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.


  1. I have Boggs, mattingly and Guerrero, not in the package. The McFarlanes are very nice, but just not the same. I have the same issue, where do I put them? That's why I don't collect them.

    When i was a kid circa 1986 I was visiting my cousin and we went over to his friend's crappy apartment. His friends parents had every star wars figure. Original series, the 12", up to the Ewoks. They told me that had every figure, every version, everthing. I had no reason to doubt them because they were everywhere. On the couch, on the back of the couch, on the table, EVERYWHERE.

    Basically, to have an extensive collection, you either have them in boxes in storage, or they take over your house.

  2. A bunch of Starting line ups showed up at my local thrift store still in the packages. A bunch of good players. Stan Musial, Griffey Jr, Johnny Bench Roberto Clemente. I bought a 2 pack with Catfish Hunter and Reggie Jackson in A's uniforms.
    A frind told me about a starting lineup website with a full on forum. I tried to post there. I'd pick em up if anybody wanted them. But everybody there was all paranoid. and thought people were trying to get info that would make it harder for them to collect...they wouldn't approve me to sign up!

    I took Reggie and Catfish and busted them out of the package 'cuz they needed to be free.

  3. LOL, I can't even imagine that on top of baseball cards, having little baseball players all over my room.

    I just remembered another one I had was Willie Randolph. I think the mention of Reggie is what tipped me off on that one, and I can remember his pose, too. They only had one so it's hard to forget.

    The only MacFarlane from here on I can see myself buying is a Pujols one to sit on my desk.

  4. By the way, I think it's hilarious how the group wouldn't let you into their circle to play. Did they think you were going to go out and scour until there were none left for anyone else? Whackos.

  5. I was a big SLU fan back in the day. When the McFarlanes came out I jumped on them but then ran into that question of where do I keep all these great looking figures. As a husband sharing a home with a wife you just can't leave them out everywhere.

    Right now on my computer desk in the hutch above my monitor I have one Hartland Ivan Rodriguez, one Sports Impressions Thurman Munson, McFarlanes of Earl Campbell, Mike Modano and Ed Belfour. As for Starting Lineups I have Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Rickey Henderson, Cal Ripken Jr., Ruben Sierra, Yaz, Mattingly and Clemens.

    Behind me in some hutches are McFarlanes of Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, Brett Favre and a Jeter. SLU's of Mattingly and a Favre/Star Classic Doubles.

    I love the figures but its the where to keep them thats the problem. I have a couple of tubs under my bed and in the closet that holds maybe another twenty figures or so.

    Everytime I go in Toys R Us I check out the McFarlanes and marvel at how great they look. But rarely do I buy one anymore. I'll spend $12 on a bunch of cards I will put in a box but for some reason I don't want to spend $12 for a great looking McFarlane to put under my bed.

  6. "Did they think you were going to go out and scour until there were none left for anyone else? Whackos"

    Yes they did! They have public forums. And private forums for members only. There was a thread in the public that was about underrated Starting line ups. People started leaving a bunch of resposnses and they started talking about ones they thought would go up in value. Then the moderator stepped in and said, "We better take this to the members forum"

    End of thread.

  7. Good GAWD, I remember Starting Lineup! I haven't seen nor thought about those in eons. I had a few of them when I was a kid. I don't remember which players I had, but I'm preeeettttyyy sure they were Twins. The one thing that I remember the most about them was bending and deforming their little bats. I was such a naughty collector.

    Here's a thought for ya. Remember SportsTalk? Ya know, that mini record player type thing that played giant versions of Topps cards? Now THAT thing was cheesy-awesome. Cheesesome, even.

  8. My favorite of the Starting Lineups was the series where it was the guy standing on top of a little replica of their stadium.
    Although McFarlanes are bigger and lack the old-time appeal of Starting Lineups, I like them because they are so immensely detailed, right down to the expressions on their faces and words on the ball! That makes them worth it to me