In 1991 the impossible happened when Ric Flair showed up on WWF TV challenging Hulk Hogan. It was the dream match WWF and NWA fans thought we’d never see. Mattel realized it’d been a while since we’d gotten a flashback style Ric Flair Elite figure and decided the RetoFest line made the perfect slot for The Nature Boy.
The RetroFest line has been ideal for repaints and alternate looks for some of the iconic legends from the 80s and 90s. Let’s see if this figure gives us something to woo about.
Packaging: How great is the RetroFest line arcade game presentation? I love the arcade cabinet set up as it’s a really inspired way to showcase a figure. The box art features Flair with a 1991 haircut. The bio has the important video game style stats down including Flair’s signature and finishing moves.
Likeness: For the RetroFest line, Mattel is adding some new head sculpts. Flair doesn’t get one, but he does get the new face printing technique. I’m not blown away by this application as it’s not a dramatic improvement on the original version.
This might have been a good time for a Wooo head sculpt. Or a hair sculpt that more closely resembles the box art, which featured Flair from his first WWF run back in 1991. The hairstyle is more of the length Flair had in 1994 when he fought Hogan in WCW.
This is one of those cases where it’s a little difficult to see how Mattel could top the Jakks figure in red, which was one of their strongest figures.
The rest of the figure is the same style makeup of previous Flair figures with the same body, knee pads and boots. Consistency is key in this case so that’s how the figure should have turned out.
Scale: Flair was 6’1” putting him an inch taller than the 6’ Rowdy Piper and Bret Hart while looking up at the 6’4” Ultimate Warrior and 6’3” Mr. Perfect.
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Paint: Mattel normally doesn’t have a lot of paint issues, but of the two Flairs that I saw on the pegs, both had some slight problems. The one I ultimately decided on had some missing paint applications in the hair.
This wasn’t horrendous by any means and if I really needed to, I could fix it. The RF logo came out fine on both the tights and boots. I was surprised that Mattel missed the finger tape Flair traditionally wore on his right hand.
Articulation: The Elite articulation is pretty decent although I still can’t wait to try out an Ultimate Edition figure to see if there’s a big improvement on that front. Still, Flair can hit all of his signature moves without too much of an issue including the Figure Four.
WWE RetroFest Ric Flair has:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- wrist hinge
Accessories: Flair comes with his trademark red robe. We’ve seen Jakks take its crack at the red robe, but Mattel’s version is really well done.
We’ve gotten a ton of the world heavyweight title so that wasn’t an essential accessory here.
I’d kinda like to see a little something else to add to the value like an alternate head sculpt — maybe featuring Flair’s shorter hairstyle from his WWF run or even his later 1995 era WCW look, but Mattel included everything essential.
Worth it? I got this figure from a massive GameStop clearance sale for $5. You can’t beat that at all unless you get it for free.
Rating: 9 out of 10
I’m never going to complain about getting alternate looks for The Nature Boy. The red attire is maybe his most signature/widely used color combination so this was a necessary look. A more unique head sculpt really would have put this figure to another level though.
Where to get it? This is a GameStop exclusive. I’m not sure how long this sale is running, but you absolutely should jump on this price for this figure now. You can also get the figure from Amazon.com.