I saw the Elite 40 Sami Zayn one time. It had some paint issues so I decided to grab the next version. Little did I know he’d become the most in-demand Elite figure of the last two years. When I found the Then Now Forever Zayn, I didn’t make the same mistake and immediately picked it up. Zayn was one of my favorite NXT stars and my collection definitely felt lacking without one of the featured players. Now let’s see if this figure was worth the wait.
Packaging: Like the other figures in this wave, I really dig the packaging. The silver helps this line stand out and is a nice compliment to the blue and gold color scheme used for the Hall of Fame series. The TNF still gets over with me for the terrific bio. This should be included on every figure and I’m glad Mattel is being more deliberate with their inclusion.
Likeness: The Zayn likeness is definitely there even if the expression is more serious than I typically think of with him. It’s a more thoughtful expression and I like that Mattel is mixing up the headsculpts earlier.
I’m partial to the Elite 40 checkerboard tight design and was pulling for Zayn’s flags tights for the next Elite figure. This isn’t bad, it’s just a little understated compared to some other attires.
Scale: Zayn is 6’1” putting him slightly taller than the 5’11” Finn Balor and 6’ Kevin Owens and shorter than the 6’2” Samoa Joe. Balor is a bit too tall, but Zayn matches up well with Joe.
Paint: Whenever Mattel has simple patterns on the Elite figures, they tend to do just fine. It’s when the designs start to get more complex paint issues present themselves.
That’s the case with Zayn as the paintwork is mildly sloppy all around. It’s not terrible at any point, but it’s noticeable especially around the socks and boots.
And while this has been a sticking point for some figures, Zayn actually does have his chest hair included. That’s not a big deal for me as I don’t think of him as a guy with prominent chest hair like say a Scott Hall.
Articulation: Sami has the standard Elite body making him nice and easy to pose. There’s no restrictions due to some unique body parts. Submission moves are still tricky, but you can get every other possible SZ move off reasonably well.
- ball-jointed shoulders
- wrist hinge
- knee (double-jointed)
It’s not a ton, but this is the Sami Zayn entrance look. No need to get more figures to complete the ring entrance appearance, which I truly appreciate.
Worth it? The Elite 40 will still run you around $70. Getting this version for under $20 by comparison seems like a killer deal.
Rating: 9 out of 10
The attire just doesn’t wow me, but besides that, this is a stellar Sami Z figure. I’m glad to have an NXT cornerstone in my collection.
Where to get it? TNF is a Wal-Mart exclusive set. That’s your first stop. Next up, you can try your luck online as well as eBay.