WCW had been on an incredible roll ever since Scott Hall and Kevin Nash invaded the promotion and founded the nWo, which ran roughshod on WCW’s finest for over a year and WWF was a solid No. 2 and no longer the top dog in sports entertainment. One of the initial significant tide-turners occurred the night after Wrestlemania 14 with the first big WCW defect since the start of the Monday Night Wars — Sean Waltman — who reunited with his pal Triple H to anchor a revamped Degeneration X.
As X-Pac, Waltman became one of the more popular faces in the early days of the Attitude Era as he impressed fans with his lighting quick maneuvers in battles against The Nation, The Corporation and Undertaker & The Big Show with his frequent tag team partner Kane. After releasing 3/4 of DX in relatively short fashion in Elite waves 23, 26 and 27, it took a while, but Mattel finally found a slot for X-Pac. Was he worth the wait? Time to find out!
Packaging: Mattel switched up the Elite packaging with series 32 to this new look that places more emphasis on the figure. It pops on the shelves and with the classy blue and light grey colors it stands out nicely. Like the new Marvel Legends from Hasbro the packaging is peg-diving friendly with a portrait of the character on the left side, the name and a smaller portrait on the right side and the character name from the top down perspective. My favorite aspect of the packaging is it specifies the ring attire, in this case Wrestlemania 16 and Wrestlemania 2000. There’s a lot of good personalization to it as well including X-Pac’s career highlights, which oddly enough does not include his reign as European Champion since that title is included with the figure.
Likeness: This figure is based off of the final run of DX ver. 2 as X-Pac is teaming with fellow DX member Road Dogg for their match against Kane and Rikishi, but it’s a good attire choice for X-Pac as this was a common outfit for him in 2000 and not a special one-off variant he seldom wore. Here’s a match from 1999 with him in the same outfit:
There’s a bit of a split from wrestling collectors as to whether Mattel should have gone with a closed mouth neutral expression [like the package’s main portrait] or X-Pac’s traditional Michael Jordan tribute. In just about all of his numerous figures, X-Pac’s tongue is out so I’m partial to that look.
For those looking for a closed mouth version, Jakks made a near perfect likeness, which you can grab from Amazon. X-PAC – WWE WWF Wrestling Rebellion Series 4 Figure by Jakks
If you’re thinking X-Pac looks a bit beefier than you remember, it’s in part due to the torso Mattel used, which doesn’t allow him to fully bring his arms down to his sides. In their defense, X-Pac got thicker further into his WWF stint and the parts chosen aren’t necessarily wrong for this timeframe in his career.
Remember, this isn’t scrawny 1-2-3 Kid, but Sean Waltman seven years later. Hopefully Mattel will give us a 1-2-3 Kid with appropriately smaller body parts.
Paint: Mattel rarely has paint issues with their figures, but my figure had some problems on the right side. It’s not the norm, but if you have the option to choose, the leg paint may be an area to check to ensure you get the best one. Beyond that, Mattel paint masters are once again skewing darker than necessary as DX’s green should be a bit more neon green almost as if giving the impression that it’s glow-in-the-dark.
That’s something only the biggest DX fans will notice though and it matches up correctly with the rest of his DX teammates so there was little need for Mattel to correct the color now. DX is popular enough to warrant another set — perhaps in a box set format like the Four Horsemen Hall of Fame Target exclusive — so for those of you hoping for an earlier DX red and black for X-Pac there may yet still be some hope.
Scale: This is one of the categories that depending on how much of a stickler to scale you are, you may have a few issues. X-Pac is billed as 6’1″ so his figure should be shorter than the Shawn Michaels figure as HBK is listed at 6’4″.
In reality, they’re much closer in height and in some instances, X-Pac actually seems taller than HBK. He is shorter than Triple H and will definitely be looking up to your Kane figure and the figure looks just about right next to The Big Red Machine. Of all the pics, it’s obvious the one figure that was shortchanged scale-wise was Road Dogg, who definitely is not shorter than X-Pac.
Articulation: The torso is a bit prohibitive for a few moves, most notably DX’s signature Crotch Chop. You will be able to hit a pretty decent X-Factor and won’t have any problem doing X-Pac’s infamous Bronco Buster. Mattel does a better job than anybody else in terms of using a soft enough plastic for the hair so it doesn’t interfere with articulation and that’s not an issue here either.
Accessories: The figure comes with just about everything the 2000-era X-Pac requires from a European title and a removable shirt. I’m not a fan of the hard plastic Mattel has been using for the T-Shirts as it’s too stiff to effectively look like a shirt and as such, you’re better off finding a soft goods retailer online to better capture X-Pac’s half shirt look.
The European title has a nice gold sheen to it and each of the plates have a little color to them, but beyond “European Champion,” there’s not a lot of detail here. I’m still using the Jakks Deluxe Classic British Bulldog (WWE JAKKS BRITISH BULLDOG DELUXE CLASSIC SERIES 2 FIGURE) as it has a bit more intricate paintjob sans the illegible ‘European Champion.’ Of course that one doesn’t have painted side panels so the best of both worlds would be a hybrid version using parts from both. If you want a fully accurate figure, you’ll need to grab a few elbow pads, but considering the rest of the included accessories, it’s hard to complain about something a lot of wrestling collectors likely have tons to spare.
Worth Adding?: With Triple H, Billy Gunn and Road Dogg already available (WWE Elite Collection Series #23 Triple H Action Figure, WWE Elite Collection Series #27 Billy Gunn Action Figure and WWE Elite Collection Road Dogg Action Figure) we kinda desperately needed X-Pac to complete one of the few legend factions Mattel could release. Don’t hold your breathe waiting on that Chyna figure.
Only thing is Waltman has two other notable characters in 1-2-3 Kidd and Syxx from his stint in the nWo in WCW and Mattel may want to cover those eras as well before going back to the X-Pac well so for now this may be your best bet. Thankfully, this is a really well done figure
Want to get it? Elite 33 is just starting to hit Targets and Wal-Marts regularly, but if you’d like to spare the frustration of wasted trips, grab him from Amazon for $17. As most of Elite 33 are still new, Amazon has been hard-pressed to keep them in stock, but with a little patience, he shouldn’t be too hard to find although as a shortpacked Flashback figure, I definitely don’t recommend passing him up too often if you see him.
Buy from Amazon: WWE Elite Collection Series #33 – X-Pac