WWE: BASICS FLASHBACK SERIES – AFJ REVIEW

AFJ is thrilled to celebrate Royal Rumble 2018 Sunday with a review of the WWE: Basic Flashback Series. Our good friend Mar Wasserman returns to lay the smackdown on the latest from Mattel. #AFJ4LIFE

By Marc Wasserman

To me, 80’s WWF Wrestling was synonymous with TV excellence. I remember sitting around the TV every Saturday night and watch Saturdays Night Main Event with my family. The storylines that were developed from that series was amazing, considering where I grew up the only other shows to view for your favorite wrestlers was Tuesday Night Titans (TNT), Prime Time Wrestling, and Wrestling Challenge. Amongst those shows though were some of the greatest sports entertainment performers. WWE and Mattel Basics released the newest Flashback series with some of those from the Golden Era. When I saw this line was being released I knew I had to get it for several reasons. I know I needed to add a Bob Orton to my collection as well as the green jacket DiBiase. However, the biggest seller for me from this series was the BAF Howard Finkel. With that being said, let me take a page out of his book and begin this review. “Ladies and Gentleman, the following review is scheduled for five figures and will have a five-paragraph limit.”

“INTRODUCING FIRST”

“Ravishing” Rick Rude:
WWE- BASICS FLASHBACK SERIES Rick Rude

Pros:
Hailing from Robbinsdale, MN weighing in at 251, “Ravishing” Rick Rude! Rick Rude was the ultimate heel during the mid/late 80s and throughout the 90s in WCW. He was chiseled out of granite as the late great Bobby Heenan would say. Rude could get a crowd against him simply by opening his mouth and uttering a few words. WWE and Mattel did a great job in capturing his likeness in this figure. He is wrestling attire is late 80s style, around the period when he was feuding with Jake Roberts. The facial detail is captured nicely down to his mustache, the joints are tight and easy to maneuver. His legs and feet have the same articulation as the previous basics.  The only thing left to add is; “What I'd like to have right now is for all you high-rollin' Action figure sweat hogs, keep the noise down while I take my robe off and give the ladies a good look at the sexiest man alive.”

Cons:
As mentioned, the figure still holds the same articulation as the previous models. I know the basics are not going to be on the same level as the Elites, however, I was trying to pose him in a flex position and I couldn’t get the look I wanted due to the lack of flexibility. The legs are also limited to spread apart as I feel this leaves the figure to be a little unsteady.

Packaging:
I really like the packaging as it has the retro 80s style look to it. It reminds me of packaging style of the old WWF LJN figures. My only complaint about the packaging is I would like a bio or some backstory to each figure, telling some about their feud or memorable event.

“SGT. SLAUGHTER”:
Sgt. Slaughter Mattel WWE Basic Flashback

Pros:
During the 80s SGT. Slaughter was the epitome of “good”, so much that HASBRO made a mail-away figure for G.I. Joe of him. He was looked at as being a “Real American”. This figure, however, doesn’t capture that side of Sarge. This is his early 90s heel version when he decided to join Gen. Adnan and Col. Mustafa and aligning himself with the Iraq heel faction. This was huge especially during this period was during Desert Storm. WWF and Mattel once again capture his likeness very well, the detail is covered down to his sunglasses. He even comes wearing keffiyeh headdress and camouflage ring attire. Based off this figure all I can say in my best Slaughter voice is “ATTTTTTTENTION!”.

Cons:
As mentioned, the figure still holds the same articulation as the previous models. I know the basics are not going to be on the same level as the Elites, however, I was trying to pose him in a flex position and I couldn’t get the look I wanted due to the lack of flexibility. The legs are also limited to spread apart as I feel this leaves the figure to be a little unsteady. I would have liked him to also come with a flag accessory. I know it would be a touchy situation for it to be an Iraqi flag, but that’s what he would carry to the ring.

Packaging:
I really like the packaging as it has the retro 80s style look to it. It reminds me of packaging style of the old WWF LJN figures. My only complaint about the packaging is I would like a bio or some backstory to each figure, telling some about their feud or memorable event.

