Wrestling is a pretty cynical sport to follow. Fanboys take pride jeering a guy like John Cena who’s filled more Make a Wishes than any other celebrity and cheer guys who just do it for the paycheck. Fortunately, there’s still some glimmer of hope in the form of Bayley, perhaps the one WWE/NXT superstar even the most jaded fan can’t help but appreciate and passionately support.
NXT really started getting widespread acclaim for being a hotbed of quality women’s matches featuring Sasha Banks, Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Bayley. While her fellow Four Horsewomen have been called up to WWE, Bayley continues to insure the NXT Women’s Division is in good hands as the current champion. As another of my current favorites, I was thrilled to learn Mattel was making a figure before she made it up to the main roster and even more ecstatic when I grabbed the figure. Let’s see if it will make a hugger out of me or continue to bemoan the Divas’ figure treatment.
Packaging: Yep, I’m still loving the 2016 packaging across the WWE lines. The Elite line gets more detail and pictures, but the Basic package doesn’t look so much like the cheap alternative now. I really like the accent colors for the various brands from Smackdown, NXT, Divas, RAW and Legends for the flashback characters.
Along with Kevin Owens, Bayley represents the NXT brand in this Basic lineup and since this is her debut figure, Bayley sports the First Time in the Line! tag.
The figure captures all the distinct elements of Bayley’s face from her nose, the slight bags under her eyes and her dimples. Bayley’s smile could be a tad bigger — she’s the happy go lucky women’s wrestler so it’s OK for her to be happy — but otherwise like Sasha Banks this is an exceptional likeness.
I think the ponytail is a fraction too big, but that’s likely due to Mattel trying to ensure it doesn’t break off during play/posing. If that is indeed the case, erring on the side of maintaining the figure integrity was much more important.
Scale: Mattel has been getting a little better with the Divas scale even if their two options are typically average height and short. Charlotte isn’t quite the 5’10” she should be when matched up to the 5’8″ Paige, but the 5’6″ Bayley is appropriately shorter.
Paint: Bayley gets the same bikini/sports bra top torso mold we’ve seen on most Divas and just like the others the half sculpted/half painted visual looks weird and draws more attention to the design choice. Considering so many of the Divas have a fuller shirt top Mattel really needs to invest in a mold that reflects that instead of trying to cover that on the cheap back end with some ill-fitting paint. It really looks bad given Bayley’s lace up top.
The goofy bra top is a issue common with Divas figures as a whole, but in a very welcome departure from Charlotte and Sasha Banks, Bayley isn’t done in a dull black and silver attire. Instead she’s rocking one of her more signature attires with her primary color bonanza of blue, yellow and red.
The paint applications on the stripes on the left leg and baby dinosaur on the right leg are weak and the blue bleeds through easily. This seemed to be an issue with most of the figures I saw. I caught an end cap with 4-5 Bayleys and all had that issue so don’t try and hunt for a better painted version on that end. On a less important front, in reference pictures, Bayley tends to have a more intricate wristband when she’s wearing this attire, but she’s worn solid wristbands enough that it isn’t necessarily wrong.
Articulation: I can only say it so many times, but the Divas’ articulation needs some tweaking especially now that we’re getting figures of wrestlers who can do more intricate moves than kicks, punches and a somewhat convincing finisher. If I had to choose just one part to fix, double jointed knees would probably win out over a deeper torso range, but it’d be close. Oh and please destroy the pimp slap hand forever.
- ball jointed shoulders
Accessories: Bayley has a ton of accessory options with the ‘I’m a Hugger’ cloth shirt, her arm streamers and a pair of those wacky air inflatables. Those add-ons are better more realistically suited for an Elite figure, but in a nice surprise, Bayley’s headband is a separate piece so she’s one of the rare Basic figures to come with an accessory. I’d still take an Elite figure to get all the other extras.
Worth it? For $10, the Mattel Basic figures remain one of the better values and the extra articulation for the Divas makes that an even better price.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Bayley is a pretty solid figure of a great wrestler. A better top mold, sturdier paint applications and ditching the pimp hand would further help her stand out, but this is one Divas fans definitely should grab.
Where to get it? Target and Toys R Us pretty consistently get WWE figures, but I found Bayley at Wal-Mart so make that your first stop. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle, you can grab Bayley and her fellow Divas from Amazon.