For the record, WWF Hasbro Memories never broke up, it just took a 19 month vacation.
HEY! Welcome back. Thank you for hanging around and waiting patiently while I mustered up the energy to try and make a run toward the finish line on reviewing 4-inch plastic dudes.
If you’ve just stumbled across this article, let me lay it out for you. In the early 90’s, the Hasbro toy company released the greatest line of WWF figures that have ever been gifted to this earth. They were so popular that, 20 years later, Mattel began a line of WWE figures in tribute of the original. That tribute line has lasted even longer than the original – recently Mattel Creations released the 11th series for pre-order.
Call them Hasbros, call the Retros, call them what you will. I call them my wrestling men.
Believe it or not, I’ve spilled something like 17 million words on these figures already. So, if you’ll indulge me, check out these links below if you’ve missed any of our earlier reviews.
- WWE Mattel Memories: Retro Series One
- WWE Mattel Memories: Retro Series Two
- WWE Mattel Memories: Retro Series Three
- WWE Mattel Memories: Retro Series Four
- WWE Mattel Memories: Retro Series Five
- WWE Mattel Memories: Retro Series Six
- WWE Mattel Memories: Retro Series Seven
- WWF Hasbro Memories: Series One
- WWF Hasbro Memories: Series Two
- WWF Hasbro Memories: Series Three
- WWF Hasbro Memories: Series Four
- WWF Hasbro Memories: Series Five
- WWF Hasbro Memories: Series Six
- WWF Hasbro Memories: Series Seven
- WWF Hasbro Memories: Series Eight
- WWF Hasbro Memories: Series Nine
- Video Review: Hasbromaniacs Hasbro Ring Replacement Sticker Kit
- Video Review: Hasbromaniacs Guide To WWF Hasbros
Alright – let’s do it!
2019 was a big year for the Mattel Retro line. Series Eight was the second of four sets to see release that year. It’s accurate to say this line, launched in 2016, has been a hit with collectors.
Like most of the other series, Series Eight includes four different figures with three current and one classic superstar. All four of the superstars represented are making their Hasbro-style debut.
Like Series Seven, Series Eight figures are packaged with a QR dropcard that unlocks a playable character in the WWE Mayhem game. The back of the cards still promote the WWE Mayhem game fairly heavily, with half the space devoted to advertising the app. It’s one of my common complaints about these Retros, so I won’t go into another diatribe here.
For those keeping count, we are still packed on blue cards.
Basically, nothing has changed packaging-wise between Series Seven and Eight. Looks like the success of this latest series will be based largely around the quality of the four plastic grapplers. So let’s break it down.
Braun Strowman was a huge presence on WWE TV in 2019, so it’s only appropriate that The Monster Among Men would get his own Retro figure. For the most part, Mattel done the man up right, too. Braun is big, he’s bulky, and he’s got those spring-loaded arms that have been a staple of Hasbro-style figs from day one. The clenched fists really seal the deal – Braun is not playing around.
Braun’s Authentic Superstar Move is the Powerslam. I don’t know about you, but I started salivating thinking of a Braun Strowman/Hulk Hogan main event in the Hasbro ring. If you pair Braun with Series Seven Sheamus, you can reenact half of the Tag Team Title match from Wrestlemania 34. Now we just need a Cesaro and a Nicholas figure.
Mattel did a great job with Braun’s gear, which is spot on for this era of the Strowman character (ie, post-sheepmask, pre-bald-and-gloves). Braun’s likeness is also pretty great with the massive beard and open-mouth scowl. My only small complaint is he has somewhat feminine eyebrows.
Great figure to kickoff the series overall!
Believe it or not, Attitude Era standout Jeff Hardy is NOT the classic superstar in this series. Instead, we get the version of Jeff from his most recent WWE run. 2019 wasn’t a banner year for Jeff Hardy, but it wasn’t all bad. Jeff and brother Matt Hardy were able to defeat the Usos for their 9th tag team titles in WWE. Unfortunately, an injury to Jeff would put him on the shelf for the rest of the year and force the Hardys to reliniquish the belts.
You can’t go wrong with Jeff Hardy though, and this is a really nice figure. Would it be cooler if we’d gotten a facepainted version? A thousand times yes. We could finally have that Jeff Hardy/Sting Hasbro Dream Team we’ve all been dreaming of. They’d take on the Legion of Doom at Hasbromania and that shit is a main event on any given day!
Jeff has the spring-loaded leg to perform is Authentic Superstar Move, the Poetry In Motion. That’s a neat little feature and flipping Jeff from the top rope and having his leg kick out while he’s doing a senton is super cool in my opinion.
Likeness-wise, I wish Jeff weren’t so angry. Maybe they were going for enigmatic and added a touch too much rage? Who can say. But the hair, beard and even gauges in Jeff’s ears look spot-on. This is another good effort and, thankfully, we won’t have to wait long (in 2019) for a full Hardy Boyz set.
2019 wasn’t Zack Ryder’s shining year in WWE. Sure, he won the Raw Tag Team Titles with Curt Hawkins, but the team wasn’t featured much at big events or even on TV. By early 2020, they’d both be gone.
However, Zack Ryder didn’t need to have a good year in the ring to be enshrined in Hasbrodom. The man, an avid Hasbro collector, is probably one of the driving voices behind the Retro line even getting made. A Zack Ryder Retro is akin to a Jim Henson figure in the Palisades Muppets line. It’s about respect.
It would have been kind of fun to get a 2011 “Internet Champion” version of Zack Ryder, but instead we get Zack from what looks like his face Hype Bros days. Still clean shaven and with the spiked brown hair, this may not be the look that fans in 2019 were expecting out of Ryder.
Ryder does have one of the better actions, with his posable arm and elbow joint. Zack uses that to perform his ASM, the Fistpump.
OK, I admit this figure mildly sucks. It’s for an unpopular version of a guy who wasn’t even popular when the line was released. And it looks like he’s trying to poop.
Still, a great tribute to a fellow Hasbro lover.
Finally, we are HUMBLED to get ourselves a Hasbro-style Iron Sheik figure. Sheik is, of course, a former WWF Champion and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005. You can’t beat that when it comes to classic superstars.
Sheik’s figure matches the simplicity of the wrestling world in his heyday, but manages to sneak in some nice details too. The white camel logo on his trunks looks great, and the curly boots are classic Sheiky Baby. I like to think the pointy-boot Xavier Woods figure helped push the decision to make a Sheik. You already have the molds, Mattel!
Sheik’s ‘stache is on point (and pointy), what else is there to say? Would’ve been nice to get a headdress accessory, or maybe some of those Persian clubs the Iron Sheik used to show off with, but you can’t complain about the figure we got.
Sheik’s ASM is the Gutwrench Suplex, which he performs using the jointed waste introduced way back in Series One with John Cena. Not my favorite look, but it works this time, Bubba.
RETRO SERIES EIGHT GRADE: A-
Series Eight builds on everything Mattel has been doing right with the Retros. Just a solid set full of figures that you’ll want to buy.
Best figure is hard to choose since there isn’t one “main eventer” and they’re all pretty good. Gotta go with Strowman is you twist my arm. While Zack Ryder is probably more for the collectors, I’m gonna give Jeff Hardy my sleeper award.
I’ll be back soon with Series Nine, which is absoutely chock full of legends. Stay tuned!