RSR ESR History: The differences. Tale of the tape. Jan 26, 2014 21:29:36 GMT -5 OmegaGaijin, wyleecyotee, and 5 more like this
Post by naparo01 on Jan 26, 2014 21:29:36 GMT -5
Let me start by answering the scale question. Now this is all a matter of opinion and I can only offer you mine. So keep that in mind. The main difference between the two rings is size. The ESR is about 2 inches larger than the RSR. And to me this makes it too large for these figures. The RSR is plenty large (some thought too large when originally released) so extra room is just unnecessary. When playing with the ESR it seems like a marathon for a fig to run the ropes. I know only 2 extra inches but it makes a noticeable difference. Now I know that the RSR box advertises at as 22x22 but this isn't quite accurate. Perhapse it is close if you measure from the outside of each post but the ring base is 20x20. The other size difference is the girth of the ring posts. The ESR posts are just fat and bulky. And if you ask me they are grossly out of scale. The jacks posts are thinner and are more in scale with the figs. Both rings have height of posts that seem right.
Here are the measurement differences. Both advertise that they are 22 inch rings but this is not completely true no matter how you look at it. There are two ways to measure these rings. The first is from outside post to outside post. Now since these rings have posts that lie on the outside of the ring and are not carved into the corner (like real rings) this leads to a larger measurement from post to post that is different from the base side to side measurement. The ESR has a post to post measure of 23 inches and a base side to side measure of 22 and 1/2 inches. The RSR has a post to post measure of 21 3/8 inches and a base side to side measure of 20 1/2 inches.
OK so now I am going to attempt to give the highlights of the Scale rings.
Jakks Official Scale Rings (Real Scale Ring RSR)
Classic Wrestlemania Original Releases V1
The controversial original release. It was the best ring ever released when it came out. For me it was a dream come true. A ring in scale with realistic parts and cloth. I remember writing on old wrestling forums in the BCA era before I had ever discovered WF suggesting that Jakks make something like this and when they finally did it I was overflowing with excitement. The first news of it I discovered on WFigs/RSC. The original box proto type was very different from what we actually received. And I was very happy with that change. The original box proto showd a picture of the Smackdown ring. If memory serves me right the picture was of an actual ring with figures edited in it. So many of us were expecting a smackdown ring. Then there were rumors that it would be a classic ring to complement the new Classic Superstars Line that had made it to about series 4 or 6 at that time. Well as fate had it Jakks decided to make there most realistic ring in the classic 80's style.
The Caving Issue
The ring came with blue posts and I think they were not scratched up battle damaged ones that would be released with later versions. Oh yeah. The posts. The Dreaded "caving" posts that plague the RSRs. Lets address this. So let me be clear about this. Yes it is true that the first release of the RSR had inferior posts that were prone to bending. But this problem was solved with all other versions of the ring. And since there were so many versions of the RSR released (about 7 I think) only one of them has the flawed parts. So the basic construction of the posts is that they are split up into 3 sections. The bottom part, the corner piece that attaches to the ring base which were both made of plastic. And the die-cast metal large upper part of the post. The problem was that the metal part of the post only had about a half inch piece that fit into the plastic corner part of the post. That corner piece also had a slit cut out of it to accommodate the contour of the metal posts. The small insert of metal into plastic was not enough to support the tension of the ring ropes and would lead to stress marks on the corner plastic part. The ring was released with little clips that would cover this stress point but they were very cheep and did not do much to help. That's where the caving issue came in. Now for me I noticed early on that the ring had stress points on some of those parts. What I did to stop this from getting out of control was to loose the turnbuckle screws to loosen the ropes and detached the ropes from one ring post to reduce the tension when I was not using it. Others reported actually gluing the posts in place to support them. I personally have never had my original ring posts collapse. The one thing that we do not hear about is that Jakks listened to our complaints and went out of their way to make it better. They actually listened to our complaints and made improved replacement parts. They actually re-manufactured the posts to make the better. They came with a longer insert on the metal post that went deep into the corner posts and even connected to the bottom pole piece that had a small hole in it to make the post system stronger. In addition it came with a post clip that was stronger and more effective. And guess what. They offered them for Free! That's wright just simply email Jakks and they would ship you a heavy package with the replacement improved post system. No proof of purchase necessary. They would just send them to you. My experience with the replacement post system is that they have never caved or shown stress marks. So I was pleased with the improvement, the fact that they offered the fix for free. So that's it. If you are shopping for an RSR and are concerned about the “post caving plague” then you only need to worry if you have the original release of the RSR. All other versions of the ring had this problem resolved. And if you are buying it second hand there is a chance that the original owner (if he was smart) got the replacements.
