I wasn’t a fan of WWE breaking up The Shield so early. The faction had too much potential to have a lengthy face run before a split. But at least the splintered Shield led to some good to great matches. One of the best was Money in the Bank 2016, which featured Dean Ambrose cashing in his newly earned briefcase to snatch the title from his hated rival Seth Rollins.
That moment has been immortalized with a new WWE Network Spotlight figure. It doesn’t make for the flashiest or iconic moment, but it’s a good excuse to get another Ambrose figure out on the market. Let’s see if it’s worth the spotlight.
Packaging: It seems whenever Mattel mixes up the standard Elite packaging, I’m a fan. That’s the case with this red and black color scheme. My one nitpick here is I wish Mattel used more than one photo for Ambrose. It gets a bit redundant having the same image on three sides.
I love the actual photo of Ambrose’s big moment and the far more comprehensive bio, which plugs the WWE Network. The frustrating thing for me is Mattel can do it so well like this figure, but not carry that over to the main Elite line.
Likeness: The main reason I held off on getting this figure for so long was due to the fantastic Elite 48 figure, which sports a great head sculpt and cloth shirt. This Network Spotlight head isn’t bad though and better reflects Ambrose’s usual expression when he’s wrestling. It’s that ‘you don’t want any parts of this crazy’ that Ambrose carries so well.
The sculpted hair strands is really impressive and I appreciate Mattel sculpting a unique tank top mold for Ambrose instead of just painting it.
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Scale: At 6’4” Ambrose, is actually taller than the 6’3” Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar as well as the 6’1” Seth Rollins. That’s not accurately reflected with the figures though thanks to Reigns’ oversized head and an overall rare screw up of scale.
Paint: The main elements are here just fine. Some Ambrose figures have a terrible application of his stubble, which isn’t a problem here. Despite the thin hair threads, there’s no slop or overspray, which is impressive.
Ambrose has a hairy chest, which Mattel seems to occasionally apply for some characters. Not a big deal, but worth mentioning for those looking for total accuracy.
Mattel completely missed the taped up wrist and fists, which is a weird omission since it’s obvious on the photo. That’s annoying as it helps complete Ambrose’s look rather than making him come off like a random dude.
[UPDATE – Thanks to a reader Seth, that’s actually correct as Ambrose ditched the tape when he cashed in on Rollins.]
The dark shade of the jeans is accurate.
Articulation: Ambrose’s move set is easily accomplished with the Elite articulation model. That’s less of a problem for the modern wrestlers who throw 50 superkicks and flail away at their opponents. Ambrose is more of a brawler besides his Dirty Deeds DDT, which I could almost hit perfectly.
Dean Ambrose has:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- wrist hinge
- knee (double-jointed)
Accessories: Ambrose has a weird combination of accessories. He’s got the Money in the Bank, which he used to cash in and the WWE title. For accuracy sake, he should have one or the other, but I appreciate Mattel stacking up the accessories here.
At this point, I’ve gotten a slew of these titles. It looks good, but I’d love for Mattel to just make the various side panels for the respective wrestler so we could have more personalized titles.
Worth it? I took advantage of a great Toys R Us sale to get Dean for $15. Ambrose is a pretty minimal figure and without fresh accessories, this is a much better price for him.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
With the wrist tape issue solved, there’s not much to complain about with this very solid figure of The Lunatic Fringe.
Where to get it? Toys R Us has the Network Spotlight line is a Toys R Us exclusive so that’s the only place to go. If that’s not an option, check out Amazon, which has a slight markup.