Hey, rest of Mattel’s WWE 2018 lineup? Good luck trying to top the Mean Gene Okerlund figure. After getting so many figures it’s rare to have that one that makes me smile thinking of all the fond memories associated with the character. I had that with the Hot Toys Bespin Luke, the Takara Optimus Prime, the Palisades Statler and Waldorf and now this Mean Gene figure.
In my list of Top 10 most important characters that made me a lifelong fan, Mean Gene would easily make the cut. I’ve been rewatching old wrestling from the early 80s and I feel like a kid again. For some reason, I always enjoyed Mean Gene’s interviews with the stars as they hyped their upcoming matches. He really brought out the best in his interview subjects making them more fun than the sterile promos today. I went on a serious hunt when I learned Wal-Marts were getting their exclusive WWE Flashback line in stock. And I found Mean Gene with no problem. Onto the review … and put that out! (Gold star if you get that reference).
Package: I’m beyond thrilled Mattel updated the Elite packaging. I was completely over the old setup. The WWE Flashback line has an eye-catching color scheme with a bright red with white and blue accents. I miss the unique branding i.e. WCW, 80s WWE and ECW logos, but this keeps things uniform.
The back features a nice sized portrait of the figure and two blurbs. I like these as they require some effort and Mattel isn’t on the hook for getting the attire wrong now. There’s a yellow tab under the respective character name and the Build A Set piece is also highlighted. That’s helpful.
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One new necessary annoyance is the plastic ties keeping the figure in place. I assume this is to help prevent shoplifting and accessory theft. It’s an inconvenience, but hopefully will make it harder for swaps. The bonus with the packaging is the lining, which is a thicker than normal material with the classic blue backdrop. Get one or two more figures and you’ve got an interview set. This is a monumental improvement over the previous figure stands and something I hope Mattel can continue with other eras/promotions i.e. WCW or NWA.
Likeness: I thought this head sculpt was great in pictures, but in person it looks even better. Mattel’s sculptors did an outstanding job capturing Mean Gene’s personality. He looks all set to welcome us to the event center to hype up the new pay per view and interview some of the stars of the World Wrestling Federation. This head sculpt is perfect. If only Mattel could be this precise with everyone.
He’s got the standard suit body we’ve seen before. Nothing special there as the paint makes this pop. If I’m searching for gripes I’d mention the left hand would have been better served as an open hand to greet guests instead of a fist. That’s an easy fix.
Scale: Mean Gene is 5’9” so he shouldn’t come anywhere close to being eye to eye with the wrestlers. Hulk Hogan was pretty much his entire head taller than Gene. The scale is off to a noticeable degree, which I’m more forgiving than usual thanks to the bonus feature that wouldn’t work with a completely new mold.
Paint: No complaints here either. Gene’s hairline is covered just right and the WWF logo was applied flawlessly. I love the old school color scheme here with the signature 80s WWF jacket and khakis. It makes Mean Gene stand out more than a manager and gives him a distinct interviewer attire.
Articulation: Reconsider things if you needed a highly articulated Mean Gene figure. He’s got all the basics of this body and has no problem conducting a regular interviewer pose. The shoulders on mine were tight, which occasionally led to the arms popping off. Not a huge deal, but don’t be shocked. Mean Gene was built on a Build-A-Figure mold and his arms, torso and head pop off with a generous amount of force. It’s not flimsy, but don’t be alarmed and the arms come off.
Mean Gene has:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- elbow (double jointed)
- wrist hinge
- knee (double jointed)
Accessories: Mean Gene has maybe the greatest accessory for a figure I’ve seen in a while — a straight up alternate look. Mattel seriously could have made a second Mean Gene, but instead just opted to give him a red suit jacket. Just pop the arms, head and suit jacket and swap on the red one.
The jacket might be tricky to loosen from the torso, but it will come up without too much effort. It’s an exact piece swap, but is a nice way to pay homage to Gene’s tenure in the AWA.
Additionally, Mean Gene comes with a WWF style mic. This is longer than ones we’ve seen on earlier figures and is a good size. Finally, Gene has the light stand for the Build-A-Summerslam set.
Worth it? I found Mean Gene on sale for $18. That’s cheaper than the standard Elite price of $20 and has a ton of useful accessories. Can’t beat that deal.
Rating: 10 out of 10
I really should be more demanding about the scale here as it’s just off, but in every other way that matters to me this is a flawless Mean Gene figure. And well worth getting for every 80s and 90s WWF fan.
Where to Get It? The WWE Flashback line is a Wal-Mart exclusive. They’ve done a much better than normal job of stocking the series, but I’d still get them when you see them. If you don’t want to track him down, I’d recommend Amazon.com.