Fleer’s 3D Acrylic Basketball Cards Are Junk Wax Era Gems

1991-92 Fleer Basketball isn’t much to talk about.  The set consists of (400) cards which were distributed between two series.  It does have it’s share of rookies such as Kenny Anderson, Steve Smith, and Dikembe Mutombo.  But these cards are so overproduced their value is next to nothing.  It doesn’t seem to matter how overproduced a product may be, there almost always is some type of scarce version.  That holds true for this set.

Throughout the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, card manufacturers weren’t afraid to make what they call 3D cards.  99.9% of the time this involved using lenticular technology.  That’s the stuff that makes a high-pitched sound when you run your fingers over it.  This noise is the perfect sound that would make your dog do that head tilt thing.

On the backside of these packs you’ll see a special offer from Fleer.  For the price of $4.99, plus shipping and handling, and (3) pack wrappers, you could’ve gotten yourself a 3D parallel of any card from the base set.  Unlike other 3D cards at the time, these do not use lenticular printing.  They’re made up of multiple layers of an acrylic, acetate-like material.  Fleer even included a display stand for each card.  The images really do jump out at you, and live up to the 3D name.  In order to get the full experience, you need to see one in person.  Scans aren’t always the best.

Like I said before, many overproduced sets have some sort of scarce parallel.  These 3D cards are it for 1991-92 Fleer Basketball.  Apparently not a lot of people took part in this wrapper redemption program.  The collectors who did, found out these cards are very condition sensitive.  Regular base cards are barely worth a thing, but 3D versions reach into the hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Fleer could have made up 3D versions of every base card.  Whether or not each card was requested at least once is a mystery.  Top players like Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Magic Johnson, Karl Malone, Larry Bird, and John Stockton were popular requests.  Fleer could have easily destroyed whatever they had leftover once the promotion ended.  A 3D parallel may have been made for each base card, but I can guarantee you not every one has surfaced.  A print run for the cards that were distributed would massively help.  If that info ever existed it is long gone.

Another possibility is that Fleer had these 3D parallels made as they were requested.  If a player wasn’t requested, there may have never been a 3D parallel.

Basketball collectors definitely had the better mail-in offer from Fleer in 1991.  Football collectors had the opportunity to get a pin, while baseball collectors could’ve gotten (10) heavy-duty top loading album pages.

True gems from the junk wax era.

“Pin-Up” of the Week: 2015 MLB All-Star Game Commemorative Fazzino 3D Stadium Pin

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The 2015 T-Mobile All-Star FanFest opened up today.  Former Reds shortstop and MLB Hall of Famer Barry Larkin was the official ribbon-cutter.  There is so much to see and do during the FanFest which leads up to the All-Star Game on 7/14.

If you’re one of the lucky people who gets to attend this year’s FanFest, I suggest checking out the Fazzino booth.  Charles Fazzino is a fantastic artist.  I first heard of his work after he made a piece for Little League a few years ago.  They even made a pin based on that Little League painting.  I’m not an art expert, but his work is highly detailed in an animated kind of way.  Very fun to look at!

Available for sale at the 2015 T-Mobile All-Star FanFest will be the new line of Fazzino Stadium Edition Pins.  You’ll find 3D stadium pins made for the Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers, and Giants.  Plus they made a special pin just for this year’s All-Star Game.  The remaining teams will have pins made up like this down the road.  It sounds like the Red Sox, Cardinals, Royals, and Angels are up next and should arrive in August.  Each pin will be individually numbered out of 1,000, and cost $79.95.

If you’re interested in purchasing one of these pins or all of them, you can e-mail: info@fazzinocollectors.com

“Pin-Up” of the Week: ’12 Little League World Series ESPN 3D Utility Pin

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ESPN pins are very popular during the Little League World Series.  They are some of the most sought after and valuable pins you can get.  These pins aren’t the easiest to obtain either.  A few years ago when I was in Williamsport, I passed an ESPN camera man with a ton of pins.  I asked him how you can get them, and he refused to talk to me.  I’ll have to try again this year.  When I talked to that camera man, Sports Card Info was only a couple of years old.  Its much more famous now, ESPN should know who I am this time around… haha!  🙂

This pin is kinda cool as it features the ESPN 3D camera men as members of the Ghostbusters.  I’m not sure why they would associate them with the Ghostbusters.  Perhaps the equipment they use looks like their proton packs.  Its limited to 100.

