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Maximum Aggression Triple H

   

"The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

Tonight's guest review is from Mike Tansey, a wrestling fan.  Tell us all about Triple H, Mike!

I love wrestling. But itís come a long way since the days of Hulk Hogan. And so have the toys. As much as I loved the old rubber LJN statues when I was a kid, They were hardly action figures. Things got better or worse until WWE debuted itís deluxe aggression line, which featured Real-scan head sculpts and much more articulation than any of the lines that preceded it. It was the answer the fans who like playable figures with really good sculpts. 
Iím spoiled though. Iíve always longed for larger scale wrestling figures to add to my collection, and finally, in 2008, my prayers were answered with the Maximum aggression line. The first series feature Bobby Lashley, Rey mysterio, C.M. Punk and the man reviewed here, Triple H.
Triple H, a.k.a. Hunter hearst helmsley, a.k.a. Paul levesque, started his career as a yuppie just prior to the ďAttitudeĒ era explosion of wrestling in the late nineties. He changed his name to initials, dropped the yuppie gimmick and joined Degeneration X with real-life friend Shawn Michaels, and he got to show the world some of his real self. And that was his jumping off point. When DX ran itís course, he turned Heel, or bad guy, and captured the WWF championship. Ever since then, he has stayed at the top, and established himself as a legend in the squared-circle, capturing 12 World championships in the process.








Packaging: ***
I like this box. Itís sturdy, so it might take a considerable effort to wreck it or the window. The box this guy comes in is W-I-D-E. But it shows him off nicely, with only his feet covered by the front. The art stuck me as very lively, with a good picture of the Man this toy was based off of on one side, and his toy likeness on the other. The front describes everything about the figure, and the back shows the rest of the figures in the line. And itís good for MIB folks, because the tray slides right out, with neither the interior graphics nor the tray itself interfering with his removal or replacement. Itís big, Itís not ugly and it shows off the goods.

Sculpt: ***
I was originally expecting a 2-up version of the standard Deluxe aggression figures, but Iíve found there are quite a few differences, and they have improved on their original formula in a few subtle ways.

Letís start with the head sculpt. They have used real-scan as they always do with the superstars, and as usually the case with real-scan, there are some nits to pick. The hair, the likeness and even the stubble is spot-on. The hair hangs as naturally as molded rubber can, and it looks fine. But that face, oh that face. It looks like Triple H, thatís for sure. But he has a weird, growling/squinting combo going on, that makes him look a little bit constipated. Or at least like he is in some pain. The expression looks somehat odd no matter how you pose him. Itís not bad enough to make me pose him looking away from me, but it does bug me from time to time. Iím not entirely sure what look this is intended to be.

The body is a new sculpt, and it looks really good. Heís bulky all around, and the new sculpt is a real step up from the ď6 deluxe heavyweight body. He has a ripped chest and back, but not so much that he looks absurd. His arms are a plus too, as he doesnít suffer from the balloon arm issue the smaller scale figures do. And the hands look like heís seething with rage, the fngers gnarled into position. His only issue there is that he canít punch anyone, and for a wrestler, that is kind of a big problem. The legs are slightly less impressive, looking a wee-bit deformed, getting a little too thick towards the knee. Once past that, Heís looking good, with well sculpted laces and little shoe details.

Triple H is a monster, and this figure reflects that. He looks like he can tear up pretty much anyone he comes across in the 1/6th scale weight class. And he fits in pretty nicely with my other 12Ē guys. Heís bigger, but not DC direct big. Heís just a little bit taller than everyone else, and he looks great hanging out with them.

Paint: **
The paint is good, but not great, in the few areas in which it is applied. His facial hair is the best, and it is clean and even. You canít see his eyes, but the little squinty bit you can looks fine. From there, his taped hands are looking nice, with even his little finger tape looking clean. But he doesnít fare as well from the waist down. His logo is only on the front of his trunks, and it looks crappy and slapped together. His butt has no logos, and if youíre a WWE fan, this is a huge issue. He needs logos on the front and back. Without them, he looks cheap. And his boots suffer from some serious slop, with the black poorly applied to the tops of the boots. Itís a mass-market toy with a mass-market paint job.

Articulation - ***
He can do most of the poses you would associate with a wrestler. He can flex, he can kneel, kick and almost fold his arms. He has 23 points of articulation, and that includes ball-jointed hips and shoulders, clicky torso, cut wrists, pin elbows and hands, a kind of ball ankle and double pin knees. The articulation works great in the legs, but his upper body suffers a little. He can get his arms pretty close together, which, for a deluxe WWE figure is amazing, but for most sixth-scale figures is poor. Though who knows how close together this guys arms get in real life anyway. But his range of motion is good, and everything stays where you put it. Heís not terribly good at supporting weight though, so if youíre going for a vertical suplex, give Mr. Helmsley some wall support, or he might come crashing down.

Accessories: **1/2
I wasnít sure how to grade this guy, as his ďaction featureĒ is dependent upon the purchase of another figure from this line to be useful. He has an interchangeable head, lower body and hands, all of which can be swapped for those of other figures in the lineup. With only one superstar in my hands, itís not really useful to me. That said, when I do get the other figures in the series, I wonít have any issues utilizing this feature. It takes some effort, but all his parts can be taken off and put back on easily. None of the areas have shown any signs of wear, and Iíve been yanking him apart and snapping him back together constantly.

Value: ****
A good quality 12Ē figure for $20.00 in todayís market? I couldnít believe it. Heís made of a hard, shiny plastic, but if you collect wrestling figure like I do, this is standard. But the sculpt is unique, the figure is big, the articulation is well-executed and itís the first time we have ever gotten a Wrestler in this scale that isnít a Barbie doll. And with six-inchers averaging $10 nowadays, this guy is impressive. I had a Dark knight gotham thug in my hands at Wal-mart when I found this guy. $12 for a six inch figure vs. $20 for a twelve inch? No contest.

Fun Factor : ***1/2
This is a great figure for wrestling fans of any age to have. He is sturdy, and doesnít seem very likely to break, so even if the match gets a little rough, heíll make it through just fine. No inferno matches, though.

Overall: ***
He has kind of a wonky face. And his paint work isnít perfect. But heís $20, a biggun, and a real treat for people who like 1/6th scale and wrestling. Plus, with the figures built in interchangeability, this could signal a great step forward for toys. We collectors and customizers have been clamoring for figures that are designed for customization, and this guy, while not perfect, is a great step forward. Personally, I see a myriad of possibilities for this series. When, not if, another Triple H is released, we will have the option of mixing and matching to make the perfect figure. And I can only dream of how much better it could get from here.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpt - ***
Paint - **
Articulation - ***
Action Features - **1/2
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - ****
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
I got this bad boy at Wal-mart, though Iím sure the line will be everywhere very soon.

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Figure from the collection of Mike Tansey.

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