CM Punk, AJ Lee and Sin Cara invade Ringside Fest 2012 in New York City

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October 20, 2012

In addition to meeting their favorite Superstars, Ringside Fest attendees got an up-close and personal look at Mattel’s upcoming WWE wares, including never-before-seen action figures of CM Punk’s Hell in a Cell opponent, the monstrous Ryback.

“We really wanted to show some Ryback figures, because he’s red-hot right now,” said Mattel toy designer Bill Miekina, who was excited to show off the wrecking machine’s first-ever Mattel figure as well as a second version that will appear in a Battle Pack alongside Jinder Mahal. “We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback about Ryback.”

Also on display for the first time at Ringside Fest was an upcoming wave of Walmart-exclusive Basic action figures decked out in authentic WWE T-shirts. Unlike the removable T-shirts that have long been a part of Mattel’s highly detailed Elite series, these threads are sculpted onto the figures themselves.

“People kept asking for them,” said Miekina of the demand for shirted Basics figures. “We’ve always wanted every Basic figure to represent how Superstars look in the ring, but when Walmart approached us about doing store exclusives, [this concept] came up and we thought it would be kind of cool.”

The wave includes John Cena in his green “Salute to Cenation” tee, CM Punk in his “In Punk We Trust” and accurate shirted representations of Triple H, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler and R-Truth. Additionally, the set includes a special Randy Orton figure that is only available when a WWE Live Event is in town.

Miekina, who is himself a longtime member of the WWE Universe, was proud of the buzz generated by Ringside Fest figure debuts of Mattel’s Honky Tonk Man, an Elite Brock Lesnar and an upcoming Elite version of Christian decked out in his “Attitude Era” attire. Needless to say, this miniature, flamboyant version of Captain Charisma’s poses last a whole lot longer than five seconds.

Another action figure that had collectors talking was the Mattel debut of current United States Champion Antonio Cesaro, which includes painted-on chest hair. Sin Cara also had a new figure on display decked out in white and gold, which Miekina hailed as a striking color combination.

When thinking back on the painstaking process of matching Cesaro’s unique torso tresses, Miekina couldn’t help but wince.

“It took an uncomfortably long time to get the shape and the placement just right,” Miekina said with a grimace.

“Ringside Fest started because we wanted a way to bring our online business to fans,” Ringside Collectibles President Jonathan Piontkowski told “We want to promote the newest Mattel product and present an event for fans to interact with us face to face.”

For all the hot toys on display, it was the brand-new “Stone Cold” Steve Austin Elite figure that caused the most buzz. Available exclusively on, “It's an amazing figure,” Piontkowski proclaimed.

“It's unbelievable,” Piontkowski continued. “It comes with the Smoking Skull Championship and ‘Attitude Era’ WWE Championship. You get both titles in one package. I think it’s the best ‘Stone Cold’ ever made.” (VIEW PHOTOS)

A new Elite Series 18 featuring The Funkasaurus was also a hit with collectors. “The new Brodus Clay with the fedora, jacket, necklace and pants has been unbelievable popular,” Piontkowski said. “It’s one of the best looking Mattel figures out right now.”

Adding to the excitement was the fact that this year’s Ringside Fest was held in the shadow of WrestleMania 29, taking the New York/New Jersey area by storm next April at MetLife Stadium in the nearby Meadowlands.

“This year’s the biggest,” Piontkowski heralded of Ringside Fest 2012. “I couldn't have asked for anything better.”

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CM Punk Bio, Videos, Photos, and News Articles AJ Lee Bio, Videos, Photos, and News Articles Sin Cara Bio, Videos, Photos, and News Articles

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