In its Hall of Fame Series 3, Mattel pays long overdue homage to one of wrestling’s greatest managers Jimmy ‘The Mouth of the South’ Hart. Per his nickname, Hart was already a HOF worthy manager based on his early days harassing the likes of Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler, Austin Idol and Dutch Mantel.
For 80s WWF fans, Hart was part of the iconic Mount Rushmore of heel managers alongside Bobby Heenan, Mr. Fuji and Slick. As such, he’s been a highly anticipated addition to Mattel’s line. Let’s see if he’s a figure worth shouting about.
Packaging: We’ve seen a number of variations on the standard Elite style packaging, but my favorite remains the Hall of Fame. I’m a big fan of the wide display window and the classy blue and gold color scheme. In a nice touch, the year Hart was inducted into the HOF is included as well.
Unlike some of the other characters, the back portrait appears to be an actual photograph of Hart not a drawing, which is noteworthy for those that like consistency across the line. My favorite aspect of the HOF packaging though remains the bio, which does a terrific job of explaining Hart’s importance to wrestling and why he’s a Hall of Famer.
Likeness: Mattel’s likenesses have been somewhat spotty lately with several figures being moderately close, but not quite nailing the character. Jimmy Hart, however, looks like he stepped right out of the 80s in one of Mattel’s better head sculpts.
The pompadour/mullet combo is dead on and I can almost hear Hart encouraging his men from ringside. Typically, I’m not a fan of the open mouthed scans, but it’s perfectly fitting in this instance. After all, when a guy’s nickname is The Mouth, a closed mouth, neutral expression wouldn’t cut it.
The attire choice is smart since it’s a more generic outfit. Hart was known for wearing airbrushed jackets specific to his charges, but this outfit works for everyone.
Scale: At 5’10” Hart wasn’t necessarily as short as old school fans probably remember. That’s just a few inches shy of charges like the 6’1” Honky Tonk Man and the 6’3” Terry Funk while being much shorter than the 6’7” Earthquake. The scale discrepancy could be better and ideally Hart would be shorter.
Hart was a little slender, but the figure is bit thicker than I’d like. Some of the scale mirage is from the somewhat bulky jacket and sleeves. Of course this almost feels like nitpicking since this version of Hart isn’t towering over his men like the Jakks version.
Paint: Occasionally Mattel likes to take it easy on the intricate paint jobs with figures. That’s not the case here with Hart. His red hearts jacket is faithfully reproduced and his tie is adorned with musical notes.
The tie paintwork is a little off though. This was a case where Mattel’s efforts to be accurate – making the notes tiny doesn’t quite work and they’d have been better suited making 2-3 larger notes instead of 7 nondescript ones.
Given the nightmare combination of red hearts on white plastic, I won’t complain about the random stray red mark as overall, it’s probably cleaner than I anticipated. Where Mattel doesn’t always shine with the open mouth figures is painting all the details, but here, Hart’s tongue and teeth are done very well.
Articulation: For manager figures, we really don’t need them to be able to do hurricaranas. That said, like most Elites, Hart could do one if you were so inclined. More importantly, if you want, you can actually raise the megaphone to Hart’s mouth.
- ball-jointed shoulders
- wrist hinge
- hip (hinge)
- knee (double-jointed)
Accessories: In lieu of swappable jackets, which would have been the only other must-have accessory, we get the essential item – Hart’s ever present megaphone. It’s a solid snug fit in his hand and the hearts and lips detailing is really well done.
The sunglasses are also removable, but my figure’s eyes were looking in opposite directions. It’s not a big deal as the shades are part of Hart’s look.
Worth it? Despite being a store exclusive, the Hall of Fame figures remain the standard $20 Elite price. Considering we had to chalk up $50 for the Bobby Heenan figure in the Heenan Family boxset, this is a pretty good deal especially since the 80s figures don’t necessarily sell as well as some of their more modern counterparts.
Rating: 9 out of 10
If he were just a little slighter all around this would be a perfect representation of one of the 80s iconic managers. As is, this is still a really terrific effort and one that’s definitely worth adding to your collection.
Where to get it? As a Hall of Fame figure, you’ll find Hart exclusively at Target. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay a bit more to get him at Amazon.com here.
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