Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Finn Balor (WWE Mutants)

Fergal Devitt, born five days after me, is an Irish-born WWE wrestler whohas performed under a few gimmicks, but most notably as Finn Balor, the Demon King. Naming himself after the famous one-eyed king of the Fomorians (he probably got “demon king” from the D&D Balor demon), Balor shows up wearing elaborate full-body demon paint, crawling and contorting himself like a beast on stage. He hasn’t lost a single match when in makeup, and it’s easy to see why – he channels his violent, animal nature in the Demon King getup, and it’s extremely memorable considering the comparative scarcity of wrestling gimmicks these days. Mattel has been micing things up a bit with their wrestling figures, starting with the Zombie line and now moving to Mutants – you have four-armed Brock Lesnar, Sting with scorpion claws, and… well hey, Finn Balor as the Demon King. There’s a pretty good chance that the line exists just for this figure. It’s his makeup come to life!

***
As frightening as an irish ghost story, Finn Balor’s demonic side has been set free! With a gaping mouth lined with razor sharp teeth, the Demon King chews up and spits out all competition!
***

Woohoo! I may not collect many wrestling figures, but this one’s certainly worth it…. or IS IT?!?! Let’s take a look!

PACKAGING: ****

The packaging is great, telling you all you need to know about the figure and Mutant line, and showcasing some great art, as well.

SCULPT: ****

I can’t remark on the figure’s likeness with the wrestler, because this isn’t Fergall Devitt, it’s the Demon King. Finn Balor’s makeup gives him massive stylized teeth and tongue, making him look like a twisted metal band mascot – you know, maybe the Disturbed Guy’s cousin, or something. The sculpting captures it pretty well, giving him ral teeth and a tongue, and thus transforming him into a monstrosity.

Aside from his Gene Simmons-esque tongue, Finn Balor’s got facial sculpting that suggests the human underneath the paint – if you look carefully, you’ll note that it almost seems like he is in costume, or painted ith actual teeth – his face and neck don’t quite fit the inside of a monster mouth. Though it’s odd, it works. It almost feels like Finn Balor transformed with the makeup on, rather than being a demon king from the start.

In some of his incarnations, Finn Balor wears a bunch of long, red tassles on his writs. This figure has trnaslated them into veinlike tendrils, which are a great addition to the figure – it adds a little more to the whole than the facial features, even though it’s a comparatively small detail, and not every version of the makeup has utilized them.

PAINT: ***1/2

The difficult thing about Finn Balor is that he does not have one single “look” for his demon makeup. It changes every time, and the variety has given him a ton of potential looks for Mattel to use. Mattel went for a “basic” look with the Demon King essentials, and it works – it’s not just immediately recognizable as the Demon King, it’s accurate to his look without being ted to one particular rendition of the makeup. There’s no real slop, either, which fits as the details don’t exactly look hand-painted. Good stencil work, though.

ALLLLLMOOOOST. It’s almost where it needs to be! it’s funny how the pettiest thing would make the figure – Finn Balor needs some detailing on his back, like maybe that eye he usually has painted there. Though to be honest, he’s pretty good, regardless. This is a nitpick.

ARTICULATION: **1/2

With pro wrestling figures, articulation is either all or nothing. You can have great unarticulated wreslting figures (the classic ones were basically bludgeoning weapons), or super-articulated figures that can take all sorts of classic wrestling pose. And this guy?

Swivels and hinges. That’s what you’ve got. Swivel legs, arms, wrists, waist and head, and hinged elbows and knees. He can move, he can take a few poses, but he can’t really perform any wrestling holds or throws. Sure, he can do a knee drop, but Finn Balor is known for crawling and contorting himself – you can’t with this figure.

When you turn his head, his jaw goes crooked – that’s actually kind of a plus, as it makes him even creepier, but Finn Balor’s articulation is stuck at a level where it’s just not good enough to justify being there for a wrestler.

ACCESSORIES: N/A

Nothing. Nada. Usually you can get away with giving wrestlers a random object, but I guess Finn Balor doesn’t actually use any props when he wrestles.

VALUE: ***

$13 isn’t that bad a deal for 6″ figures these days.

THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:

Finn is sturdy, just don’t tangle those tendrils in things.

You can find these at Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart, and… well, most places.

OVERALL: ***

With Finn Balor constantly changing his demon makeup, Mattel had an odd enough task choosing one look to turn real, but they managed it pretty well. This isn’t just obviously Finn Balor, it has the necessary details to make The Demon come to life.

Sure, the figure isn’t perfect, not by any means – it’s missing some paint detailing and the articulation is poor. However, it is a really cool addition to a wrestling display, or just among a bunch of fantasy monsters. I’m glad Mattel managed to get it made and on store shelves.

So, wait. What now? The other released Mutant figures haven’t exactly matched wrestler costumes, so is this line going to continue, or was it a one-off? Either way, any excuse for a genuine monster Finn Balor is a good one.

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One response to “Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Finn Balor (WWE Mutants)

  1. I love this guy! I’m a huge Finn Balor fan (I really wanted him to show up in the Royal Rumble and win the whole thing) and this was such a cool way to bring his gimmick to life. These are really crazy toys, though. I probably will pick up a few others just because of how silly they can be (although Finn is legitimately cool). I also grabbed the metal John Cena; it’s probably going to be the goofiest toy of the year, but I still kind of love it.

    Now I want Becky Lynch as a Banshee.

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