You ever have that figure you have regrets about every step of the process, from the initial prototype reveal, the first loose picture, and the MOC releases, yet you buy it anyway? That’s kind of where I am with Mattel’s Farooq and Bradshaw, better known as “The APA.”
When it comes to classic tag teams during The Attitude Era, The New Age Outlaws immediately come to mind as well as the triumvirate of Edge & Christian, The Hardy Boyz, and The Dudley Boyz.
The APA didn’t have great matches like that trio and lacked a cool catchphrase like The New Age Outlaws, but their protection agency gimmick was great as the duo was completely credible as a pair of a$$ kickers who could handle any problem for the right price . . . and beer. But I’m not as sure their figures do them enough justice.
Packaging: I’m so glad that Elite 38 marks the final appearance of this package setup. Not so much that it’s terrible, but after a year of them, I’m long past ready for a change.
I’m a big fan of the stats covering the major career accolades, but I really wish Mattel would add just a little biographical information as well.
Likeness: This category I’m just tackling from a sculpting perspective. Paint is the main reason Farooq’s likeness is off, but I’ll address that in a second.
Jakks did some great work with the APA. While some of their head sculpts could be a little soft, their APA was top-notch and some of the best the previous WWE license holder did. I’ve been collecting Mattel figures for awhile, but this is the first time the Jakks figure tops the Mattel version.
Bradshaw’s goatee could be a bit scruffier. This may be a personal preference, but the way the current T-shirt mold isn’t all that flattering to Bradshaw’s physique either, giving him this weird dainty waist and puny arms that significantly downplay his more imposing presence.
Since APA wore their shirts tucked in a lot, I understand why Mattel went with a shirt mold even though I prefer cloth shirts 99 times out of 100. I did a longer-than-I’d-care-to-admit Google search to find pictures of the APA wearing T-shirts with sleeves. To their credit, Mattel caught the mistake and newer shipments of the APA will come with cut-off sleeves.
Paint: Time to take Mattel to the proverbial woodshed with this category.
Mattel designers clearly have eyes and know what Ron Simmons looks like. Even if they somehow had some bizarre misconception, the packaging has two different images — neither of which reflect the skin tone used for the Farooq figure.
Simmons’ skin tone is far closer to The Rock, yet the figure has a skin tone inexplicably close to Mark Henry. I’d say this is a Jakks-esque level of incompetence screw up, but Jakks at least got Farooq’s skin tone right.
Hard to see Mattel letting this big a goof make it to production if the Elite 37 Stephanie McMahon sported a burnt-orange Hogan-esque tan. WWE Brand Manager Bill Meikina said the IRS figure was delayed from Elite 36 because the head was too small, and I would have happily waited to have a more accurate Farooq than this lackluster version.
Mini-rant over. The eyes and facial hair painting on both are clean. Mattel probably should have added a black “glove collar” on the wrists to better help the glove look as opposed to the figures looking like they just have black hands.
The tampo on the shirts on both figures as is the chairs and the doorway. I wish Mattel could figure out a way to cost-out some washes to the jean molds as they look too clean.
Scale: Bradshaw is 6’6″ while Farooq is 6’2″ but you’re not going to really see that 4″ height discrepancy with the figures.
Bradshaw’s head is larger than the normal Mattel figures, which gives him the dreaded no-neck appearance. Stuffing some cotton in the neck peg should help give him a neck and that missing height.
Articulation: As Elite figures, both APA members get what you expect: neck, ball-jointed shoulders, elbow, wrist, torso, waist, hips, thigh swivel, double-jointed knees, and ankle.
You won’t have any problem getting a Clothesline from Hell or the Dominator. That’s the great part about characters who are brawlers: you don’t have to worry about trying to get the figure posed to best capture some complicated wrestling maneuver so long as they can hit their high-impact moves.
My Farooq had some issue with his neck peg, so it would default to a slanted position. It could get positioned correctly, but it wants to lean.
Accessories: Finally, the APA get a category where they can shine.
Farooq comes with the APA’s “office” door — one of Mattel’s more ingenious accessory inclusions. This is one of those cases where an accessory looking cheap is consistent with the source material.
Bradshaw comes with the APA’s breakaway table and a branded APA chair.
Considering the APA has all of their necessary accessories except some playing cards and the not-at-all-PG-friendly beer cans, it seems odd when other figures get skimped on. This may be the one case where I can hold The APA as an example of Mattel at its best.
Worth it? Right now you’ll get both figures for $42. That’s too much for figures with so many issues. If they drop down another $5 per figure, it’s a better deal, but you’re going to need to spend some time fixing them up.
Both figures have issues that hold them back from being definitive takes on The APA. For Farooq, it’s all about the erroneous skin tone, which ruins an otherwise great figure. Hopefully it can be fixed with a paint job and swapped-out Rock arms.
On the surface, Bradshaw fares better, but he’s actually the worse of the two with a big head, small waist, tiny arms, and overall small scale, which makes him a bit of a mess. For me, the accessories sell the figures this time around, but the APA are going to need some serious fixing to make solid additions to my collection.
Where to get it? Your best bet if you want the figures now is to get them through Amazon.com.