Saturday, June 16, 2007

NFL 3-Packs: A Second Look Now That Pictures Are Out

Earlier this month I opined on the NFL 3-packs from McFarlane based on the descriptions released from the company. Now that photos are out, I'll "revise and extend" my remarks.

The Eagles 3-pack is a disappointment. McNabb is a straight re-release of the NFL Series 12 figure. Why didn't they do this figure in the white jersey? I guess they just wanted to have at least one figure with the green jersey but it is a missed opportunity. Dawkins looks good in the black jersey but it's a reissue of that awful, awful hunchback defensive pose that McFarlane uses way too often. Westbrook looks very good in his white jersey.

I had planned to buy this 3-pack but now I'll probably pass. One good new figure, one awful pose new figure, and a straight reissue. This 3-pack gets a C-, primarily because of Dawkins. Slightly better than last year's 3-packs, but poor pose choice and the questionable jersey pick for McNabb make it a weak offering.

The Dallas Cowboys 3-pack is much, much better. The star of the lineup is a double-star; Troy Aikman in the Cowboys' Double Star jersey. it looks spectacular. Tony Romo's figure looks great as well in the blue alternate jersey. Staubach is a duplicate of what is planned for NFL Legends 3 - but that's no problem. I can skip buying the single version and just get the 3-pack. That's 3 new figures in a 3-pack and that rings up cherries for me.

This is a definite buy for me. I'm not a Cowboys fan but I have tremendous respect for Staubach and Aikman - Romo has great potential and I hope he pans out. I'm hoping there will be a blue jersey chase of Staubach in Legends 3; otherwise, I have to wonder why they didn't put him in blue for the 3-pack. This set earns a B+ from me; that bumps up to an A- in Staubach gets a blue jersey chase in Legends 3 because I can then understand why the white jersey was used in the QB set.

The last 3-pack set is the Elite Club Running Backs. Larry Johnson looks great. Not a lot you can do with Chiefs figures - red or white jersey, red or white pants. That's pretty much it. I like the pose and I love the fact that it's different than what has been previously issued. Shaun Alexander looks very good as well. The white jersey looks even better than the teal one, to me. I don't like this pose though - without a defender there it looks incomplete. It's like clapping with one hand - it just doesn't work. Worse, it's on posts and I HATE posts, especially when they're used gratuitously as they are here. TMP should have gone with the first Alexander pose rather than the second.

Finally, LaDanian Tomlinson . . . great player choice, obviously. Standing ovation on the uniform choice - everyone has been clamoring for the powder blue uniform. One of the most popular TMP exclusives is the LT Powder Blue figure from the Super Bowl and the uniform is a big reason for that. All that said, the pose (LT3) is not good. I understand why they didn't use LT 1 as that is what they used for the Super Bowl Exclusive. But why not LT2? Much stronger pose. And for crying out loud, why doesn't he have a visor? Is this something the NFL wouldn't allow? Does LT plan to abandon the visor next year? Collectors have been fussing about the missing visors on LT from his first issue and it never seems to get fixed. I'm hoping there is a good reason for this.

All that said, the Elite Club 3-pack is a keeper. Three new figures help to make it a winner. Lots of missed opportunities with this pack though. I'll give it a provisional B- pending feedback on the visor. If the visor is included or there's a good reason for it not being there, the grade goes up to a B. Better pose choices and a visor would have earned this 3-pack an A rating.

Earlier I gave the three 3-packs a B. Now that I've seen the photos . . . I'll drop it slightly to a B-. That's still a big, big improvement over last year.

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