My main experience with Classy Freddie Blassie was his run as one of the diabolical managers of the early 1980s as the mouthpiece of guys like The Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff and Hercules Hernandez. I didn’t realize until years later he was one of the three main managers during the 70s alongside Capt. Lou Albano and The Grand Wizard and an infamous wrestler in his own right.
Regardless, I’m ecstatic to add The Fashion Plate to my collection as he was a key figure in the early 80s WWF.
Packaging: We’re on to the newer packaging with a little more red and a little less white. On the sides we’ve got two pictures of Blassie with the left side repeated for the back with the bio.
I like these summaries of the legends careers in the bio although the stat is missing his major accomplishment as a manager guiding Iron Sheik to the WWF title and leading Sheik and Volkoff to the tag team titles.
Likeness: Mattel is competing with a really good likeness from Jakks, but the True FX technique once again gives Mattel the edge. His hands have sculpted pinkie rings, which is a nice and accurate touch.
His hands have the pointing index finger for Blassie’s signature “I’ve smarter than you pencil neck geeks” pose. He’s got wide leg pants that manage to avoid looking too snug or baggy.
Scale: Blassie was 5’10” just a bit shorter than the 6’ Sheik and much shorter than the 6’4” Volkoff. Fortunately Mattel didn’t pull another Vince McMahon scaling issue and he’s shorter than his charges.
Paint: Mattel always seems to have trouble getting the platinum blonde color right, but I think with Blassie they managed a good hybrid of grey/platinum blonde.
The only other paint apps are the silver rings, which turned out just fine.
In a rarity for Mattel, there was a lot of slop on his legs with a lighter shade of red on the pants leg and shoes. This is definitely not the norm, but it was very disappointing.
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Articulation: Blassie just needs the articulation to lay in a few cheap shots with his cane or kick an unsuspecting wrestler when they’re down. His articulation is perfectly fine for what I need with a manager.
Classy Freddie Blassie has:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- wrist hinge
- knees (double-jointed)
Accessories: Blassie’s main “accessory” is his sparkly cloth jacket. I love the pattern and how it’s got the right amount of shiny elements to give it that blinged-out dazzle. Mattel got the collar just right as well. It’s hemmed in just the right manner and doesn’t look too baggy. Ideally Mattel could have done the same with his pants, but that likely wasn’t cost effective.
Additionally, he comes with his trusty cane to help his charges out. The cane fits snugly into his hand and has a nicely shaped handle. Finally, he comes with an alternate open right hand and pointing left hand.
Worth it? Blassie is the usual $20, but like most of the Collector’s Edition figures, he might be harder to track down so you may end up paying more. How much extra he’s worth is up to you, but I think he’s worth plucking down a few extra dollars.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Mattel didn’t have to do anything crazy with Blassie. It was just a matter of making good on expectations and being a significant upgrade over the Jakks version and they did so on both counts even with the splotchy paint issues.
Where to get it? Elite 77 isn’t in stores yet, but is trickling in to some online shops as some figures are already showing up on Amazon. I didn’t feel like the headache of trying to track down Graham at Wal-Mart and got him from Ringside Collectibles.