I have a confession to make that I don’t think will surprise anyone….I’ve never been much of a jock. I have almost zero interest in sports. Playing them does nothing for me and watching them can be fun for the social aspect but I rarely care about the outcome. One thing I do enjoy though is collecting, and when I was in junior high hockey cards were all the rage. It was like the renaissance of hockey cards. In the old days it used to be one or two sets came out each year but there was a boom in the early 90s where there were suddenly 15 various sets of 100s of cards to collect. O-Pee-Chee, Topps, Upper deck, Premiere, Parkhurst, Pro-Set, Score etc. The collectablity of it all hooked me. I started out collecting complete sets which were 85% filled with wankers that you’ve never heard of. I eventually widdled it down to collecting my top 20 favorite players. How I picked these 20 players was hardly a science. Sometime I liked the way their helmet was painted, sometimes I liked their name, sometimes it was a cool haircut. I collected guys that nobody else gave a shit about like Martin Gelinas and Peter Sidorkiewicz. I even collected one guy, Doug Brown of the New Jersey Devils just because I wanted to collect the lamest guy I could find.
One guy I collected was partially because of his superstar status and partially because he seemed like a genuinely nice guy in interviews. A true role model like Wayne Gretzky but with a better uniform, Steve Yzerman. I won’t claim to know all this guys accomplishments but I know they were many in his day and they continue now with his coaching. I have a f**kload of this guys hockey cards. Rookie cards, french and bi-lingual versions, platinums and holograms, you name it. When McFarlane toys began producing their hockey figures Steve Yzerman was in the initial assortment and I made sure to snatch him up. This figure is pretty sweet but compared to the versions released by another company Starting Lineup a few years earlier this is a goddamn masterpiece. The detail is just sick and that really looks like his face, right down to the stubble. There are a few issues I have with this figure though and the first one is that’s it’s barely a figure. It’s more of a statue with next to no moving joints. The pose he’s in means he can’t stand on his own without his ice rink base (which itself is pretty cool and detailed) and the colors are too dark on this figure. The red is more crimson than the bright red of the Red Wings jerseys. Also this figure was produced before McFarlane had the rights to use the official team logos so Yzerman is sporting the NHLPA logo on his chest rather than the Red Wings signature winged wheel. They did their best to hide that fact with the pose he’s in but it still hurts the figure. 5 out of 10.