Howard Finkel was the Michael Buffer of the WWF before Michael Buffer was cool. Today the WWE wants relatively attractive ring announcers, but in the WWF glory days it was all about the voice and none were better at setting the stage for the biggest matches of the 80s than The Fink.
Mattel has tried numerous ways to get classic characters out for legends collectors and the four figure Build-A-Figure wave has been their most successful format. When it works of course and that comes down far more to the retail partner actually stocking the lines. The Fink wave was actually one Wal-Mart stocked pretty well. It’s taken some time, but I finally have a completed Fink. Let’s see if he was worth the effort.
Packaging: As a BAF, there’s no packaged shot of the figure, but he was prominently featured on the four figures required to build him. For reference, that was Cowboy Bob Orton, Ravishing Rick Rude, Sgt. Slaughter and Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase.
Likeness: I really like this head sculpt. Mattel did an outstanding job of capturing Fink’s enthusiasm with the kindly smile as if he’s welcoming us to WrestleMania. This is one of the better flashback head sculpts I’ve seen in a while.
The head sculpt is the new piece of this figure as the rest is the traditional bow-tie suit body. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that as Fink didn’t require a new body hence the easy fit for the four figure BAF format. I do wish Mattel went with a more consistent suit jacket though since very few of these managers/ring announcers wore them buttoned up so high.
Scale: Fink wasn’t short at 5’8” but he wasn’t going to be looking the 80s stars eye to eye. He was an inch shorter than fellow broadcaster Mean Gene Okerlund, but still shorter than the 5’10” Johnny Gargano.
The figure is taller than he should be — a result of Mattel not shortening the suit pant legs for non-wrestlers, but it’s not a big deal. Unlike Mean Gene, Fink didn’t interact a lot with the wrestlers and should be more in the distance anyway.
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Paint: Maybe if I really wanted to be picky I’d point out that Fink had a little bit of hair up top and wasn’t completely bald. That’s something that would have been accomplished more from a subtle paint job than sculpting, but that’s the only quibble I’ve got with the paintwork. This one is pretty simple since he’s literally in all black with a black molded bow tie. The head was the only thing that could have paint issues.
Articulation: For all you need him to do — holding a mic — Fink is fine. I noticed he tended to put his left arm behind his back while he announced and you can do that with no trouble either. My figure had an annoying habit of the left arm popping off with minimal movement. Again, this would be a bigger issue if I wanted to pose Fink putting on a sharpshooter, but it’s just a bother and not a pitchfork raising problem.
Howard Finkel has:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- knees (double-jointed)
Accessories: Fink has the one accessory he absolutely needed — a WWF microphone. OK, it’s that altered classic logo with just the two Ws, but you get the idea. The mic is somewhat out of scale, but if it were any smaller and I’m sure I would have lost it anyway.
Worth it? Collecting all four of the figures would have run you $52. Right now there’s an auction that has him for $20 on eBay so I’d definitely getting him for that cheaper price.
Rating: 9 out of 10
There’s not much that would make this a bad figure as it’s a ring announcer that wears a tux. It’s pretty simple, but I won’t knock Mattel for getting this right. I wish he were a bit shorter and the suit jacket wasn’t buttoned so high.
Where to get it? Run to eBay to find some relatively reasonable auctions for him.