Super 7 Okada Ultimate
After an overwhelming amount of negative reaction toward the Super 7 New Japan Pro Wrestling line, it's time to really see what the fuss is about - so let's get right into it.
Generally, when reviewing / looking into a figure you rarely spend too much time talking about the packaging. However, when it comes to this New Japan Wave 1 you will completely re think your process, and even as a loose collector you can forget about throwing the packaging away. The packaging you're presented with is a humble brown box with the name of the talent and the NJPW logo. Here's where it gets interesting - upon opening the brown box you'll realise it's essentially a protector for what's underneath. Not only is the box going to protect the figure and it's packaging, it's also aided by a casing / sleeve that houses yet another box. This unequivocally demonstrates that whoever made this product doesn't only care for the quality of the product and packaging, but they care for the consumer too which adds an element of sentimentality and connects you with the manufacturer immediately. Once into the bag, the actual packaging immediately comes to life. Much like the front of the brown box, this also has the name of the talent and the NJPW logo. However, this time it's with a showstopping and sophisticated chrome finish that is genuinely spectacular. It'd be too simplistic to suggest the packaging could justify the 45 dollar cost, but it certainly helps to understand it. Regardless of price, what is obvious to see is that the packaging alone will ensure people will still be buying this line decades in the future - much like Jakks Classic Superstars and Bone Crunching 4 packs. And therefore, this figure becomes timeless without even taking a look at what's inside.
If you're reading this, one of your first questions very well be how does this Okada scale with Mattel and AEW figures? The reality is, it scales well. It's important to remember not all toy companies use the same scale when making figures and therefore there will always be differences with scaling. With that being said, the NJPW wave easily fit into the same family and will fit right in on your shelf or in your fig fed.
Once you open up the figure itself what's striking is the sheer number of hands. The figure comes with multiple alternative hands, an alternative head, the IWGP Heavyweight Title and accessories that are genuinely essential to make this figure 'ultimate'. As has been well publicised, there is an error in the line where the hands with wrist tape are incorrectly painted. Also, as many other collectors have experienced, the belt on this figure did indeed break slightly upon removing it from the waist of the figure.
Whilst this is slightly frustrating, you still appreciate the effort and enthusiasm to add as many accessories as the packaging would allow to truly make the figure feel like what an ultimate should be. Also, it’s almost set in stone these are pivotal reference points that will be discussed amongst the manufacturing team as things to improve on / put right for Wave 2 and all future waves.
Whilst the head that is on the figure in package is good, the second has better likeness and a much better representation of Okada and one of his primary expressions. The figure could be very slightly taller; however, it's only mentioned here as there's been a lot made of it online. It's also noteworthy the legs (especially from behind) in certain poses / positions can look a little odd - and certainly slightly too muscular.
Truth be told, these are negligible differences and it's not something you'd notice unless you took a real interest. The soft goods jacket however is somewhat revolutionary. Generally, as a collector you're presented with 2 options. 1) Hard goods w/ detail that hinders articulation or 2) Soft goods with inadequate detail. As mentioned, this jacket is soft goods but with such an incredible level of detail that is considerably ahead of the competition. The money accessory is a nice addition, there aren't many situations in which you can feasibly use it however it really demonstrates and underpins the amount of interest Super 7 took in Okada to get his look and presentation absolutely right. Also, this is a detail MOC collectors will really appreciate due to lengths the manufacturers have gone to absolutely capture the identity of the talent.
An issue people may have with this line is the 'Ultimate' adjective. The issue with this is people may assume the same level of articulation as the WWE Mattel Ultimate line. Whilst similar, it's not the case of an exact replica- nor should it have to be. It simply may be an issue of confusion amongst some collectors newer the game who aren't so versed on the different companies, lines etc.
To summarise, this really is a fantastic attempt at an Okada figure from a company who have gained their reputation on producing toy lines from other genres and this is incredibly important to consider. Unlike companies such as Mattel or Jawares, Super 7 haven't made a plethora of wrestling figures and therefore to produce a line of this quality first time around is something to be applauded. Perhaps what's most important however, is forgetting all pre conceived ideas you may have had from the initial images from Ringside Collectibles and setting it aside as flawed photography with bad lighting and awkward posing. Truthfully, in hand this figure is much closer in likeness to a Mattel elite, and not an FTC or Ruthless Aggression figure which many first anticipated.
On the shelf, Super 7 Okada will not only fit in with your collection, but will likely stand out amongst others due to the incredible aesthetics of the entrance robe and if loose, the iconic Rainmaker pose.