Review: No Holds Barred Ultimate Edition
It’s time to ask that age old question that I know has been on your mind for quite a while…
Well after months and months of anticipation and excitement…well, it may be dookie. Sometimes a man can’t contain himself. But thankfully dookie it is not, it’s the smell of a new arrival to the collection, it’s none other than the SDCC Exclusive Ultimate No Holds Barred two pack!!! Of course, this didn’t come without controversy as the set almost immediately sold out on Mattel’s site. A few months later, as expected, a few left over sets ended up on WWEShop and also sold out in record timing but thankfully I was able to score one for me and my friend(and occasional podcast partner) Rich who was at SDCC but couldn’t score one due to quick sell out.
Let’s take a look…
Much like Bo Derek, this package is a solid 10. Modeled and inspired by the original NHB VHS release, Mattel went all out to make this as special as close they could.
Slip off the VHS “casing” and you’ll find tonight’s main event inside a World Television Network arena themed box/backdrop. Great touch here as well. I imagine a great display background if you’re a loose collector/displayer!
Nice little Easter eggs, the credits on the box itself feature the hard working crew at Mattel who helped make this come to fruition! If you’re in the figure collecting community, these aren’t just designers, they’re rock stars!
As with every Ultimate Edition release, multiple heads, hands, and accessories are included. Both Zeus and Rip have an array of extras. Originally, I expected Zeus to come with breakable cinder locks as shown in the original press photos, but I guess I fell for Mattel’s legendary trick photography! Would’ve loved for Zeus to come with a chain, a block or something but considering we’re finally getting a complete Zeus, so I can’t really complain I guess?
Ahhh the main event. Here we are!
Let’s start with Rip Thomas as played by Hulk Hogan. WWF champion, dookie smeller, charity work enthusiast and the king of doing push ups in cheesecake shorts. This would actually be the very first official Rip action figure since the debut of the movie in 1989, which always shocked me because we’ve seen every iteration of Hogan in action figure form through the years but Rip never made it. To this day, I don’t know if it was a rights issue, a WWE mandate or whatever but I’m glad we finally got one.
Looks great. I’m glad they’ve been going down the easy rip shirts as of late with Hogan, that makes display and play even better. Colors are great as well and really pop. The head sculpts especially his DOOKIE?!?!? face are pretty great, despite the weird mashed potato eye paint job my set needed up with. It’s hard to screw up a Hulk Hogan at this point in the game and these didn’t fail.
The REAL STAR of the movie. Don’t let that pipsqueak McMahon or goofball Monsoon tell you any different. Bobby Heenan and Jesse Ventura told us the truth and this was one of those times!
This would be Zeus’s second foray into action figures, his first being his Classic Superstar figure by Jakks, however this is more of a complete package though. With his shoulder pads, a removable belt, his headband, we finally get the Zeus we’ve all been waiting for! I got nothing to pick apart here, I think it’s perfect and it’s gonna make for a great piece on my shelf.
A little side by side comparison. Both figures are great representations of the late great Tiny Lister but I think it’s safe to say the Mattel figure is the far superior of the two. Although, I do love that the Jakks figure came with a chain. On top of that, the CS does look great wearing the Ultimate shoulder pads:
I never understood why WWE hasn’t merchandised No Holds Barred as much in recent years. I know it wasn’t the biggest success for WWE in 1989, but time has been much kinder to the movie and indeed the idea of Zeus himself. I hope this isn’t the last Zeus figure we see. I could see an Elite figure, possibly a Retro figure, maybe even some shirts, and…a Hall of Fame induction? It would make sense especially with Wrestlemania taking place in Hollywood next year!
Now I have an opportunity to ask Rip about his charity work!!