Under The Tree: 1999 Racing Champions MLBPA Superstar Yo-Yos Series 1

Happy Holidays! Time to look back and remember some of those favorite sports related toys you received as a kid.

When I was in middle school there was a major yo-yo fad. Where it got started and how it began still remains a mystery. All I remember one day is that yo-yos began to popup everywhere. It wouldn’t surprise me if some teachers still have those confiscated yo-yos at the bottom of their desk drawer.

In 1999 Racing Champions (yes I said Racing Champions) known specifically for their die-cast race cars issued a set of MLBPA licensed yo-yos.

The set consists of (10) player yo-yos:

  • Kevin Brown #1
  • Ken Griffey Jr. #2
  • Tony Gwynn #3
  • Derek Jeter #4
  • Greg Maddux #5
  • Mark McGwire #6
  • Mike Piazza #7
  • Cal Ripken Jr. #8
  • Ivan Rodriguez #9
  • Sammy Sosa #10

Another set of baseball yo-yos was issued by Racing Champions. This set consists of the same (10) players. The images differ from Series 1, and use holographic foil. Instead of a solid color the yo-yo itself is transparent with glitter.

I believe Racing Champions even had some specially made yo-yos for the National Sports Collectors Convention. You rarely see these.

The Racing Champions brand is still around today. It is currently owned by the Round 2 Corp. They make models, die-cast cars, slot cars, and model train accessories.

Panini Reaches A Deal With The MLBPA

Panini has reached an agreement with the MLBPA so they can start to make more baseball cards.  They won’t be able to use team names or logos which is a pain, but it’s definitely not the end of the world.  A little more competition within the baseball card market couldn’t hurt.  Competition should be good for collectors as long as the manufacturers listen to their customers.  Panini has released some very popular unlicensed baseball products in the past such as Elite Extra Edition and Century Collection.  Given this new deal with the MLBPA I would like to see another high-end product like Century Collection brought to the market.  That was one of my favorite products of 2010 (even though it was released in 2011).  For some crazy reason, I’m predicting a Prime Cuts resurrection.


Panini will be taking advantage of their new MLBPA license in 2011 Elite Extra Edition and 2011 Contenders Baseball.  Contenders Baseball looks to have a wood grain theme to its design based on the Josh Hamilton card above.  It reminds me of ’87 Topps.  Its going to be interesting to see what Panini can whip up.