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nba starting lineup, nba starting lineups, nba starting line up

Kenner NBA Starting Lineup Figures(SLU)


It was in 1988 that Kenner released their first NBA Starting Lineup figures. Unlike the figures that you can buy today these figures ony had a very crude likeness of the stars they were supposed to be of, but at the time they were all that was available and they filled a gap in the market.

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nba starting lineup, nba starting lineups, nba starting line up

The figures were 4-inches in height and were articulated at the neck, shoulders and waist with a base that resembled a basketball court. These figures also came with a trading card of the player.

These NBA figures quickly became a huge success. Originally the figures were targeted at the mass market and were sold purely through the large retail stores such as Toys R Us but Kenner soon came to realize that they were actually selling more to hobby dealers.

nba starting lineup, nba starting lineups, nba starting line up

This caused Kenner to completely re-think their marketing strategy for the NBA Starting Lineup figures and as a result they dramatically decreased the number of NBA Starting Lineup produced in each series making them easier to collect yet at the same time adding smaller production runs of "variant" figures, thus unintentionally introducing the concept of the "chase" or "variant" figure into the hobby.

But, like many companies before them and since they overestimated the market and began to over produce the NBA Starting Line-up figures, causing many stores to start "dumping" them which led to the market being undermined and saturated with cheap figures.

nba starting lineup, nba starting lineups, nba starting line up

The end result was that in 1998 Kenner, then Hasbro, lost the license to produce NBA figures to Mattel Inc.

Prices for the NBA Starting Lineup figures can vary from a few $'s for unboxed standard figures to $100's for some of the rarer or more popular figures, generally from the earlier series of figures.

Generally if the figure is sealed in its original packaging it will be worth a lot more than the loose figure, in fact loose Starting Lineup figures generally only go for a few $$'s.

Recently, however there seems to be a resurgence of interest among fans and collectors for these figures, with more activity and bidding occurring on eBay and other auction sites, particularly for the early vintage figures from the 1988 and 1989 series.



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