The characters in the WWE are able to take their behaviors to an extreme level that you'd never get away with in normal society. For instance, as of a few months ago Cody Rhodes (son of WWE Hall of Famer "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes) would come to the ring and force people he deemed too hideous to don paper bags over their heads! We tried this and, believe it or not, people are not nearly as cool about it as they are on RAW. A couple of gut-punches later and we limped away, giving up on trying to live like a Superstar forever-- except for only sporting underwear and boots, cause we've grown to love that part! Although Cody Rhodes has since moved on from his masked gimmick in favor of kicking people in the face and verbally abusing the Big Show, his latest action figure harkens back to last year when clear protective masks were all the rage. Join us as we review this grandson-of-a-plumber from Series 13 of Mattel's WWE Elite Collection!
Let's start things off with the (somewhat dated) bio and stats from the back of his package:
Height/Weight: 6'1" 223 lbs.
Titles: WWE Tag Team Champion; World Tag Team Champion
Signature Move: Cross Rhodes
With "dashing" good looks and natural abilities, Cody Rhodes was born with a sense of entitlement only matched by his former "Legacy" stablemates, Ted DiBiase and Randy Orton. After winning several tag team championships and being voted "Most Handsome Superstar" in a Divas poll, Rhodes embarked on a solo career that swelled his head to epic proportions. That is, until he suffered a facial injury at the hands of Rey Mysterio, forcing him to hide his wounded face and bitter ego behind a protective mask.
The sculpt for Cody Rhodes is nothing totally new, but prominently features the usual spot-on laser scanned head, coupled with a highly-articulated body made up of previously used parts. Like Masters of the Universe Classics and DC Universe Classics, Mattel is able to pull from a few basic buck bodies and simply change the leg length, boots, etc., to fit the specific
wrestler Superstar. Cody shares the same body as his previous Elite series release, with the new head and mask first seen in the recent two-pack he was in with Rey Mysterio. As odd is it may seem, these Elite series figures have some of the all around best bodies that Mattel produces and Cody has the right build to match up with his real-life counterpart. We still wish that there were some sculptural detailing on the wrist wraps instead of it being deco-only, even if that would limit the later re-use of the pieces.
Paint on this figure is minimal, but very clean. Most of the figure has been molded in the appropriate skin color (although Cody seems to be sporting a darker spray tan these days), with the rest molded in black for the trunks, kneepads, and boots. His eyes, eyebrows, and hair have all been applied cleanly and he'd definitely looking straight ahead. As we stated earlier, his wrist wraps have been painted white, but without any sculptural cues whatsoever. Luckily, there is no fuzzing around the line edges which would cause it to look worse than it already does. Hey, the figure is pretty great, so we gotta harp on somethin' alright?! Cody also has a small band of maroon around the waistband of his trunks with a "CR" inital logo tampographed over his hip. The maroon areas that were painted before the black outlines is a little blocky, and we're figuring this was probably another cost cutting measure that we'd rather was done differently.
The articulation is where these Elite figures stand out and help justify the high-ass price all the stores charge for them. Cody has the same articulation as we've seen in our previous Stone Cold and Undertaker reviews with a ball-joint head, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps. hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, hinged torso, swivel waist, ball-joint hips, swivel thighs, dual-hinged knees, swivel boot tops, and swivel/hinge "rocker" ankles. Unlike some other toy lines we shall not mention, Cody's ball-joint neck works perfectly-- along with all of his other joints. the dual-hinged knees are somewhat hindered by the rubber kneepads, but he can still be posed in a variety of ways. As you can see in the above photo, we could easily having him dishing out the Disaster Kick to Randy Orton-- with the help of a S.H. Figuarts figure stand, that is.
Accessories are what cause this figure to sway us into picking him up in the toy aisle. he not only has a very well constructed translucent mask, but also a soft goods hooded jacket, and possibly the single greatest action figure accessory in recent memory: a "paper bag" mask! The mask is fully sculpted and made of a pliable plastic with enough room inside to fit on any number of action figure's heads. Don't be surprised to see it used often in upcoming reviews. You've been warned! The protective mask, on the other hand, has been molded in translucent plastic with paint added to the five straps running across the back and only really fits Cody's head. Not only that, but it's a very snug fit. There's no worry that when you're splayed out in the floor, bashing your toys together, that this thing will fall off. Trust us, we're toy playing professionals! Last, but not least, is the hooded jacket. Actually, it is least since the thin material is still too stiff and the hood doesn't sit on his head or lay down on his back properly. It's like he picked up a crappy windbreaker at the Dollar Store on his way to the arena-- but not any pants, cause who needs pants?!
Every time we review one of these Elite series figures, we're reminded about just how well Mattel's WWE design team has a handle on things. Granted, it takes forever to catch up the figures every time someone cuts their hair; but, the overall presentation, character roster, and solid figures make these worth a look even if you have no interest in the squared circle. For more on the WWE line, including the online-only exclusives, be sure to check out the Matty Collector website! As for Cody Rhodes, this past week he recaptured the Intercontinental Title and can be seen Monday nights on the USA Network during WWE RAW, where he'll be kicking people in the mouth-- or getting thrown through a table. Either way, it's entertaining!
As a bonus, here's a shot of Cody Rhodes and his polka-dotted Daddy, Dusty Rhodes!
Stay tuned to MTV Geek! for all your Mattel and mask-sportin' action figure coverage!