WWE Sasha Banks Mattel Basic figure review
Right now, my two favorite wrestlers on the planet are AJ Styles and Finn Balor. At a very close second place is The Boss Sasha Banks, a superstar unlike any of her peers in the WWE Women’s Division that she can overcome questionable booking to look like the brightest star this division has seen since the heyday of Trish Stratus. Her match at NXT Takeover against Bayley was such a great match it needed no qualification.
Knowing full well the knocks and legacy issues with the articulation scheme, I still didn’t pause one second when I saw Mattel’s first version of The Boss on the shelf. The figure line still has a ways to go with the female wrestlers, but I’m too big a fan of Banks to vainly hope one day Mattel gets it right. In a fitting bit of irony, I was able to get both her and Bayley at the same time so look out for that review shortly. For now, lets see if this figure deserves a trip to the bank.
Packaging: My appreciation for the new style packaging hasn’t dulled one bit. The brand accent colors helps distinguish each figure. The WWE license is one of the few with so many diverse brands within the license that can play up the various categories like RAW, Smackdown, NXT, Divas and Legends.
It’s a pretty clever packaging layout and Mattel deserves a lot of credit for improving upon the old dull packaging. Additionally, the dominant picture of the respective wrestler really makes shelf browsing easy. And there’s something cool about seeing that First Time in the Line! prominently placed on the front package.
Likeness: I was initially worried when I saw the pictures of Sasha last year, but this is a really great likeness and one I’m not sure my pictures do enough justice. It took me a second to find the likeness of the Charlotte figure, but I didn’t have any such problems with Sasha’s figure. From the distinct nose to the slight curled up smirk, this is The Boss. The eyes seem off at first, but upon closer inspection, it’s more in line with Sasha’s overall cocky expression where she’s focusing on how she’s about to demolish another opponent.
Sasha also has a unique sculpted top, which indicates we’ll probably be seeing several more figures of her in the near future. Sasha gets a more defined abdomen to better represent her physique and she seems to have the same lower half as the AJ Lee figure to maintain her shorter frame.
Scale: Mattel doesn’t always pay as close attention as they should with the Diva scale, but they seem to get it right more often that not with the shorter Diva roster members. Sasha’s 5’5″ so she’ll be looking up at the not quite 5’10” Charlotte figure, which I appreciate as part of Sasha’s charm is being smaller and refusing to back down against anyone.
Paint: Similar to Charlotte, the black and silver color scheme was a questionable choice made even more frustrating since Mattel just went with that look for Charlotte. Sasha has some very colorful attires and going with the basic black and silver was easily the most uninspired attire choice.
In lieu of a separate arm wrap, it’s painted on.My figure suffered from the wraparound effect not lining up correctly, but there was really no way that the effect wasn’t going to look cheap. I’d happily miss out on another Elite figure’s accessories for the hopefully eventual Sasha’s arm wrap to be its own piece that can be painted properly.
You’ll want to really look close at Sasha’s eyes if you’re lucky enough to find her in person. If they’re not painted correctly, Sasha will easily have a lazy eye syndrome going on, which would really ruin the figure’s overall visual. Sasha’s dirty pink hair would benefit from some black wash to make it look more natural, but Mattel rarely does that so it wasn’t a shock.
Articulation: Not long after I started collecting Divas figures, I realized the articulation had some issues. For the Bellas, Eva Maries and Alicia Foxxes of the Divas roster, that wasn’t a big deal, but for the highly skilled NXT Divas being called up, this articulation scheme doesn’t cut it.
It’s the same story as before. The torso, elbow and knee articulation need to be deeper to allow for better movement. That limited range is especially annoying with the elbows and knees.
- ball jointed shoulders
With just a bit more range the Divas’ articulation would be perfect. The male Basic is so streamlined the Elite upgrade is essential if you want to do any real posing and wrestling. The Divas figures don’t need a drastic overhaul if the elbows and knees could sink in deeper and the torso allowed for a decent suplex or camel clutch.
The fact that it’s so close to being ideal is frustrating especially since Mattel execs said there’s no plan to make any adjustments anytime soon. Similar to the AJ Lee figure, Sasha gets a regular left hand so no annoying pimp hand this time out so she comes out ahead over most Divas.
Accessories: Since this is a Basic figure, there’s no accessories. Sasha’s one of the Divas that definitely would benefit from an Elite figure version so Mattel can include her sunglasses, BOSS necklace and rings and jacket. That’s a significant array of accessories so I’m almost fine waiting for the Elite provided she gets all of her ring gear.
Worth it? For $10, the Mattel Basic figures remain one of the better values and the extra articulation for the Divas makes that an even better price.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
As much as I hate the Divas articulation and the dull attire choice, this Sasha figure is a pretty solid debut figure. The scale and likeness definitely help make this a better than average Diva figure.
Where to get it? Target and Toys R Us pretty consistently get WWE figures, but I found Sasha at Wal-Mart so make that your first stop. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle, you can grab Sasha and her fellow Divas from Amazon.