The Original Micro Stars MLB Figures

(By Christopher Wilson, originally published June 21, 2007)

One of the benefits of having a father who owned his own business was being able to talk him into buying anything that I wanted, convincing him that he could sell said product at his drugstore.

It meant that I had a 100 percent conversion rate as a salesman from age 5 until my father retired.

My boondoggling started when I inadvertently saw my birthday presents in my parents' shopping cart in Target. Perplexed as to why Kenner's Super Powers action figures were in their basket, I inquired as to the likelihood of those figures ever finding their way into my hands.

"Those are for Dad to sell at the store," was all I was told.

And so, the very next morning (which was on a Saturday in August) before my mother was awake, I peddled my bicycle with training wheels roughly two miles to my dad's store, hoping to secure the figures before they were sold.

My mother's surprise at me not being in the house when she awoke was slightly less than my surprise that all the figures "had been snatched up by customers in less than an hour."

When I was in high school, however, I utilized a much more efficient method of acquiring toys. I just asked.

Prior to the Corinthian Headliners, there were The Original Micro Stars Collector's Series, a collection of 2-inch-tall figures of baseball players produced in 1995 by Creative Images International.

I first saw the figures in a full-page ad in "Tuff Stuff" magazine, a magazine so thick, it will outlast even the longest bowel movement.

The Micro Stars were caricature-like, each with craniums that made up half their height. This would be disturbing and saddening if real people actually had heads that were 3 feet tall. This was in the day before Barry Bonds took Flintstones vitamins, though.

There was a checklist of the 50 athletes produced, and I carefully studied the ad, wishing for certain figures, while wondering if Jose Canseco's skin would be more white or Hispanic.

However, the ad was not encouraging individual purchases; they wanted bulk purchases from retailers. A minimum order was six figures of 12 different players.

Quickly readying a pie chart, I explained to my father how purchasing six dozen Mirco Stars would benefit his third and fourth quarter profits and allow him to retire in six months and vacation in such places as Europe or Oklahoma.

After ordering the figures, my father and I planned a summer marketing campaign that revolved around the words "Micro Stars for sale." We also made sure not to use the official MLB logos in our advertising, because we noticed the manufacturers did the same.

Among their painstaking liberties to ensure attention to detail, the Micro Stars had no logos on their hats or uniforms, because the manufacturer didn't have the permission from Major League Baseball to use them.

However, players were depicted in their teams' colors. Por ejemplo, Will Clark was wearing a red hat and white jersey, signifying that he played for the Texas Rangers to knowledgeable fans, while creating bamboozlement among others.

This may be why, after I took home the dozen figures I wanted, it became very difficult for my father to sell the remaining 60 and for me to convince anyone that I wasn't spoiled.

Christopher is a Waco, Texas, resident, Editor in Chief of MyBriefs.com, author of the book "Sports Briefs" and the adult writer for the Gab Four. Read more of his solo columns here.

https://twitter.com/mybriefschris

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