Flashback Product of the Week: 1991 College Classics Inc. – The “Heisman Collection” Series 1

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In 1991, College Classics Inc. entered into a three year agreement with the Downtown Athletic Club of New York.  College football fans know the Downtown Athletic Club of New York as the “Home of the Heisman Trophy”.  Between 1991 and 1993 College Classics Inc. produced three sets of cards based on past Heisman Trophy winners.  Every single player in each set is represented by their famous Heisman Trophy portrait that is on display in the Heisman Room of the Downtown Athletic Club of New York.

College Classics Inc. issued these in full set form.  No packs.  Series 1 consists of 20 cards.  They are individually numbered out of 100,000.  Cases contain 100 sets, and should have at least two autographed cards.  Dealers wishing to buy a case needed to do so from American Card Investors, Inc.  By purchasing two cases, you would receive a double matted, framed black and gold poster that was released by the Heisman Committee.  They were also suppose to produce 500 double matted, framed prints of all the Heisman Trophy winners.  According to College Classics Inc., each were to be signed by Archie Griffin.  Why you would have Archie Griffin sign a print that isn’t of him is beyond me.  I’m not sure how these were distributed, but it probably was another dealer promotion.

Dealers would have to spend $695.00 for a case.  That is about $7.00 per set.  So the original MSRP was most likely around $14.00.  As nice as these cards look, they haven’t appreciated in value much.  Sealed sets can easily be found for under $10.00 now.  The most valuable cards are the autographs.  But even those are extremely affordable.  In some cases these are the only autographed cards these players have.  Each are hand-numbered out of 200.

Series 2 was released in 1992, and is basically setup the same as Series 1.  Series 3 carries the most value because they only made 15,000 total sets.  College Classics Inc. went on to make other sets for baseball and basketball, then ultimately went belly up.  All of the negatives and printing plates used were sent to the College Football Hall of Fame.

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