Kenner Sportstars




Another line of plastic men I enjoyed back in the late 80’s were the Kenner Starting Lineup released by Tonka in the UK as Sportstars (one ‘s’ in between… not SportsStars… that is something else entirely).

From what I understand; they were produced in large quantities but didn’t sell particularly well… there are few resources on this line – however one of the best is at which has a number of posts on the topic. (Interestingly does not have Dalglish listed under liverpool but does have Whiteside under Manchester United — see “Unproduced?” below).


I have built up a small collection of players:

Manchester United

  • Mark Hughes
  • Steve Bruce


  • Ian Rush
  • Peter Beardsley
  • John Barnes

Tottenham Hotspur

  • Gary Lineker
  • Paul Gascoigne


  • Gary Lineker


  • Mark Hughes



  • Steve Nicol – Liverpool
  • Bruce Grobbelaar – Liverpool
  • Bryan Robson – Manchester United
  • Brian McClair – Manchester United
  • Jim Leighton – Manchester United


  • Norman Whiteside – Manchester United — Only appears on some of the UK backing cards – never seen. Whiteside left United in 1989 for Everton so may not have been manufactured.
  • Kenny Dalglish – Liverpool — Appears on all the UK cards but I have never seen a picture of one and have found numerous references to the “complete Liverpool set” none of which included Dalglish. As a Player-Manager; he didn’t play for Liverpool in the 1988-89 season.

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