Each small bottom post piece also had a little rubber insert to protect hard surfaces that you set your ring up on and keep it from sliding around. There are additional bottom post parts that also support the inner portions of the ring base. The ring base is just two black plastic rectangles. They are held together with 3 plugs that slide in to the bases. The plugs are kind of like cheep hinges and are held in the ring with friction. They are thin in the center so that you can fold the base in half for storage. I was always worried that if you opened and closed these too often that the visible stress marks on the “hinge” would tear but it has never happened. The friction system to hold these in was not treat though as with play and thunderous body slams these things would fall out. This didn’t happen a lot but from time to time. My fix was to purchase 3 50 cent spring clips from Home Depot and no longer use the plugs. The canvas was attached to a blue ring skirt. The canvas was grey and the accuracy of this color choice is debateable. Personally I remember the classic rings having a white/very light blue tone. The original canvas was just thin material and had no padding which I liked. When you performed a suplex or slam on this it would make a nice crack noise. The skirts were attached to the canvas which is an inaccuracy from real rings. The skirts are made of a tough blue material. One side has the classic wrestlemania logo. As far as accuracy to wrestlemania goes this was only seen at one Wrestlemania (6). All others used various length and logoed black skirts with the exception of 7 that used blue with a red and white logo and 1 that had a plain logo less powder blue skirt. The opposite side of the ring had the classic block WWE logo (without the F). The alternate sides of the ring were blank. These sides are the ones I like best.
The ring came with very cool retooled turnbuckles. These were the same turnbuckles released as accessory packs for the Jakks Hardcore ring with a slight change. Instead of plastic buckle with metal rings, they made the buckle die-cast metal. Nice touch. What I love about them is that they actually work! The main problem with them was that the hooks were accurate looking hooks but did not hold the turnbuckle pads well as they could fall off easily during assembly. This was a pain in the but the first few times until you get the hang of assembly. This was corrected in later versions. They came with a soft plastic covering to mimic the cloth covers that turnbuckles had but they went with black as the color. This was a slight inaccuracy as the classic rings used to use blue. The ring came with red white and blue classic ropes. They were held to the ring with the foam stuffed cloth turnbuckle pads. Another inaccuracy. Actual ring ropes are held with the turnbuckle hook and the pad covers the hook. With Jakks system if you take the turnbuckle pad off then the rope is not being held on. The turnbuckle pad itself was the most labor intensive part of assembly. Stuffing these things just took forever. But fortunately you only have to do this once. They are black which was inaccurate for the classic ring as black was not used until the attitude era. Turnbuckle pads were often navy blue. The logos are also inaccurate. Of course they are the block WWE logo but they are filled in with white in the logo. The actual pads were just the gold outline of the logo.
But that’s not it. For me it’s all in the details and the next two details left me very pleased. The ring came with a set of ring steps that were split corner mount versions. They were blue versions of the re-released ones that were set to be used with the Jakks Hard Core ring as an accessory pack. My only complain was that it only came with one set. I remember many times the ring having a set on 2 corners. But luckily through trades, previous purchase of the ring gear versions and other rings I was able to collect 2 sets of black, blue, and even 2 sets I painted silver. They are re releases but they fit perfect with these figures and look great in scale with the ring. The other detail, perhaps the smallest of them all, were the small tag ropes. Now this is such a small thing I know. And could easily be customized as an add on with a bit of string but the fact that some one in the production of this item was a fan enough to remember the use of the tag rope to include it with the ring impressed me. I ended up sprucing mine up with a little bit of red tape at the ends (that came from an old grapple gear set that included a tiny roll of read tape!).
