Since she made her debut in 1999, Stephanie McMahon has been a major — and occasionally unnecessary — fixture of WWE TV. She’s been one and off TV over the last five years, but since 2013, she’s been a regular presence in her new gimmick as one half of The Authority with her husband, Triple H.
WWE collectors have been clamoring for a new Stephanie figure practically since Mattel got the license. This year we’ve gotten two. How’s that for fan service? While the Basic version was her more regular business suit attire, for her Elite figure, Mattel decked out Stephanie in her Summerslam 2014 ring wear. Let’s see if this figure is best for business.
Packaging: I give up. I can’t say anything new about the Elite packaging at this point. It’s a standard blue and grey color scheme with a nice size portrait on the lower left half and a wide window to show the figure and all its accessories.
For some odd reason, Stephanie’s bio has some slight wording changes from the normal packaging. Instead of the regular Career Highlights section, it’s replaced with Accomplishments. Typically, we also get the wrestlers’ vital stats like their finisher, nickname and height/weight (135 lbs for those curious) so this is a very streamlined bio card.
Likeness: Just like the Elite 37 Dean Malenko, Mattel shows they can knock out some great likenesses when they’re on top of their game.
The likeness to Steph is pretty solid. It’s not a good as the excellent Basic 55, but that was one of Mattel’s all-time best. The slight smirk expression captures the essence of Steph’s on-screen character perfectly.
Steph’s outfit was very detailed with studs, a corset, lace midsection, bedazzled leggings and flared pant legs.
This is one of the complicated outfits Mattel has attempted to capture in figure form and the sculptors should take a bow.
Scale: Steph is 5’9″ and should clearly be taller than the 5’6″ Brie Bella, but the Divas bodies don’t do a good enough job differentiating the heights as opposed to their male counterparts.
I’d love for Mattel to work on some parts to better reflect the different heights of the Divas, but I don’t imagine them investing anything beyond what we’ve seen so far.
Paint: This is a smooth paint job made all the more impressive considering all of the little silver links and studs that need coverage. There’s some Mattel figures with far less detail with sloppier paint jobs, but I’m sure Steph being the WWE Chief Brand Officer had nothing to do with that whatsoever.
Articulation: Steph sports the typical Divas Basic/Elite hybrid articulation so she has neck, ball-jointed shoulders, elbow, wrist, torso, waist, hips, thigh swivel, knees and ankle.
As always, the Divas figure articulation needs a deeper hip cut to allow them the full amount of range to pull of some of their moves or double knee articulation.
Steph can mostly be posed to do The Pedigree in honor of Triple H though. If you just want to display them, the Divas are fine. Playing or attempting to simulate most of the moves however is where things go downhill.
Accessories: Since the outfit is so intricate, it’s not that surprising her accessories are a little bare-boned. In this case, we get two fan signs — one a jab at Daniel Bryan’s Yes! chant and the other a play on her “It’s Best for Business” motto.
I really with Mattel would have put the trademark and made in China information on the back of the signs as they’re distracting. Fortunately, they’re at the bottom of both signs so you can clip them off it’s especially annoying to you.
Worth it? Stephanie doesn’t typically climb into the ring so a wrestling version of the Billion Dollar Princess isn’t as necessary as some other characters, but if you’re a fan this is an essential pickup as it’s one of Mattel’s standouts.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
I quickly got the feeling that this wasn’t going to be a lackluster figure since it’s representing one of the principal owners of the WWE and neither Steph or Mattel would sign off on a half-done, even remotely inaccurate figure. As a result, Stephanie is one of the best figures Mattel has done. The articulation continues to hinder the Divas though and the paint job of the sheer portions of the outfit prevent me from giving it a perfect score. Still, I doubt we’ll see a better looking Divas figure for a very long time.
Where to get it: Wal-Mart got Elite 37 first in stores, but I suspect Target and Toys R Us won’t be too far behind. Steph gets the double whammy of being a female figure in the Elite line so she’s not going to rest on the pegs. If you see her, grab her and then debate how essential she is to your collection later.
Amazon.com has most of Elite 37 in stock, but Stephanie isn’t available through normal Amazon channels just yet. Still, if you’d rather avoid stalking Amazon and retailers, you can order her using this link.