In starting off its WWE Legends line, Mattel kicked things off perfectly with iconic stars like Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat, Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Road Warriors.
For NWA fans it was a welcome reveal to see Hawk and Animal’s look capturing their stint as wrestling’s most dominant tag team. But proving you can’t please everyone, there was an equal amount of griping from fans who only knew Animal and Hawk from their later years as the Legion of Doom in the WWF and wanted their version made in figure form.
After several years, Mattel finally gave LOD fans the version they’ve demanded with Elite 30. Is it a rush? Let’s find out!
Package: Of the two most recent Elite packaging, I prefer more aspects of this style as it features a larger portrait along the front left portion so you can easily see which character is on the pegs. The newer style features a side portrait to help in that regard, which is a nice compromise.
I also prefer this Elite style packaging as it has a lot more of a bio to explain the figure’s significance. The perfect packaging would be a hybrid of the older style bio with the large front portrait and the side portrait and added stats of the newer style. I’m curious to see what Mattel has in store for next year’s packaging.
Likeness: As this is Hawk and Animal during the tail end of their prime, Mattel went with larger body types from their Road Warrior counterparts. Animal uses the torso we’ve seen on Bruno Sammartino and Brock Lesnar while Hawk uses the same one as wave mate Lex Luger.
The one disappointment is the reuse of the Road Warrior head sculpts as this would have been an ideal time for a tongue hanging out Hawk and a more reserved Animal head sculpt, which was the more common look you’d see with them.
Paint: I got two Road Warrior Animals and neither had decent painted eyes. The LOD version didn’t have that issue.
With a more intricate paint scheme than the RW there were more opportunities for botches, but the lettering along the torso and the tight detail was just about perfect on both. My Animal had a little soft paint on the left thigh, but it’s negligible.
Scale: Hawk is 6’3″ and Animal is 6’2″ something I never realized during their heyday as I just assumed they were the same height. Mattel paid more attention to the scale than I did however so Hawk is about an inch taller.
The changing heights helps make each figure stand out since they’re not all using the same body type and mold even with characters as similar as Hawk and Animal.
Articulation: Both LOD figures have your standard Elite articulation with full shoulder, arm, waist, mid-torso, hip, thigh, knee, boot and ankle articulation. There’s not an LOD move you won’t be able to pull off.
Animal has enough girth with his stockier lower base and larger arms that he can hold a regular Elite figure for the Doomsday Device without any issue. I always appreciate being able to get a wrestler’s finishing move off so that’s a big plus for them.
Accessories: It wouldn’t be the LOD without their trademark shoulder pads and this is one of the biggest differences from the Road Warrior releases. Since the LOD versions have larger torsos, Mattel had to modify the shoulder pad mold. While the Road Warrior pads had more authentic straps to connect the pads, there’s no connection piece for the LOD versions.
I’m kinda torn as the straps proved frustrating to put on — especially with Animal — but without them, the pads have this floating look. Additionally, the black and silver paint job of the Road Warriors pads gave them a more intimidating visual while the LOD version look too much like toys.
That’s in part due to the pad mold, which doesn’t provide as much space for the black portion of the pad. As with the RW mold, be mindful of Animal’s ponytail when removing the pads, which will get caught in the grooves if you’re not paying attention.
The arm gauntlets also lack the strap connectors and they’re just “floating” on the figures’ forearms. In all fairness, they’re a snug fit so you won’t have to worry about them falling off every time you move them, but it’s a weird visual. Thing is for the most part during their initial stint in the WWF, the LOD rarely wore the arm gauntlets anyway so they’re not all that essential anyway.
Worth it: For one of the Top 3 tag teams of all time, Mattel has been surprisingly slow in getting more opponents for the LOD to face off against in our collection. Adding Hawk and Animal to your shelves will definitely make The Natural Disasters, The Nasty Boys, Money Inc. and Power & Glory jump a few notches on your most-wanted list.
As the 1990-92 version of the LOD you can’t accurately match them up against teams like The New Age Outlaws or 1997 edition The Hart Foundation either so prepare to have a lot of Demolition vs. LOD match-ups.
On the bright side, we can actually simulate one full Survivor Series matchup pitting The Ultimate Warriors (The Ultimate Warrior, The Texas Tornado and The LOD) vs. The Perfect Team (Mr. Perfect & Demolition).
Rating: 9 out of 10
Where to get them: Tracking these guys down is going to be a bit tricky at this point. eBay is likely your best option if you’re not an MOC collector. Otherwise Amazon is your best bet:
WWE Elite Collection Series #30 Hawk Figure
WWE Elite Collection Series #30 Animal Figure