The Midnight Rockers were my favorite AWA team until Bad Company came around. Even then I knew they were ripping off/paying homage to the Rock-n-Roll Express and Midnight Express. I didn’t care since Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty were a fun team to watch in action whether in the AWA or the WWF as The Rockers. Back when they still had some iota of faith in the Legends line we got a two-pack of The Rockers. But the team wore many colorful combinations and in this repaint heavy era of Flashbacks the Rockers ideally would be a perfect fit for the WWE RetroFest GameStop exclusive line.
Due to Marty being spectacularly challenged in the wise decision department, Mattel could only release a Shawn figure in one of the Rockers more outlandish attires. But fear not so long as you were smart enough to grab an earlier Rockers tag team set. Let’s see if this version of Shawn rocks or deserves to get rolled.
Packaging: One of the big selling points of the RetroFest line is the style of the old arcade game. Hopefully that’s another one we see updated by 1Up. Anyway, the packaging is really clever and one of the more creative ones we’ve seen from Mattel who regularly does outstanding presentations of their figures.
With no BAF or accessories of note, the focus is just on the figure and there’s no need to worry about some thief getting their grubby hands on an awesome accessory.
The side package features the standard Rockers pose and at this point I’m sure Mattel photoshopped this outfit on that picture. On the back, we get a pretty reasonable bio as it’s done in the minimal game style.
Likeness: I don’t think the Shawn likeness is as obvious as it is on some other figures. You’ve gotta look close to really see it. I think a big reason is the hair, which is way too dark and lacks that Farrah Fawcett style bounce.
Size wise the figure looks perfect with lankier body parts that fit how Shawn looked in the late 80s and early 90s.
I don’t love how Mattel does tassels as it’s one bulky solid piece. These are areas where Elite figures need cloth. Also, the boot wraps look like 80s warm up socks and lack any change in the pattern to help the illusion out better.
Scale: Shawn was 6’1” putting him about the same height as most of the tag teams of this era like the 6’1” Brian Knobbs and shorter than the 6’3” Ax of Demolition. Shawn is scaled properly to the 6′ Bret Hart so I’m thinking Nasty Boy Saggs at 6’3″ is too short.
Paint: This attire was definitely one of the busier ones for The Rockers. It’s a curious choice in that it calls attention to one of Mattel’s biggest weaknesses with this line — the inability to do color gradients.
The outfit features a rainbow of colors, but none of the stripes are one solid color like the figure. Instead, the yellow starts with pink then goes to orange before going to yellow. On the figure it’s just one color.
That helps to make the attire look off. There’s no avoiding the figure loses some points for a weak attempt at doing this outfit justice.
And for some reason, Mattel has never been able to get the right shade of blonde for Rocker Shawn as it always skews far darker than he had it, which was just shy of platinum blonde.
Articulation: My first recommendation would be to find some better white kneepads. Mattel went with the silly oversized leg sleeves that hinder all kinds of movement. There’s a bit more give with these leg sleeves, but they can get restrictive and with these busy tights it’s better to see more of them than what looks like an oversized kneepad.
Once you do that you’ll be able to appreciate the Elite articulation with this mold. Shawn (and Marty) won’t have any issues pulling off their signature moves thanks to the ease of movement and range here.
WWE RetroFest Shawn Michaels has:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- wrist hinge
Accessories: Shawn comes with the ring gear/vest The Rockers wore with this attire. It’s pretty accurate design wise with the X pattern, but lacks the color variation in the middle. Mattel just used one color instead of the multi-colors reflected in the outfit. Thankfully there’s no trouble putting it on and off thanks to a simple clasp.
Worth it? If you time this right around a GameStop sale you can make out like me and get this figure for $5. At that price point it just makes sense to grab another and swap the head for a Marty.
You can actually get a Rockers set on eBay now for $51. Maybe that’s a lot for just a Marty head, but it does offer some outfit variation and the cheap price for the RetroFest Shawn balances it out.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Despite the major paint issues, the leg sleeves and those goofy boot covers, I like this more colorful Rockers attire and will likely use this as my default. This also allows me to fully complete The Vipers for Survivor Series 1990.
Where to get it? This is a GameStop exclusive and with their sales there’s no reason to get it from somewhere else. But if you absolutely have to, Amazon has it for a decent price of under $17.