The head honchos at Mattel promised we’d see some new releases at WWE Axxess 2018 and they weren’t kidding. Some figures we knew about and were waiting to see officially, but Mattel still managed some surprises.
Maybe the biggest was the latest Honky Tonk Man in his iconic blue jumpsuit and wrestling attire. I thought he was on the outs with WWE and that his Legends deal had expired. Happily, Mattel was able to get us one more figure in his signature look. The previous Elite Honky Tonk featured him in his alternate red attire, which was fine, but HTM is more synonymous with the blue attire. From his positioning in the display, it looks like HTM will be the latest figure in the Gamestop exclusive WrestleFest line.
In a real shock, Mattel revealed a King Harley Race figure. This was one of those choices Mattel really ‘had’ to get around to making as he is too iconic in the history of wrestling to ignore. I also like this version of Harley because I can buy two and use the head sculpt as Vader’s WCW manager. I like the two in one options like this figure. And we’ve also got a 96 era Jake the Snake from his WWF comeback run.
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Also, we got a glimpse of the Build a Figure JJ Dillon wave with Ric Flair, Sting, Lex Luger and presumably Booker T. This does not look like a resized version of the Bash at the Beach Sting head sculpt, which is disappointing. I wish Mattel had used this wave to give us a younger Barry Windham head sculpt. From the very far off looks of it, this JJ Dillon figure appears to be solid and I can’t wait to have the leader of the Horsemen guiding his troops. That new Flair headsculpt with cocky expression and sunglasses looks terrific.
For modern fans, Mattel revealed the original WWE appearance of Daniel Bryan, which kind of makes this a ROH Bryan Danielson figure too. Prototypes were on hand of the NXT Authors of Pain and Paul Ellering. I really think Ellering will work fine as an NWA version too. It’d be nice to get half the key NWA managers in 2018. Maybe there’s still some miracle we can get a Jim Cornette at some point. Paul Jones is probably not gonna happen and Teddy Long would be possible if Mattel ever got around to making a Doom set.