January 3, 2009
Starting Lineup vs. MacFarlane
I can remember years ago as a kid going to Caldor or Bradlees with my grandfather buying me anything I looked at. What we used to really like looking at were obviously toys, since I was only a child (shut up, Sooz). I used to pick out a Starting Lineup figure here and there, and they were all Yankees. I had Mattingly, Winfield, Henderson, a pitcher I can't recall, and a few others. These were fun, I ripped them open, and proudly displayed them on my bookcase. This is the same bookcase that served, as a toy display and a book case. I even remember one year Starting Lineup made some figures with gold coins on the package. I have the whole set of coins set aside in my closet somewhere. I loved these figures, and if you look at them now, they were the most simple things.
Now we have MacFarlane, 50 series of them, 20 variants, home & away, this, that, and the other thing. These figures start at about $12.99, and go up from there depending on the series, if they are exclusive to that store, sport, and how many you get. There are some sets out now, as well as multiple sports. Granted, Starting Lineup also had football, but if memory serves me correctly that was not until about 5 or 6 years into that product.
MacFarlanes could be fun. I'm still not sure how, but I am trying to learn. I watch people buy them everyday and have no idea where they put them all. Maybe they display them on a bookcase like I did as a child, or maybe they just buy them to save them which I have done on occasion. But to chase all the variants seems a little insane to me, and we all know how much I love to buy things. I just feel like toys today have become very complicated and somewhat geared more towards adults than children.
I was looking at the few MacFarlanes I happen to own (all of which are still in the packages), and they are much "cooler" looking than Starting Lineup figures. But how can you favor them over the retro classic? I have the set of MacFarlanes from the All Star Game, which are Jeter and Mattingly. They look awesome, and the poses are great. The only others that I have are a Jorge Posada because it was half price, a Yogi Berra because it was a Christmas gift, and my tiny Pujols figure that I bought to sit in my change holder in my car. Pujols looks like he's sitting in a tiny dugout while I drive around.
I still collect some toys for the sake of saving them. I'm a big fan of using Topps, Upper Deck, Mattel, and Johnny Lightning as a 401K. With the way the economy is today, I might be onto something.
Did anyone out there collect the Starting Lineups? Let me know what you think of this, I like pondering the completely random.