It was the best ring ever made. It had a few flaws but Jakks was willing to acknowledge the production mistakes and give free improved replacement parts. Some color schemes and logos were slightly off but the size, materials, and over all look made play and display infinitely more fun.
Wrestlemania 2 Steel Cage
The second version of the RSR that I remember was the Wrestlemania 2 version. When I first heard about this version I was convinced that I would be passing on it. I mean who needs two of these monstrosities? But the inclusion of the classic blue bar steel cage accessory made me dig deep in my pockets for a second RSR. This was the version for me that had come to near perfection! Almost all aspects are the same from the original RSR (size, materials etc.) but they fixed many of the flaws. The posts were upgraded, in fact they were made even better than the replacement versions. The post system was much like the re-done version I described above with the exception of the post clips. These were not needed with the new more sturdy system. The corner mount post piece now came pre assembled and screwed into the ring base for added security. The posts I think on this version were also decorated with silver scratch marks to make it look classic, beat up and used. Jakks loved to make things look beat up for some reason. Any odd house hold accessory that was included for hard core play always had stains, smears, dents, and missing chunks. The two large ring base rectangles were also pre assembled with this version. They were also screwed into the ring base so no falling out problems with this one. The canvas came padded. I was not a big fan of this as it muffles the sound more and the padding makes it slightly more difficult to do poses. But these are small gripes. The ring skirt is the same material as the first version but have a nice accurate Wrestlemania 2 short black ring skirt logo. Of course one inaccuracy is the use of WWE block logos instead of F but I guess I should get over that. Damn “Pandas.” The turnbuckles were upgraded as well. This time instead of the standard hooks it came with a larger bent hook. They didn’t look as accurate as the originals but they held the turnbuckle pads much easier and made assembly less of a hassle. So this was an upgrade in my book. The turnbuckle covering was now blue and the turnbuckle pads blue as well with the gold outline WWE block logo (which was a nice improvement). This time the ring came with smaller wooden style ring steps that mount to the side of the ring. This was accurate for the steps used in that era and I appreciated the detail. I am not a fan of them splitting in half though. I never remember the wooden steps of this era splitting in half. Also due to the smaller size and more even shape the two pieces would easily fall apart compared to the corner mount ones that were much more stable. Regardless nothing a little glue can’t resolve. Of course they again only gave us one set. And I just think a ring needs two. Luckily I was able to snag another set through trades.
The coups de gras has to be the steel cage. They did it and did it well. Simple assembly with red clips to hold the bottom and top of each corner together. My biggest fear while waiting to unbox this was that they would cheap out and omit the door. Growing up in the era of Hasbro I always wanted to functional steel cage. With later collecting I found that LJN had a cage and WCW figures had various cages. Jakks even made a couple versions of the chain link cages but none of them had functioning doors. The closest we got was a non functional molded door on the LJN ring that even if it were functional could not fit most of the bulky LJN figs. But Jakks left me pleased with a a functional door. It is not only nicely hinged to the cage but also has a nice locking mechanisms for your referee to fiddle with whenever the wrestler calls for the door to be open. The only real complaint I have about the cage is that it seems a few cells too large to be in scale with the actual cage. I have never taken the time to measure and be sure of this mind you but that is my sense. If you are a hard core fan you can do what I did and find an extra one through trades to paint black for the WWF attitude version of the cage and recreate the Paul White’s debut at the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.
