August 04, 2010
Many, many moons ago — before the beard and Brad Miller(notes) fascination — just like any other kid who loved sports a little too much, Starting Lineup figurines were one of my favorite toys. It's silly, really. Really silly, you feel me? Because these tiny hunks of plastic didn't actually do anything. Well, they did one thing and they did it well — they looked awesome. As a youngster, there wasn't much better than having a little replica of your favorite player. If I could, I'd find all my old ones and display them in my bookcase, right next to the picture of Bill Wennington that my mother-in-law took when she was out to dinner one night. But I digress.
Unfortunately, the kids of today don't have those excellent miniature athletes available at their local Wal-Mart. Sure, they could get them through eBay, but $79 for a Michael Adams is ridiculous. It's too bad because sports-action figures are awesome, no matter how inherently nerdy they are.
Luckily for little NBA fans, they have the Internet. And because they have the Internet, they'll be able to get their hands on MINDStyle's NBA figurine sets. They're designed by Korean toy designer CoolRain and they are excellent.
Included in the set are Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony(notes), Kevin Garnett(notes), Derrick Rose(notes), Dirk Nowitzki(notes), Brandon Roy(notes), Steve Nash(notes), Manu Ginobili(notes), Amar'e Stoudemire(notes) and Dwayne Wade. Nice list of plastic players, but I'd suggest Kevin Durant(notes) replace Manu. Of course, the Manu one looks great, so maybe not.
Really, all of them look great (except Dirk's inexplicably brown hair) and the detail is amazing. Just look at Garnett's head — his weird cranium structure is basically perfect. As is Brandon Roy's slightly spooked yet weary expression. As are Derrick Rose's adidas TS Supernatural Creator. As is everything else. Mighty fine work, dudes.
The figurines aren't available quite yet. According to MINDStyle, they'll be released in the fourth quarter of this year and they'll be blind-boxed, meaning you won't know which figurine you're getting. I suppose that means you'll just have to keep buying them and buying them until you get the one you want. I wonder if that's their business plan...
BDL Rating: Four (out of five) Muggsy Bogues
(h/t High Snobiety)