With exciting news sure to warm the cockles of Phil Mushnick’s heart, the following press release comes from Upper Deck :

LeBron James fans, mark your calendars, because on Feb. 15 at 9:23 a.m. PST, Upper Deck Store will debut an All-Star edition designer toy of LeBron based on the Athlete LeBron character from Nike’s popular LeBrons commercials! Standing 12″ tall, limited to 750 pieces, and only available here online ($44.99), this must-have collectible offers a sneak preview of upcoming editions of “The LeBrons” urban vinyl figures. Produced with Nike, this version of “Athlete LeBron” features the muscular star sporting the red All-Star edition Zoom LeBron III shoes that LeBron will wear at the 2006 NBA All-Star Game. Watch out for the upcoming releases of “The LeBrons” action figures, including the All-Business, Wise and Kid LeBrons later this year!

BASKETBALL PROMOTION: Order any signed basketball jersey or basketball (except for LeBron James) from now until June 30, 2006, and we’ll provide a display case for just 1 cent! That’s either a $249.98 savings (jersey case) or a $74.98 savings (wood-base basketball display). Wow!

Wow, indeed. ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports that “The business LeBron has sunglasses and a cell phone. The kid LeBron has two dinner rolls in his hands. The wise LeBron holds a newspaper that features the ‘quadruple double’ that the character talks about in the commercial, to go along with a magnifying glass in his pocket.”

It does seem like a blown opportunity, in light of another young superstar’s new Nike commercials (the one where he claims he’s hated for pumping iron, having a killer fadeaway, etc.) that Upper Deck doesn’t have another series of action figures ready to roll. “Eagle County Kobe” (with realistic chair), “Contrite Kobe” (with expensive emerald ring), “Embarrassed To Have Scored 81 Kobe” (not sure how they’d pull that one off), etc.