Roman Reigns has managed an amazing accomplishment. Somehow he’s been able to make the smark fans hate John Cena a little less. To some extent I get it. Reigns has fallen victim to the same curse that affected Diesel. Everyone thought he was cool when he was Shawn Michaels’ bodyguard, but after he became a face, he lost that edge. That’s true with Reigns as well following his post-Shield days.
Regardless, The Big Dog is a pivotal fixture in the modern WWE landscape and I needed an updated solo version to shoot with other modern figures. Let’s see if this Elite 45 version is ready to run the yard.
Packaging: I like this older Elite style over the updated one with the busier front and distracting diorama sticker. I’m still not a big fan of the predominant red color scheme, but it makes more sense for RAW wrestlers.
Reigns’ stat card is impressive since he’s been pushed to an extreme regardless if the majority of the fans will buy him.
Likeness: Fitting for the WWE’s showcase star, Reigns’ figures look really good. It’s a toss-up as to which of his more recent figures sport the best likeness. For now, I think this head sculpt really captures Reigns well. The stern expression best fits him and the hair is the appropriate length. Long, stringy hair is always tough to translate to figure form, but this is pretty well done.
That carries over to the rest of the figure as well. His vest looks sturdy and has the appropriate level of detail. His wristbands/gauntlets look different than simple wrist tape. The pants and boots are simple, but accurately reflect Roman’s look.
Scale: Reigns is 6’3”, the same height as Brock Lesnar and actually shorter than the 6’4” Dean Ambrose. Now I suppose I need a current solo version of Dean as well. Reigns will look up to the 6’10” Undertaker. The figure is a little off scale from John Cena who in real life is only two inches shorter than Reigns.
I suspect some of it has to do with the somewhat oversized head. Regardless, Reigns is annoyingly out of scale. I’m sure this figure’s scale is how Vince McMahon sees him compared to everyone else, but I’m going to have to do some fixing up.
Paint: Overall, Reigns doesn’t require a lot of paint. The most intricate work is on the right tribal tattoo. Those look good. The only other area requiring any paint is Roman’s spider-like logo. It’s the only aspect of his outfit that has any variety. I wasn’t expecting the colorful pattern on the back and it’s done well and really pops. I liked the silver version since it stands out more than the red and blue. It’s neatly applied on both the vest and right wrist tape.
The biggest gripe is that Reigns isn’t as dark as the skin tone Mattel uses on his figures. At this point, I doubt they’d ever switch up, but it’s always kind of bugged me.
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Articulation: Reigns has the usual Elite articulation. His move set isn’t impaired by the vest so you can knock out all of his big moves. The leg mold is somewhat restrictive in the sense that back and forth movement is limited. This won’t affect his move set however. The shoulders are the same as every other Elite, but I noticed the limitations in them when trying to best capture the Superman punch.
- ball-jointed shoulders
- wrist hinge
- knee (double-jointed)
Accessories: Reigns comes with a WWE championship. It used to be a treat to get a belt with the figure, but at this point it seems that’s all anyone gets. My shelf is filled with these and I would have gladly traded it out for a more unique or interesting accessory.
WWE Championship Replica Title Belt
If nothing else, I’d love for Mattel to start making personalized belts with the side plates for the various wrestlers. That would add some incentive to get figures with the belts.
Worth it? It finally took a good sale — $14 — to pull the trigger on getting an updated Reigns figure. Not that I hate him, but there was no need to pay full price since he’s overproduced like John Cena figures. He’s not bad for the regular $20 price if you don’t want to wait though the accessory is really lackluster.
Rating: 8 out of 10
The scale was frustrating and the tightness in the hips held Reigns back from some more dynamic action poses, but this is still a solid figure of the Big Dog.
Where to get it? The Elite 45 version still pops up on Walgreens shelves and some Toys R Us stores. You could also go the Amazon.com route if you want this particular version of Reigns.