NOTE: This review is being used with permission from the original source, and partner site, thefightnerd.com.
Every nerd has an extensive action figure collection, and this reviewer is no different. Fans of my site have seen photos of parts of the collection before, which includes all sorts of figures from Evil Dead, Street Fighter, Marvel Comics, Masters of the Universe, WWF, Ghostbusters, and so much more. Jakks Pacific has been helping to feed my addiction with their deluxe UFC action figures, which I have been collecting since their first wave a few years back.
Recently, I got a hold of two specific figures, Frankie Edgar from Wave 8 and Wanderlei Silva from Wave 9, and decided that since I have not done a review of the UFC toys in awhile, that I was past due. In my past reviews, I generally enjoyed the figures, but there were some problems. Here we are almost a year later since the last toy review, and I wondered if Jakks had fixed any of those issues I had or if they were content producing the same quality of figures I had seen previously. Should hardcore MMA fans lay down their cash for these toys, or are you better saving your money on hot wings and root beer floats?
Hit the jump to check out the rest of the review, along with more photos of both figures!
In my haste to take the photos you see here, I forgot to snap shots of the packaging of each figure. The previous packages were huge, clunky cases that were meant for collectors, and required a lot of effort to open. Now, the figures are packaged on a much simpler blister card, like a good ole’ GI Joe or any other figure that is meant to be opened and intended for kids. It seems there has been a shift in the market since I last reviewed the toys, since this change in packaging is meant to attract a younger audience, while simultaneously cutting production costs so that collectors do not get hurt in this economy. Thankfully, the new packages look great, and in my opinion better overall. They have a cleaner looking design and are more attractive. The back of the cards are the same as before, so no problems there.
Frankie represents his look from when he won the UFC Lightweight title, while Wanderlei is wearing the outfit he wore back in the Pride Middleweight Grand Prix. Each toy uses real scan technology to capture the likeness of their faces, and both figures look like the fighters they are meant to be, Frankie more than Wand. Part of this is probably due to Wanderlei’s plastic surgery, since his face was still like a neanderthal in his Pride FC days. However, the face still resembles who it is supposed to, it just does not match the time period that well.
A problem in the past was the recycling of body parts, and this is no exception. The bodies are the same cookie-cutter bodies we have seen in the past, although the figures have deeper chest/ shoulder joints for added flexibility. Another big issue fans had when these toys first began was the two-toned paint on the figure bodies, arms, and legs. This was due to a manufacturing method, which used hollow plastic for the body cavity, and solid plastic for the arms and legs. I am relieved to say this problem of two colors is gone now and every aspect of the figure matches up nicely.
Frankie comes with his UFC championship belt, while Wanderlei has his Pride Grand Prix title belt. The strap is made from a softer and more flexible plastic to simulate leather more closely, and fits both figures with ease. The detail on both belts is exceptional, especially the Pride belt. I am really looking forward to when Jakks Pacific does a Mark Coleman with his 2000 Grand Prix title belt, the detail and size of that would be amazing! The UFC figures do not come with accessories other than title belts, and in the case of GSP, his gi or headband (and only in some of the figures), but when they come with those items, they do not disappoint. The belts look great on just about any figure in their scale too, so it’s worth getting just to throw a UFC belt on a Wolverine or Superman figure too.
Here is a look at the UFC figures compared to the Round 5 figures, as well as a Mattel MOTUC He-Man figure to see how they all line up in terms of scale. Worth noting on both Wand and Edgar is the painting on their shorts. Edgar has board shorts with that rough texture, while Wand has his smooth vale tudo shorts. The paint on the vale tudo shorts is the same acrylic as what is on the figure, and I would personally prefer to see a glossier paint to help differentiate the shorts from his body, and to add an additional level of realism to the toys. Both are covered in sponsors, and I am proud to say that there is no more slop around them, nor is there weak screening like there was on previous figures shorts. In the past, sponsors on the board shorts especially were often faded or missing parts since the rougher texture made it harder to paint. That problem has been overcome here, and what little clothes they are wearing look great.
Overall, these figures are big improvements from when I last reviewed the figures, and are great for both collectors and kids. The flexibility of the figures is excellent for little UFC fans, and hardcore collectors will enjoy the new packaging and look of the toys. The price for the UFC figures vary from store to store, but the general range seems to be around $14-20 depending on how rare the figure is. Remember when toys used to be half that price back in the day? Man, I feel old. Aside from that, I like these new figures and if you are a fan of the UFC or Pride, these make a nice gift, a fun accessory for your desk at work, or an investment in your toy collection.