It’s probably hard for people who weren’t around to really appreciate Wendi Richter’s role in the Rock n Wrestling Era. In the mid 80s, Richter was arguably right behind Hulk Hogan in terms of mainstream popularity thanks to her partnership with Cyndi Lauper.
She was considered an iconic member of the 80s roster thanks to her role in the Hulk Hogan’s Rock n Wrestling cartoon series. But in a precursor to the Montreal Screwjob, Richter got screwed out of her Women’s title and was blackballed out of the WWF. It took decades for Richter to forgive the WWE and accept induction into the Hall of Fame.
That paved the way for Richter to get her overdue recognition with her first figure since the LJN era with her Elite Network Spotlight figure from Mattel. This is another character Jakks was never able to get the rights to sign making for another coup for the Mattel team. I’m excited about this one. Originally she was planned for a three-pack with Lita and Sasha Banks so I’m glad Mattel found a way to get this figure out to us. Let’s see if this figure matches my excitement.
Package: Mattel updated its Network Spotlight packaging. The basic red and black color scheme is intact, but the swooshes are a bit more dynamic. The same portrait is used throughout likely due to a lack of reference photos. I like the bio as it accurately phrases Richter’s role as a trailblazer as a featured player instead of a sideshow attraction.
Likeness: I’m pretty impressed with this likeness. Normally we see these kinds of amazingly realistic head sculpts with the modern stars, but this looks as good as if Mattel scanned a young Richter in 1984.
Her expression is solid with Richter’s signature smile.The hair is just as impressive with the right amount of bounce and good detailing.
Mattel used the right combination of parts to get Richter’s physique down as she was slender and leggy.
Scale: Richter wasn’t short at 5’8” putting her taller than most of her peers, which would include the 5’7” Sensational Sherri Martel. Of course there’s not a ton of opponents to match Wendi up against as I doubt there’s a Leilani Kai figure debuting at Toy Fair.
Paint: Mattel is getting better with the makeup applications for the female figures. Mine wasn’t perfect, but I appreciate the effort. I think her outfit should be a slightly lighter shade of blue although it’s such a minor discrepancy it’s not worth complaining about. The random scribbling seems consistent with reference pics.
Articulation: Wendi uses the older Elite female body, which is fine for her move set as it wasn’t exactly submission based.
Wendi Richter has:
- ball-jointed shoulders
Accessories: Wendi comes with her trademark sunglasses. They’re not as obnoxious as some pairs she would wear but it’s fine. She also has an alternate set of open hands and no sloppy hands!
Finally, she comes with the WWF women’s title. Richter’s belt had blue leather so the black strap here is a weird switch. The plating reflects the older era like we saw with the Alundra Blayze figure.
Worth it? This will largely depend on your affection level of Wendi. she’s a character that doesn’t have a lot of rivals made by Mattel with a Fabulous Moolah figure looking real doubtful, but is absolutely essential for a true Rock n Wrestling Collection. Maybe it’s not the best $20 value, but it’s not a rip off either.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
I love Mattel working in a Wendi Richter figure out for the masses in an easy to buy format via Target. It’s a great addition to the classic 80s roster.
Where to get it? The Network Spotlight line is exclusive to Target, but if you strike out you can grab her from Amazon eventually.