Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Women of STARTING LINEUP! (Part One)

Flo-Jo & Jackie Joyner-Kersee - Starting Lineup: Timeless Legends - 1996 Kenner

I've always had a certain level of contempt for Starting Lineup toys.  I grew up in the 80's watching all my local comic book shops be slowly taken over by sports cards (and the collectors that came along with them).  Then in 1988 the toy aisles started to fill up with these wildly popular sports action figures.  It wasn't fair!  Sure, it was cool that suddenly collecting toys wasn't exactly the geekiest thing in the world anymore, but the sheer real estate of the action figure aisles was precious in those days and these stactions took up valuable space!  I felt like I was getting bullied out of new superhero toys by little plastic football players.  Grrrr... Well, needless to say I became a much more open-minded and accepting person later in life, and now I can appreciate my former angst in a purely nostalgic way.  But I still didn't like Starting Lineup.  Then I discovered that it wasn't quite the boys club I had always assumed it to be.  In fact, they produced Eight female athletes over the years.  The hunt was on.

I picked up these first two on ebay cheap.  First up is Florence Griffith Joyner, also known as the late, great, Flo-Jo.  She was quite the household name at the time of the 1988 Olympics in Seoul where she took 3 Gold Medals and set two world records.  I think she was a guest on every show my parents ever watched.  She was on Cereal boxes, Magazines, Barbie Dolls, everything.

The packaging seems pretty straight-forward from what little I remember of Starting Lineup.  The Timeless Legends 1996 Edition seems to be focused on Olympic Athletes and has an impressive four females out of nine total figures.

The figure doesn't exactly bear a striking resemblance to Flo-Jo, but I think it a pretty nice figure anyway.  I called this a staction before before it has articulation, but it's a little ridiculous.  She pretty much can't be posed in any position accept the one she's packaged in.  Case in point:

If that were an action pose for an upcoming High Jump, this would be interesting.  But alas, it is not.  Flo-Jo came with a stardard Startling Lineup trading card:

Next up is Flo-Jo's sister-in-law, Jackie Joyner-Kersee!  I had no idea they were connected besides both being extremely popular female Olympians.  Flo-Jo married Jackie's brother, fellow Olympic Gold Medalist, Al Joyner.  Jackie herself won three Olmypic Gold Medals in 1988 and 1992.  Can you imagine those family reunions?  And I thought my family was badass when we'd retire to the den for a heated game of chess, or if we were feeling really aggressive, we'd head to the backyard for some mean tetherball and badminton throwdowns.

The Jackie Joyner-Kersee figure is almost identical to Flo-Jo's.  The hair is the obvious sculptural difference and they have greatly differing skin tones and uniforms.  Also, the face looks like it was sculpted for Jackie, and re-used for Flo-Jo, as this is a much better likeness.

Same crazy unnecessary, yet obligatory, articulation.  I bought my Jackie figure loose so I don't have a trading card to share.


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