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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Figure Review #2 - DTA Tour Series 2 Blue Blazer

Enough is enough and it's time for a change!

Well, okay, the blog colors changed, but this next figure review will be the same as always.

Surely (I'm serious), everyone is familiar with Owen Hart and his career, which came to an unfortunate, tragic end on the night of May 23, 1999, as he fell from the rafters and suffered fatal injuries due to faulty equipment.
He was supposed to make a grand entrance as The Blue Blazer for his WWF Intercontinental Championship match against The Godfather for the WWF's "Over The Edge" pay-per-view event; Hart was rumored to have walked out as champion in the match, which never took place because of the fall.

The Blue Blazer gimmick dates back to the late 1980s when Hart first debuted with the company, but it lasted only a short time. He soon after embraced his family name and was recognized as the youngest of the Hart clan for the majority of his career.

However, the late 1990s saw many changes for the wrestling business with the Attitude Era, and Hart was no exception. On the heels of the biggest push of his career in late 1997, Hart participated in several feuds before kayfabe quitting the WWF and reprising the Blue Blazer gimmick in the fall of 1998.

Many believe the return of The Blue Blazer was a form of punishment or done to humiliate Hart, yet he worked with it and made the best out of a poor situation.

Jakks Pacific had plans to release an action figure of The Blue Blazer in their Don't Trust Anybody (DTA) Tour Series 2 singles set, exclusive to Wal-Mart stores, due to the popularity of the character. The untimely death of Hart led to an increased demand for the figure which, coincidentally, arrived at stores around the same time.

The figure of Hart as The Blue Blazer remains one of the most popular BCA figures among collectors to this day, although the value has dropped significantly over the years.

Being that it was a store exclusive and the only figure of The Blue Blazer to date, it was sought after for many years and some claim it to be one of the best BCA figures ever produced.

As I mentioned in the first review, these were the pre-Real Scan technology days and parts were sculpted without anything to fall back on. Jakks Pacific put in a good amount of effort for this figure, but I'll explain why I don't believe it is one of the best representative of the BCA era.




Head:
Some credit is due for Jakks' willingness to tackle this particular gimmick, but the head sculpt is not as good as it could have been. In fact, it is simply the Slammers Series 2 Patriot head repainted as The Blue Blazer.

Despite the mostly accurate paintjob, I have to give this a low score for attempting to conceal an old sculpt and repaint it as something new. Grade - 1.5/5

Torso:

Jakks is not afraid to paint "outside of the lines", which can be good or bad, depending on how you look at it.

I understand what Jakks was going for here, but it comes across to me as a bit sloppy and lazy, again, on their part. The skin tone is also much lighter than Hart's actual tanned body at the time. Grade - 2/5

Arms:

Fairly good choice of parts (no wrist tape, open hand/closed fist combo), except for there being the outline and detail of elbow pads painted over with the regular skin tone.

Tackiness personified, and the arms are a little too muscular for Hart. Grade - 1.5/5

Legs:

The boots are tongue-less, the boot laces aren't painted, and the sculpt of the knee pads is too small.

However, the parts are passable and at least some detail on the boots was added as opposed to none at all. Grade - 2.5/5

Accessories/Other:

The blue cape is truly what makes the figure special. Without it, there is not much to look at or, rather, worth looking at.

It isn't perfectly accurate, but it's the effort that counts in my book; undoubtedly, this portion of the review will receive the best grade. Grade - 4/5

Also, note that there is no WWF stand included with the figure and the random wrench accessory does little to improve the figure's grade.

OVERALL: 11.5/25 - Some might be surprised at the low score given, but I feel it is appropriate given the repainted Patriot head, flesh-colored elbow pads, painting out of the lines of the singlet top, lack of detail on the boots, and several other factors.

It is worth buying to keep MOC, as I have for one I received as a gift ten years ago, but don't expect anything great if you open it to display loose.

The cape is better suited to BCA figures, so avoid buying it to use with your RA or DA figures of today.

Yet, there is no denying that this figure's appeal will transcend any small score I or anyone else will give it in a past or present review.

Finally, I still can't believe it's been ten years. Rest in peace, Owen.

- Alex

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