The Upper Deck Company was founded in 1988 as a trading card company. I remember trying to find the elusive Ken Griffey Jr. card from that initial series. They really burst onto the scene as the first premium baseball trading card, with a glossy feel and a hologram on the back of each card.
A few decades later, Upper Deck has decided to break into the designer vinyl to scene. Don’t worry. They didn’t leave their professional sports roots behind. Their first work with vinyl figures – The Lebrons - was based on NBA All Star Lebron James, however, it didn’t feature Lebron in his NBA licensed jersey.
The first series of All-Star Vinyl figures features three of the top quarterback in the NFL – Brett Favre, Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady. The line is stylized with a designer vinyl feel…the first for us sports fans.
Each figure is packaged in it’s own original window front box. The front flap, which features the final drawing of the character, is secured with a Velcro piece. The remaining sides are decorated with sketches of the figure from various angles.
The NFL All-Star Vinyl figures each measure in at approximately 11” in
height. Each one has 3 points of articulation (upper arms and waist)
and is limited to 1,000 pieces. They are extremely detailed with all
aspects of each player’s uniform covered. The Reebok logo emblazons
each figure’s uniform and the official NFL football even has the
It looks as if Upper Deck chose the future Hall of Famer from his
younger days…minus the gray hairs. Unlike the other two QBs, Favre is
posed minus a football.
Big Ben had an off year in 2006, especially after leading the Steelers
to the Super Bowl in the previous season. They chose the bearded look
for the former Miami of Ohio standout quarterback.
Brady might be one of the few NFL players who consistently graces the
pages of the supermarket tabloids. He’s also one of the most
successful quarterbacks in the league, despite being a 6th round draft
Being a huge sports fan, I was very excited to see that Upper Deck
would be producing a line of vinyl figures. The All-Star Vinyl line
gives collectors an alternate to the simple, boring figures of
yesteryear. The stylized look makes the figures appealing to
collectors of designer toys, as well as sports aficionados.
Upper Deck already has plans, and prototypes, for MLB, NBA and NHL
All-Star Vinyl figures. It’s no surprise that each of the three
quarterbacks sold out from the UD store in less than 2 hours. Any of
the issues that plagued the Lebrons line are a distant memory. These
are high quality and priced great for their size.
Favre Grades: Big Ben Grades: Brady Grades:
Quality: 9/10 Quality: 9/10 Quality: 9/10
Paint: 9/10 Paint: 8/10 Paint: 9/10
Durability: 9/10 Durability: 9/10 Durability: 9/10
Hype: 9/10 Hype: 9/10 Hype: 9/10
Fun Factor: 9/10 Fun Factor: 9/10 Fun Factor: 9/10
Value: 9/10 Value: 9/10 Value: 9/10
Overall: 9.5/10 Overall: 9.3/10 Overall: 9.4/10