These slightly strange dolls might make good gifts for your little sportsfan.
Like all journalists, we at 5280 have our email inboxes filled with pitches and press releases. Seriously, each of our editors receives no fewer than 20 and sometimes up to 75 per day. We take at least a glance at all of them, we read some of the more interesting ones, and we discard the rest, because public relations people tend to rely more on email blasts than on spending the 5-10 minutes it takes to figure out whether the editor in question might actually be interested in their product, company, service, or travel destination. (I still get a dozen or so technology pitches per week—security software and the like—even though I haven't covered that field in eight years.)
Despite this sometimes un-swimmable deluge, every so often we receive a pitch we can't ignore. This week, that honor goes to Bleacher Creatures. A PR rep for this company recently sent one of our editors a note—and thank you for that; I can't tell you how often these folks lazily send the same message to several or all of us—for the company's line of superfan-focused products. In this case, they wanted to highlight their eponymous dolls: Imagine an army of stuffed, fabric-covered figures, 10 inches tall, representing an impressive lineup of your favorite athletes.
The dolls are reminiscent of Cabbage Patch Kids, albeit slightly more realistic, and their attention to detail stands out. There's LeBron James' headband, Chase Utley's soul patch, Tom Brady's runway model haircut, James Harden's bear-rug beard. Each doll looks weirdly alike, yet the details help make most of the players instantly identifiable. (The one we'd really like to see is former Nugget Chris "Birdman" Anderson, but rendering all those tattoos might break the company's design budget.)
Back to that word "weirdly": Much like clowns, dolls can sometimes tiptoe the line between delightful and juuuuuuuust a little creepy, and Bleacher Creatures are no exception. But as a gift for a sports-loving kid, you could do worse.
So how is Denver showcased? For the Avalanche, there's Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene (the latter with a spot-on mullet). The Nuggets' doll is Kenneth Faried. And the Broncos' representatives are Peyton Manning (of course), Wes Welker, and Von Miller (pictured). Not to nitpick, but while Miller's glasses are one of those smart details, he doesn't wear them on the field, so his doll looks sort of like someone from the chess club snuck into the team picture.
Wait, you're probably asking, what about the Rockies? No Tulo? No CarGo? Sadly, no. We were befuddled, too, until we looked again at the pitch, which says these gifts are ideal for fans who want to create a "winning vibe around themselves."
'Nuff said. The good news is, Bleacher Creatures sells a purple, silver, and black Rockies wig—all the better for their remaining fans to disguise themselves at the ballpark.
—Images courtesy of Bleacher Creatures
Follow 5280 editor-at-large Luc Hatlestad on Twitter at @LucHatlestad.