Flashback Product of the Week: 1988 Burger King Florida Gators

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In honer of Burger King coming out with their Extra Long Buttery Cheeseburger, lets take a look at one of their most popular regionally issued handouts.  Just like many other fast food restaurants, Burger King has had it’s share of sports giveaways.  Not many of them can compare to the 1988 Florida Gators set.

Produced in 1988 by McDag Productions, this 16-card set was given out at six different Burger King locations in Florida.  Not only did it give the Gators exposure, but it was an effort to alert the public about the dangers of drugs and alcohol too.  The most notable card within the set is Emmitt Smith #2.  It predates any of his other rookie cards by two years, and has quite the demand on the secondary market.  Examples that are in exceptional condition can easily go for more than any rookie featuring him in a Cowboys uniform.

You need to be very careful when purchasing an Emmitt Smith card from this set.  There are a ton of counterfeit versions floating around.  Some fakes have even been graded by well respected grading companies.  The most obvious counterfeit versions are the ones that are completely missing the Burger King logo.  How a counterfeiter could forget to put that in is beyond me.  But its just not that simple.  I’ve heard that there are authentic versions that don’t contain the Burger King logo.  They could’ve been made as a mock-up before going into production, and somehow they found their way out.  Other fakes include all the correct logos, but lack any of the registered trademark symbols.  Thin font on the Burger King logo on the card’s back is a dead giveaway as well.  Its a total guessing game when you’re buying one of these.  The easiest way to know if the card you have is real is if you visited one of those Burger King restaurants in 1988 and got one.

Outside of Emmitt Smith, none of the other cards are worth talking about.  If Emmitt Smith wouldn’t have become such a great player, this set would’ve been long forgotten.

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