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REVIEW: The LeBrons – King James Edition

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Background

When LeBron James was still in high school, his games at St. Vincent-St. Mary were being televised on ESPN and he was already dubbed as the “next-Jordan”.   “King” James now plays in the NBA for the Cleveland Cavaliers and is one of the most marketable pro basketball players. 

Upper Deck, for years known as the premier trading card company, has jumped into the vinyl game with their All-Star Vinyl figures.  The LeBrons line features LeBron James’ four different personalities – Athlete LeBron, All Business LeBron, Kid LeBron and Wise LeBron.  You might have seen Nike’s “Meet the LeBrons” series of television commercials.  These vinyl figures mirror those characters.  The colorway we’ll be reviewing is The King James Edition.

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Packaging

Upper Deck must have listened to collectors when they designed packaging for The LeBrons.  The front flap is held in place with velcro.  The enclosed character is featured on the outside of the box, with bios of all four characters on the inner flap.  The figure is encased in two interlocking plastic trays, so you won’t deal with twist ties.

The Figures

All of the figures stand in at around 10” in height, except for Kid
LeBron (about 8”).  There are no balance issues, as Upper Deck has done
a great job of weighing down the figures’ feet.  The King James Edition
is limited to 1,500 sets.

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All Business LeBron
is decked out in his black suit and shiny black shoes.
His sunglasses and cell phone are removable, however there are no
points of articulation.

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Kid LeBron
is the happy-go-lucky member of the bunch.  He’s wearing a
set of removable headphones as well as a pair of the “Birthday Edition”
Nike Zoom LeBron III’s
.  The two points of articulation are the
figure’s arms.

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Wise LeBron
is the patriarch of the quartet.  With the most accessories
in the line, the figure is packaged with a pair of reading glasses, a
copy of the evening paper and a magnifying glass for the small print.
Like All Business LeBron, Wise LeBron has no articulation.

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The Athlete LeBron vinyl figure might look familiar from his appearance
in a Nike commercial with Maria Sharapova.  He has no accessories but
has five points of articulation (legs, arms and waist) and is wearing a
pair of blue and red Nike Zoom LeBron III’s.


Our Opinion

Most of you know that I like big figures.  I was actually surprised
that Upper Deck’s line was the size it was.  I was expecting something
similar to McFarlane’s sports figures.  With All-Star Vinyl figures
being designed for NBA, NHL, NFL and MLB players…Upper Deck is poised
to take over the sports figure market.

The LeBrons line is well sculpted in a stylized manner, giving it an
urban feel.  Upper Deck learned from the mistakes of other companies
and decided to weigh down these large figures to help with balance
issues.

If there is one complaint, it’s the paint application.  The paint apps
aren’t tight, with some bleeding onto other areas.  For example, the
lines on Athlete LeBron’s jersey are shoddy.  And there was some glue
residue on Wise LeBron’s arms.

With that being said, the line is too good to overlook – especially for
Upper Deck’s first vinyl product.  And it only looks to get better…with
vinyl figures from all of the major sports.

You can pick up these figures at the following:

3DRetro: King James Set - $214.99

All Business:              Kid:

Quality: 8/10               Quality: 8/10
Paint: 8/10                  Paint: 8/10
Durability: 9/10           Durability: 9/10
Hype: 9/10                  Hype: 9/10
Fun Factor: 8/10         Fun Factor: 7/10
Value: 7/10                 Value: 7/10
Overall: 9.0/10            Overall: 8.6/10

Wise:                          Athlete:

Quality: 6/10               Quality: 7/10
Paint: 6/10                  Paint: 7/10
Durability: 9/10           Durability: 9/10
Hype: 9/10                  Hype: 9/10
Fun Factor: 6/10         Fun Factor: 8/10
Value: 7/10                 Value: 7/10
Overall: 7.8/10            Overall: 8.5/10

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