Like Abel, the character whose action figure I will be reviewing today is another of the Street Fighter IV characters I know next to nothing about. Then again, ignorance has never stopped me from getting a cool action figure, so today I bring you… El Fuerte!
El Fuerte is designed to be an homage to Lucha Libre, although the actual costume draws from several other sources, like Japanese and American wrestling tropes. A good deal of treatises can be written about the specific influences that can be seen on El Fuerte’s costume, but the thing that immediately grabbed my interest is that he is a masked wrestler.
The sculpting style is very cartoon-like, but since El Fuerte is actually the smallest of the characters made by Jazwares for their Super Street Fighter IV assortment, the body proportions are not as exaggerated, which allows this action figure to blend–in better with other similarly scaled lines like Marvel Universe or G.I. Joe.
The costume itself does not have a lot of sculpted details, other than some trim on the openings of his mask and several round bubbles sculpted alongside his legs, meant to suggest similar adornments that can be found on matador pants. Another non-canon costume element found in El Fuerte is a long flowing yellow sash around his waist, made of fairly soft rubber.
El Fuerte’s mask is also atypical in that it has an opening on top to let out a top-knot, the ears are also uncovered and some hair escapes from the back of the neck, all of which would be considered potential weak spots in an actual Lucha Libre bout.
El Fuerte could also be called El Ágil, because the action figure incorporates Jazwares’ version of super-articulation quite nicely:
• Pegged hinge shoulders.
• Pegged hinge elbows.
• Swivel wrists.
• Floating torso.
• Pegged hinge hips.
• Pegged hinge knees.
• Pegged hinge ankles.
All of these joints work just fine although as usual, the ones not injection-molded feel slightly looser but not enough to compromise El Fuerte’s ability to hold a pose.
The paintjob on El Fuerte is deceptively simple. While the costume is mostly left the color of the plastic it’s cast from, the paint is applied neatly in solid blocks of color for details like the lines on his boots and the three blue star motif on his mask and butt. The exposed skin areas on arms and torso received very effective airbrushed shading to enhance the musculature with a fairly smooth gradient.
El Fuerte is also the one figure on this line that has the most accessories. There is an alternate set of hands, both with pointing index fingers, while the default set is sculpted as grabbing fists, which comes in handy for holding the cast-iron skillet also included and which I’m told is required for one of El Fuerte’s signature moves from the game.
Both sets of hands are exchanged easily enough, and the skillet fits well on each grabbing hand. At first I thought that the accessory was molded as part of the hand, like Guile’s comb, so discovering that the item was separate was a nice surprise.
Whatever the case, El Fuerte struck me as a quirky, fun character and the action figure does a good job of replicating those traits.
Errex Score: 82/100