Of course, no sooner do I start collecting Mattel’s WWE figures that Bandai announces S.H. Figuarts will be producing wrestling toys as well. This purchase doesn’t concern me much, however, since I doubt Figuarts will ever get deep enough into the WWE roster to make recent tag teams. I gather from their initial announcement of Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock that they plan to tackle wrestlers with the most universal appeal. I love Enzo Amore and Big Cass, but they aren’t going to break a top 50 list of mass appeal wrestlers.
I’m not very good about following NXT. I understand it’s the best and everybody loves it, but I tend to forget when it’s on between the eight weekly shows WWE broadcasts. So my first experience with this tag team was at Road Block, the impromptu pay-per-view two weeks before Wrestlemania 2016. Not much takes me aback, but these two made quite the first impression on me. This heroin addict (Enzo) runs out spitting fire on the mic, followed by a match where his giant partner (Cass) literally throws him at their opponents. I was in love!
It’s pretty great timing that Enzo and Cass’ Battle Pack release coincides with their jump to the main WWE roster. This is also why it’s probably going to be really hard to find for a while. All of my local stores are clogged up with The Ascension (RIP) or J&J Security, so I happened to luck out and found an Amazon seller asking for only slightly more than retail. I’ll throw in a few extra bucks if it means less driving around.
Battle Packs include two figures using the WWE “basic” build. Basic figures don’t include the ab crunch and extra leg range that are afforded to the deluxe toys. Since the basic line requires less tooling, Mattel can plow through the current and past WWE roster faster. This is why you will often see a couple “first in the line” wrestlers in every basic wave. This is Cass and Enzo’s Mattel debut, and they are labeled as NXT because it is based off of their NXT look … which really isn’t too much different than their WWE appearance.
There isn’t much in the way of accessories, only a microphone for each guy. I do appreciate that they included microphones for both Enzo and Cass because it acknowledges that Colin Cassady is proficient on the mic as well. Being “basics,” both figures are pretty statuesque in their ability to pose. I won’t count this against either toys because that is what you are buying into with this build and price point. The profile on Big Cass is pretty solid. They maybe went a little too dark on his beard, but other than that he’s still (questionably) seven feet tall and you can’t teach that! They did a great job capturing Enzo’s bug-eyed look. However, I think they could have sculpted the mouth a little different to make him look more like he’s saying some crazy shit and less like he’s flabbergasted to have just caught Vince in a sex act.
I’m a big fan of this set. I wanted these two guys badly, and would be glad to double dip at some point if they release them on elite bodies. If you don’t mind owning the basic figures and are a fan of Enzo and Big Cass, then I wouldn’t hesitate to pick this battle pack up. Like most NXT performers (damn you Bayley!) they will probably be hard to find, so keep an eye on Amazon as they pop up there from time to time.
Also, apologies for not having a ring. I’m still a wrestling casual, and hope to somewhat keep it that way. I feel like buying a ring is admitting that I’m really going to collect these. I’m not quite ready to tell myself that yet.