Steve Yzerman
with Stanley Cup

I'm putting up two sports reviews tonight, a veritable flood in my usual drought in this genre.  Mine covers the new Steve Yzerman, while Coheteboy reviews the new Yao Ming.

Mcfarlane has been producing Sports Picks figures for several years now, and it's obviously his favorite baby.  Being a massive sports fan himself, this has to be a dream come true to be able to work with and produce action figures of all the baseball, hockey, basketball and now even NASCAR greats.

This Yzerman carrying the Stanley Cup over his head is actually the second release.  This figure was also in a previous wave, but when you're from Detroit, you can guarantee that you'll find it impossible to see one of these on the shelf.  I bet if I was living in Colorado, they'd be falling off the pegs.

You can find these (if you don't live any where near Detroit) at Wal-mart, Target, Toys R Us, and specialty retailers for about $10.

Packaging - ***1/2
Hey, guess what - I like the clamshells.  No big surprise here, and the big winged wheel on the insert looks great.  Having inserts specific to each team makes the line look a lot better, and the clamshell shows off the figure fairly well.

Sculpting - ***1/2
Is this Yzerman?  It's damn close.  If I were merely grading on the face, he'd get four stars, and I bet even casual hockey fans would recognize him.

But there's more than the head here, and the rest of the sculpt hurts the complete score slightly.  There's very little articulation, so the sculpted pose has to work perfectly.  Unfortunately, it doesn't quite cut it.

THe upper body is fine, but the lower body is sculpted slightly turned to one side, and if there's waist articulation I can't break it free.  This means Stevie ends up turned a little funny on the base, and there's not much I could do about it.  I had a tough time getting his body, legs and skates all in a pose that really looked right, but finally found something I could live with.

Paint - **
Can you say 'slop city'?  I knew you could.

The best paint work is on the face, where it is clean, even and very realistic.  The outfit doesn't fair quite as well.

The definition between the red and white is okay, but there is some sloppiness in a few areas.  It's not terrible, but not good enough for high marks.

The big loss comes from the legs and skates.  Here there's nothing but slop, especially on the skates.  It's so bad that I kept thinking it must have been on purpose, but I can't imagine what it's supposed to be.

The top of the skates are wrapped tight with tape.  The white paint for the tape has been slopped all over both skates, even covering some of the emblems.  The laces look terrible, and this is one of the worst McToys paint jobs I've ever gotten.

It might be that I got a bad one - you never know.  Be careful if you can in picking yours out.

Articulation - **
Stevie doesn't have a lot.  There's neck, wrists, and cut thighs inside the shorts.  It's just barely enough to get a pose that's stable, and that's about it.  There *might* be a waist joint - there certainly should be one - but I couldn't get mine to break free if there is.

Accessories - ***
There are two accessories - the base and the Cup of course.  Both are crucial to the figure.

The base is necessary for Yzerman to stand.  One foot fits onto a peg in the base, but the peg was crooked on mine and very tough to use.  The base itself has a sticker on top with the team logo and his name.

The cup looks great, and fits nicely in his hands.  Most of the score in this category goes to the fact that they did a nice job on old Stanley.  There could have been more detail - there's plenty of missing engraving - but for this price and scale it's appropriate.

Value - ***
At $10 you'll feel like you got what you paid for.  These make the Kenner versions look like old jock straps.

Overall - **1/2
These are really intended as little statues.  That means that two things MUST be dead on - sculpt and paint.  If those two are cool, you can live with less than stellar articulation and accessories.

While the sculpt here is great (ignoring the problems I had with the pose), the paint application is truly awful.  That really hurts the overall score for a figure that I was really looking forward to.

Where to Buy - 
I picked mine up at Target, by pure luck. Other options include: 

- Aisle Sniper has cases of upcoming NHL, NBA and other waves available for $110 as a pre-order.

- Killer Toys has most cases available for preorder for $105. 

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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