Seeking the upper hand in his feud against Dusty Rhodes, ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase reached out to Brother Love to find a man who could put down ‘The Common Man’ for good at the 1990 Survivor Series. (WWE: Survivor Series Anthology, Vol. 1 – 1987-1991) Brother Love debuted his charge, an imposing 6’10 specimen ‘The Undertaker’ and the WWF would never be the same again.
Mattel celebrates the history of Wrestlemania with its subset Wrestlemania Heritage Series. Last year we got the fantastic Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart from Wrestlemania 10 and Shawn Michaels from Wrestlemania 14. Today, I’m taking a look at The Undertaker’s Heritage Series figure.
While we only get two a year, Mattel could conceivably keep cranking an Undertaker out for the HS for years to come to capture all of his unique looks.
Packaging: Mattel’s Wrestlemania Heritage Series figures definitely stand out from the others as they feature a stark red packaging instead of the typical white and blue color scheme, all the more appropriate considering the two featured this year are Undertaker and his ‘brother’ Kane. I’m a big fan of the personalization on the back and this one offers some bio information as well as the specific look the figure was based on. In this case, his first Wrestlemania match at Wrestlemania 7 where he faced off against Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka.
You may be questioning the lack of tattoos, but this is accurate as Taker didn’t start having visible ink until later on.
The body is appropriately thick as Mattel thankfully didn’t use any scrawny parts. The outfit accurately captures the ripped sleeves, shirt collar and leg sleeves. Ring action-wise this is one of the better Undertaker figures we’ve gotten so far.
Paint: Here’s where the figure takes the biggest hit. The figure appears to be the exact same headsculpt as the Entrance Great figure, but the outstanding job done on the EG version didn’t translate well to the Elite version. The paintwork on the beard lacks any subtlety and makes him look more like The Amish Taker.
The dark circles around the eyes are more exaggerated and the skin tone looks overall far more like a toy than the EG figure. The red hair translated well on both figures though.
More frustrating though is the skin tone on the Heritage Series figure is much lighter than the EG figure so you can’t do a simple head swap without some extra effort. Had the paint been up to par with the original version, this would be the perfect 1991 era Undertaker.
Scale: Billed at 6’10″ Undertaker towered over most of the competition. The figure is definitely taller than most of your Mattel WWE collection, but the standing sweet spot for him will likely force you to display him in a manner that he will be just a bit taller. Unlike the Jakks’ version however, you won’t have to fudge anything to make him taller than Paul Bearer, which reminds me, Mattel really needs to get that figure out to the masses.
Articulation: Mattel’s clever method of creating the shirt mold allows for no restrictions with the articulation. The only pose I had any problem re-enacting was the arms crossed pin cover Undertaker used after giving opponents the Tombstone, but if you’re creative enough, you can stage a reasonable facsimile.
Accessories: In addition to his trademark hat, The Undertaker gets the straight-jacket-esque plastic coat. I loathe these as they’re so thick and stiff that you nearly run the risk of breaking the figure’s arm pegs every time you take it off. If you held onto the EG version with its faux leather jacket, this is definitely the better option as it allows a much smoother removal. The HS figure also lacks the tie that came with both the EG and the Elite 23 figure. Depending on big a stickler you are for those accessories, it’s worth tracking down the EG version.
Worth Adding?: For all my gripes with the head paint job and jacket, this is an essential buy for a 1990-1992 era Undertaker as this was his look as he first emerged on the scene and battled legends like Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, Sid Justice, Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts and Yokozuna.
Bonus: this brings you one step closer to having the combatants in the acclaimed 1992 Royal Rumble.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Buy it here: WWE Elite WrestleMania 31 Undertaker Figure