PART 5: I Need Ruthless Aggression
In 2001, Jakks came upon a technology that would forever change the landscape of wrestling figures – Real Scan.
They were able to computerize a wrestler’s actual body and turn their characteristics, attributes, and proportions into a figure by scanning the real life superstar. Wowzers. Jakks’ first attempt after their discovery came in the form of R3 Tech Series 1.
Knowing that body scanning was used in the processing of the figures made you want to think these figures were better. They were, compared to the TTL line, but they weren’t what was being advertised. The faces still resembled those from the Titan Tron’s with a little improvement here and there, but they were still in the same style, the only difference was that there was no chip on the foot!
[adinserter block=”1″]The R3 style brought about such series as Draft (when Raw and Smackdown first broke apart from another), NWO, and Wrestlemania X8. A funny thing happened in R3’s run. The WWF became WWE and when its Unchained Fury line first came on store shelves they were in red cards with the WWF logo on them, then WWF switched to WWE, soon the shelves were filled with yellow carded WWE Unchained Fury figures. It’s pretty sad if someone bought both versions of each figure. Not naming names.
Then Vince McMahon came out on WWE TV and demanded of all his superstars that they display Ruthless Aggression. Jakks took that to heart and upped their game. They immensely improved their look and created the Ruthless Aggression style of figure. The figures looked more like the real life person and it was less, if you may, awkward looking than the R3 style. Ruthless Aggression Series 1 included John Cena, Eric Bischoff, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Chavo Guerrero, and Brock Lesnar. New stars for the new era of wrestling figures.
Since that day, Jakks has hit the mark on everything it delivered. It soon came out with a tag team set known as Adrenaline, using the same RA style. Then in 2004, Jakks hit a homerun with its Classic Superstars series which looked to be made for collectors more so than children. With those three lineups leading the way, Jakks was on a roll.
But all good things must come to an end.
Part 6: Goodbye Jakks, Hello Mattel
With Ruthless Aggression, Classics, and Adrenalines leading the way for much of the 00 decade, Jakks was on a roll.
Then a falling out occurred between Jakks and WWE. I’m sure you can Google it. It involved some swindling and such, but whatever the case, the wrestling figure license was not renewed with Jakks and WWE decided to go with Mattel. Jakks, meanwhile, will start making TNA figures.
So on January 1, 2010, another new day dawns in the wrestling figure world.
Mattel has an assortment of different series for its inauguration including Basic, Elite, Superstars Match Ups, Pay Per View, 2-Pack, Entrance Greats, Flex Force, and Flex Force with Accessories. What was that now? The same series only with accessories? I feel STOMP syndrome is about to hit us.
[adinserter block=”2″]What Mattel needs to do is they need to focus on only a few series, not 54. They need to focus on a few and make them right. At first look, the styles seemed more like He-Man figures than WWE figures, but the more I look at them, the more they are growing on me, but not all 8 series (last I counted). 8 is a bit much. But they are just coming out, so let’s give them a chance.
After all, it took Jakks 6 years to become the best figure developer in history.
We’ll give Mattel until 2016 to take that title.
I mean, what’s the worst they can do? Make a Rick Rude figure with his hands attached to his pants?
That’s already been done.
– Brock Koller
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