Io Shirai is the ruler of the women’s division of NXT right now and has been a dominant player over the last two years. Mattel has started making strides again with their WWE female figures so I’m at least going to pick up the latest versions of the stars from NXT. Let’s see if this figure is a genius or crash lands from the sky.
Packaging: Io still has the older packaging scheme with the more dominant red along with the white, black and grey accents. The package features a portrait and action shot on either side.
Io’s bio is fine although it probably would be more detailed if the figure was released after she defeated Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair to capture the NXT Women’s Title.
Likeness: I’ve got some problems with the execution of the figure, but the likeness is not one of them. The headsculpt is excellent and looks just like Io.
Mattel did skimp on the shimmery detailing on the front of her attire. It should resemble the same kind of material Io has on her gloves.
Scale: Io Shirai is 5’1” so she should be looking up at everyone from the 5’7” Rhea Ripley and Bianca Belair and the 5’10” Charlotte Flair.
She’s definitely shorter than Charlotte although Bianca isn’t as tall as she should be next to Io. I don’t think Io could really be much shorter in this scale so it’s more a thing of Bianca (and likely Rhea) needing to be taller.
Paint: Io’s paintwork isn’t quite at the level I expect from Mattel — a testament to their normal quality than a horrendous job on this figure.
The light green in the inner portion of the leg needed another application as it didn’t take well against the black base. My figure’s lining also isn’t great and Mattel didn’t bother trying to capture the sheer aspects of her outfit. Between Io and New Day members Big E and Xavier Woods, this wave had some intricate attires that probably maxed out the budget to get them all correct.
Io’s boots have a high degree of difficulty with the laces up the front showing her skin. They came out relatively sloppy, but it’s hard to see this being done better save hand painting each figure.
The work on her face is nearly perfect with amazing application of the makeup, something that hindered Mattel figures for years with their female figures. I had a little overspray on my figure that hopefully can be cleaned up.
Io has added some red highlights, which would have been nice to see on the figure, but again that was another hit to the budget so I get it.
Articulation: Io has a complex move set and needs to be able to pull out her submission moves. Thanks to the new double-jointed knees for female figures she has better movements than previous figures.
And oh man, Io sports the most useful articulation of any non-Ultimate Edition female figure yet.
I was really impressed with the ease of pulling off Io’s move set and not having the usual restrictions thanks to the single-jointed knees. While she doesn’t have double-jointed elbows, the range is good enough that it was an issue.
Io Shirai has:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- wrist hinge
- knees (double-jointed)
Accessories: Io Shirai isn’t packed with extras, but her main accessory is amazing in all the right ways. Mattel gave Io her jacket with the super oversized hood complete with the feathery, fur lining.
The jacket is really nice and you can tell this is where the bulk of the budget went.
That’s an interesting dilemma for Mattel as the ring gear looking nice is great, but I wonder if more of the effort should have gone to the figure.
Io also gets another set of hands — fists — for when she needs to really throw down. I appreciate the options and not be stuck with the open hands.
Worth it? I was able to get Io Shirai for $15. Given the lack of outfit details and sketchy paint apps, I appreciate not paying full price for her.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Unlike the Bianca Belair figures, there’s basic room for improvement with Io Shirai’s costume, but this is the most fluid female figure Mattel has cranked out in the regular Elite line and sets the new standard for fun playability.
Where to get it? I got Io from Amazon. I’ve seen her more than a few times at Target and Walmart.