Posted by: dodgrblu | July 16, 2010

Men In Tights!

Note: It’s high time for a toy review. So, any reader who doesn’t like baseball, the Dodgers, or toys can stop reading right now and miss nothing. (I promise not to hide any deeply personal revelations in here anywhere.) Try your call again later.

Oh, happy day, it’s here! It’s here! My Andre Ethier action figure showed up in the mail yesterday!

I mentioned in a previous post that these action figures were given away to kids at Dodger Stadium last week. To recap, I pre-ordered mine from a scalper. [I choose not think about how the guy got so many of these stadium giveaways (SGAs, to use the lingo) that were targeted at kids.] This is the second in a series of “Super Hero” action figures that the Dodgers are giving away this year. I skipped the first in the series, Matt Kemp. (Rihanna can have mine.) The third in the series, Manny Ramirez (Dr. Dread?), comes up next week.

Andre Ethier Action Figure SGA boxFirst, to build anticipation, I’ll start with the packaging. Pretty standard SGA packaging. One side of the box has the “baby-face Ethier” official team picture.





Ethier Action Figure SGA box




The other side of the box features a picture of “Our Hero,” with the slogan, “Always delivers in the clutch.”

One question: if he always delivers in the clutch, then why is there a “choking hazard” warning?

Oh riiiiight—the 2008 NLCS (5 for 22, 0 home runs, 5 strike-outs). Yeah, I’d blocked that out.

Is it really okay to have a company headquartered in SAN FRANCISCO making Dodger promo items?



But one other thing worth mentioning about the warning labels—there are two of them. Wouldn’t you think, with two warning labels, you’d manage to cover all children? Think again. The aforementioned “choking hazard” warns that this figure is not for children under 3 years. The second advisory: “For use by children ages 4+.” Two warning labels, yet they somehow completely failed to cover 3-year-olds!

Enough snarky comments about the box. Let’s look at the figure itself.

Comparing the scale of the action figure with a beer bottle.

Showing the scale

First off, it’s larger than I expected. I was expecting something along the scale of Star Wars figures. It looks like it might be the same scale as the McFarlane Toys baseball figures.

The figure is jointed at the arms, elbows, hips, and knees, so it’s fairly poseable. (No “Kung-Fu Grip,” though.) The super-hero costume is maroon and gold–probably not a coincidence that those are the colors of ASU, where Ethier played college baseball (I’ll overlook that and tell myself it’s USC). There is a Dodger logo on the left arm. My favorite part of the outfit, though, is the tiny Dodger “LA” logo on the belt buckle.

Ethier figure SGA close-upThe head is surprisingly well done. To paraphrase Douglas Adams, it looks almost, but not quite entirely, unlike Andre Ethier. It is a much closer representation than any bobblehead I’ve ever seen. The facial features are carefully done (the 4-year-old Chinese child who painted them clearly has a gift). They even included a little bit of scruff, so no “baby face.”  Oh, and they totally nailed the hair.

Overall Grade:  A [Packaging: C (average), Costume: A- (points off for ASU colors), Detail: A+, bonus points awarded for novelty]

I’ve become pretty jaded with SGAs. Most of them (except the annual Mariners train cars) don’t live up to the hype. So, I wasn’t expecting much from the Andre Ethier action figure.

Ethier figure SGA side viewBut I like it! Even considering that I had to pay real money for it and didn’t even get to watch a ballgame, I’m happy. The baseball-star-turned-super-hero concept is pretty cool. I would like to see the Mariners try this next year instead of more bobbleheads—they could do Felix Hernandez, Ichiro, and Franklin Gutierrez. (I’m not a fan of bobbleheads. Those oversized heads with their little beady eyes creep me out. We have a few around though, in fact, I can feel the beady little eyes of Franklin Gutierrez staring at me right now. Yep, still creepy, even if it is Franklin Gutierrez.)

It’s going to be tough to keep this out of Little Vamp’s hands. Before I even opened the envelope, she was saying, “I want to share with you!” (She knows by now that Mommy gets cool sh*t in the mail from time to time.) The first thing she did after I opened the package was run off to fetch one of her tiny little princess dolls, ordered me to dress the tiny doll, and proceeded to have Andre and Cinderella dance. The difference in scale between the Ethier figure and Cinderella was comical–it brought to mind a dirty joke involving a beer and a bowl of pretzels. I kept that to myself, of course. But I know it’s only a matter of time before we find “Prince Andre” having tea with a few Disney princesses.

I’m satisfied enough with the Ethier figure that I might preorder the Manny Ramirez figure for Little Vamp. (I may have mentioned previously that she’s got a serious “baby crush” on Manny.) Who knows? Manny being Manny, he might enjoy hanging out with Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and the gang.


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