Every generation needs its superhero. The 70s had Bruno, the 80s had Hogan, Bret and Shawn headlined the New Generation and Rock and Austin dominated the Attitude Era. For this current generation, it’s undoubtedly John Cena.
As far as positive wrestling role models go, they historically don’t come much better than Cena. At this point his Hall of Fame career is a lock and now he’s padding his legacy like KD and Curry shooting threes in the last two minutes of another playoff blowout. That said, it’s been awhile since my last Elite John Cena figure. I’m partial to the ones with cloth T-shirts and Mattel has been omitting them lately. With Elite 50 featuring one of the better color schemes and a T-shirt, this set was a no brainer. Let’s see if this is worth adding to the collection.
Packaging: The 2017 packaging really isn’t anything special. I don’t like the small text on the top left stating the accessories and wish SmackDown Live wrestlers had a blue backdrop instead of the RAW red. The side portraits do a much better job of matching up to the figure, which is rare for Mattel.
The back always looks better with a wrestler who has a stacked resume to fill up the career highlights section. My favorite aspect of this package setup is the ring attire so you can see exactly the reference point.
- Movie Reviews
- 7 reasons why DC Collectibles failed with DC Icons
- The Flash TV Episode Guide and Recaps
- Every WWE Survivor Series team in figure form
Likeness: Outside of the Flashback version, Mattel really hasn’t botched a Cena likeness. The Elite 50 is no different. This captures ‘friendly Cena,’ which Mattel does better than other expressions.
The torso choice is great as Cena is ripped and shredded in real life. Cena’s a made man so Mattel didn’t cheap out on actually sculpting his belt on his shorts and the laces on his sneakers.
Scale: Cena stands at 6’1” putting him at the same height as Seth Rollins, a couple inches taller than the 5’11” AJ Styles and slightly taller than the 6’ Kevin Owens. That’s just about true with the figures. I appreciate Mattel keeping scale as a priority.
Paint: Cena isn’t especially paint intensive. What is here is reasonably well done. The belt would be tricky even for high end figures so I’m not surprised that paintwork is uneven. Cena’s underwear lining is fine. While accurate, the grey lining seems somewhat funny.
Now for the odd part. This is billed as Cena from SummerSlam 2016, but Cena rocked blue jeans there instead of black jeans. I’m not that big a stickler to care and I appreciate having a black pair of shorts for my Cena collection, but that’s a weird mix-up.
There’s some very minor overspray along the shoes, largely with the lime green lining and shoelaces. Things turn around with the wristbands, which have sharply applied tampos.
Articulation: Maybe one of the main reasons the Cena figures fly off the shelf is because the Elite articulation lend themselves well to his move set. With the exception of a spot perfect STF, there’s not a lot of Cena moves that are hard to accomplish.
- ball-jointed shoulders
- wrist hinge
- knee (double jointed)
Accessories: Elite 50 Cena comes with the now standard armband and cap with Never Give Up applied smoothly. The dogtags drape realistically on his neck. But the big selling point was the T-Shirt. This is the Pabst inspired shirt with Hustle Loyalty Respect.
Mattel can explain it away as much as they’d like, but the cloth shirts fit and look so much better than the vest-like plastic ones. I’m down for more Cena figures as long as we get the cloth versions of his shirts. The fit of the shirt is a bit tight, but it won’t look baggy when it’s on, which instantly makes it better than the plastic versions.
Worth it? You can get this figure now for $15.61. The tricky thing with every Cena figure with a shirt is eventually it’s going to at least double in price. I got mine for $16, but wouldn’t have felt bad chalking up the non sale price of $20 for him.
Rating: 10 out of 10
Cena is always a fun character to collect thanks to his numerous display options. Elite 50’s version is one of the better ones lately thanks to the shirt and overall consistent design.
Where to get it? Toys R Us is the place to get Elite figures right now. They’ve got a sale running through the first week of July so now is the time to hit them up. Targets seem to have exhausted their supply and Wal-Mart is always shaky inventory wise. As always you can check Amazon to spare yourself the driving around.