American Alpha was one of the more frustrating NXT call-ups. This was a team that realistically could have been this era’s version of The Steiner Brothers or at least be part of an amazing tag team roster with The Revival, The Usos, War Machine, Authors of Pain and the Undisputed Era.
Instead, they were quickly split up on the main roster and wasted. Jason Jordan’s neck might end his career just as it was getting good while Chad Gable is getting mocked for his height. Sigh.
Thankfully with Elite 59, I can revisit one of my favorite modern tag teams.
Packaging: I like the stats layout along the side of the back, but thought it was lame that both guys had the same bio write-up. I do like how the photo positioning makes it so you can have them facing each other. I remain a fan of the white and black accent color scheme and the big portraits on the side.
Likeness: Mattel didn’t have much trouble with Jordan’s head sculpt and keep in mind this was before the True FX face printing became the norm. I love the cheery, wholesome babyface expression. Gable has a more focused expression and actually doesn’t look like ROH’s Dalton Castle.
Both guys have their singlets sculpted.
Scale: As Baron Corbin has continually pointed out lately, Gable is shorter than most main roster guys at 5’8”. Jordan is much taller at 6’3”. Gable is built nice and compact while Jordan is lankier with a ripped torso.
The problem is Gable is still a bit too tall. He’s shorter than both members of The Revival and he’s got at least three inches on them. Scale wise it looks like Gable is proportioned properly, but his head is sized up too big. That’s one of those things Mattel shouldn’t still have as an issue at this point in their run with the line.
Paint: This attire is a paint splattered Americana theme. I don’t love the gold, but that’s personal preference not an issue with the paintjob. This is one of the more elaborate paint schemes and Mattel did an outstanding job with it right down to the tiny stars in the singlets. Gable’s boots also came out nicely while Jordan’s plain red boots are fine if not looking a tad too bright.
And if that were it, I’d give these guys pretty much a 10 off the paint job alone. But inexplicably, both guys have mismatched skin tones with their torsos. This isn’t one of those light calling more attention to it, but an issue of there being an obvious difference.
It’s a shame as it really messes up the look of both Gable and Jordan. It looks like their torsos were cast in this gold plastic and Mattel couldn’t figure out a way to paint over it better. It really looks bad.
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Articulation: Gable definitely would benefit from the Ultimate Edition articulation for his submission moves, but otherwise the Elite articulation allows both to hit most of their signature moves.
Jordan comes so close to being able to lock his hands together for suplexes, but it’s just a bit too wide a gap. These guys would have been ideal candidates for the Ultimate Edition level articulation.
Jason Jordan and Chad Gable have:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- knees (double-jointed)
Accessories: Jordan comes with the Smackdown tag team title. I like the silver plating with the blue straps. Gable also comes with a Smackdown title, but also gets his headband. I’m probably going to superglue it in place to avoid that pesky five-head.
Both also come with the cool art piece that looks neat, but doesn’t serve a huge purpose.
Worth it? I got both of these guys for $30. That’s a great price for Elite figures especially back in this series where they didn’t have alternate heads and hands.
Rating: 6 out of 10
This attire is better than the first crack at them, both the botched skin tones and Gable’s height hold me back from saluting Mattel’s effort with their final crack at American Alpha.
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