Be Kind, Rewind These Cards

Multiple attempts at merging video with trading cards has been made over the years.  Most were met with poor reviews from collectors.  Upper Deck gave it a shot with their line of Evolution cards in 2011.  They did their best to make them look like a card, but in all honesty I think they resembled a small portable gaming system like the Nintendo GameBoy.  In classic Panini fashion, they too tried their hand at it with their line of HRX video cards.  Despite some coming with autographs, Panini’s HRX cards were met with even a poorer response.  The video on many didn’t function very well or at all.

Perhaps Steve Rotfeld Productions did it best in 1990.  Greatest Sports Legends is a series of (207) documentaries covering some of the best athletes from the 20th century.  They first began airing in 1972, and won an Emmy Award for their 1983 film about Jackie Robinson.  Throughout the 1980s, these documentaries were heavily distributed on VHS tapes.  The ones with a 1990 copyright date are my favorite.  You have to admit the words “video baseball card” couldn’t have been taken more literally.  Its very primitive.  The front and back of the VHS sleeves are designed to look like a card.

Unlike some VHS tapes, these don’t carry much collecting weight.  Its unlikely that many of us still own a device that could play one of these.  Funai Electronics was the last company to make VCRs for home-use, and they ceased production in July 2016.

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