If you’ve followed my contributions to Biff Bam Pop! the subject matter for today’s column should come as no surprise. What might surprise you is that The Figure God’s got the corporate synergy memo and gifted me with the remaining members of Dark Order from AEW Unmatched Series 3! So not only do you get Double or Nothing predictions this weekend, you also get AEW coverage in today’s Figure Friday brought to you by our friends over at Outrun Collectibles.
I’ve already sang the praises of the Mr. Brodie Lee and Negative One two pack, but this is the first Brodie figure I’ve received in hand. The head sculpt on Brodie is perfection. He always did a great job of telling a story with his eyes and this figure is no different, conveying a lot of emotion in a very static pose. It’s a little bittersweet knowing that there was so much more that Brodie could have accomplished if he had more time. The Big Rig comes packed with a stack of papers, some rolled up papers (both a nice touch for fans of Being The Elite) as well as the TNT Title he held which was later retired in his honor. Mr. Brodie Lee looks great on card. If you’re a MOC collector, this will be a beautiful tribute to someone who was taken from us far too soon. If you’re a loose collector, you’ll get a great looking big man for your AEW shelf and a retired championship belt. Not a bad way to start the wave.
The timing on the Stu Grayson figure is a bit unfortunate as he was unable to come to terms with AEW on a new contract, recently. I always enjoyed Stu’s work in AEW. Dark Order is a group that began with Evil Uno and Stu. It sputtered along without much direction until Mr. Brodie Lee debuted, catapulting them to the next level. Once Brodie passed, Dark Order became a sentimental favorite. While other members of the group found their place in the company, Stu Grayson unfortunately got lost in the mix. I’m glad that he was able to be with the company long enough to see himself captured in figure form. Stu gets an extra head packed in, providing you with an open mouth or a smiling/gritted teeth option. He also gets some extra hands, including the Dark Order salute, which will make Stu a must own if you’re trying to keep the band together in your figure collection.
Success in the wrestling world is often tied to tv time which is always at a premium. Dusty Rhodes is famous for telling people to “Go out there and get over”. That’s tough to do when you’re not on TV. Many of the talent on the AEW roster have recognized that challenge and adjusted their approach. Evil Uno has quickly become one of my favorite performers in AEW. Not simply because of his excellent work in the ring, but also from the work that he’s been doing on Twitch streams and the AEW Games YouTube channel. Uno comes across as “one of us”. A normal dude who likes a lot of the same things that we do: figures, videogames and wrestling. Uno has found a way contribute to the company in areas that go beyond the ring, making himself more valuable in the process. In terms of the figure itself it’s a spot-on likeness. His ring gear looks great and he has a bulkier body size than many of the other AEW figures. I love buying figures of people that are just as excited to get their figures as I am. It’s a beautiful thing.
John Silver made the most out of his opportunity when it came knocking. Appearing as part of Being The Elite, he was able to amplify his personality and connect with fans with two simple words: Johnny Hungee. Before he realized it, crowds were chanting his name and he became significantly larger than his 5’ 5” frame. Pair that with a high energy move set and you get an enduring baby face that gets over whether he wins or loses. This figure does a great job of capturing that personality with his smiling head sculpt but also packs in a more somber face for Dark Order group shots. Additionally, he get the ring jacket that Brodie Lee gifted him (a nice touch if you know the story) and some extra hands. While he may not hold many titles in your Fig Fed, Johnny Hungee will start popping up in a lot of figure photography with that big personality of his.
Rounding out The Dark Order wave of Unmatched Series 3 is Anna Jay. Anna gets packaged with a smiling head and a Dark Order inspired “99” head. The 99 under her left eye identifies her as member 99 of The Dark Order (back when they still used that as a gimmick). Anna comes with some additional hands and is also one of the series’ two Chase figures (Mr. Brodie Lee is the other). Anna is a nice way to keep the one female figure per series rule alive and fits with the Dark Order theme. Personally, I would have liked to see Alex Reynolds or Preston “10” Vance included in the lineup, but if you need a Tag Partner for Tay Conti or a Mixed Tag Partner for Jungle Boy, she will fill the role nicely.
Overall, this is a high-quality lineup. By year’s end, we may be looking back at this as one of the best waves of figures of any figure line from top to bottom. Jazwares has done a nice job of giving us entire factions in the same series. Most recently we got Best Friends in Unrivaled 8 and Team Taz follows in Unrivaled 9. If we’re going to continue to take that approach give me The Jericho Appreciation Society and the Blackpool Combat Club as quickly as possible, please.
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