NJPW

All posts tagged NJPW

Keiji Mutoh is a Japanese wrestling legend having wrestled for a number of promotions in Japan and in the USA as well. He has also held at least 22 championships in his long career. Most well known for his “Great Muta” wrestling gimmick; he has had many feuds with high profile American and Japanese wrestlers.
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Name: Great Muta
Line: Super Star Figure Collection 3
Manufacturer: NJPW/Tohkon Shop
Released: 1997
Price: First released – unknown. Now – 1,500 YEN minimum
Scale: 5-6 Inches in height
Accessories: None

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One of the first Japanese wrestling figures I bought was the red version of this figure. So when I found out via the wrestling figures database that there were more variants, even an nWo Muta variant, I knew I had to track them down on my next trip or two to Japan. Eventually I was able to find this version and the nWo one MOSC for a good price. (One thing I did notice when hunting them down, there were nWo Muta’s everywhere on that particular trip! But tonight I’m reviewing the first release of this figure, the black attired version of the Great Muta.

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SCULPTING
This figure has a terrific sculpt! Like previous reviews from the same series of figures, the likeness to the character and the wrestler themselves is outstanding! You can even tell it is Keiji Mutoh under that face paint! The arms and torso are also very realistic as well, something I really love about these figures. Also like the other wrestling figures, the figure comes in a pre-set pose, I don’t think this distracts too much from the excellent sculpting. But it does make Muta (and any of the other figures in the series) a little bit of a one trick pony.

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PAINT
The paint is very neat and clean on Muta and is mainly used for details like Muta’s face paint or pants design. I can’t fault it at all. Even the Japanese characters on his face a crisp! The paint application is definitely up to a very high standard.

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ARTICULATION
Like all the wrestling figures in this series, Muta has only three points of articulation: each arm and his waist. These are all swivel joints and the arms can be popped off with a small amount of force. It’s not a great amount of articulation, but does add a slight bit of variation to the main pose Muta has been sculpted in.

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ACCESSORIES
No accessories come with this figure.

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POTENTIAL PROBLEMS
Nothing to worry about with this figure, this is a solid toy.

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PRICE
I paid about 1,500 YEN for Muta, MOSC from one of the smaller stores located in Nakano Broadway. I was very happy with that price and I think if you can find one for around the same, you are doing well. Do not pay the over inflated eBay prices for this figure, it’s just not worth it.

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OVERALL
I think this is an excellent Great Muta figure! Considering there are a lot of them produced from Japanese companies, it’s not very hard to find one you like from almost all stages of Keiji Mutoh’s career. However this particular figure I like the best. It conveys the Great Muta character just like what comes to mind when I think of the Great Muta. The only other problem would be, if I prefer the red version or the nWo version more than this one.

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Kensuke Sasaki AKA Power Warrior is a Japanese wrestler who is one of the only men to hold all the major Japanese wrestling titles (AJPW, IWGP and GHC).  In 1992 the persona of Power Warrior was born when he teamed with Road Warrior Hawk, Sasaki used this gimmick until around 1995 and only continued using it on special occasions when teaming with Hawk or Animal.

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Name: Power Warrior
Line: Deluxe Figure Collection
Manufacturer: NJPW/Tohkon Shop
Released: 2001
Price: First released – unknown. Now – 7,500 YEN minimum, both loose and MOC
Scale: 5-6 Inches in height
Accessories:  Power armour

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Number two on my list of must have list of Japanese wrestling figures was Power Warrior.  At first, mainly because it was just a cool looking figure, which I knew nothing about as far as the wrestling goes, but after doing some research and watching some matches on YouTube of not only Power Warrior, but Kensuke Sasaki as well, I felt even more so, that a figure of Power Warrior needed to be in my collection. Any wrestler that teams up with Hawk and Animal as technically an official member of the Road Warriors is all right in my book!

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SCULPTING

The overall sculpt is up to par with the usual standard for Japanese wrestling figures, which in this case is quite good! It is very detailed and realistic and pre-set in an action pose. In my opinion, it’s a great representation of Power Warrior and sets the standard for these figures as the whole body is an original sculpt used only for this figure. Very nice details on the power armour as well! Being a Japanese product, there is no rounded off ends on the tips of the spikes, so make sure you don’t accidentally step on them!

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PAINT

The upper body of the figure is cast in flesh tone with the tights cast in a black colour. There is paint added for the hair, face paint, the design on tights, boots etc. In most cases it is very well applied, very clean. Even the design on the tights is clean. I really have nothing to complain about with the paint application, it’s very good and quite professional.

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ARTICULATION

Like the Don Frye figure I reviewed previously, this figure has three points of articulation, both arms and waist. All are swivel joints and can be moved a full 360 degrees. This makes posing The Power Warrior pretty limited. So you are really only getting one-two poses out of him realistically. The pose he’s intended to be put in, looks pretty good to begin with, but the articulation is mainly thrown in for the sake of a little variation, in my opinion.

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ACCESSORIES

Only one, but, it’s a pretty good accessory – its Power Warrior’s power armour!  The armour fits quite snugly on him and slips over the top and you just have to slot the straps in the back to help hold it in place, but it’s not essential to do so, which is good, because mine would stay slotted in properly, however that doesn’t really hurt the armour overall.

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POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

Nothing to worry about with this figure, except perhaps breaking the spikes off the armour by accident if you put too much pressure on them. Otherwise, this is a solid toy.

