By the time Harley Race arrived in the WWF, he was a few years past his prime and no longer man who held the NWA title on seven occasions. In a rare show of respect for an outsider, Vince McMahon gave Race The King gimmick to recognize his achievements in the ring.
For Legends collectors, King Harley Race crosses off another big name and member of The Heenan Family. Let’s see if this Flashback Series figure is worthy of royalty.
Packaging: Mattel found the sweet spot with its Flashback Series presentation. The colors are a good blend of the classic red, white and blue color scheme McMahon had on most of his shows during the 80s. And the insert card doubling as the old school interview set backdrop is a great bonus. I wish Mattel would do this with modern/pay per view theme lines as well.
Race’s bio sums his WWF career nicely for two paragraphs and I love the smug picture they used for him. Mattel’s packaging makes it clear which Build-A-Figure part you’re getting, but it’d be nice to also know what pieces come with the other figures in the wave.
Likeness: Harley boasts one of Mattel’s best head sculpts this year. Traditionally, the Legends’ head sculpts are a little softer than their modern day contemporaries thanks to a lack of reference material. Harley is exceptional with all of the wrinkles, bags under the eyes and puffiness in the cheeks along with a great representation of his hair. This isn’t like some figures that come out so-so and immediately need a redo. Outside of an NWA version, this is a perfect looking Harley Race.
That carries over to the body as Mattel’s thicker torso was the ideal match for Race’s frame. It really seems like this mold was made just for him. The kneepads are sized properly and Race has the proper length boots as well. All around strong work from Mattel here.
Scale: Race is 6’1” the same height as Terry Funk and Ric Flair. He should be looking up at the 6’7” Hulk Hogan and the giants of the Heenan Family.
Paint: Mattel still struggles with getting an accurate blonde hair color. It’s decent, but not as bright as it should be. The figure has all the expected detail like the crown logo on the back of the tights and the sides of the boots. The gold came out nice against the purple. This will sound sarcastic, but I’m glad Mattel figured out the proper paint formula to get Race’s outfit down correct. He doesn’t suffer from the magenta purple mix of the Razor Ramon figure.
Mattel also included all of Race’s tattoos. Race was a guy who was rocking tattoos long before it became the norm.
Articulation: You won’t have any trouble pulling off any of The King’s moves thanks to the Elite articulation setup. I’m a big fan of this particular mold as it works well for bruisers and roughneck brawlers.
WWE Flashback Series Harley Race has:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- wrist hinge
Accessories: Given some of the other figures in the wave, I’m thinking Race ate up a nice portion of the budget. At least it’s worth it. He comes with a cloak that I don’t think has been used before. It’s the typical plastic shell.
While I normally gripe about this, Race tended to sit back without a lot of gesturing while The Brain spoke. There’s some slop around the fur trim on both shoulder areas. The black splotches are OK, but lack the faded look of Race’s cloaks. I actually like how the cloak braids stick out as if Race is in motion and helps break up the stiff visual.
Race also comes with a crown. I assumed this was just a reuse from the Jerry Lawler figure, but it’s actually a new mold with a ton of great detailing. The paintwork around the jewels isn’t the sharpest, but it’s much better than I expected.
Additionally, Race comes with the arms for the Build-A-Figure Commissioner Michaels.
Worth it? I got Race for $18, a solid price for an Elite figure with such quality accessories.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
I’m taking a few points off for the cape and crown slop and the dotted pattern. Otherwise this is a superb Harley Race figure and a definite must-get for Flashback collectors.
Where to get it? The Flashback Series is exclusive to Wal-Mart. Eventually secondary sellers will put it on Amazon, but that’s your only other option.