- Cassius the Clown
- By H. Lavar Pope
I remember seeing Michael Mann’s feature film Ali on its opening day, December 25, 2001. I really enjoyed the film; I thought the fight scenes were excellent, and I thought it was an entertaining picture of a great figure in American culture. Before entering the theater on Christmas day, I thought I knew Ali’s history and personality. I saw his classic fights. I owned Knockout Kings, an incredibly popular boxing game made by gaming manufacturer EA Sports, featuring the greatest boxers in history. In the game, Muhammad Ali is virtually undefeatable, and he is the feature boxer. I also knew of the Muhammad Ali clothing line; F.U.B.U. clothing had recently released a line of clothing bearing quotes and...
- Boxed in, Ali Can't Sting
- By H. Lavar Pope, with comment by Carolyn Stine
Starting Lineup molded this Muhammad Ali action figure from visual images of Ali in his prime. Everything -- from his body shape to boxing trunks -- was analyzed, recreated, and repackaged by the company. Basically, Starting Lineup took the "real" Ali and made a physical three-dimensional image out of him. The final product is the smiling world champion in the picture above, but there are many limitations to the recreated toy. Where, in this action figure, is the rejected Ali who was outcast by American society and denied all fight privileges? Where is the militant black Muslim Ali? Where is the Ali who was pummeled by Larry Holmes? As one can see, there is a long list of problems and limits in recreating Ali as an action figure.