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PRICE

I paid the market price for this guy, of around $70 with free EMS shipping, the price will always be high for this guy as he’s very popular, even in Japan and can be fairly hard to come by (I still haven’t found one when travelling on any of my previous trips to Japan yet!) so it really depends on how badly you want him in your collection and how much you are prepared to pay. But, I would not pay anything above $80.

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OVERALL

I really think this is a great figure; it’s got great details and a killer sculpt, not to mention it just looks plain awesome on the shelf among the other wrestling figures and I feel it will always steal the attention away from other figures nearby. If you are collecting Japanese wrestling figure, then you need this guy in your collection – he’s that good. If you can find him for a decent price, don’t think twice about snapping him up!

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Don Frye is one of the most celebrated UFC/Pride Fighters in the history of the sport, not to mention, very popular, if not, the most popular Gaijin (foreign) wrestler in Japan. His MMA record is 31 matches – 20 Wins, 9 Losses, 1 draw, 1 no contest.

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Name: “Knight of Violence” Don Frye
Line: Deluxe Figure Collection
Manufacturer: NJPW/Tohkon Shop
Released: 2001
Price: 3,500 YEN
Scale: 5-6 Inches in height
Accessories:  shirt and two title belts

Ah. The treasured gem that is Japanese wrestling figures circa 1997-2003. If you are like me and discovered these figures a few years after their release, then you know the feeling. Toy Biz weren’t doing too much with TNA and Jakks was producing their usual WWE garbage with giant heads, seemingly forgetting about their previous achievements around 2001, 2002. Mattel was just on the horizon and I had become jaded with wrestling toys. Something had to fill the void. Enter the Japanese wrestling figure

Finding out about these figures on my first trip to Japan, in the store called “Toys Golden Age”, located in Akihabara, Thanks to Super7’s “Tokyo Underground 2”, I picked up the Great Muta – red version and Chono both loose, for about 1,000 YEN each. To top this off, I had just seen Muta wresle live the previous week, so it seemed fitting to purchase him in figure form and Chono, how could you not? If there was a bad ass combo better then these two, I’d like to hear it!

Apon arriving back in Australia, I checked out the main source for wrestling figures – wrestling figs, figure database, under the Japanese section I began to browse the images and pick out figures I wanted to add to these two, one name in particular stood out: Don Frye. Being a Don Frye fan, I had to make sure this figure was in my collection, a few months of eBay searches later, he was on the way, from Japan via EMS.

Which brings us to this review finally being written…

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LIST OF PARTS

You Get the following in the blister style packaging:

One Don Frye NJPW figure (but of course!)
One BATT (Bad Ass Translate Trading) t-shirt which fits the figure
One UFC Ultimate, Ultimate 1996 champion belt
One UFC VIII Tournament champion belt

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SCULPTING

There’s no mistaking this is Don Frye, apart from maybe the HAO figure of Frye, this is the best likeness of Frye in figure form at this stage we are ever going to get. When I look at this figure it instantly says “Don Frye” from the large traps to the thick neck and trademark Frye mustache it’s unmistakeably him. What I really liked about this series of figure was that not only are all the likeness’s spot on, all bodies are intended for just the one figure it’s meant to be for, no reuse here. So that means not only will the head sculpt be great, but the body will be very close to the wrestler as well! The only negative is that sometimes, because of Frye’s stance, he’ll fall over, if he’s not on flat ground, is posed so he’s unbalanced or knocked slightly.

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PAINT

The figure is cast in the flesh tone with paint added for the hair, tights, boots etc. In most cases it is very nicely applied, very clean. There is some slop on the tights where the designs have been printed, but that’s about it. If I really wanted to complain I’d say the paint on the fingerless combat gloves doesn’t really match the skin tone of the rest of the figure properly, but that’s really grasping at straws.

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ARTICULATION

Unlike the real Frye, this figure has only a couple of punches he can throw and no take down ability. There are a total of three points of articulation which is pretty standard form this series, arms and waist. That’s it. So if you want to be able to get these figures to wrestle, its not gonna happen. They are best for being posed and admired.

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ACCESSORIES

As stated before, because this is a deluxe figure you get some nice accessories! One shirt and two belts come with Frye and they are all nicely done and look great! The shirt fits fairly well on Frye, if you want to put the shirt on him, its best to keep Frye’s arms on as the shirts can be put on him without too much trouble. Taking it back off, it makes it easier to just gently pop both Frye’s arms off and then take the shirt off. It could be because my shirt stayed unused for so long, but there was residue left by the tape on the shirt, no big deal to me as fry will not be wearing his shirt, but be mindful of this.

Next accessories are Frye’s two champion belts he won while in the UFC, these belts are very nicely detailed and look great, Frye wore these belts when wrestling in NJPW  which is most likely why they have included them.

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POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

Not really much to write about here. These wrestling figures are sturdy (in most cases) and durable. Perhaps the black shirt might stain if left on for long periods?

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PRICE

I paid 3,500 YEN so 40-50 AUD plus shipping costs. When I was in Japan last month I did see one MOC for about the same price. If you can get one around this price you should be happy with that, considering on eBay Muta goes for much, much more and can easily be found still in Japan in most Mandrakes. Frye maybe considered “rare” But, my experience so far is: rare, but reasonably priced.

OVERALL

I really like this figure being a fan of Don Frye, beyond that, you have a really neat figure which looks great of the shelf  and puts most other wrestling figures to shame just on looks alone. If you want a super poseable wrestling figure, best to stick to Mattel Elite Collection. I highly recommend this figure to anyone who’s a fan of Don Frye, Japanese wrestling figures or MMA figures.

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This page copyright 2013 -2015 Mike’s Toy Blog. All rights reversed.