Card of the Day: John Elway 1995 Action Packed #14

Product Highlight: 1994 Action Packed NFL COASTARS

Action Packed lasted longer than most new card companies that got their start during the junk wax era.  They made football, baseball, basketball, racing, and wrestling cards.  Getting into the hockey card business was a top priority, but it never fully panned out.  Almost all of their hockey products were issued as promos.

Given the amount of sports cards that flowed into the hobby during the 80s and 90s, Action Packed needed to do something in order to separate themselves from their competitors.  Their answer was thicker card stock, rounded corners, and “puffy” pictures.  I call them “puffy” because the images are raised resembling those stickers that became popular during the 80s.  The “puffy” picture became Action Packed’s signature style for all of their products.

Action Packed sure had it’s share of unusual products to collect.  In 1994 they introduced their line of COASTARS.  These are actual coasters that you can throw on the table and place your drink on.  Six coasters come shrink-wrapped to a sheet.  You need to punch-out the coaster from the sheet in order to use it.  The checklist features players like Boomer Esiason, Dan Marino, Emmitt Smith, and Jerry Rice.  One side of the coaster has the player in their home uniform.  Flip it over and you’ll find them pictured in their away uniform.  COASTARS is one of the only products Action Packed made that doesn’t include “puffy” pictures.  Probably so you wouldn’t spill your drink.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but COASTARS didn’t catch on.  Fun novelty, but no major demand.

Under The Tree: 1997 Best Heroes Of The Gridiron Action Figures

Best was the go-to manufacturer in the 90’s and early 2000’s when it came to MiLB licensed cards.  They were based out of Austell, Georgia, and issued some nice stuff.  In my mind they never rose to the level of importance like some of the other manufacturers.  Today they are no longer around.

Its normal for card companies to try out different ideas.  In 1997, Best took a shot at officially licensed college football action figures.  Each figure measures 6.5″ tall, and comes with a removable helmet.  The checklist for the 1997 set consists of (12) players:

  • Herschel Walker – Georgia
  • Errict Rhett – Florida
  • Reggie White – Tennessee
  • Derrick Thomas – Florida State
  • Brett Favre – Southern Miss
  • Ki Jana Carter – Penn State
  • Dan Marino – Pittsburgh
  • Rod Woodson – Purdue
  • Marshall Faulk – San Diego State
  • Herman Moore – Virginia
  • Desmond Howard – Michigan
  • Deion Sanders – Florida State

At the time of their release, Stating Lineup was still the king of sports figures.  Best’s Heroes Of The Gridiron were a little easier to play with though because of their full articulation.  Best released another set of figures in 1998 under the same name.  That set has (18) figures in it.

The line of figures released by Best never really took off like Starting Lineup did.  All of the figures made by Best can easily be found for $5 to $10.  I’m sure there were some football fans who had these waiting under the Christmas tree for them back in ’97 and ’98.

Card of the Day: Jeff Gordon 1993 Action Packed Young Guns #61

Card of the Day: Aundray Bruce 1990 Action Packed #1

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Card of the Day: Yoan Moncada 2017 Topps Heritage Action Image #117

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Card of the Day: Santa Claus 1994 Action Packed #SC2

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Flashback Product of the Week: 1993 Action Packed Racing

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“I love my new cellular telephone.  It only costs $10.00 per minute.” 

With the recent fall of Press Pass, NASCAR collectors have no clue as to where they’ll see their next racing product.  Of the current manufacturers that are still in business, Panini is the only one that appears to have the money to take on another brand.  Will they?  I don’t know.  Panini seems to be buying up everything today.  I personally would like to see what Topps or Upper Deck would do with a NASCAR license.  Topps issued some NASCAR eTopps cards in 2003, but that is really the extent of their racing experience.  From 1995 to 2000 Upper Deck released some nice looking NASCAR sets.  I don’t see Leaf grabbing up the NASCAR name.  If Panini were to get control over NASCAR, they could bring back some of the old Pinnacle and Action Packed products from the 90’s.  Whenever and whoever makes the next racing product needs to take into consideration the things NASCAR collectors haven’t seen much of yet.  Items such as Shadow Boxes, sketches, and those fancy art/relic cards found in products like Gypsy Queen have yet to make it into the hands of NASCAR fans.

Like I said before, Panini could revive the Pinnacle and Action Packed products if they get into the NASCAR business.  The now defunct Action Packed released their first racing set in 1993.  Their cards were known for having curved corners and raised embossing.  They were also quite thicker than your standard card too.  This was common for most of their products.  1993 Action Packed Racing doesn’t hold a lot of value today.  The 24k Gold cards still get some attention and are probably the most desirable.  From what I know, this is the only product to ever have braille on a portion of the cards.  Premier Edition boxes sell for about $20.00, while the Series II and Series III go for under $10.00.

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Flashback Product of the Week: 1991 Panini Action Cards 100 Dream Cars

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During the early 90’s, Panini of Canada had a division called Action Cards.  Action Cards produced a handful of card products based on very expensive cars.  One of their earliest products is the 100 Dream Cars set.  Its pretty straight forward meaning it doesn’t contain any chase cards or SPs.  Each card in the set features a full color photo on the front with a short description on the back.  Boxes contain 36 packs, and you can barely give them away to collectors.  Sealed boxes can easily be found for under $10.00.  Action Cards went on to produce a few more Dream Cars and Antique Cars sets, but eventually flamed out.

You know, I’m surprised one of today’s manufacturers doesn’t bring this idea back.  I’m not saying create an entire product based on cars, but they could throw some relics in their stranger sets.  People like you and me will probably never be able to afford to own fancy cars like this.  But wouldn’t it be cool to own a card with a piece in it?  At least you could tell people that you own part of a Lamborghini 🙂  That would bring the ladies running.

Flashback Product of the Week: 1976 Fleer Team Action Stickers

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Fleer took an interesting approach with their 1976 Team Action Stickers set.  The 66-card set features action shots only and focuses more on the play going on in the picture rather than the players.  There are two cards for each NFL team and one card for every Super Bowl.  Given that this product isn’t focused on the individual players, the cards aren’t in high demand.  Collectors want player driven cards.  Despite all of that, collectors must have been purchasing them because Fleer continued to release a Team Action set well into the 1980’s.  There really aren’t any key cards to look for, and this product is probably more valuable in set or sealed box form.