Kevin Owens gets decent Elite debut
Kevin Owens is a dying breed in wrestling. An actual quality heel. With his blasé attitude toward the John Cenas, Sami Zayns, etc. he’s proving to be one of the more entertaining members of the WWE roster. I was glad Mattel fast-tracked getting an Owens figure into its WWE Elite line. But with that rush comes a few more issues than you’ll find with the average Elite.
Package: The WWE Elite will likely end the year as my favorite of the year. It’s been long enough since Owens graduated from NXT to RAW so he gets the main roster red accent colors. I’ll continue to grumble about wanting more info in the bio card, but right now, this is the best packaging on the pegs going today.
Likeness: The headsculpt is fairly off. It doesn’t truly do justice to Owens’ unaffected demeanor. Like the old saying, it’s all about the eyes. The sculpt catches Owens like he just woke up from a nap as opposed to being annoyed. Owens’ beard is too light as well. It doesn’t capture the bushiness and fullness he keeps it, particularly around the cheeks. Mattel has a much improved head sculpt coming in its Basic line and I’m definitely going to swap it out.
To capture Owens’ girth, Mattel made a potbelly shirt mold. This is probably the best way to reflect that in figure form. On the Elite 43 Jim Neidhart the huge bicep arms were a bit exaggerated, but useful for his articulation. Owens has them as well, but they look terrible resembling the old Deluxe Aggression biceps from the Jakks days.
Scale: Owens is 6 feet. He should be a bit shorter than the 6’3” Roman Reigns and 6’4” Dean Ambrose. That’s accurately reflected with his figure. Mattel has had some problems as late with scale, but this is more in line with my expectations.
Paint: There were a few hits in this category. The ‘KO’ on the shirt had some scuffs while the white swirl on the shorts blended badly. The main tampo on the back of the shirt was fine as were Owens’ Evil forearm and bull tattoos.
Mattel did a great job with Owens’ fade haircut and earn some bonus points for accurately color Owens’ eyes green. And they went the extra mile in adding his knuckle tattoos in honor of his grandfather.
Articulation: For accuracy’s sake, Owens doesn’t have the usual Elite articulation. The plastic shirt hinders the torso’s back and forth movement. The short mold doesn’t allow for easy sitting poses as well.
These aren’t major problems since they don’t affect Owens’ regular moveset, but the articulation doesn’t flow as smoothly as normal. He has:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- wrist hinge
- knee (double-jointed)
Accessories: Elites are feast or famine. Some are loaded with useful accessories and ring entrance gear. Others get shortchanged. Owens is somewhere in the middle. He comes with the NXT title. Owens isn’t the kind to wear a title around his waist, which is helpful since his girth doesn’t allow for the belt to wrap around and connect.
The NXT title is useful since the first one, packaged with Sami Zayn, is pretty much impossible to get for a reasonable price now. But it still feels a bit underwhelming.
Maybe a cloth T-shirt would have helped add a bit more value? Or Mattel could start randomly including weapons and ringside accessories like chairs and tables.
Worth It? This one’s tricky. Owens is a main player in the WWE. He’s going to get better figures — hopefully with more sensible biceps and that superior head sculpt. He’s going to require a little bit of fixing up, but once I swap the biceps and head, I likely won’t need another Owens figure.
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
The weaker headsculpt hurts more than anything else. This is likely a case where I’m more forgiving than I should be, but I dig Owens and even with an OK first effort I’m thrilled to have him in my collection.
Where to Get It? While some previous Elite series were tough to find, Elite 43 should be showing up at all the major retailers from Toys R Us, Target, Walgreens and Wal-Mart. Currently, you can get him and the entire wave from Amazon.com.