The GeeksverseREVIEW | WWE Elite Rob Van Dam (Mattel)

REVIEW | WWE Elite Rob Van Dam (Mattel)
Published on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 by
Check out our review of Mattel’s action figure take on popular pro wrestler, Ghost Rider fan, comics writer, and former comic book shop owner Rob Van Dam.
  • reviewwweeliterobvandam_003Figure name: Rob Van Dam
  • Line: WWE Elite (Series 27)
  • Manufacturer: Mattel
  • MSRP: $18.99
  • Manufacturer’s description: Capture the explosive drama and unforgettable action of the WWE with this Elite Collection figure! Featuring deluxe articulation, incredible life-like detail, signature ring attire, and realistic accessories, he’s flaunting total Superstar style and scale. Kids will love reliving the adrenaline-pumping action and super-cool battle moves with this highly detailed WWE Superstar! 

Robert Alex Szatkowski has gone by many ring names throughout the course of his Hall of Fame-worthy pro wrestling career, although they all incorporate the “Rob” moniker: Robbie V, Rob Szatkowski, Rob Zakowski, and his most popular alias, Rob Van Dam, which references the Battle Creek, MI-born grappler’s uncanny resemblance to a certain Belgian actor.

RobAndJean_SeparatedAtBirth

A long-time crowd favorite for his in-ring acrobatics and kayfabe persona, Szatkowski’s Rob Van Dam ring name even has its own nicknames: “RVD,” “Mr. Monday Night” and “the Whole F’n Show.”

RVDs-Twisted-PerceptionSzatkowski has also earned some pop culture traction for his advocacy for the legalization of marijuana for adult recreational use (check out this High Times profile from 1999), so there’s that.

He is also a huge comic book fan—so much so that Marvel.com actually ran an interview with him last year, where he listed Ghost Rider and Deadpool among his all-time favorite characters (the interviewer missed a golden opportunity to make a Johnny “Blaze” joke) and at one point, he even owned and operated his own comic book shop, RVD’s 5 Star Comics & Wrestling, which has since closed. Szatkowski, writing as Rob Van Dam, has also authored an original comic book, RVD’s Twisted Perception, for small press publisher Hound Comics.

Below, we check out RVD’s debut as a Mattel action figure in the WWE Elite line.

Packaging

RVD is packaged in the new standard blue Elite windowed packaging with great artwork on the left of the window. On the back, it has the cross sell for the rest of the series, and a full-body portrait of the wrestler along with the following blurb about Rob Van Dam:

After a six-year hiatus, Rob Van Dam re-emerged as Money in the Bank 2013 to a hero’s welcome in Philadelphia, the city where he first made a name for himself in the original ECW.

Van Dam was quickly reminded how tough a WWE match could be when he was attacked by five opponents and tossed out of the ring. When Sheamus was sent crashing by CM Punk, RVD seized the opportunity to show his opponents and the WWE Universe that he still had it. He tossed Christian across the ring with a monkey flip, and then he nailed Daniel Bryan with Rolling Thunder. He was even able to execute his signature Five-Star Frog Splash from atop a massive ladder.

Though he didn’t secure the vaunted briefcase perched above the ring that night, the crowd was thrilled that Rob Van Dam was back!

Design and Articulation

Mattel, more often then not, does a great job with scanned likenesses for its head sculpts and the WWE Elite Rob Van Dam is no exception. They did a tremendous job capturing his appearance.

In terms of articulation wise, the figure has the standard WWE Elite articulation, which allows for some fantastic poses. The figure features the following points of articulation:

  • Neck: Ball joint
  • Arms: Ball joint shoulders, swivel biceps, single pin-hinged elbows, swivel/hinged wrists.
  • Chest: “Ab crunch”
  • Legs: Ball joint hips, upper thigh swivel, single pin-hinged knees (covered by knee pads), calf swivel, and rocker ankles.
Paint

The detail on the outfit (which is based on the dragon-motif attire he wore on his return to the WWE from a six-year hiatus) looks really good. I appreciate the attention to detail on the singlet, as well as touches like the “RVD” on the figure’s boots. There were some paint flakes elsewhere on the figure, but they were able to be easily removed. Overall, the paint apps are applied well, even on the face, which is an area that is often problematic for toys based on real-world figures.

Accessories

WWE Elite Rob Van Dam comes with a steel folding chair, which is appropriate if you’re familiar with the details of some of RVD’s most well-known matches. If there’s one thing that I wish the figure came with, it would be swappable “thumbs-up” hands, to enable the figure to take RVD’s popular “pointing at myself with my thumbs” pose.

 

Final Thoughts

WWE fans and WWE action figure collectors will want to add RVD to their collections but as good as the figure is, non-wrestling fans will probably not find a lot to entice them here.

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