Flashback Product of the Week: 1985 Topps 3D

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This is another one of Topps’ innovations that didn’t go over that well with collectors.  Storage was the main problem when it came to 1985 Topps 3D.  The image on the cards is raised to give it a 3D effect, but this can make it almost impossible for collectors to stack them.  If you stack them, they most likely won’t stay put because every image is different and they won’t lay evenly.  Plus, when you stack them you could easily flatten the raised areas.  1985 Topps 3D cards are also a little bigger than your standard sized card – 4 1/4″ x 5 7/8″.  I think the raised image changes the way the actual player looks.  The above picture doesn’t look exactly like Dwight Gooden.

Boxes and singles can be found for a few dollars.  These aren’t in high demand unlike Topps’ first venture into 3D that came seventeen years earlier in 1968.  Those were a test issue and can command big bucks in today’s market.

Press Pass’s 2011 National VIP 9-Card Set

VIPs this year attending the 2011 National Sports Collectors Convention will find a 9-card 3D set from Press Pass.  Collectors will also find a coupon to redeem a 10th card at the Press Pass booth.  A pair of 3D glasses will also be provided.  The set consists of the following drivers:

  • Dale Earnhardt, Jr
  • Carl Edwards
  • Kyle Busch
  • Jeff Gordon
  • Danica Patrick
  • Tony Stewart
  • Jimmie Johnson
  • Mark Martin
  • Denny Hamlin
  • Kevin Harvick
This year’s National will be held in Chicago at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center on August 3-7.

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Avatar 3D Is Coming To Collectors

One of my favorite movies this year was Avatar.  I loved the story, and the 3D effects were awesome!!!  I was surprised that no company stepped to the plate before the movie was released and made a trading card set.  Then I learned that card sets based on movies that use a lot of computer generated graphics haven’t always sold well.

With all the success Avatar has had, Topps plans to release a 48-card set based on the movie that will coincide with the extended Blue-Ray version that will be released in September.  Each pack will contain 3 widevision 3D trading cards.  If Topps gets the OK from Twentieth Century Fox, they would also like to include sketch cards and autographs.  This is one movie that has excellent scenery, and I bet these 3D cards will look amazing.

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Avatar 3D Trading Cards & More

Last night I went to see the hugely popular movie Avatar 3D, and it was probably one of the best films I’ve ever seen.  I could watch that movie a thousand times and I’d still be learning new things.  The graphics were stunning and it had a terrific story behind it.  James Cameron has one heck of an imagination and I can’t wait to see what he has in store for its sequel.  Being a big fan of superhero movies and stuff like that, I usually know what I’m in for when I plan to go to a movie of that genre in a theater.  But Avatar 3D is in a world by itself.  Before this movie was released nobody had any past knowledge of these characters.  Its not like they’ve been in the comics for 40+ years.  Not only was it the characters first time on the big screen, but it was the first time the audience was introduced to them.  After seeing Avatar 3D, I get a sense of how people must have felt when they watched Star Wars for the first time back in 1977.

I know what everyone is thinking – “What the hell does this have to do with trading cards?”  In truth, it doesn’t have a lot to do with cards at all.  I thought with all the popularity this movie has received it might have its own card set, but I haven’t seen anything yet.  Doing a quick search on eBay you’ll find a bunch of collectors that have made their own cards, plus some other various promotional cards given away at certain theaters.  Some of these promos have been selling for as much as $50.00.  It wouldn’t surprise me if they release a trading card set in the future.  They could do a whole lot with refractors, holograms, and even lenticular technology to create a cool product.  You can also find various other autographed cards of stars from the movie in products like Donruss Americana, Celebrity Cuts, Upper Deck Spectrum, and some of the Razor Cut Signature brands.

I rarely talk about non-sports cards, but I thought I’d take a crack at it.  If your really into collecting non sports related cards, be sure to check out Trader Crack’s Card Blog.

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These cards look like they’re signed by the actors, but its just a reprint.