Arriba! With more disappointing news coming from the WWE Hall of Fame weekly, I figured it was time to spotlight one of wrestling’s last true class acts — Tito (don’t call him Chico) Santana.
As an 80s fan, Tito has been on my most-demanded short list for years until Mattel finally was able to get him released in its Target exclusive Hall of Fame line. Let’s find out if he was worth the wait.
Packaging: Mattel’s Hall of Fame packaging is its classiest regular line with its blue and gold color scheme and a nice size portrait on the lower left half and a wide window to show the figure and all its accessories.
The HOF package has the worst of the various Mattel series with just a big portrait and a replica autograph. It’s underwhelming and tells you nothing about the character, which seems like a given for Hall of Fame figures. If anything, I’d like to at least see the Elite style back package stat information.
Likeness: This is one of those cases where the side portrait is especially helpful as this is a near exact translation of the portrait capturing Tito in his ever present smile.
Most of the time Mattel tends to be a bit flattering to the wrestlers with the body type chosen, but Tito looks great on the regular Elite body.
Paint: Tito is fairly basic with his Strike Force solo phase with white tights, kneepads and boots. The boot laces are clean as are the lightning bolt detail on the sides.
I’m a little torn on the hair color as most pictures make Tito’s hair appear to be dark brown/black while the figure. While Tito’s hair is probably brown, Mattel would have been better off making it black since they don’t do any shading in the hair color.
Although the pictures seem to make the skin tone’s inconsistent from the arms and chest, in person it’s definitely not an issue.
The biggest issue is the eyes. I went through countless amounts of figures to find one whose right eye looked right. Thanks to the sculpt’s expression, if the right eye paintjob is off center it throws the whole look off so if you have the option you’ll definitely want to pick out the one with the best painted eyes.
Articulation: Tito uses the standard Elite body so he’s got ball-jointed neck and shoulders, bicep, elbow, wrist, hinged wrist, mid-torso, waist, hips, thigh swivel, double-jointed knees, shin and ankle.
Tito is one of the wrestlers you’ll really appreciate having the Elite style articulation as there’s not a move in his repertoire you won’t be able to effectively simulate from his Figure Four to his flying forearm.
Accessories: For this era, Tito only had one essential accessory — his trademark red T-shirt. Thankfully, Mattel didn’t go that hair-pulling route of using a plastic shirt and we get a rare cloth shirt.
The emblem is dead on and proves the cloth shirts can handle that level of detail just as well as the plastic shirts that look like vests on the figures. As with all red cloth shirts, make sure to occasionally take it off so the red dye doesn’t bleed off into the figure.
Worth it? If you grew up watching wrestling during the Hulkamania era, Tito was a major supporting player in the 80s into the early 90s. I’m stoked to get this version, which helps me get one step closer to having a complete Survivor Series 1990 card.
However, I still greedily want to get an Intercontinental champ era Tito with shorter hair and red/blue tights. And a Rick Martel Strike Force era figure because we can never get enough tag teams.
Rating: 10 out of 10
Mattel made old school fans wait a while on him, but they delivered big time on this one. If you get one with correctly painted eyes, this is a top-tier figure and one of my favorite Mattel WWE offerings in 2015.
Where to get it? The HOF line is exclusive to Target so you’ll only find it there.
Beyond Target, you can grab the Hall of Fame series from Amazon.com here: WWE Elite Hall Of Fame TITO SANTANA Class Of 2004
[amazon asin=B00Y93O4L0&template=iframe image][amazon asin=B00Y933H54&template=iframe image][amazon asin=B00Y93IN5S&template=iframe image]