As a Booker T fan, his initial stint in the WWE was frustrating to say the least. The former WCW World Heavyweight Champion was the face of the ill-fated WCW Invasion, which continually was made to look like losers to Vince McMahon’s ego. Eventually he started having some mild success in a tag team with Golddust before losing to Triple H in the worst build and payoff in Wrestlemania history.
Still, short locks Booker T is one of the signature looks of his career and Mattel eventually got around to it with the Wrestlemania Elite Build-A-Referee wave. Let’s see if I dig this figure.
Packaging: One of the best parts of Mattel’s run is their willingness to base packaging around a theme. This Wrestlemania is coming from Tampa and there’s a bit of a pirate theme here with the yellow and greens positioned like waves.
There’s a prominent Build-A-Ref label on the front and a nice portrait of Booker repeated on the side and back.
The bio is good, breaking down his career highlights and the match inspiration for this attire.
Likeness: I don’t think Mattel has released a bad Booker T figure so far. He clearly must have one of those easier likenesses for them to nail. Booker has an idealized defined torso and as usual for the non-super gym rats, the British Bulldog torso would be more appropriate. Otherwise the part choice is fine.
I like the headsculpt as it matches the portrait, a practice Mattel rarely does and has the side effect of making the figure’s likeness look off. Booker has smaller elbowpads, which help with movement. He has the leg sleeves and although appropriate really hinder knee articulation.
Booker should have the Batista boots as his literally had the straps like that mold. When people complain about Mattel’s part selection this is a prime example of not using available options despite having them in the library.
It would be one thing to be annoyed Mattel doesn’t make one-off molds for guys that won’t be able to use with anyone else, but when they’re already made it seems like someone is missing obvious attempts to be as accurate as possible.
Scale: Booker T is 6’3” putting him just a little shorter than the 6’5” The Rock and the 6’4” Triple H. He’s taller than the 6’2” Steve Austin. He’s close enough in scale to work though the newer Rock might be sized up slightly to be accurate.
Paint: I always liked Booker rocking the purple and white attire. The white pops and Mattel did a nice job on Booker’s flame logo and the Booker along his boots. As usual, it’s far more of a shock if Mattel’s WWE paint work is bad.
Articulation: Consider me spoiled by the Ultimate Edition articulation set-up and the upcoming All Elite Wrestling Unrivaled line doesn’t look like it’s going to do Mattel’s standard Elites any favors either.
Booker can hit his signature moves from the Spinaroonie to his various side kicks and Book End. Booker wasn’t a big submission guy so the limited range in the elbows doesn’t hurt him as much as some others.
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Booker T has:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- wrist hinge
- knees (double-jointed)
Accessories: Continuing a welcome trend from last year, Booker has two alternate hand sculpts — the matching wide open left hand and clutching right hand as well as a set of raised index fingers. We’re getting a nice part library of alternate hands now.
Additionally, Booker comes with the arms and legs of the Build-A-Referee Danny Davis.
Worth it? I got Booker for $20. Previously, stores charged a higher price for BAF offerings so this is a great value.
Rating: 9 out of 10
A few part choice selections hold Booker back from top scores, but the various hand options and the ease to build Danny Davis balance things out.
Where to get it? I got Booker T from Amazon although I’ve read reports that the wave is showing up at retail now.