Wrestlemania I K-Mart Exclusive RSR
This was released exclusively to K-mart stores as a holiday value pack and to my recollection was offered at a pretty reasonable price with the year’s Christmas sales. Not much to say about this. It is pretty much a hybrid of the 1st version and the Wrestlemania 2 version without the problems of the original ring. Post are fixed in this one. Same skirt but the canvas is padded. Only real differences that I am aware of (and I have never owned this ring so bear with me) are that it’s posts and ring steps have the silver paint weathering effect done to them and it comes with a molded shirt version of Hulk Hogan and a ring gear version of Rowdy Roddy Piper (I think with his more retro maroon boots). So if you are looking for the original Wrestlemania logoed ring this is the one to get as all the kinks have been ironed out. I don’t remember what turnbuckle pads it came with but I think they are the same as the original. Not sure if it had updated turnbuckle hooks or not.
The Official Scale Elimination Chamber
As I remember this was the first RSR released in the modern colors. This thing, as the box stated, is HUGE! The posts and general construction of the rings from here on out are the same with cosmetic differences. This was the first ring with black posts. It came with modern WWE scratch logo style turnbuckle pads and the cover to the buckle itself went to black once again. Ropes were now red. The interesting thing about the Elimination chamber ring was the ring skirts or lack thereof. This ring didn’t come with any. Just a grey canvas that is unlike any other canvas released. It has padding. This was nice for use with custom RingSkirts (shameless cheap plug).
The main attraction of this of course is the chamber itself: The Elimination Chamber. I have mentioned it before and will say it again but I always get a chuckle out of referring to the bathroom as the “Elimination Chamber” too. This thing is massive. I mean seriously did I mention how huge this is! Unlike Mattel Jakks was not afraid to put out something, big and expensive but the downside was it’s inaccuracies. Now I am sure we can all forgive the fact that the chamber was not made of real chain link (plastic even) and instead is a molded chain simulation. That’s acceptable. The base fits nicely and snug to the ring but is a solid piece that is not see through at all and does not have post supports. This is something that I get functionally and price wise for production but after seeing Mattel’s ESR can see that it takes much away from the accuracy. The top of the cage clam shells open for play and the base and sides are quite sturdy to support this function. The sides also open up nicely for play too. The pods are well constructed with clear plastic sliding doors. This was upgrade from their non scale chamber that only came with two pods. The cool thing about the non scale version is that their pods had a hinged glass breaking function to bust through the glass. This is not seen the Scale version and I am okay with that as I like it to look pristine. The problem lies in the pod placement. Jakks apparently did not want to make the Official Scale Chamber officially to scale. The real chamber has the pods at the corner of each ring post. The toy has them on the sides of the of the ring. This makes the chamber much smaller than it is supposed to be and eliminates much of the playable outside of the ring area. I mean one of the coolest things about this match is being able fight on the steel structure outside of the ring and still being able to bounce off the ropes. Not with this set up. Now you have a giant pod in the way. To be fare if this bothers you as much as it does me you can remove the pods for play to reveal more area but then you have a podless chamber. This is a big flaw in the design. And I have to think that the cost of a bit more cheap plastic wouldn’t have made much a difference in the price of the final product. And if it did it would have been a difference that I would have gladly paid for in order to get a more accurate play experience.
Official Scale Cell
Same ring as before but the ring skirt has returned. This time with the raw ring skirt that was used at that time. Nothing else to say about the ring. The ring posts fit into corner supports that are used to construct the chamber. But to be honest if you don’t like using them you don’t need to. The chamber works fine on it’s own as a separate entity. These are helpful if you are going to use the ring mats. This ring comes with some foam outside the ring safety tumbling mats. I like the look and feel of them but for my tastes they are a bit small. Still nice touch.
The cell itself is quite large encompassing the ring with space around for brawling. The dimensions are nice but I honestly can’t remember if it is scaled well or not. One thing that is not scaled well is the chain links. They are a bit larger than they should be. Other than that the cage has everything that it needs. A hinged door. trap door on the top for the Mankind cell bump, and open able side panels for play.
Rocky Scale Ring.
Once again same construction but with a whole new look. This is the only silver post RSR and is great for a smackdown custom ring. The ring skirt is plain white. The canvas has a red white and blue theme with a red frame, blue base and circle of white stars. The ropes and turnbuckle covers are red. This ring comes with red corner style ring steps. The main addition to this set was the boxing stile long corner style turnbuckle pads of varying colors. This was the last RSR that I purchased. I am not much of a Rocky figure collector but I love this ring as an indy style generic ring for figs.
