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Review of Babe Ruth
Cooperstown Collection Action Figure

McFarlane Toys
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

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Cooperstown Babe Ruth action figure by McFarlane

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Introduction

Who is the greatest baseball player of all time? Now there's a question designed to get you in a brawl on any given Saturday night at your local sports bar. Who it might be is definitely up for debate, and I suspect it has a lot to do with when you grew up. I was a child of the 60's, and Hank Aaron was always on the top of my list.

Babe Ruth may not be the greatest on your list, but he best be top ten. He was certainly the greatest during the first half century of the game, and he had a way of working the crowd and the media that modern players would be smart to emulate.

Mcfarlane Toys has been doing Sports Picks for years, taking over from Kenner back in the 90's and replacing their Starting Lineups as THE sports figures to have. Their Cooperstown Collection has been a series dedicated to many of the old school stars of baseball, and the Babe has seen more than one release. In the latest series (wave 7), he has been released in his Yankees uniform, in an iconic pose pointing up at the stands, showing the world where he plans on hitting the next pitch.

Mcfarlane started adding in more chase variants in the last year, coming up with this new 'bronze, silver, gold, etc. etc. etc.' series of levels tacked on to the concept. The chase figures are coded to match the number produced, going from 1000 - 2000 (bronze) up to 1 - 50 (All Star, I believe...)

This version of the Babe also has a bronze release that includes a replica of the 1932 World Series ticket. It's nifty, but personally I think they could have given everyone one of the little buggers.

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Packaging - ***
McFarlane still uses the clam shell style of packaging, which I've always been a fan of. It holds up great to shelf wear, reduces peg theft, and allows for some great graphics work with the inserts.

Here we see plenty of personalization, with the teaser information on the World Series ticket you didn't get. The colors are calm and cool, reflecting the pastoral baseball theme and the Yankees uniform colors themselves. You'll need a knife to get him open, but as long as you have the basic skills to avoid a hospital visit, you should be fine.

Cooperstown Babe Ruth action figure by McFarlane

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Sculpting - ***1/2
This is a slightly older and wiser Ruth, but it's the Babe most definitely. There are lots, and lots, and lots of reference images out there from various stages in his career for you to compare.

You'd have to be living under a rock to not know that McFarlane Toys can - can - produce the finest sculpts in the 6 - 7" scale there are. They have to be on their game though, because when they aren't...well, better off left unsaid.

Babe Ruth was not a handsome man, by anybodies standards except perhaps his mom's. Then again, when did you have to be attractive to be a athletic star? After reviewing a number of photos, I have to say that they've captured his look extremely well. The sculpt is slightly textured, with some very sharp definition for this scale. The style fits with his meaty mug, and the expression looks like it was taken right from one of his many stock photos.

His body is that of a slightly older player, especially one back in the pre-steriod days. He's a man well known for his appreciation of all things vice, especially food, drink and women, and he has that slightly pudgy old school baseball body that you'd expect.

While there's a little articulation - more on that later - he's really a statue, designed for one pose. It's pretty iconic, although whether or not he was actually pointing to center field and calling his shot is widely disputed. It's funny how something like this can become a defining moment in a career of amazing accomplishments. Whether or not Ruth actually called his shot, it's still pretty damn cool.

He stands great, since the metal post on the left foot is going to keep him upright in a hurricane. He's about 7" tall, fitting in pretty well scale-wise with other figures from other licenses in this scale.

Cooperstown Babe Ruth action figure by McFarlane

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Paint - ***1/2
If you're buying a statue, there's really only the sculpt and paint that matter. With McFarlane, these are generally both slam dunks.

The paint work is clean all the way around, with sharp edges and very little slop. I'm particularly impressed with the eyes and skin tone, but the Louisville Slugger insignia on the bat is a work of art.

The little touches are here as well, like the way the uniform lettering follows the wrinkles, or the tiny button circles.

My only issue that held him back from a perfect score here is the weird lighter skin color on the extended finger. I don't know if it was caused by being put in the package while it was still wet...or if it was a production worker with sticky fingers, literally. Either way, it's the only imperfection in an otherwise excellent paint job.

Cooperstown Babe Ruth action figure by McFarlane

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Articulation - *1/2
These are nerd Hummels through and through, and the only reason there are five points of articulation is to allow you to get him *just* right in the single pose he's designed for.

The joints are all cut joints - neck, elbows, and calves. This way you can turn the head slightly to look over the hand, adjust the pointing arm up or down slightly, and turn the left arm out a bit to allow easier access to insert the bat. Finally, there are the cut calves that will allow you to put the feet in the right position to fit in on the peg and in the hole. These are all minor adjustments, however.

BTW, while the right foot only has a hole to fit on the plastic post of the display stand, the left foot has a steel post attached. That means you can't pose Babe without his hunk of home plate.

Cooperstown Babe Ruth action figure by McFarlane

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Accessories - **1/2
I'm counting the display stand and bat here. Not sure what else you could give a batting version of Mr. Ruth.

The base is nicely sculpted of course, and includes some grass, dirt and home plate itself. There's cleated foot prints in the dirt, as well as the aforementioned post and post-hole.

The knob on the bat pops off to allow it to be easily placed in his left hand. Once it's there, you can replace the knob. The sculpted logos on the bat look fantastic, and show off the kind of detail work that McFarlane is so well known for.

This score would be higher if I'd also gotten one of the nifty World Series repro tickets, but that's the chase, and finding them is a bit tougher.

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Fun Factor - **
These aren't really designed to be 'played' with, and that includes any sort of posing. They're statues, the ultimate sports nerd Hummels.

Value - **1/2
Most action figures are now in the $15 range, so getting a 'collectible' figure for around $13 is a decent enough deal.

Cooperstown Babe Ruth action figure by McFarlane

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Things to Watch Out For -
Zippo!

Overall - ***
If you're looking for a reasonably priced small statue of Babe Ruth, this is it. While McFarlane, Kenner, and others have produced Babe's in the past, this is truly an iconic pose for him, and somewhat controversial as well.

The lack of articulation and accessories hurt him a bit for me, but if you're not going for that - and if you're a regular buyer of this style of collectible - than you'll probably be a half star happier overall than I.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - *1/2
Accessories - **1/2
Fun Factor - **
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***

Cooperstown Babe Ruth action figure by McFarlane

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I haven't covered a lot of Sports Picks, but there's been a few.

- another big hitter is Ken Griffey Jr.

- I checked out the mini NBA figures quite awhile back.

- One of my favorite sports figures recently is one of the most hated sports 'mascots' - the FOX Sports Robot.

- there's also a guest review of an early wave of MLB figures, as well as an early wave of NFL figures.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
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Cooperstown Babe Ruth action figure by McFarlane

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This product was provided for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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