“Cowboy” Bob Orton:
"Cowboy" Bob Orton Mattel WWE Basic Flashback Series

Pros:
During his time in the WWF, Bob Orton was more of a henchman than an actual accomplished singles wrestler. I remember him always rolling with “Rowdy Piper” and “Mr. Wonderful”. Although he made the super plex look even more devastating than what others have in current times, I never felt interested in his character. WWE and Mattel continue to bring good likeness to this figure, although his face does feel a little off. He does have his cowboy hat and the infamous “cast” on his forearm which would lead to endless interferences in “Hot Rods” matches. I wouldn’t mind reenacting a WM moment with him coming down on the back of “Mr. Wonderful” with the cast to the back of his neck.

Cons:
As mentioned, the figure still holds the same articulation as the previous models. I know the basics are not going to be on the same level as the Elites, however, I was trying to pose him in a flex position and I couldn’t get the look I wanted due to the lack of flexibility. The legs are also limited to spread apart as I feel this leaves the figure to be a little unsteady. I would have liked him to also come with his brown fringed cowboy vest.

Packaging:
I really like the packaging as it has the retro 80s style look to it. It reminds me of packaging style of the old WWF LJN figures. My only complaint about the packaging is I would like a bio or some backstory to each figure, telling some about their feud or memorable event.

“Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase:
Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase

Pros:
Growing up and watching Ted DiBiase, you knew two things were going to happen. One you were going to be entertained from his promos to his wrestling skills. The second thing was you were going to witness perhaps one of the most underrated wrestlers to never hold the WWF championship. That ladies and gentlemen is a tragedy. However, I remember the infamous WWF Championship “being bought” and Andre handing it over to Debiase. WWE and Mattel did something I have been waiting and wanting for a while. That being they made a figure with the green tuxedo. I always found this suit to be stunning and eye-catching and honestly what shouts money better than a green tuxedo. I smile at the thought of taking photos of this figure with the WWE Elite Virgil figure to recreate backstage interview segments, perhaps with WWE Elite Mene Gene conducting it. One thing I will forever remember is “EVERYONE HAS A PRICE, FOR THE MILLION DOLLAR MAN”.

Cons:
As mentioned, the figure still holds the same articulation as the previous models. I know the basics are not going to be on the same level as the Elites, however, I was trying to pose him in a flex position and I couldn’t get the look I wanted due to the lack of flexibility. The legs are also limited to spread apart as I feel this leaves the figure to be a little unsteady. I would have liked him to also come with a better designed Million Dollar Championship belt, I know they have released these in the Elite series, but I think the Basics deserve a good quality belt.

Packaging:
I really like the packaging as it has the retro 80s style look to it. It reminds me of packaging style of the old WWF LJN figures. My only complaint about the packaging is I would like a bio or some backstory to each figure, telling some about their feud or memorable event.

Build a Figure (BAF), Howard Finkel:
Howard Finkel

Pros:
When I think of ring announcers, three names come to mind. The Buffer brothers (Bruce & Michael) and Howard “The Fink” Finkel, especially during the 80s. There wasn’t a voice that put you in main event mode more than him. WWE and Mattel again did a good job in capturing his likeness on this figure, however, I think I would have preferred an older version of the Fink. However, I feel this was a huge missing piece from my collection. I feel he will look great standing in the middle of my WM 2 scale ring.

Cons:
As mentioned, the figure still holds the same articulation as the previous models. I know the basics are not going to be on the same level as the Elites, however, I was trying to pose him in a flex position and I couldn’t get the look I wanted due to the lack of flexibility. The legs are also limited to spread apart as I feel this leaves the figure to be a little unsteady. I had some issues getting his BAF pieces to connect and stay in place, his head probably came off 4-5 times and then his arm would become detached. It did become a little frustrating. I would also have liked him to come with tuxedo match attire. That would be a throwback to his match with Harvey Wippleman.

Overall:
I am pleased with this line of figures, for $12.99 at Walmart you honestly can’t go wrong purchasing these, however, I was hoping it would be more around $10. These will definitely give you some great setups and photos if you’re into action figure photography.


WWE: BASICS FLASHBACK SERIES - AFJ REVIEW SCORE
wwe
Articulation:  ***

Paint:   ****

Detail:  ***

Packaging: **** ½

Price: ***

Collector Value: ****

OVERALL SCORE

3 ½ out of 5

Check out Marc Wasserman's reviews HERE on AFJ. Follow Marc on Twitter to further your adventure into a new dimension of being. #AFJ4LIFE

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