Sunday, January 5, 2014

WWE Elite Collection Flashback - Series 25 Bruno Sammartino

Happy New Year again everyone. This post is an article of "firsts". What I mean is, this is the "first" post of the year 2014, in the "first" month of the year. Along with Bruno Sammartino being the "first" WWE Champion, as listed in his bio on the packaging. Also it is his"first" time in the line, also listed on the packaging . The figure does not disappoint as he is very well sculpted with nice attention to detail such as body hair. He has some hair on his chest, belly and forearms. It looks cooler in my opinion when you view him from a distance rather than up close, because up close it looks like what it actually is, ink markings and not hair. Bruno's right hand is open and his left hand is a closed fist, great for punching poses. Plus the figure comes in all brand new blue and white packaging, compared to the old red and white packaging. As for the insert of the new packaging, it is now grey and white.

There are some nice highlights mentioned in Bruno's bio. The three most notable ones in my opinion are (1) Setting the world record in 1959 for bench-pressing 565 lbs., (2) Becoming the first WWE Champion in 1963 becoming the longest reigned champion in eight years, and finally (3) Being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013. Of course the WWE was still the World Wrestling Federation when Bruno wrestled. Back to the action figure. He comes with two very neat accessories. A hall of fame podium and plaque.

As you can see in the pics above the podium itself is a little around four inches tall, however the tip of the mounted microphone adds to a height of around five inches. The podium is a neat item made of clear plastic which produces somewhat of a shine when shone in very bright light. The plaque is very well detailed for such a small item and looks like the real thing.
Back to the podium. Although this accessory came with Bruno, it looks like it may very well be suited for other figures in the line. Especially shorter figures. Bruno looks as if he is too tall to be displayed as if he is talking on the microphone. It would be wise to bend his ab crunch a little to get his face closer to the mike. Whereas shorter figures, especially shorter female figures, look as if their face is right at the microphone, as illustrated in the comparison below.
Now back to the figure again. Bruno is very well detailed with his painted on hair and is sculpted well with a super hero like physique. He looks like he could easily be customized into a super hero character in my opinion. I mean the broad shoulders seem like the perfect resting place for a cape. Right at his ankles you can even see his white socks. The face is very well done however I don't think it looks like the real life Bruno. The figure's hair appears to be darker than what we see of the real Bruno on the packaging. Also the real Bruno's hair appears to be just a tad bit higher off of his forehead than the action figure. However I am not complaining about this attention to detail, just making notation of it. Bruno is still a neat action figure with cool accessories.

                                                          FINAL    THOUGHTS
(1) ARTICULATION - My only complaint with Bruno's articulation is that his head is extremely difficult to pose in up and down positions. You will have to bend his ab crunch back to make him look upwards, and bend the ab crunch down to make him look down towards the ground. The rest of the articulation is perfect.
(2) STANDING  ABILITY - The figure stands very well with no balance issues.
(3) WHAT I LIKE BEST ABOUT THIS FIGURE ? The figure's upper body bulkiness makes him fun to pose into power fighting positions, such as body slams, hard punches, etc. A closed left fist great for punching poses.
(4) WHAT I LIKE LEAST ABOUT THIS FIGURE ? Can't think of any dislikes.
(5) WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE TO IMPROVE THE FIGURE ? Ease the somewhat restricted movement on his neck for better up and down head movement.
(6) GRADING  SCALE - On a scale of 1 to 10 I give this figure a 9.5. The minus is for the somewhat restricted up and down movement with the head. The accessories combined with the figure gives the overall package a perfect ten.
(7) FINAL  ANALYSIS - Although the real reason I purchased this figure is because of the accessories, especially the podium, I really think the action figure itself is really cool for the reasons I listed above. Old school WWE fans may want to add this guy to their collection, because at the time of me writing this article / review there are not that many action figures of wrestlers from the 1950s or 1960s just yet. Only one thing puzzled me about this figure though. Since Bruno is the first WWE champion, where is his championship belt? That would've made a cool third accessory to go with the other two. Oh well, even though there's no belt Mattel still did a nice job with the figure itself and the accessories it comes with. I like the new blue and white packaging as well.

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