Ricky Starks has that It Factor that could make him a major superstar. It’s been apparent since his arrival in AEW. As the focal point of Team Taz, his stock has only risen as he’s shown some echoes of The Rock in terms of connecting with the crowd.
I loved that Jazwares basically made AEW Unrivaled Series 9 a Team Taz wave. Starks has been the hardest of the three to find on shelves so I was happy it wasn’t a lengthy search to track him down. Now let’s see if Starks’ first figure shines or will need an immediate upgrade.
Packaging: There’s nothing new on this packaging — poorly laid out with micro sized side portraits, a lack of personalization on the other side and a barren bio.
I do remain a fan of the gold foil, which helps class up the presentation.
There is a new feature here with the addition of a tab for three exclusive Upper Deck trading cards.
Likeness: Like Powerhouse Hobbs, Starks features an amazing head sculpt that truly captures the mean mug expression Starks uses in every match. That’s not necessarily the best regular head sculpt and it’s certainly a case where a neutral, alternate head was needed.
The work on his hair is impressive as well getting the fade down properly with the curly hair up top.
Starks is muscularly lanky and Jazwares used a buck that accurately reflects his physique. I really appreciate the thinner arms and legs, which helps convey the slighter wrestlers from their thicker counterparts.
His tights actually have the small rhinestones in the upper lining sculpted on. That’s the kind of detail I wouldn’t have noticed was missing but Jazwares went the extra step to include them though it gets lost in the paintjob.
Scale: At 6’, Starks is the same height as former stablemate Brian Cage and both look up slightly to the 6’1” Powerhouse Hobbs. He’s taller than his rival the 5’8” Darby Allin but is shorter than the 6’2” Sting.
Paint: Starks’ outfit features a shiny, metallic fabric that is reflected very well on the figure. The turquoise blue helps him stand out and there were no obvious paint issues. Maybe you could complain about the tights rhinestones not being painted, but that’s a stretch.
The paint covers Starks’ chin fuzz nicely. Jazwares didn’t have problems with the white at the top portion of his boots even as they segment to the majority black section.
This is rarely done properly so it’s noteworthy Jazwares knocked this out.
Articulation: Starks uses his agility and quick strikes to wear his opponents down.
The Jazwares Unrivaled mold features smooth enough articulation to pull off most of his moves although some of his more submission-based moves will be trickier.
Jazwares is still having factory issues though as his right knee was warped enough to give him a bowlegged type stance.
Ricky Starks has:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- elbows (double-jointed)
- wrist hinge
- knees (double-jointed)
Accessories: Jazwares hasn’t been very consistent with who gets alternate portraits and who gets extra hands. Starks is definitely a character that would have benefited from an additional expression.
I’ve already mentioned the need for another head so I won’t repeat that here. Starks gets two additional sets of hands — fists and clutching — which is useful for posing, but not as much fun as an extra head. Starks also has his chain, which is a nice extra to give us his “complete” ring gear look.
He also comes with an exclusive Upper Deck trading card.
Worth it? The Unrivaled line keeps shifting from $19.99 and $21.99. Maybe the $21.99 price point should be reserved for figures with more accessories?
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Starks is a pretty good figure. The wonky Jazwares QC remains a problem, but it’s not disastrous like with some figures and the part choice is solid making for a fun take on one of AEW’s rising stars.
Where to get it? Target is the most consistent source of new AEW figures, but that’s if you can find them these days. Amazon has him in stock for under $18.
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