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Jungle Boy

AEW Unrivaled
by yo go re

The boy, the myth, the legend!

A young wrestler named "Nate Coy" debuted in 2015 at Underground Empire Wrestling's 2015 West Coast Cruiserweight Cup. Feeling he looked like Tarzan - skinny build, wild hair, jumping all over the place - the crowd started chanting "Jungle Boy" at him. He wasn't exactly thrilled by that but, recognizing that the key to success in pro wrestling is playing off the crowd and respecting their energy, he decided to lean into the comparison. Now using his real name, Jungle Boy Jack Perry signed with All Elite Wrestling and debuted at the preshow for their inaugural Pay-Per-View, Double or Nothing.

The figure has a nice likeness. I don't know if Jazwares uses laser scanning or if this is all by hand, but it's definitely good. Jungle Boy has a stern look of concentration on his face, not the wild roar seen in the photos of the real guy on the packaging, but while that may have been more expressive, this is better for more situations.

Being a wiry little guy, Jungle Boy uses the same chest and arms as Orange Cassidy - everything below the ribcage needed to be new, though, because you can't wrestle in blue jeans when you hail from the jungle. His ring gear is dark brown trunks, thick kneepads, wrist guards that look like animal hides, and boots with leaf-like flaps all over them. He is missing the leopard print and the fring on the side of his trunks, though. The pads and bracers are separate pieces slipped over the limbs. His wild mane of hair hangs down against his back - there's no way they could have had it flying all over the place the way it does in the middle of a match.

With all the dark colors on his clothes, you may not notice the problem with the plastic: namely, the blend of pink they've chosen for the skintone has too much blue in it, making everybody look a bit sickly. It's been an issue with all the white people so far, but now that we're five series in, correcting it might be too late - it would definitely make all these older figures look worse.

The articulation is good, though. Jungle Boy has swivel/hinge ankles, swivel boot tops, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, a balljointed waist and chest, swivel/​hinge wrists, double-hinged elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/​hinge shoulders, a hinged neck, and balljointed head. Because of the way the boots are constructed, it's possible to turn them all the way around - not normally a problem, but it's not easy to tell which direction is forward and which is back. Do the green ties go on in the inside of the shins or the outside?

Jungle Boy only has two accessories, if they can even be considered that: a different set of hands, one closed for gripping instead of having the fingers splayed wide. Come on, Jazwares, you couldn't have copied what Mattel did with Doink and given us alternate hair? Just sticking way out like he just stuck his finger in a light socket. Then we could see his 90210-ish sideburns.

The best thing about the advent of AEW is that it's given more wrestlers a chance for a career path. Vince McMahon is famous for only liking very tall, very jacked performers, so a slender guy like Jungle Boy would never have had a chance to make it to TV if the WWE was the only game in town. (Yes, Ring of Honor and Impact are both "technically" on TV, but are they really?) He's popular with the fans, and keeps getting put in big matches as both a singles and tag competitor. Hopefully one day they'll even book him to win.

-- 06/09/21

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