Wrestling and action figures have gone hand in hand since the early 80s with LJN and RemCo. When All Elite Wrestling arrived on the scene, one of the first questions that collectors asked was: “Who is making the figures?” That question was answered two years ago when Jazwares announced their partnership with the then upstart promotion. At the time, we didn’t know what to expect from the company as they weren’t widely known, but we trusted in the man tied to the AEW license Jeremy Padawer. Jeremy was known to many wrestling collectors as the man who championed the WWF/WWE Classic Superstars line for Jakks Pacific. With Jeremy at the helm, there was a lot of expectations to get a product line that was as good as Mattel’s WWE Elite line. AEW Unrivaled launched in late 2020 with distribution issues that couldn’t meet demand and skin tones that weren’t up to the company’s standards. Those issues have largely been addressed and Jazwares has continued to establish AEW in the toy aisles by adding a second line (Unmatched). Now that we’re over a year into the line, let’s take a look at my Top 5 AEW by Jazwares figures.
When he first debuted in AEW, it was a bit unclear as to what we could expect from Sting. At 62 years old, no one thought he would work a full-time schedule or wrestle a 60-minute Iron Man match. However, Sting has been a workhorse. They’ve put him in situations where he can shine, mostly in tag matches partnered with Darby Allin. The results have been nothing short of a career resurgence, with a number of moments that will be worthy additions to a career highlight video. We’ve seen Mattel’s version of this figure in the past, and it’s always interesting to see how different companies capture the same subject. Released as part of the Luminaries line in Unmatched Series 2, Sting features an updated face scan, good clean paint work, an entrance jacket and his baseball bat. In addition to the standard release, there’s also a 1/5000 Chase and a Walmart Exclusive. It’s great to have The Stinger in the AEW line, but it’s even better because of the NEW memories he’s creating each and every week.
5. Orange Cassidy
Orange Cassidy is an acquired taste for most traditional wrestling fans. His figures on the other hand, are pretty much universally loved. Rocking a Canadian Tuxedo and aviator’s, Orange Cassidy presented a unique challenge for Jazwares. One of Orange’s trademark moves is placing his hands in his pockets. Trust me, non-wrestling fans, it’s a lot more exciting than it sounds. To ensure that the figure could pull this off, Jazwares added a second layer to the pants with cuts where the pockets are placed. This allows you to place Orange’s hands firmly in his pockets much to the chagrin of the Jim Cornette Fan Club. It’s such a small detail, but it shows the level of commitment that Jazwares has brought to the license. Pack in a minimal effort thumbs up hand and Orange Cassidy is a shining example of what Jazwares is capable of.
Luchasaurus has one of the most toyetic looks on the AEW roster. Half man, half dinosaur (just go with it), Luchasaurus is covered in tattoos and wears a dinosaur facemask. When Jazwares had the opportunity to bring him to the line with Unrivaled Series 5, they knocked it out of the park. With excellent tattoo work and a spot-on head sculpt, Luchasaurus is a worthy addition to your AEW collection. They also offer Luchasaurus in alternate white ring gear as part of a two pack with his tag team partner Jungle Boy. The fact that you can put Jungle Boy on his shoulders to recreate their entrance is a bonus. Luchasaurus is also part of Jazwares Wrestling Buddies line, so if you’d prefer your wrestlers stuffed, Outrun Collectibles has your hookup.
3. Darby Allin
Darby Allin is one of The Pillars of AEW. He rides a skateboard, has a half-painted face and makes you sit up and take notice every time he sets foot in the ring. Darby’s offerings to this point have primarily been slight variations to his face paint. The best, in my opinion, is his Unmatched Series 1. Leafless black trees painted on a white background that continues onto his upper body. This is the same gear he wore when he captured the TNT Championship from Cody Rhodes. That’s “He Who Shall Not Be Named” if you’re an AEW Stan. Darby feels like he’s destined to be the Rey Mysterio Jr. of this line. He’ll have a ton of figures released and if you’re a fan of Darby’s they’ll all be must buy. Another strong offering currently up for preorder is the Coffin Drop Ringside Exclusive which comes with a body bag and coffin shaped packaging.
2. Brodie Lee and Negative One
Brodie Lee was just starting to get his flowers when he passed away at the end of 2020. The type of man that no one ever says a bad word about, Brodie left behind a wife, two sons and an entire fan base that wanted nothing more than to see what he would accomplish next. In the wake of his passing, Brodie’s family was embraced by AEW. Heartfelt tributes and the inclusion of Brodie’s oldest son, Negative One as an on-screen character were all part of the grieving process. AEW has gone so far as to honour Brodie by starting every Dynamite broadcast by saying: “It’s Wednesday. You know what that means.” A nod to Brodie’s Twitter account. AEW has done a great job of keeping Brodie’s memory alive and releasing his figures posthumously is just another example of this. While the announcement of an entire wave of Dark Order figures (the faction Brodie was the leader of) was welcome news, the recently released tribute two-pack featuring Brodie and Negative One was next level. Packaged in a beautiful purple window box, Father and Son stand side by side with the Dark Order logo as their backdrop. This is the perfect way to remember a man who took more pride in being a good father than any of his wrestling accomplishments.
1. Blood and Guts Dr. Britt Baker DMD
I’m a huge mark for Dr. Britt Baker DMD, though admittedly, her original AEW offering left something to be desired in terms of the likeness. The Blood and Guts offering is essentially the same figure; however, this version includes two additional heads which are much improved. Both heads do an excellent job capturing the bloody aftermath of her now famous Unsanctioned Match with Thunder Rosa. You also get the tee shirt that features her smiling bloody face. With Thunder Rosa being added to the line with Unrivaled Series 9, I’m hopeful we’ll get a matching Blood and Guts version to go with this one. The Blood and Guts offerings have all been pretty impressive thus far. There’s currently a Moxley and Omega set that has been getting some good buzz as well. These are exactly the type of product offerings that fans love. As long as they keep bringing innovation, attention to detail and fan service Jazwares will be a force to reckon with for years to come.
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