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Official Review - Replica Belts

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PdW2kX and MMAFigs.com Gives Readers an Exclusive Review of the Jakks Pacific Replica Championship Belts!

I’d like to begin this review by saying quite simply that I am not, nor have I ever been, a collector of championship belts.

My brief venture back into the world of pro wrestling action figure collecting ended with my departure from the ranks of the pro wrestling fan, and never during that all-too-brief period did the need to collect belts ever arise. The store-brand belts designed for children were well within my financial means and, being honest; I could probably afford those incredibly pricey “replications”, the ones that cost hundreds of dollars, if I spent my money smartly and saved up enough green. It just never occurred to me that a championship belt, realistically recreated or not, could be an integral part of a collection.

I approached the news with trepidation mixed with an awkward sense of interest when I learned that Jakks would be recreating the championship belts of the UFC, WEC, and PRIDE. When I chanced upon the UFC and WEC belts in-person at my local Wal*Mart, my desire for anything UFC led me to pick both up and see just what all the fuss was about. A recent trip to another Wal*Mart completed the three-part series.

While I still don’t see myself saving up hundreds of dollars to buy realistic replicas, I think I can safely say that I finally “get it” when it comes to the appeal of making, marketing, and ultimately buying championship belts.

So what changed my mind and led me to believe that all three belts in this inaugural (and perhaps final) series are well worth a purchase? Read on to find out as MMAFigs.com and PdW2kX present an Exclusive Review of the Jakks Pacific UFC, WEC, and PRIDE replica championship belts.

The biggest positive I can give these belts as a whole are that, despite being marketed and branded as a children’s product, the belts should pass the test for any diehard collectors out there. There’s no substitute for the real thing, but for those pinching pennies and not willing or able to afford the true-to-life replicas, the “next best thing” is nothing to frown about. All three belts won’t run you more than $20 each, and the detail therein is more than enough to justify a purchase, featuring a big faceplate in the middle and two smaller faceplates on either side. And it’s the design and attention-to-detail within those three faceplates that makes the belts shine. Some removable Velcro that is not without its flaws (more on that later) is also included. For their price, each championship is rendered beautifully: all three belts are highly reflective and look great propped up on a wall, across your waist, or on your shoulder.

Despite never buying any, I always checked the toy belts whenever I went action figure hunting. And while not as detailed as the WEC belt or as nostalgic as the PRIDE belt, the UFC belt is still one of the best toy championship belts I’ve seen in a long, long time. All three faceplates have a wonderful mixture of gold and silver, with faux blue jewels surrounding the UFC logos. The main faceplate also features faux diamonds above and below the UFC logo, as well as through the “C” part of UFC. “UFC Champion” is written on both side faceplates. Considering the materials used, I can’t think of a single way this belt could be more true-to-life or realistic. The amount of detail is surprisingly stunning.

While the PRIDE belt comes in as my top pick mostly for the sake of nostalgia, the WEC belt is undoubtedly the heavy hitter of the group. In a word, it’s gorgeous. It features faux red jewels, faux diamonds, and beautiful wing designs and metallic rings on either side of the main faceplate. The combination of red, gold, and silver produces an interesting palette that feels good and looks better.

Yet the series’ big winner, especially for longtime/hardcore MMA fans such as myself, is the vintage PRIDE Championship belt. It may be the simplest of the group, but it’s a sight for sore eyes. There’s not a lot more I can say about PRIDE that hasn’t been said- either you love it or you’ve never heard of it. The look and feel of the belt emulates the real thing as closely as possible- there’s a lot of silver, lines bursting out towards you, the giant fist as a centerpoint…it brings back a lot of cherished memories. If you’re a fan of PRIDE, the only reason not to get this would be to buy one that costs more and is even more authentic.

As stated before, the big pull for this series is that you get as much bang as possible for your buck. With the prices of action figures soaring, these belts represent an intriguing and valid option/alternative for the aspiring action figure collector or the hardcore completionist.

The only problems I have with these belts aren’t even related to the belts themselves. It’s the Velcro they come with. The belts have an “adjustable waist” tagline, meaning that you get two pieces of Velcro that you can apply and remove to fit your size. The only thing bad about this is that the Velcro is stronger than the material used to make it stick to the belts, meaning that eventually you’ll be left with a piece of Velcro that just won’t stick. Taking off the Velcro and re-applying it only serves to speed up this degradation process. “Adjustable waist” may be true in pure factual terms, but your best bet for those out there who want to wear it or have someone else wear it is to measure yourself/your friend/your child/etc. once, adjust the Velcro to that size, and keep it that way. Simply draping it across your shoulder is also a worthy alternative for those inclined to wear their belts.

Since this may be the first and only series of Jakks Pacific UFC/WEC/PRIDE replica championships, I think all three belts warrant a purchase. There’s always the chance that we could see things like the PRIDE Grand Prix Championship come down the pipe, or special division-specific or name-specific belts, but for a first attempt at recreating the three major championships of the Zuffa Empire, Jakks Pacific absolutely hit this one out of the park. For children or for serious MMA collectors, even casual MMA enthusiasts, these belts are quite a steal at their affordable price.

Those interested in purchasing either or all of these three belts are advised to use Ringside Collectibles, the official sponsor of MMAFigs.com. You can go directly to their page on the belts by clicking the link right here. Remember that MMAFigs.com readers get to take ten percent off of their order when you use the code “MMAFIGS”!

And remember to stay tuned to MMAFigs.com for the latest previews, reviews, news and notes on Mixed Martial Arts collectibles.

 

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