Not a lot of people know that my foray into the toy collecting world started when I was introduced to McFarlane's Sports Picks NBA action figures way back in 2003. Long before being a toy collector, it was already my habit to check the toy stores out everytime I visit the mall. One day, I saw a Kobe Bryant figure (from Series 3) at a certain specialty shop and I was instantly mesmerized. The details on the figure were simply amazing, and being a huge NBA fan, I just had to own the said figure. I parted with some spare cash, took the figure home, and things started rolling. I did some research about McFarlane Toys, and next thing I knew, I had a bunch of figures of my fave NBA players on my table that I had to install glass shelves on the wall just to free my table up.
But my McFarlane experience wasn't always rosy. I had trouble displaying some of the figures due to their badly designed supports and bases, and I had to modify some parts so I could display them properly. The figures were oftentimes out of scale, and it was a major pain in the ass re-arranging the figures just so one figure wouldn't look too small or too big compared to the other figures it was displayed with. But the worst thing I had to deal with was player movement in the NBA, and deep down inside I knew it was something I would never have control over, and I just had to give up. So, instead of having figures of players in their old team's jerseys, I decided to sell the figs and abandon McFarlane's ship (well, sort of).
Being a true-blue collector, I moved on to collect other toy lines and other stuff such as magazines, original DVDs, VCDs, and CDs. During one toy run at Greenhills, I stumbled upon a figure that was on top of my McFarlane wish list before: a Dwyane Wade (Version 2) figure. D-Wade has been my fave NBA player since 2003, and it was weird to note that I never had a figure of him before because his figures were really expensive and were quite hard to find. Being a huge Miami Heat fan (also since 2003), I decided to buy the figure, and later on, I was able to grab a D-Wade (Version 1) figure on eBay.
Fast forward to 2010, and the Miami Heat are Public Enemy Number 1 for netting the biggest free-agent haul in NBA history (the haul included LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem, and Mike Miller among others). Every non-Heat fan became a Heat-hater, and the hate continues up to this day. This year, McFarlane Toys released a Miami Heat 3-pack consisting of the Heat's Three Kings, and I was quick to grab a set for myself. Yup, the Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks in this year's NBA Finals, but the Three Kings will be here for a long time, and I know they'll be able to win a championship sooner than later.
Regarding the figures, well, I was a bit disappointed upon opening the box, but the figs are growing on me. I just feel that LBJ's figure is too small compared to the other two figures in this set, and I can't figure out a way to display the figures without the height discrepancies being too obvious. Being a Heat loyalist, I'm glad to own these figures, but what makes me even happier is knowing that I'll be seeing (and having) more figures of Heat players in the years to come. In fact, McFarlane's Sports Picks NBA Basketball Series 19 features an LBJ fig and a CB fig, and all I have to do is get them.