurate comparison, but at least compared to Professor Frink, Bret is appropriately taller and broader.
Paint: NECA uses a more bright yellow tint for The Simpsons’ base skin tone and it’s always been a shade or two lighter than I’d prefer, but that’s more subjective than a problem.
The line work is crisp for the most part, but the right side of the singlet and back portion of my figure’s left elbow pad weren’t completely filled in. It’s definitely not noticeable until you start looking intently for flaws though.
Looking at the clip a few times, I’m torn on the sunglasses color, which appear to be more of a very light purple almost grey tone. The figure’s sunglasses are a much stronger light purple although from scene to scene the color isn’t consistent varying from very light to light purple. Either way, I’m fine with the color choice.
I only wish NECA had painted Bret’s mouth and added teeth since they went with the open-mouthed expression as it looks a bit odd unpainted.
Articulation: Similar to when Playmates had The Simpsons license, articulation isn’t a major priority, but there’s a decent amount for most Simpson displays. Bret has neck, shoulders and waist articulation, which allows you to pretty much do the “I’ll take it!” pose.
I wish the left arm was in as tight as the right arm as you could just about do the hands on hip pose Bret does through much of his scene. It’s in a curious design choice.
Accessories: NECA isn’t opposed to giving figures accessories when it makes sense, but Bret didn’t have any on the episode so his figure also skips an accessory. That definitely doesn’t impact the final score whatsoever in this case.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
The arm gap and unpainted mouth/lack of teeth are minor gripes, but I couldn’t unsee once I noticed them. Beyond that, this is a very solid figure with the appropriate mass and height to be a terrific Simpson-ized figure version of “The Hitman.”
Worth it? If I had one issue with NECA’s 25th line is the focus on bands I don’t care about like R.E.M., Aerosmith and The Who. Bret Hart though is totally in my wheelhouse so this was a must-get for me and NECA delivered an excellent figure. Wrestling fans who like The Simpsons absolutely need to pick this one up.
Where to get it? Toys R Us and specialty stores like FYE are your best bets for these Simpsons figures at retail price. Otherwise, be prepared to cough up slightly more to get them online. If you can’t find Bret in stores by you, consider grabbing him from Amazon.com: