Every kid that grew up in the early 90’s can remember Kevin McCallister in Home Alone shooting these figures with a bb gun and watching them fall down the laundry chute. I’m sure there were even a few kids that actually attempted it. That was my first introduction to Starting Lineup figures.
Former Cincinnati Bengals punter and wide receiver Pat McInally was the brain child behind the Starting Lineup brand. The figures were produced by Kenner and then Hasbro from 1988 until 2001 when they were discontinued. Kenner released the first Starting Lineup series with a 132-player set for Major League Baseball. Each team had an average of four figures. Kenner made it very difficult to complete the set because they released the figures regionally. After the initial success of the MLB set, they began to create figures for other sports – football, basketball, hockey, golf, boxing, racing, etc. Most figures came with an accompanying card.
The value on these figures will vary. Just because the figure is of a superstar like Don Mattingly doesn’t mean its worth a ton. Some of these figures are barely worth a thing while others can sell for hundreds or even thousands. Usually the players you’ve never heard of are the ones that go for big money.
With the discontinuation of Starting Lineup figures, today’s collectors have McFarlane figures to fill the void. Most collectors would agree that McFarlane figures are much superior when compared to Starting Lineup. Not only do they look more realistic, but they make so many variations to collect. Opening a case is like a box of cards, you don’t always know what your’re going to get. McFarlane figures really picked up the ball when it came to collectible sports figures. They released their first sports product in 2001.