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BANDAI HOPES TO SCORE WITH MLS COLLECTIBLE FIGURES
Published December 2, 1996
CA-based Bandai Toys will release three lines of MLS- licenced products in late February and early March, according to Mike Reynolds in INSIDE MEDIA. Four-inch collectible figures and two-inch key chain replicas characterizing one star player from each of the ten MLS franchises will be released, as well as a soft, four-inch soccer ball with the MLS logo and one team's colors. Bandai has also forged an alliance with Upper Deck to make MLS trading cards to be delivered at the start of the MLS season in late March. The plastic action poses will portray: the Mutiny's Carlos Valderrama, the Revolution's Alexi Lalas, Wiz' Frank Klopas, the Clash's Eric Wynalda, the MetroStars' Tab Ramos, the Galaxy's Cobi Jones, the United's John Harkes, the Burn's Hugo Sanchez, the Rapids' Marcelo Balboa and the Crew's Doctor Khumalo (INSIDE MEDIA, 11/27 issue). MORE MLS NEWS: Kraft Foods is "expected to announce" it's signing as a corporate sponsor, MLS's second-highest level of commercial affiliation. MLS Dir/Sponsorship Programs Kathryn Carter stated that Kraft would "likely" use the relationship to test many stadium-level programs in '97. MLS has also received "more of a marketing assist" from sponsor Nike, who has disbursed some funds "previously earmarked for a national sponsorship program" with MLB to MLS (INSIDE MEDIA, 11/27 issue).