baseball all-star week featured fanfest, deadlocked game
Friday, July 12, 2002



Todd Shows Fans How Toys Are Made, Does Interviews, Signs Autographs

July 12, 2002

Just about everyone knows what happened at the midsummer classic known as the Major League Baseball All-Star game: The American League and the National League teams ran out of pitchers and the game ended in an seven-run, 11-inning draw.

    But All-Star week is much more than a Home Run Derby and game. There were the celebrity softball and the "All-Star Futures" games, and the John Hancock All-Star FanFest where McFarlane Toys was set up from July 5 to 9.

    Several members of the crew were on hand, representing McFarlane Toys Canada, McFarlane Design Group and McFarlane Toys' Tempe office. Todd attended the first two days of the event and spent a lot of time at the booth signing autographs, conducting several radio and TV interviews, as well as visiting with collectibles dealers who sell our products. And, Todd, the baseball fan, spent a lot of time just taking in all that was offered at FanFest.

    The McFarlane's Sports Picks booth was designed to provide attendees a snapshot of how toys are designed, using six displays outlining what it takes to turn photo reference of Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Randy Johnson into a packaged action figure. The booth also featured the on-site making of molded heads of the baseball figures from PVC plastic. More than 100 molded heads were given to fans who watched the demonstrations. One group was treated to Todd's explanation of the process, which attracted a crowd of more than 100 people. We captured the event on videotape, much of which will be made available for viewing on this site in the near future.

    Day one began with Todd at the WITI Fox 6 News desk with their morning anchor. The station had a satellite newsroom set up at the exhibit hall. He also did interviews with WTMJ 620 AM and NBC TV affiliate TMJ 4. Later in the day, Todd did a live broadcast of the Todd McFarlane Show on MLB Radio, where he and co-host Seth Everett finally met in person. A crew from MLB Productions spent a lot of time interviewing Todd and fans for a segment of This Week in Baseball that will air nationally in the coming weeks on Fox. Late in the day, Todd left FanFest and headed to Milwaukee's annual SummerFest music festival, where visited WLUM Rock 102.1 to talk music and sports.

    On Saturday, Todd sat in with the hosts of The Trader's Speak Collecting Hour, a unique call-in show dedicated solely to sports collectibles, which is heard in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. However, the day was highlighted by a unique event.

    Todd had the opportunity to play himself in Midway Sports' MLB Slug-Fest 20-03 at the company's exhibit. He and Terry Fitzgerald, president of Todd McFarlane Entertainment, are hidden players in the PS2 game that will also be released for XBOX later this year. Gamers can use secret codes to unlock either Todd or Terry and turn every on-screen player into either "McFarlane" or "Fitzgerald." You gotta see it to believe it! For more information on the game, click here.

    An All-Star FanFest would not be complete without several brushes with famous athletes and entertainers. Among the celebs at or near our booth were Dave Winfield, who played many years with such teams as the Padres, Yankees, Indians and Twins; hip-hop group B2K; NASCAR's Dale Earnhardt Jr.; veteran sportscaster Roy Firestone; ESPN SportsCenter anchor Rich Eisen; MTV's Rocks & Jocks host David Arquette; current players Barry Zito (Oakland), Johnny Damon (Boston) and Omar Vizquel (Cleveland); as well as representatives from the Negro Leagues and the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

    Thousands of fans also received an exclusive, individually numbered giveaway postcard that included a contest to win a McFarlane's Sports Picks: MLB Series II figure. If you are looking for the link to the "lottery" number on the back of your card, visit

    The week culminated with the staffers hitting Miller Park for the celebrity games, Home Run Derby and All-Star game. Staffers at the game also got to see "McFarlane Toys" recognized on the scoreboard screen as one of "Major League Baseball's All-Star sponsors."