Total Nonstop Action Figures 4: Paint it black.

On balance I may have been a little harsh on some of these TNA figures but in my defence, the lows were far lower than the highs were high. Scott Steiner couldn’t stand under his own power thanks to some shoddy leg joints (of which I can sympathise, or should that be “Sympy-thise”),  Brother Devon was pretty good if you can look past the notion that he looked like he was struggling with a painful bowel movement and while “Samoa Joe” was a design marvel, he bared more resemblance to Disco Inferno in the middle of an allergic reaction than he did “The Samoan Submission Machine”. My main point is that apart from the usual knockoffs and trash I have on my slate for review, these TNA toys should have been immune to being ridiculed by a basement-dwelling man-child on the internet but in some way, shape or form, one major flaw drags them down to my level. There is a darkknight in the TNA toy box however that brings its A-game with no debilitating  flaws and a prestigious spot on the desk where I “write”. Ladies & gentlemen, boys & girls I present to you for your amusement, my 6-inch Stinger, Toybiz’s TNA Sting!

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Given Toybiz’s history as WCW figure manufacturers, they probably produced approximately 90 gazillion versions of the crow-faced warrior over the years so no one would begrudge them grabbing an old mold from storage to make another version, that isn’t the case however. Sting’s re-emergence in the Impact Zone saw him trim his hair and streamline his little soul patch, all of which is accurately captured in a brand new head sculpt for The Stinger along with that haunting, emotionless glare usually seen on the face of anyone who watched Sharmell versus Jenna Morasca.

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New parts and attention to detail form every part of this figure’s being, cast wearing his signature black duster coat, this Sting toy cuts a dashing silhouette and presence. The coat can’t be removed as the sleeves are moulded into the figure but to be honest, I much prefer the figure with the coat, it doesn’t feel too big and baggy like other examples of coat accessories and doesn’t get in the way of posing him at all.

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On the topic of pose-ability, Sting is bringing the metaphorical thunder as he has all the articulation of his stable-mates, but every joint on my figure works perfectly, no loose joints or stubborn ab crunches here, no-siree-bob. Sting can adopt and maintain any depraved tableaux you can conjure up with consummate professionalism. His head has two joints that allow for an amazing degree of movement. Torso, shoulder and elbow joints all work great and a waist swivel, multi jointed hips, knees and even feet all mean that just like Joe before him, getting Sting to accurately perform his signature Scorpion Deathlock is only a few twists away. Most toys would kill for that kind of  freedom.

As far as accessories go, Sting needs only one to complete the set. No oversized barbels or missile firing trash cans are necessary here, just throw in a black baseball bat & Sting is ready for action and it is here in all its menacing glory, even with some bonus sculpted detail to keep things interesting and in an amazing touch of attention to detail, Sting’s left hand is even sculpted in such a way that the toy can accurately replicate the famous “pointing with the black bat” Sting uses as his signature taunt. Clearly a lot of love and care has been paid to Mr. Borden here.

It’s pretty absurd for a 30-something year old man to spend a few hundred words spouting about how much he loves a toy, but behind every figure is a design and decision-making process to create a finished physical product that I admire and while I’m having great fun hunting down and having a laugh at some examples of when that process churns out some bizarre or downright rubbish toys at the end of it, I do want to celebrate when it all goes right and the essence of a wrestling character I genuinely love is captured in plastic that I can display and brighten up my own space. I have a lot of fun taking the photographs, playing around with the toys like I’m 9 again and coming up with the words that populate these reviews. It’s a process in itself that gives me a sense of pride in the product that arises from it as I attempt to keep the depression that threatened to consume me at bay. So permit me to revel in Sting’s quality this one time but don’t worry, I’ve amassed a real cavalcade of crap takes and blatant fakes to  keep these coming for a long time to come.

 

Thanks for reading

Martin Dixon (@BunnySuicida)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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