Here’s an Easy Way to Make Money Off Your Unwanted Starting Lineup Figures


SLU Christmas Ornaments Derek Jeter

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

In my house, it’s not uncommon for a DIY-style show to be on where something is up-cycled. On these shows, people take something common, re-purpose it with a coat of paint or some sort and transformation and flip it. Sometimes it’s a house renovation, sometimes it’s a piece of furniture like a mirror or end table.

It turns out up-cycling is done in the hobby as well. Take a Starting Lineup figure, add a screw with a loop in on one end and a piece of string and all of a sudden you’ve got a Christmas ornament.

And guess what? People are paying decent money for them.

Starting Lineups were extremely popular back when they debuted in the late 1980s and early ’90s. They have limited articulation and other than the name on the back of the jersey, it can be tough to make out a likeness. Yet, they carved out a large following both with kids and adults speculating on what they might be worth.

Some have still held some value, but most have not.

That doesn’t mean they’re not fun, but for those who bought them strictly as collectibles with value in mind, they probably don’t care about nostalgia.

I’m not exactly sure how I came across them, but I came across someone on eBay who’s taking SLU figures and reselling them as custom Christmas ornaments.

And it’s brilliant.

While most sell for less than $5 a piece, that’s more than most loose figures go for today. But there are exceptions that go much higher. At one point, the creator sold a Bart Starr for $51. Several others topped $20. Today, most SLUs sit in a box getting a lot of memories but not many sales unless they’re marked at a dollar or two.

SLU Christmas Ornaments Charles Barkley

It’s likely most of these ornaments are going to fans of the players, not collectors. And the approach is genius in a way. And let’s face it, they look almost as good as most of the expensive and official ornaments made by Hallmark.

So if you’ve got a box of Starting Lineups collecting dust or cluttering your place, you might want to head down to Home Depot for some screws and get up-cycling.


Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.


  1. David Johnson 14 December, 2015 at 13:23

    That is a great idea. The best part is that you can sell the figure as an ornament and you still have the card that came with the figure. Amazingly some of the cards sell pretty well considering a lot of the figures are still in packs and a lot of cards got lost/mishandled for the ones that were opened.

  2. Richard Otterbourg 10 December, 2017 at 17:41

    I sold $200.00 of Starting Lineup ( Mint Condition) in October 2017 to a Customer for his Man Cave.He bought the 1996 Olympic Set, Oakland Raiders Classic Double,plus some other figure, He still has an open order for Bo Jackson, Oakland SLU, Bo Jackson Heisman Figure and I am going to see if he wants Bo Knows in a White Sox and Kansas City Royals Uniform.
    I sold all but (1 ) Brett Farve figure when he retired.Recently sold a Kevin Green ( Steeler) to a young collector. 100 cases left

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