DC 9" NASCAR Drivers

As an extension of the DC 9" superhero line, Hasbro announced at last year's Toy Fair that they would do a set of three NASCAR Drivers in the same format - Dale Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Jeff Gordon.

I have no idea if these were good choices.  I don't follow the sport at all, and while I know of these gents, I have no preconceived ideas on the choices.  When I first heard about them a year ago, I hadn't even planned on picking them up.

But recently I saw one on a dealers table at a toy show, and then started to notice that they were popping up on ebay.  I asked around to see if I could find them at retail, and wasn't having much luck.  Then a friend of mine, Dave Lacina, mentioned that he's seen them at a Sears of all places.

I tried a few Sears stores without luck, and then visited the exact store that Dave had seen them at.  Sure enough, a few were still there.  Better than that, they were marked down from $14.99 to $10.49.

Packaging - **1/2
Similar to the boxes used for the DC 9" Superheroes, the graphics are decent and the overall package sturdy.  But it's another case where you have to destroy the packaging, and they have to realize that most of the buyers are going to be collectors and NASCAR fans.

Sculpting - **1/2
The sculpting on these is passable, but only Dale Sr. really looks a lot like the real man.  The other two are decent heads for customs, but don't look very much like the men in question.  There are some real custom possibilities here, and the heads are much better scaled than some of the superhero versions.

Overall, these figures are much better scaled.  The torsos are the thinner version of the DC 9" superhero, used in the early figures like Aquaman, and not the meatier torso we saw in Martian Manhunter and other later figures.  These guys are a smidgen taller than their predecessors too, because the boot feet they've been given are taller.

Uniform - ***1/2
Great work on the outfits!  There's a tremendous amount of detail in the patches and advertising, and the construction of the uniforms is much nicer than the usual DC 9" outfit.  Everything - wrists, ankles, neck - is hemmed the way you'd expect, and the clothes fit the figure correctly.

Accessories - ***
The only accessory here is really part of the costume, but I'll count it separately - the helmets.  The helmet that comes with both Dale Sr. and Jr. is pretty basic, similar in many regards to a hockey helmet with a mouthpiece in front for communications.  This helmet is less than exciting, but it's well sculpted and fits the heads of the characters really well.

But the helmet the helmet that comes with Jeff Gordon is extremely nice.  Well made, sharp looking, with a flip up visor, this one has some real style.

Articulation - ***
Standard DC 9" articulation - neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, chest, hips, knees and ankles (slightly).  Oh, and don't forget the cut joint at the biceps.  Decent articulation, but nothing that will surprise anyone. 

Value - ***
Fifteen bucks is a tad high for these - all the Famous Covers sales have tainted our attitudes toward price.  But at ten bucks and change these are very appropriately priced.

Overall - ***
I'm torn on these.  At a rating of only ***, you'd think I wasn't too thrilled by them, but they've grown on me.  The style and look is really great, and they look excellent on the shelf with the other figures.  When I picked these up, I actually expected that I'd give them up to a friend rather than keep them myself, but I've changed my mind.  If you get a chance to get these at a reasonable price, I recommend it.  If you only get one, it's a tough choice.  Jeff Gordon has the cool helmet, but Earnhardt Jr. has the best looking head sculpt and uniform.  It's a tough call!

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford

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