In July 2023, I interviewed Shawn Ng about his new line of wrestling figures, KWK Kayfabe Heroes, and at the time, pre-orders for his first figure, Mantaur, were about to be available … and then Mantaur Mike Halac died.

Less than a year later, Mantaur lives on, and has been released into the wild.

Ng didn’t plan for the Mantaur figure to be a tribute, since Halac was still alive while they were designing his first wrestling figure. Halac was a pleasure to work with. He waited for me for a full year to work things out to produce his figure, Ng told I am forever grateful for him [for giving] this Chinese company a chance, when wrestlers would turn me away and look down on doing business with me when I first started. I think of him all the time and I hope this has made him proud.

There were two “Mantaur” Mike Halac figures because Ng created a pair of variant figures of Mantaur, the A variant with a red card and a B variant with a blue card. Each variant has a slightly different design on the gear, but both come with an awesome Mantaur mask/cowl. The other difference with each figure is that the number of how many were created is printed on each card, so according to the cards, there’s 350 of the A/red variant and 250 of the B/blue variant, which means that each of these is a limited release.

kwk mantaur red card

In order to properly review the Mantaur figure, I knew I needed to open one of the two figures, so I decided to open the B/blue variant, mainly because the packaging got a little more dinged during shipping, which leads me to my two minor criticisms of the figures. 

kwk mantaur blue card

My first criticism is that the figures did get a little banged up in shipping, which isn’t fully the manufacturer’s fault, because what happens to a package when it ships is somewhat out of the control of the sender, but something that would help is more durable packaging and including some type of added protective measure. Ng commented on Facebook that that is something they will do with future orders: “The delivery boxes will have paper between the figures to help not to get them scratched up. We hope this will help [eliminate] some of the issues with the bubble.” My other criticism is the amount of tape used to seal the packages seems excessive, and also there was a typo on it, so instead of KAYFABE HEROES, it said KRYFRBE HEROES, but this is something Ng also said should be resolved for the next figure, PN News.

Aside from those two criticisms, the actual card and the Mantaur figure are strong work. The card, once out of the package, is very well done. It’s made from strong cardboard, and the images are really sharp. Something I appreciate is that Ng gives full credit to his design team on the card, so you know who made what, from the sculptures, to decals, to packaging.

kwk mantaur card only

As for the Mantaur figure itself, it’s really, really awesome. It looks and feels great, and it’s got some real weight to it, so it feels sturdy and that it can actually be played with. Mantaur is often remembered as one of the sillier gimmicks in professional wrestling, but this figure is just fun to look at, and the Mantaur cowl fits perfectly, with room for the arms to move, even while wearing the cowl, so I’m definitely happy to have one to keep in the box, and one to display with the cowl. Another great detail is each figure has a number stamped on the underside of the foot, which states its production number, so collectors (like me) who like to have limited, serial numbered collectibles should really get a kick out of this. 

mantaur loose with cowl

I even did a side by side comparison between Mantaur and a loose WWF Hasbro figure, and Ng and his team really nailed the proportions.

mantaur and macho

With the exception of my two criticisms related to shipping and tape, I think this first KWK Kayfabe Hero wrestling figure is an exceptional accomplishment, and I look forward to seeing the next, which is PN News. At this time, both variants of Mantaur are sold out, and they’re already selling for more than retail on the secondary market, but if you follow KWK on social media or subscribe to the KWK Newsletter, you can stay informed on future releases.

kwk preorder series 2

Pre-orders for the first figures of series two, Los Conquistadores, are scheduled for August 2024, so be on the lookout for that and much more from Shawn Ng and KWK.