McFarlane Baseball Series 3

Today's guest review is from long time reader Brandon.  He's reviewing the third series of McFarlane's Sports Pick baseball figures - take it away, Brandon!

My name is Brandon Miller and I am honored to be here on the best action figure site on
the web, and I thank Michael for letting me do this review. McFarlane Toys has
always made their figures extremely detailed. Though yet still a young company, McFarlane Toys has it's problems but what action figure company doesn't?  I am a big figure collector, collecting such lines as Sideshow's 12 and 8 inch Universal Monsters, Hasbro's Star Wars, Toy Biz's LOTR and Marvel Legends, Mattel's MOTU, many items from Palisades and McFarlane's Movie Maniacs to name just a few. When McFarlane announced that they were going to make License Major League Baseball figures for 2002 I was so thrilled because being a very big Baseball fan this was a dream come true for me. I have all three series' and they are great but do have their problems. Series 3 here consists of Adam Dunn, Roy Oswalt, Juan Gonzalez, Vladimir Guerrero, Chipper Jones, Curt Schilling, Jason Giambi, and Roberto Alomar. In my opinion this is the best of the lot when it comes to flat stands but more on that later. I can't wait for McFarlane's Sports Picks MLB Series 4, 5, and 6 in 2003! Let's get in to it!

Packaging - ***
As with McFarlane's current products they use the clam shell packaging. The figure is nice and sealed inside with very few twisty ties but for some reason the ones I received were short and had sharp ends on them so beware. What I don't like about it is that on the front, sides, and back of the package it shows pictures of the finished product not the actual person or character it represents and no information either like age, height, weight etc. Maybe McFarlane thinks this is better but I think otherwise. It is great for the collector's who like their figures MIB and it does looks menacing on the shelf!

Sculpting - ****
These figures are tremendous! I just love the way their sculpted. In my opinion they look exactly like their counter parts do in real life. They are so realistic that their faces and bodies look real and they even included the hairs on the players arms, wrinkles in their jerseys, the MLB logos on the back of their jersey and helmets, the team's logo, and even painted the buttons of the shirts and the belt buckles! They also have dirt stains on their legs reminiscent of the players sliding to a base. Though the Oswalt figure is the same mold as Pedro Martinez and Guerrero is the same mold as the Big League Challenge Mark McGwire figure but the head sculpts are brand new. I understand why they made them like that since they had to fill the spots since Jose Canseco retired and McFarlane moved the Manny Ramirez figure to series two. But I am very happy with them! The figures are simply incredible!

Paint - ****
The paint on their uniforms is very good. The colors are perfect and look just like the real thing! The paint of the players faces are is very satisfactory as there is little mess or none at all while the paint on the buttons and buckles are right on! No out of place paint apps whatsoever there!

Articulation - **1/2
The articulation here is another matter. Most of the figures only have three points but some have five points. Particularly Gonzalez and Schilling have neck, arms, wrist, waist, and ankles. Most of the figures I have bought of McToys has cheap joints that either break or are very loose and this disappoints me. Thank goodness that the joints here are not loose. It would have been nice to have more points of articulation for more poses but I do have these figures and that's what counts for me.

Accessories - ***1/2
Series one and two came with bats, the mats/stands, and sunglasses. Series three here has the bats and the stands but the sunglasses are not included and that's why this doesn't get four stars. I don't know if you'd count this as an accessory but some of the players has equipment such as shin guards, elbow pads, gloves, and helmets. I am not sure why the glasses are not here this time around but it would have been a nice an addition. I have had problems with their stands in the past being unleveled and on some the bats don't fit easily in their hands but this series has improved.

Value - **1/2
I rate it two stars and a half because if you want a complete set it'll cost a bundle. I paid a grand total of $72 which was the cheapest price I could find in September of 02. I bought mine from Beans Toys on Ebay. But even if you want a couple figures it'll cost a 9.99 to 13.99 each. If you want a set expect to pay from $80 to $95 in total so it can be expensive but since MLB series 4 in on the way soon it is possible to find sale and clearance out prices at store and on the web so you could grab a set at a much lesser price tag.

Overall - ***
In my opinion the figures are worth it and its a must have for all Baseball and sports collectors and is the perfect gift for a hard-core Baseball fan.

Where to Buy:
Most Toys r Us, Kay-Bee, Target, K-Mart, and Walmart stores have these in stock. Comic and sports shops will carry these but if you want the entire set I recommend buying online.

- Beans Toys 
I bought mine on Ebay via a buy it now auction from Beans Toys. The set is not listed on their site but I would e-mail them and ask. They are extremely friendly and reply right away and have great service!

- The Big Bad Toy Store has most of them in stock as of this writing the set is out of stock but you can e-mail them and they'll get them in for you soon for a great price of $78.99 plus the $4.99 flat rate shipping and you may be even able to get them cheaper! So you could get an excellent deal there! They are highly recommended and they reply to their e-mails fast and has great service and they ship fast as well!

- Amazon.Com
They have the whole set including some variants. They also have the other two series. Amazon has great service and this is a good choice over all.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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