The march of progress is one of incremental steps. This is as true for wrestling toys as any other aspect of human endeavor. Modern wrestling toys have hit a peak of blending articulation, playability and sculpting that can please both child and child-like in equal measure. Such achievement hasn’t come without some teething problems and one such painful incisor is the subject of this review. Ladies, Gentlemen & assorted pets hogging the keyboard, I give you Jakks Pacific’s “Finishing Moves” Triple H figure.
From what I can gather this was part of a line that formed Jakks’ first real attempt at introducing more articulation into their WWF figures. Prior to this the most moving parts you could expect from a Jakks figure were standard fare for action figures, (You know the song: Heads, Shoulders, Knees & er, Waists) but these figures went all out on the posing power.
All aboard the Flex Express as HHH can be manipulated like a Machiavellian marionette with an an crunch as well as a very neat ball jointed waist for all your swivelling needs. These and bicep swivels, elbow joints, calf rotations & two way hips all combine to create what is structurally a thoroughly modern mini H.
Engineering wise this is a win but where this toy falls down is the truly terrible aesthetics on show. All of this articulation is fine & dandy (or maybe Beano, UK comic aficionados) but there is just no artistry on display in regards to the sculpting. HHH’s long, lanky limbs look more more like sausage links and the added torso joint makes for a very unnatural and rather lumpen chest. I can totally relate right now.
By far the coup de grace though can’t have escaped your attention, what is up with Trips’ hair? I don’t ever recall Hunter going Super Saiyan so why is his hair like an airplane table tray during landing, that is stuck in an upright position? Well, that is the big conceit of this line, the whole “Finishing Moves” tag. Packaged in pairs, these figures’ enhanced articulation allows for near perfect replication of a thunderous Pedigree or shattering Rock Bottom and there is where HHH in particular falls flat. He ONLY looks good mid-Pedigree. In any other pose, the hair ruins the look. He might as well be a statue, but the lame detailing would undermine that too. As history this is fascinating, as a toy, this sucks.
This is the progress I spoke of before. Not everything comes out right first time (unless it’s one of my reviews) but even missteps can find some form of significance, if only in hindsight. Clearly the well-regarded likes of Jakks’ own Deluxe Aggression lines or the Mattel Elite figures of today would not be as well regarded as they are if not for fun oddities like this one. I’m no toy historian, nor do I wish to be but I am glad to have such oddballs in a collection I’m proud to consider so odd and proud to document here. At least that’s how I justify hunting these things down to myself.
Huge thanks to Bill Pharona from twitter (@Tikataka05) for an incredibly generous donation that enabled me to nab HHH here and huge thanks to you for reading.
Martin Dixon (@BunnySuicida)
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