WWE Retro figures are the spiritual successor to the WWF Hasbro figures of the 1990s. Small, chunky and packed with "action moves," Mattel introduced the line in 2018, creating a nostalgia fix for long-time collectors, while also creating something fun for newer figure collectors.
A menu of reviews for each series in the collection can be found at the bottom of this page. For now, let's take a closer look at what Mattel is calling the Retro 4-Pack Wave Two.
For those unaware... at the end of 2019, the Retro figures by Mattel ceased production and many collectors were clamoring for their return. In January 2022, they were brought back via mail order on the Mattel Creations website (and to be purchased as an entire set), as opposed to earlier waves that were available via retail stores. In August, the second wave was made available with very similar packaging and parameters.
The first figure in this four-pack is two-time WWE Hall of Famer Bret "Hit Man" Hart. Unlike his previous Hasbro iterations, this version is from his tag team days as a member of The Hart Foundation. The Hitman looks a bit younger here, doesn't yet have his trademark wraparound sunglasses, but it is outfitted in the classic pink and black. One minor nit here: the width of his singlet seems to be too much for Hart, really in any era of his career. But beyond that... Hasbro/Retro fans have been waiting for a long time for a new Bret figure, and this one delivers.
And of course, you can't have Hart Foundation Bret Hart without his tag team partner and fellow WWE Hall of Fame inductee, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart. The Anvil was ripped off back in the Hasbro days, as his only figure was in the New Foundation/taxicab/Zubaz rip off days. Unlike that one, this is a great Neidhart, complete with flat-top haircut, pointy goatee and cartoonish laugh on his face. In addition, The Anvil has the correct width for his singlet. Overall, this one is my favorite Wave Two figure.
On the Hart Foundation theme, this series also has their longtime manager (and WWE Hall of Famer) Jimmy Hart. Given Hart was around in the Hasbro era, it's a shame he was never given his own figure (nor were any managers or announcers, to be fair). So whether he's in the corner of Hart and Neidhart, The Mountie, The Honky Tonk Man, Money Inc., The Nasty Boys, Greg Valentine or any other members of his stable... this is a great addition. On top of that, The Mouth Of The South comes with a removeable megaphone, perfect to wallop opponents with. The only knock on this fig is that he's roughly the same size as the men he manages, so we have to deduct a point or two for proportionality.
Last and, well, probably least, is Nikolai Volkoff. No offense to the WWE Hall of Famer and singer of "Cara Mia," but he's not exactly on theme for this Hart Foundation-themed set (could they not have given us Dangerous Danny Davis instead?). Oh well, Nikolai is at least 80s themed to go along with his other box-mates; it's not like they added, I dunno, Matt Riddle or something.
Nikolai is rather basic with red boots and trunks (with a blue line on each side) and his Russian hat is permanently affixed to his head; a nod to the Hasbro days of Skinner and The Undertaker, where you could never see their hair. The best part part of this figure is his "action move." Similar to Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura and a handful of other Retros, you can pull back Volkoff's leg to deliver a big boot. While that particular action makes him tough to pose on a shelf... I love that Mattel called the move a "Kikolai from Nikolai."
Well played, Mattel; well played. This whole set is pretty awesome and it's hard to complain. We want more Retros!