Gordie Howe (Mr. Hockey)

June 28, 2009 | By More

Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings, NHL, Mr Hockey, McFarlane.

Anybody that knows me will tell you I’m a big hockey fan. Not only a big hockey fan, but a big Red Wings fan. All three of our dog prodigies have their own jerseys. There’s a game used Chris Osgood stick above my desk at home and a box of Stevie’s Stars cereal on the shelf above it.

Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings, NHL, Mr Hockey, McFarlane.If you have read any of my forum posts on McFarlane figures, you know that I’m not normally a big fan. However, my love of hockey makes me cut them some slack on their hockey line. You have to figure most of their sports figures are going to end up on a sports fan’s desk and not battling it out with GI Joe to figure how save the planet. In this case, I see them more as small statues of favorite players for the discerning sports fan. I have a small number of Kenner’s Starting Line Up Red Wings players. McF’s are a huge step up.

For years I’ve been asking where Gordie Howe has been in the McFarlane lineup. There are multiples of several key players, but no Howe. Hallmark even made an ornament of Gordie a few years back, for crying out loud.

Now, I’m sure some of the non-Red Wing and/or hockey fans are wondering who is Gordie Howe. Gordie Howe is one of the biggest names to play the game in the NHL. He has four Stanley Cup championships to his name and was voted the NHL MVP 6 times. He played with Wings from 1946 to 1971. There’s a slew of too many other NHL and Red Wings records to mention to here. It is important to note that Gordie played with grit and determination, and always gave it his all. All of these things combined to earn him the nickname “Mister Hockey.” Last, but not least, his number nine is retired and hanging in the rafters at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.


If you have only started watching hockey in this decade, you will notices some distinct differences in #9’s equipment. First of all, there’s no helmet. (New league player starting in 1979 were the first players required to wear them.) Second, he’s wearing big brown leather gloves. As the game
has evolved so has the equipment. Back Gordie’s day gloves were more generic. You didn’t have CCM, Nike and Reebok plastering logo’s all over player’s equipment.

Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings, NHL, Mr Hockey, McFarlane.So, that leaves us a figure of Howe in plainer gear from an earlier time. As part of the “NHL Legends” Series from McFarlane, you would expect this.

The cool thing with most of the McF Hockey figures is their dynamic poses. They always look like a photo in three dimensions. Pushing the puck down the ice, Howe is no exception. With a determined look on his face he looks great from the front. The distinctive number nine on his back is just as nice a way to display him.

I do have two small issues with Gordie, though. First, there’s a bit of paint on his nose that doesn’t seem right. I picked the better of the two available when I got him. What I’m not sure is if it is suppose to be a cut or not. Obviously , McFarlane sculpts their hockey figures from specific photos, it would be nice if they included one or two of those on the packaging. That way you could tell if it was paint slop or not.

The second minor issue is the pegs he stands on. I realize that they are needed to get the figures in those dynamic poses. But, some of my older figures are sagging a bit. I think they need to be deeper in to the figures leg, but I’m not a figure designer.


Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings, NHL, Mr Hockey, McFarlane.No, this is not a super articulated figure. No, he will not stand on his own without the base. Is he still a fun figure? Yup.

The thing that I enjoy with most of these hockey figures is the little details. It’s their name and number on their stick. It’s the stitching on their glove. It’s the little wrinkles in the sculpt were two pieces of fabric come together.

All of these things are what comes together to sell the realism of this figure. I noticed that Gordie came with a fairly straight blade on his stick. I figured they used a generic stick and put his name on it. However, upon looking it up on the web, I learned Mr. Hockey used a straight bladed stick. It’s the kind of attention that a sculptor and company only devote to projects near and dear to their hearts. Happens those are the same things that are near and dear to hockey fan’s hearts as well.

Gordie does come with two “accesorries.” A base and a puck. The pucks in the McFarlane clamshells are typically taped in. They look like a small black disc, which they should. I really wish they put a team logo or NHL logo on them. Most real pucks have something printed on them.(They are also frozen before games, for the non-hockey fans.)

Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings, NHL, Mr Hockey, McFarlane.Second, he comes with a base, which he needs to stand. Gordie has one the new style McFarlane bases with the decal on top with the players name as part of it. The original McF figures came with bases that were painted from the bottom to give a better approximation of real ice. I prefer the older ones, just cause they look slightly more real.


I might be a tad bias on this one. I’ve got a shelf of Red Wings figures and memorabilia above my head as I type all of my reviews. I’ve wanted a Gordie Howe figure for awhile now. Unlike some other recent experiences though, Number 9 exceeded all my expectations. Now, I’ll start my campaign for a Chris Osgood Red Wings repaint….

Engineernerd Score: 95/100

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Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings, NHL, Mr Hockey, McFarlane.

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