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: NFL SuperPro

In the long history of sports cards and comic books, NFL SuperPro is probably one of the most gimmicky ideas to come along.

Written by comic book writer and editor Fabian Nicieza, NFL SuperPro tells the story of a rising football star named Phil Grayfield.  After sustaining a knee injury while saving a child from falling, Grayfield’s playing days seemed behind him.  Upon finding out that he could no longer play the game he loved, Grayfield became a sports reporter.  One day Grayfield was interviewing a superfan, who also happened to be a scientist.  This scientist had created a new, almost indestructible football uniform that needed to be molded on an “individual basis”, and cost five million dollars to make.

During the interview, thieves broke into the scientist’s home.  They stole a bunch of NFL merchandise (not the uniform), and then set the place on fire.  Grayfield attempted to escape while tied-up.  In the process he knocked over some chemicals, and in combination with that and the rare football memorabilia going up in flames turned Grayfield into a superhero.  Grayfield made it out alive with the scientist’s uniform, and then dedicated his life to fighting crime.

NFL SuperPro ran for twelve issues, plus one special edition.  He’s called one of Marvel’s biggest flops, which in turn makes him a cult object.  They tried to boost sales by teaming him up with Spider-Man and Captain America, but it just didn’t work.  The story is basic, and it had too many football puns.  Almost everything about this comic is football related, which I think is it’s real downfall.  Nicieza has openly admitted that he only wrote the comic for free NFL tickets.

Nobody has heard from NFL SuperPro since the comic ended in 1992.  If you’re reading this Disney, please name a future Marvel film character Phil Grayfield.  He doesn’t have to turn into NFL SuperPro, but it would be an interesting nod to this lost character.

Marvel Comics NFL SuperPro Special Edition #1

1990 Pro Set NFL SuperPro

1991 JusToys Bend-Ems NFL SuperPro action figure

Under The Tree: 1983 Tonka NFL Players Figures & Vans

Sports toys of the past can be quite interesting to look back on.  Your options are entertaining.  One of these options comes from Tonka.  There aren’t too many kids who didn’t play with a Tonka Truck growing up at one time or another.

In 1983, Tonka released a line of NFL themed toys featuring figures and vans.  These figures are not player specific, although each one does come with a bunch of stickers containing jersey numbers that you can place on the figure and imagine its a certain player.  They are cheaply put together, and the helmets don’t even have the team logos.  Tonka describes them as: “NFL Players are the collectible, fully articulated action figures, from your favorite NFL Teams.  Each player comes with his own display stand, decal sheet for decorating, and a team emblem.  There are figures for all 28 NFL Teams.  Be the first on your block to collect them all.

Painted on helmets make these things look like Hannibal Lecter.

That same year, Tonka made NFL inspired team vans.  Each van came packaged with an according NFL figure and bench.

Card of the Day: John Madden 1994 Roger Staubach’s NFL Football Chalkboard Legends #68

Card of the Day: 1994 NFL Properties Santa Claus Checklist

Card of the Day: 1991 Pro Set NFL Newsreel – Jackson’s Career In Jeopardy #346

Card of the Day: Pat Tillman 2001 NFL Showdown 1st Edition #13

Cowboys ’04 Upper Deck Legends Jersey Contest! – NOW CLOSED

This contest is for a Julius Jones 2004 Upper Deck Legends – Future NFL Legends Jersey.  Good luck!!!

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Contest Details:

  • This contest will end Friday, June 9, 2017 @ 8:00 p.m. EST.
  • To enter, please leave a comment in this post.
  • You can enter once per day.
  • The winner will be selected at random.
  • Please provide a valid e-mail address when entering.
  • The winner will receive an e-mail when the contest is over.
  • The winner has one week to send me their contact information or the contest will be held again.
  • Once the contest is over, I will need the winner’s mailing address so I can ship them this card for FREE!!!

“Pin-Up” of the Week: 2017 NFL Draft Pittsburgh Steelers Dan Rooney Tribute Pin

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Owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dan Rooney, passed away on April 13, 2017.  He was the son of Steelers founder Art Rooney.  Owners typically don’t have that many cards, but Dan Rooney had a few.

His most popular cards include:

  • 2000 Goal Line Art Hall of Fame #203
  • 2000 Goal Line Art Hall of Fame Auto #203
  • 2000 Goal Line Art Hall of Fame Gold Auto #’ed/100
  • 2000 Topps Hall of Fame Class of 2000 #4
  • 2000 Topps Hall of Fame Class of 2000 Auto

In honor of Dan Rooney’s passing, Steelers staff wore the above pin during the 2017 NFL Draft.  I don’t have a problem with the Steelers wanting to pay tribute to Dan Rooney with this pin.  From a collecting standpoint it could easily cause some problems though.

With Dan Rooney passing away only two weeks prior to the start of the draft, there probably wasn’t enough time to design a new tribute pin from scratch.  Instead they had to improvise with what they had.  The Steelers simply took one of their misty gold lapel pins and pinned it to a green ribbon.

Does anyone else see a potential problem here?  What stops someone from buying a misty gold lapel pin for $4.95 and pinning it to easily accessible green ribbon which can be found at any craft store?  The answer is nothing.  Anyone could do that while attempting to spin a tale that it came from a Steelers staff member during the draft.

The odds of an authentic one showing up for sale are slim.  I highly doubt a large amount were put together.  It would be in poor taste if someone from the Steelers did try and make money off of it.  But it has been known to happen before.  I can imagine an authentic pin would fetch quite a bit more than $5.  The only way I’d trust that one of these Dan Rooney tribute pins is authentic is if I received one directly from a Steelers staff member.  Otherwise you’d never know.

Card of the Day: Pat Barnes 2000 Topps Chrome NFL Europe Prospects Refractor #215

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