Money in the Bank Scale Ring
I don’t have much to say about this as I never bought it. For me money in the bank rings are not appealing. I can easily hang a belt or brief case above my ring without the cumbersome apparatus that comes with this set. The ring and set up is almost the same as the Cell ring. Same ring, same skirts, I think it comes with the same outside the ring mats, and corner braces as the cell with a roof apparatus that holds the belt/brief case. I am not sure if this set came with Tables and Chairs or not but regardless you can see the idea. This ring had nothing to offer to me and was expensive for an inaccurate structure to hold a prize above the ring.
To my knowledge this includes all of the scale rings released by Jakks Pacific.
At the beginning of the Mattel WWE license, Matty came out with their own Elite Scale Ring. The most noticeable difference is that the ring is big. A bit too big if you ask me. It has an extra 2 inches (4 square inches more) than the RSR. As I said this just seems too large. But that seems to be the theme of this ring. The other part that is over sized is the ring posts. They are very thick making them look out of scale. They are almost the same diameter as the heads of the figs. Mattel figs at least. The posts are also all plastic parts. No metal here but they fit snug and there seem to be not stress issues or worry about caving. One of the things I dislike is that the upper long post part cannot be easily removed. I know some people have been able to remove it but I am afraid to break it. This doesn’t matter to most but for customizing purposes and storage it matters. Also the posts are not colored well. The upper part is silver but the ring base and bottom parts are both black. Would have been better if everything was one color. Another difference is how the two ring base halves are held together. Pretty much same as the RSR only the plugs are attached are made of actual multi piece pivot hinges. So no worry about them breaking form over use. One of the uppers of this ring is that it has a separate ring skirt and canvas. The canvas is also light powder blue. The canvas has a very simple way to attach to the ring in theory but in practice it doesn’t work out perfectly. It is simply draped on the ring base and held on with little plastic clips. Think of plastic hingeless close pins. There is barely enough friction to hold them on and to hold the canvas, but I suspect with time and play that gravity would make these puppies fall right off. Not a big deal and nothing a bit of tape could not resolve. The canvas is not just a single layer of cloth and has some padding but not a lot like the later versions of the RSR. It’s kind of the Goldilocks of canvases. Not too hard, not too soft, just right. Another thing that bugs me about the clips is that due to the split between the ring base pieces you cannot put the clips on in a uniform pattern. The ring skirt is superior to that of Jakks. It appears to be a lighter material and the logo designs just seem more professional. Better executed than the jacks version and being they are separate from the canvas they are applied differently. This enables the use of the Finley trapped in the ring skirt beat down! The skirt features the RAW design of the time when it was released. It was advertised that the first 1000 (or so I forget the exact number) of ESR’s purchased would come with a bonus SmackDown! Ring skirt. This prompted me to pre order mine on RSC only to find that this idea was abandoned. GRRR. Yeah I’m still bitter about that. I know what you are thinking, “But you are the king of custom RingSkirts you can just make your own.” Well as good as my work may be, I can admit that it is not as good as the true professionals.
The rope connection system was improved to be more true to accuracy. One of the few details of this version that are more accurate to the RSR. The ropes are red to match that period, nothing special there. But they connect directly to the turnbuckle and the pad is placed over the buckle hook. There for when you remove a turnbuckle pad you expose the metal hook for some mustache curling underhanded skullduggery! The turnbuckles however are less accurate. They are just solid metal pieces with no turning action and therefore no adjustability. Other than that they are fine. They black plastic coving it much like that of the RSR. No Tag ropes included. The one thing that the ESR really dose have going for it is the best ring steps ever. Pretty much the same as the RSR but it has holes cut in for handles. So it gets some slight realism points.
So for me any of the RSRs are better than the ESR. But ESR of course beats the non scale rings. Cause at the very least you can perform a suplex in it without hitting the ropes.
I’m naparo01 and that’s my opinion.