Sometimes in figure collecting you try and sucker yourself into thinking a figure you’re on the fence about isn’t all that bad. And in cases like the Mattel Bash at the Beach 96 Sting, I’m proven very wrong.
My problem is I want Mattel to make good Surfer Stings. That’s my favorite era of my favorite wrestler and Mattel keeps proving they can’t get it right.
The Bash at the Beach 96 Sting figure was part of a Then Now Forever three pack with Macho Man Randy Savage and Lex Luger. My shelf space is getting tight and I didn’t need a very specific Luger and the 90th Elite Savage figure. That meant grabbing Stinger loose from eBay.
Package: The package features a lot of wasted space and highlights the lack of accessories. I like the back with portraits of the three stars and a write-up explaining the significance of the moment.
Likeness: Oh boy. Where to begin? Sting has a reverse Beetlejuice going here with a massively oversized head. On the plus side, this is a nice looking head sculpt with a more fitting expression for the darker Surfer Sting era. If only it was scaled properly.
The torso is also a baffling choice. Mattel thinks Sting had the older yet still defined torso of Batista. Sting is more of a Stone Cold/British Bulldog style fit and this is a terrible part decision. It also lacks a neck making Sting look weirder.
Sting‘s legs are spindly too so he’s all out of proportion. I was aware of these issues and was prepared to have to make a torso swap.
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Paint: By mid 96, Sting didn’t switch up his attire that much typically sticking to a rainbow letter scheme and scorpion. That turned out nice and clean and is the best part of the figure. For the most part the face paint is good. Mattel needed a few more paint apps on the lighter portions as they show the paint pattern instead of looking like face paint.
Scale: Thanks to the screwy part choices, Sting looks real awkward next to anyone. Technically he’s scaled properly, but the head throws everything off.
Articulation: The Batista torso isn’t helpful for fluid movement. The arms don’t come down to the sides flat and are stiff on up and down movement. Beyond that the Elite articulation is solid and allows for fun play.
Bash at the Beach 96 Sting has:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- wrist hinge
- knee (double jointed)
Accessories: Sting didn’t come with anything. By this point Sting stopped wearing robes so this is accurate.
Worth it? Wal-Mart currently has this set on deep clearance. I’ve read some stores have this set for as low as $20. Is Sting worth $7? That’s about right for a figure with so many issues. Paying more and he starts to be a poor investment.
Rating: 2 out of 10
The jumbo head, terrible torso and thin legs and this is another Stinger figure in need of a lot of custom help.
Where to get it? Wal-Mart stores are still the best bet. The face paint can be very inconsistent so it’s best to be able to see it in person. If that’s not an option, try Amazon.com for slightly higher discounted rates.