It was obvious right away that Kurt Angle was going to be something special. He immediately looked like a star and was pushed like a future WWE Hall of Famer. Mattel missed the window to get him made in its WWE line and Angle has been one of the essential names on my checklist. With Angle returning to WWE, I was thrilled at the prospect of finally getting one of my all-time favorites.
Mattel recognized the demand and made Angle the first figure in the returning Entrance Greats line. It didn’t matter as Angle was one of the short list of characters I’d get in every instance with Elite articulation. Let’s see how true that statement is as I review the Entrance Greats Kurt Angle figure.
Packaging: Unlike the earlier silo like version, Mattel opted for a much larger box. That extra size doesn’t seem warranted considering it’s the same setup as before with the figure placed on the sound stage in a somewhat action pose. The logo is a bit flashier than the original and the inner lining with the spotlights showcases Angle well.
On the side there’s a hole so you can hear a seven second clip of the audio. I don’t think that’s the best selling point for people on the fence with more willpower. Unlike most Mattel packages, there’s no drawing/picture of Angle. That’s probably a smart move so we can’t immediately compare how the figure matches up to the real thing.
The back has a big picture of Angle with a Titantron like screen behind him. I like the bio as it has a decent length, notes the reference attire and the theme song.
Likeness: I’m pretty confident that I could tell this was Angle just from the head sculpt. That cheesy grin is perfect. Mattel was a pretty stocky dude so the body parts seem about right. I’m glad Angle has the open fist so he can hold a microphone as his promos were always great.
There’s been a lot of debate on Angle’s torso and arms choice. Short of creating a new torso sculpt (bwaha-hah ha), this Ryback torso is more fitting for Angle than the Bret Hart style. And the arms might be slightly long, but that actually works in the figure’s favor for playability much like the Jim The Anvil Neidhart figure.
I’m a bit annoyed that Mattel couldn’t sculpt the bottom of Angle’s trunks. He’s a guy that could have a new figure in every Elite line and they wouldn’t come close to capturing all of his looks. Investing in a bottom trunk mold for Angle is annoying since Mattel could definitely get their money’s worth out of the sculpt.
Scale: Angle stands 6 feet and his figure appears perfectly scaled as he’s about the exact height shorter than the 6’1” Shawn Michaels and 6’5” The Rock. I love when Mattel gets this just right by using the appropriate pieces to provide the accurate height.
Paint: Some minor paint quibbles. The shade of blue Mattel used is darker than the bright blue Angle wore in his debut match. Mattel tried for a lighter brown for Angle’s hair, but there’s too much green in it giving it a mud green look. That’ll need to get fixed and is easily the figure’s biggest problem.
The stars and stripes are probably going to be the area you’ll want to check closely. I saw three Angle figures. One had pretty decent applications save some smears with the stripes. Another was better save one area. I got the best of the bunch and it’s fine save some negligible details around the singlet top and a star.
Angle has a painted torso, but Mattel did a much better job matching the paint shades than normal.
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Articulation: As one of the WWF’s greatest technical wrestlers, there’s bound to be some frustrating trying to pull off some of his more complex moves. The Elite body proves challenging for complicated suplexes in most cases, but thanks to the longer arms, I was able to clasp the hands together in pulling off most suplexes.
Unlike the Ken Shamrock figure, Angle’s kneepads allow him to sink down deeper and pull off a much better ankle lock pose. Here again, the open hands do wonders in making this look great.
The open left hand also allows for an accurate Angle Slam.
Kurt Angle has:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- wrist hinge
Accessories: Angle comes with his gold medals. For the record, Angle won gold in the 1995 World Wrestling Champions and a gold in the 1996 Summer Olympics. Mattel tried to be accurate here as they gave him two neck ribbons similar to his early run.
One was done in the red, white and blue while the other was dark green. I didn’t expect any kind of detailing on the medals likely due to licensing so that wasn’t a disappointment. The Elite 59 Angle does come with accurate paintwork on the medals so this must have been the rush job version. Nice to see the more expensive figure has less detail.
Angle’s other accessory is the more controversial sound stage. This plays an audio clip of his theme music. Make sure to change the try me setting to get the extended version. As far as stands with a sound chip go, this is fine as it plays for about 20 seconds, but this also presumes people don’t have their cell phones and access to YouTube.
Worth it? OK, here’s the real hit to the figure. Angle is the same as any other regular Elite figure that retails for $20. The sound stand is not worth $10 and the packaging isn’t as specialized as the Defining Moments. Mattel is again taking advantage of collector demand and releasing Angle in a premium format first. This is the category that takes the hit for that decision.
Rating: 9 out of 10
I wasn’t blown away when I opened the figure, but after posing him, I was impressed by the work here. Mattel can still improve on Angle figures, but as the first one in his earliest look, I’m glad to have this figure in my collection right away.
Where to get it? I got Angle at Toys R Us and that seems to be the only brick and mortal retailer carrying them. With 180 stores closing this year, supporting Toys R Us is vital. You can find him in stores or order from toysrus.com.
If TRU isn’t an option, he’s in stock as well at Amazon.com.