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Jeannette's Pryor a popular figure

| Friday, March 7, 2008

Go figure.

Sports stars strive to be on trading cards, cereal boxes and magazine covers, but only a select few get action figures made of them, and most are pros.

Jeannette's Terrelle Pryor is a high school senior who still enjoys toying around, but he already has his own action figure - and even he can't believe it.

"It's crazy," said Pryor, who will lead his team into the PIAA Class AA basketball quarterfinals against North Catholic at 2 p.m. Saturday at Hempfield. "I'm like, that's me. It's hard to believe someone would make that. I was just hoping to be a bobblehead some day."

A North Hills man came up with the idea to carve out a Pryor figurine. Kevin Main, who recently moved here from Cincinnati and heard about Pryor through some co-workers at Mellon Bank, makes the figures as a hobby.

He never had made a figure for a high school player, mainly concentrating on minor-league baseball players.

"I started hearing about this Terrelle Pryor kid, so I Googled him and read about all the hype surrounding his football career," said Main, 31, a sports enthusiast and autograph collector. "I thought it would be cool to make him. I looked at a few photos and decided I would make a couple figures."

Main does not produce the figures for profit and has no immediate plans to make more Pryor figures, which stand about 6 1/4 inches tall.

The figures are based on the popular McFarlane Toys Sportspicks collectibles.

His Pryor figurines - there are only two in existence, and Pryor has one - are meticulously detailed, right down to Pryor's wristbands, visor and grass stains.

"It even has my towel back there," Pryor said. "And my shoes."

Pryor thinks the likeness is right on. Well, mostly.

"They forgot my 1C (for captain)," he said. "And my tattoos."

Teammate Jerry Harris was impressed.

"It looks just like him; it's just as ugly, too," he said.

Main simply took a McFarlane figure of Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young, scraped and sanded off certain spots and repainted it in Jayhawks red, white and blue - with Pryor's unique features.

McFarlane makes pro sports figures of NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB players. Main said McFarlane has no legal issues with the figures if they aren't sold for profit. Main said he has no intentions of putting them up for auction online.

Main did not get Pryor's permission to do the figures, and Pryor has no affiliation with Main. Main met Pryor and gave him one of the figures, which depicts the 6-foot-5 1/2 quarterback in a blue Jeannette uniform.

Jeannette football coach Ray Reitz hopes Main doesn't decide to sell the figures.

"Once again, this is something that shows the exploitation of a high school kid," Reitz said. "I mean, it's a great thing for Terrelle, but not if someone is going to make money off it. Then, it's a shame."

Main said copyright issues have come up for other "customizers," but never for himself.

"The way we look at it, they can go ahead and have the eight percent of nothing we make if they want," he said.

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