SH Figuarts WWE Figures
In 2016, SH Figuarts (a Japanese toy line that is a division of Bandai) announced it would produce an exclusive line of WWE figures. While they ultimately produced only five in the entire line.... these figures were memorable, not only because of their insane amount of articulation, but also book of the interchangeable heads, hands and other goodies each one included.
Thanks to the magic of eBay, I've recently acquired all five. Let's do a deeper dive.
Arguably the best one in the entire line is Stone Cold Steve Austin. Not only does The Texas Rattlesnake come complete with a removable "Austin 3:16" vest and his trademark knee braces, but he also has three heads -- one that looks indifferent (see pictured), one that looks pissed off, and one where he has kind of a crazed smile on his face.
On top of that, his hands are molded so that he can either flip the bird to society or hold beer cans (with removable foam) for an emergency beer bash.
Finally..... The Rock has come back to SH Figuarts, although in fairness it was really like several years ago. And The Great One is patterned largely after his early 2000s look, e.g. no tribal tattoos, bald dome or being jacked to the gills to play a leading man in Hollywood.
The People's Champion has three heads, including the pictured one with shades, and a removable microphone so he can announce to the millions (and millions!) of fans that you can smell what The Rock is cooking. Only quibble (and it's a minor one) is that he looks slightly less muscular than he did in this era.
Just standing still, Kane is intimidating is hell, daring any figure to cross The Big Red Machine.
Decked in his mid-2000s "insane asylum" ring gear, Kane has one head with his mask and hair, and two others showing off his bald head and bug eyes from the period where he thought he had been hideously disfigured from the fire. To that point, the figure even comes with a molded towel to cover his dome.
The Undertaker is a damn work of art, and something that any serious collector of Dead Man memorabilia will probably want in their collection.
Not only does The Phenom come with three very intimidating head sculpts (including the pictured one where his tongue is out and eyes rolled back in his head), but he also a removable tuft of long hair, just in case you want to give Taker a shorter-do circa 2001 or so. Plus there's the fingerless gloves and the trademark Undertaker hat, topping everything off.
Out of the entire collection, Triple H is the only SH Figuarts figure that kind of falls into the "meh" category.
Not that the figure isn't faithful to The Game during his heydey (including black trunks with logo, long kneepads and a wrist-taped fist), but his 3D-printed face doesn't quite fit underneath his hair, giving him a bit of a weird look. Still, The Cerebral Assassin comes complete with his trademark sledgehammer and water bottle.
So are these figures superior to their Mattel counterparts? Yes and no (but more no than yes). For one thing, they're slightly smaller than the Mattel line, standing in at about 6 inches per figure. And the novelty of removeable hands and heads is no longer, now that Mattel's figures are adding the same thing to the line.
Yes, these guys are more articulate (and I spent a crapton of time posing them just so on my bookshelf), but there are only five figures in the line, which is kind of limiting.
I'm not complaining, though - these figures are a great addition for any serious collector.