While I may write a lot about how the New York Mets’ knuckleballer R.A. Dickey is my favorite baseball player, I’m really only being half-truthful. Dickey’s my favorite player in terms of being a great athlete and a great success story.
But my other favorite baseball player holds a special place in my heart simply for being a total weirdo: the San Francisco Giants’ Brian Wilson. To show you why I love Wilson so, I present to you this video clip of Wilson explaining his new catchphrase, “Got heem”:
As you can see, his grizzly-man beard is only the beginning Wilson’s eccentricities. In 2011, he showed up to ESPN’s annual awards show, the ESPYs, wearing a spandex tuxedo. This year, he wore a three-piece suit, a purple knit-cap, and walked down the red carpet with none other than Sasquatch. Simply put, this guy’s a total nut, and I love him.
So when my pal Collin gave me a Brian Wilson figure for my 30th birthday this past weekend, it was hard to contain my excitement. As you can see from the photos, the face sculpt is pretty spot-on, conveying Wilson’s distant, glassy-eyed stare perfectly, while accurately representing his tattoos and bizarre hairstyle poking through from underneath his Giants cap. The tiny MLB logos on the back of the jersey and cap are present as well, not to mention Majestic Athletic logo on the sleeve of the jersey and the hip of the pants. The attention to detail is staggeringly impressive.
Wilson’s also got a fantastic pose going on—I suspect that if this were a snapshot of Wilson on the mound, he might have just said that he’s feeling delicious. His arms can swivel on a singular joint at his jersey’s sleeves, too. This doesn’t offer a big range of motion for different poses or anything, but the options are nice.
The figure isn’t totally perfect, of course. The aforementioned bizarre pose is appropriate for Wilson, to be sure, but part of me (a small part) wishes that there were some more baseball-centric possibilities for the figure. After all, while Wilson’s stayed famous for being a lunatic, he got famous by being a brutal closer. The base on which he stands also irks me a bit, as it’s meant to simulate the grass of the baseball diamond—but shouldn’t he be standing on a mound? He is a pitcher, after all. Maybe this is just the grass next to the mound, and he’s walking off triumphantly.
Despite my minor gripes, I’m pleased to see Wilson hanging out on my desk. It’s been a while since I’ve seen McFarlane’s sports figures, but I can see there’s no drop-off in overall quality through the years. Interestingly, McFarlane’s also embracing the nature of the sports collectibles business, offering a “Collector Level” chart on the back of each figure. This series, MLB 30, sports six figures, four of which have rarer, variant versions made in limited quantities much like baseball cards…but cooler.
Wilson, it seems, is at the top of the collectability list. While the standard, white-jersey version of the figure sells for between $10 and $16 online, the orange-jersey variant is listed for between $72 and $100. The high price makes sense given the fact that only a maximum of 500 were produced. So if you see this weirdo wearing an orange shirt hanging on a peg at your local Toys R Us, grab it. You’ll know just what to say…