Sunday, December 22, 2019

12 Days of Christmas Day 10 - McFarlane Mania

In 2001 Todd McFarlane took over the sports action figure market, releasing the first licensed sets of McFarlane SportsPicks figures for NFL and NHL players (NBA and MLB figures followed in 2002.) Unlike Starting Lineup, McFarlane released multiple series of figures per year.

Since my mom knew how much I enjoyed collecting SLU figures she continued picking up sports figures for me as Christmas gifts - starting with Mats Sundin and John LeClair:

These series 1 NHL figures got me started on hoarding bigger and more detailed action figures - especially hockey. At one point I was on a quest to find one figure for all 30 NHL teams. 

I didn't buy any basketball figures and surprisingly few baseball figures. McFarlane had a habit of fixating on the same teams and players, filling every baseball series with at least one Yankees player. Knowing how much I hated this, my brother and sister in law made sure to buy one for me as a Christmas gift:

This is supposed to be Derek Jeter, but the side photo looks more like Andy Pettitte.

Aside from this one, most of my McFarlane figures represent my favorite teams or players at the time. Here's the complete list:

football (13)  
  • Series 3 LaDainian Tomlinson Chargers
  • Series 4 Brett Favre Packers
  • Series 4 Donovan McNabb Eagles (white jersey variant)
  • Series 4 Michael Vick Falcons
  • Series 6 Brett Favre Falcons
  • Series 6 Shaun Alexander Seahawks
  • Series 7 Brett Favre Packers
  • Series 7 Brett Favre Packers (white jersey variant)
  • Series 8 Ahman Green Packers
  • Series 8 Ahman Green Packers (white jersey variant)
  • Series 12 Brett Favre Packers
  • Series 19 Brett Favre Packers
  • Series 19 Brett Favre Jets

baseball (11)
  • Series 1 Ichiro Suzuki Mariners
  • Series 2 Ken Griffey Jr. Reds 
  • Series 2 Derek Jeter Yankees
  • Series 2 Greg Maddux Braves
  • Series 2 Nomar Garciaparra Red Sox
  • Series 2 Manny Ramirez Red Sox
  • Series 8 Sammy Sosa White Sox (retro edition)
  • Series 9 Pedro Martinez Expos (retro edition)
  • Series 10 Curt Schilling Red Sox
  • Series 12 David Ortiz Red Sox
  • 2010 Dustin Pedroia Red Sox (team assortment)

hockey (35)
  • Series 1 Mats Sundin Maple Leafs
  • Series 2 Jaromir Jagr Capitals
  • Series 3 Scott Stevens Devils (x2)
  • Series 4 Ilya Kovalchuk Thrashers (white jersey variant)
  • Series 4 Brendan Shanahan Red Wings
  • Series 4 Brendan Shanahan Red Wings (red jersey variant)
  • Series 4 Ryan Smyth Oilers
  • Series 4 Ryan Smyth Oilers (dark blue jersey variant)
  • Series 5 Mark Messier Oilers
  • Series 5 Patrick Roy Canadiens
  • Series 5 Joe Sakic Nordiques
  • Series 7 Peter Forsberg Nordiques (retro jersey variant)
  • Series 7 Marian Gaborik Wild
  • Series 7 Jean-Sebastien Giguere Mighty Ducks
  • Series 7 Dominik Hasek Red Wings
  • Series 8 Trevor Linden Canucks
  • Series 8 Trevor Linden Canucks (vintage variant)
  • Series 9 Martin Brodeur Devils x2 (with Stanley Cup)
  • Series 10 Mike Modano North Stars
  • Series 10 Rick Nash Blue Jackets
  • Series 11 Ales Hemsky Oilers
  • Series 12 Sidney Crosby Penguins
  • Series 12 Paul Kariya Predators
  • Series 12 Chris Pronger Oilers
  • Series 17 Trevor Linden Canucks (x2)
  • Series 19 Ryan Smyth Avalanche
  • Series 28 Taylor Hall Oilers
  • Legends 1 Wayne Gretzky Oilers
  • Legends 1 Wayne Gretzky Oilers (white jersey variant)
  • Legends 2 Wayne Gretzky Oilers
  • Legends 7 Mark Messier Oilers (with Stanley Cup) *I just noticed the UPC label on the back of this one reads "Maurice Messier 3"
  • Legends 8 Theo Fleury Flames 

misc. (18)
  • 3 inch 2005 Brett Favre
  • 3 inch 2005 Trevor Linden
  • 3 inch 2006 Ryan Smyth
  • 3 inch 2007 Martin Brodeur w/Cup
  • 3 inch 2008 Jonathan Papelbon
  • 3 inch 2 pack Brett Favre/Tom Brady 
  • 3 inch 2 pack Martin Brodeur/Joe Thornotn
  • 3 inch 2 pack Owen Nolan/Brendan Shanahan
  • 2 pack Brett Favre/Brian Urlacher
  • 2 pack Dustin Pedroia/David Ortiz (2013 World Series)
  • 2 pack Rob Blake/Brendan Shanahan 
  • 2 pack Jose Theodore/Jason Smith (2002 Heritage Classic)
  • 12 Inch Brett Favre
  • 12 inch Martin Brodeur
  • 12 inch Wayne Gretzky (Oilers)
  • 3-pack Boston Red Sox
  • 3-pack Edmonton Oilers
  • 4-pack Brett Favre

As you can see, I have nearly the same amount of McFarlane figures as Starting Lineup. However these take up a lot more space - especially the multi-packs and 12" figures. I've got no place to display them all, so they've been sitting in boxes for the past several years.

I'd like to downsize my collection but I haven't figured out the best way to do that. The figures aren't particularly valuable, they cost too much to ship individually, and some of the plastic packages are starting to turn an amber color. I'm strongly considering opening at least some of these, which might make them easier to sell. However, by opening the packages and creating more space I'd have less incentive to move them out. 

What would you do with boxes of surplus action figures? Open them, keep them sealed, or sell them? Do you have any McFarlane sports figures in your collection?

Thanks for reading!





  1. All my McFarlane figures are opened and displayed. When I was really young I also had probably 10 or so Spawn figures and the entire sets of Wetworks and Youngblood.

  2. Being sealed all these years has probably damaged the figures, to be honest.
    All figures should be opened as soon as acquired.

    As a long time action figure collector, I can tell you that the figures I opened instantly are fine with no issues. Those I got later, or got new and stashed for later, all have damage relating to the packaging. The plastic needs to "breathe" and being sealed prevents that...if they have any of those clear rubber band type things that Star Wars figures were known for, it may have actually melted part of the figure.

    I only have three McFarlane figures. A horribly inaccurate Elton Brand, and two hockey figures, one of which I got from your contest. I prefer smaller figures, so I never got into them, and the fact that the NBA figures were so anatomically incorrect was just too much. For example Elton was a below the basket defensive specialist, yet the figure they made of him has him flying almost vertically above the rim, in a way that no NBA player ever ever moved. It seems like they did better with hockey sculpts though.

  3. I love McFarlane figures. Mine are displayed at work but I only have 11. I actually had a custom Bob Horner made. I'd try Facebook Marketplace to sell. Easier to find local buyers and avoid shipping. Great collection and post.

  4. You could always donate the one's that you don't want, and get the tax write-off.

  5. I feel ya on the space issue. I've thought about selling my stuff too. We have a local toy show a few times a year. Maybe one of these times, I'll sign up and try to unload a bunch of stuff. That being said... I'm super jealous that you own the Favre 4-Pack. I've wanted one of those sets for my collection for quite some time.