Coming at you with POP! WWE 21-25 Review and You can believe that! As you may notice from the group photo, there is no #22! I wish I had a better explanation but unfortunately from time to time this just seems to happen. Another great example of this would be the lack of a #71 in the Star Wars series. I’m not sure if there will be plans to revisit this in the future with a special release or maybe something was planned and just did not come to fruition. I suppose like the great mysteries of the world: what is Stonehenge, is there a Loch Ness Monster, and how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, the world may never know.
One great thing about writing these reviews is that I’m taking time to really look over and appreciate the “personality” that each vinyl possess. I’ve also been forced to reconsider some long held negative opinions of Funko’s design and see that they actually did a pretty great rendition of the Superstar in question. Speaking of which, let’s getting started with the reviews.
21 Andre the Giant
Pop Price Guide Value: $10
The one and only 8th Wonder of the World, Andre the Giant receives his induction into vinyl immortality at #21. I suppose one of my first WWF memories is watching the Piper’s Pit when Andre turned on the Hulkster. I just remember being a kid and feeling so confused that he came out with Bobby Heenan and then the ultimate act of betrayal when the challenge was issued straight from the formerly gentle giant’s mouth. My advice, cherish the childhood memory, it did not age well. The most cringe worthy part is at the end when Piper drops the, “You’re bleeding” line to a distraught Hogan.
I have to be honest, I’ve spent the better part of 2 years disappointed with this pop due to its size. As you can see in the group photo he is significantly larger than his pop peers, but I just thought that Andre should have had a legitimate GIANT pop to fit the larger than life persona he embodied during his too brief life. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here is a picture of Andre with Thanos to illustrate what I thought his pop should have been:
However, after some thought and a conversation with Goodbrother Mike, I can now say I’m very pleased with POP! Andre. He’s featured here in the classic black single strap singlet and I really love how they worked the brow to add to Andre’s unique look. The $10 value is a bit disappointing but there’s always hope that the value will increase.
23 Roman Reigns
Pop Price Guide Value: $13
To start, let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way. I know as a middle aged man, Roman Reigns is not marketed towards me and if I was at a live show, I would be among those jeering the owner of the yard. I will go on record as saying I feel a disservice was done to Roman in regards to the timing of his singles push(es), they came too late.
Jump in your time machine and revisit the 2014 Royal Rumble. Roman Reigns’ record breaking performance was earning him cheers from everyone present that night in Pittsburgh and those viewing at home. Once Kane eliminated CM Punk, the crowd was 110% behind the Big Dog to take out Sheamus and Bautista, and I have little doubt in my mind that he would have been cheered that night had he accomplished that task. Alas, he did not and instead of headlining Wrestlemania 30, he and his Shield brothers took all of 3 minutes to dispatch Kane with the New Age Outlaws. The Shield would go on to a white hot feud with Evolution and the rest they say is history. The perception became Roman was being jammed down our throats and the hate began to flow in Roman’s direction.
As far as his pop, I applaud the effort to make the hair looked soaked but I think the attempt at 5 o’clock shadow was a miss. Unlike the tattoo work on his cousin, The Rock’s pop, Roman’s lacks detail and as such comes off a bit blotchy. The low-ish rating for this pop is entirely due to these shortcomings. If you clean up the tattoo and either go full beard or just a goatee, this probably bumps up to a 7.75-8.00.
24 Seth Rollins
Pop Price Guide Value: $17 and $17
“The Architect” label never quite sat well with me. I get that they were trying to establish Rollins as the brains behind The Sheild, but The Architect? Really? I mean it was/is a three man stable, I’m pretty sure that would not even require a contractor, let alone an architect, right? But I digress.
We are treated to two different versions of Rollins both coming in at a respectable value of $17. I found the traditional black clad Rollins fairly easily at a local GameStop but did not preorder the FYE Exclusive SummerSlam 2015 clad Rollins and thought I missed my window. Luckily, FYE in the local mall received a couple randomly in a shipment earlier this year and I was able to pick one up.
I have to say, these are both great looking pops. It really amazes me how with so little detail as far as facial expressions, these vinyls can still really capture the personality of the character.
25 Bret Hart
Pop Price Guide Value: $13
The Hitman makes his debut at #25 and sadly is a little disappointing. Based upon his ring gear and sunglasses, this model is based off of the late 90’s version of Bret and I have to admit I would have rather seen the early 90’s look. I enjoyed Hart’s work as a heel but as far as looks, preferred the sunglasses he used to take off and give to kids on his way to the ring when he was working as a face.
I think the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be is up for debate, but Bret Hart definitely left his mark on the business. I often wonder how things may have been different had the Montreal Screwjob never occurred and Bret continued his run in the WWE. I think the only thing worse than not knowing what his future would have been in the WWE, is knowing what it was in WCW.
That concludes our look at POP! WWE 21-25. If you’re like me, you feel a bit incomplete due to the lack of #22 and also we were only given 2/3 rds of The Shield (hmmm wonder if that’s a coincidence). Next time, we’ll examine 26-31, that’s right you’re getting a bonus pop review next time (it will all make sense when we get there). Until then, if you have not done so, read over my past reviews included below and fee free to hit me up @chuckonwrestling or leave a comment below!