Hart Foundation gets near classic figure treatment
I don’t go very far in my best of all-time tag team lists before getting to The Hart Foundation. While the NWA/WCW rankings are trickier, the only strictly WWF tag team I put on their level is Edge & Christian.
I was thrilled when the Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart and Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart were announced for Mattel’s WWE Elite line. That just leaves me The Steiner Brothers, The British Bulldogs, Midnight Express away from my top tier best teams. Let’s see if the Hart Foundation figures warrant top shelf status.
Packaging: I might be tired of writing about the packaging, but my appreciation for it hasn’t waned. I’m curious as to who’s responsible for the card art. The drawings/renderings occasionally look off. Anvil’s art looks a bit off. In keeping with the Legends theme, The Hart Foundation has the gold accents. The bio remains the one packaging aspect in need of improvement.
Likeness: This is a younger looking Bret head sculpt. Capturing the more youthful versions of wrestlers with existing figures has been a challenge at times for Mattel sculptors. Typically the younger version looks older for some odd reason. Thankfully Bret’s is solid with a little bit of cockiness to the expression. When you’ve got The Anvil as backup you can be a bit overconfident.
Anvil’s likeness is a little tricky. The main issue is the overly developed arms Mattel chose. They hang down too long. Combined with a shorter torso give him an awkward appearance. The arms do aid with the articulation for an important aspect of the team so I’m more forgiving in this instance.
Anvil’s torso was pretty prominent even when he was in shape. He was a barrel chested wrestler so the mold is a little slight in the shoulders and chest area. The head sculpt is pretty great though. Anvil’s trademark goatee is nice and pointy. His stern sculpt works although Anvil was a character Mattel could have done an open mouthed yelling/laughing expression.
Scale: Hart stands at 6’1” to Neidhart at 6’2”. Not a big discrepancy with their height so there’s no need to reach for the ruler to make sure they line up correctly. We can spot Mattel an inch regarding scale.
Paint: For some reason Mattel cast Bret Hart’s torso in black and then painted over it with a flesh tone. Light on dark paint coverage rarely works. It’s noticeable even without a ton of light. It’s definitely a practice Mattel needs to scrap ASAP.
The Hart Foundation didn’t have overly complicated attires. The biggest question was what version outfit they’d be wearing. All pink with black accents? The reverse? In going with the pink top/black tights combo, Mattel probably made the right attire choice. The line work is most important with this attire. The linework is nice and crisp.
Both the Hitman and the Anvil have their respective nicknames and insignias on their backside. Bret also gets his four hearts for his four children on his right leg. The hearts on the singlets came out well though Bret’s is slightly faded.
Articulation: As always, the Elite figure articulation model gives you about 85% ideal wrestling figure poseability. For most characters that’s not a problem. But what really made the set for me was Anvil’s longer arms allow him to perfectly wrap up opponents for the Hart Foundation’s finisher the Heart Attack.
They have the regular Elite articulation:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- wrist hinge
- knee (double-jointed)
Accessories: The Harts come up a bit short in this category. The two get their trademark sunglasses. They fit surprisingly snug so popping off shouldn’t be a problem. Each also comes with a WWF style tag team title. There’s been enough figures to come with the tag titles at this point that it’s not the strongest accessory.
They get the softer material so they wrap around easily enough. I would have loved the jackets the Hart Foundation wore circa 1990 as that would have been more of a unique accessory for them.
Worth it? Looking at what the WWE Elite line gives you for $20 compared to the DC Multiverse and Marvel Legends and the value is a bit shaky. Maybe the belts are more expensive than I think, but it’s hard to see paying $20 for this and thinking the value is similar to even the Samoa Joe in the same wave.
Delaying the Hart Foundation’s arrival in the line means they’ve already got a slew of opponents from Demolition, the Brain Busters to The Rockers to The Nasty Boys. So now the onus is definitely on Mattel to get the British Bulldogs out now.
Where to find Them? Retail is just now starting to get in Elite 42 so it might be awhile before they reach stores. For now the best bet is Amazon.com, which has both Neidhart and Hart for $20 each.
Rating: 9 out of 10
The Hitman’s black torso and the minor accessories hold them back from a 10, but this is a must-get for fans of the post Rock-n-Wrestling era.
I’ve done a ton of WWE reviews lately.
On the Basic front there’s Finn Balor, Sasha Banks, Charlotte and Bayley. Hall of Fame exclusive reviews include Ted DiBiase, Yokozuna and Hulk Hogan from Wrestlemania 9. With the regular Elite line, there’s the Nasty Boys, Terry Funk, 1-2-3 Kid and Lita.