Turns out Mattel’s Ultimate Edition line proved to be pretty popular after all. It felt like a small miracle to get this Ultimate Edition John Cena since the line has basically become a web exclusive. Maybe the one-two selection of Ronda Rousey and Shinsuke Nakamura in the first two waves was a knockout blow for retail? Regardless, the Champ is Here for review. Let’s see if this is indeed the end-all, be-all version of Cena.
Packaging: The Ultimate Edition packaging definitely stands out as it’s noticeably larger than the regular Elite packaging, which ironically Mattel has been scaling down over the last few waves. It seems Mattel has settled into the white and red color scheme though the layering of the figure and accessories doesn’t really allow the red to help showcase everything inside particularly well.
The side package features a shot of Cena in this particular attire and the rear features another look at the attire and an action shot of the figure. I love the career retrospective on the bio although it’s somewhat weird to consider Cena the Flashback/Legend for this wave.
Likeness: The Ultimate Edition Cena has three headsculpts and ironically the default one is my least favorite. Not to say it’s terrible, but it sorta has a “John’s got a secret” more than a confident/amused face before he obliterates someone on a promo.
It’s not that “I’m back b@#%es” expression Cena had when he made his shocking return at the 2008 Royal Rumble.
Cena was/is(?) ripped so this torso choice makes a lot of sense. I’m interested in what other figures we’ll see in this line and if we’ll get some guys who are less athletic yet still worthy of the Ultimate Edition treatment.
Mattel has plenty of experience making Cena figures so I would have been more shocked if there was some issue with the sculpt setup. The jean shorts look good and the sneakers are as expected, look about as authentic as you could get in this scale. In a nice surprise, Cena’s armbands, which are typically just painted, are sculpted on the UE figure.
Scale: Cena is at 6’1 so he’s typically looking up at rivals like the 6’4” Triple H, the 6’5” Edge. His figure is scaled pretty accurately besides the larger head.
Paint: There’s not a ton of paintwork that I’d expect out of Mattel figures especially one with such a basic attire as Cena. It would be nice if Mattel did some measure of weathering to the jean sculpt so they looked more like jeans instead of blue shorts. They’ve never done that so this was not a shock.
I was surprised with the slop around the sneakers. Usually, Mattel is very good with the detail work on the paintjob and I’ll assume this one just slipped through the cracks. Mattel did go the extra mile with the paint work by painting his underwear top above his pants line.
Articulation: The Ultimate Edition articulation scheme is an improvement over the normal Elite line though it’s not as major a step up as I’d like.
Cena’s torso joint allows for better side to side movement and the double elbows helps for a guy with an STUF for a submission. But this base model is really missing a butterfly joint that would improve suplexes and forward facing moves.
Ultimate Edition John Cena has:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- elbows (double-jointed)
- wrist hinge
- knees (double-jointed)
Accessories: The big selling point with the UE line is the plethora of accessories. Mattel has started padding out the regular Elite’s accessories with the occasional extra head, but it’s rare to see one with two additional portraits.
UE Cena gets an intense sculpt that’s ideal for when he’s firing up or testing his strength by picking up someone like The Great Khalil or The Big Show over his shoulders for an FU. The other is a smiling headsculpt is a smiling version that is symbolic of Cena during this era for me. I like both extra heads although they both seem scaled a bit larger than the normal Elite head sculpts.
He’s also got the spread hands, ideal for the You Can’t See Me taunt. The other set of hands make for ideal saluting poses for Cena.
Cena figures always get the added bonus of getting cloth T-shirts. This is the black and orange Hustle Loyalty Respect shirt he debuted at the 2008 Rumble. The shirt is a good fit as usual and is made of good quality so it won’t start fraying by the second time you take it off.
Additionally he comes with the matching hat. You’ve gotta complete the look and it’s scaled just right. I always overlook these, but he also has his dog tags.
Finally, Cena has the spinning WWE title. This is Cena’s iconic title. Some of the detail on it isn’t great as the two WWs don’t have much distinction. I’ve been using a Jakks one and I think that might still be the case.
Worth it? Fortunately I didn’t have to pay more than the standard $30. Figures with swappable ring entrance gear i.e. jackets make this line a better bargain, but Mattel really did try and pack a ton of extras to justify the price tag. Maybe another shirt and hat combo would have helped?
Rating: 9 out of 10
Yep, this is the definitive Mattel Cena figure even with the larger heads. The cool part is if you’ve collected a variety of Cena figures, you can mix and match the hats and shirts. I imagine at some point Mattel will revisit this figure with khaki or camo shorts.
Where to get it? I still haven’t heard reports of people finding these guys in stores. The best bet is to stalk Amazon for when it gets back to the $30 price. Or you can get Cena and wave mate Becky Lynch in a set from Entertainment Earth.