Card of the Day: Edwin “Banjo” Matthews 1991 Pro Set Racing Legends #25

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Card of the Day: Leonhard Seppala 1933 Sport Kings Gum Dog Sled Racing #48

Product Highlight: 1999 Racing Champions MLBPA Superstar Yo-Yos Series 1

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Between seventh and eighth grade there were two big fads sweeping through my school.  The first were those Tech Deck fingerboards.  I never fully understood people’s fascination with those tiny skateboards.  Kids were constantly attempting to make cool jumps by only using one hand.  I bought one off of a classmate for a few dollars, but it wasn’t too long after that I lost interest.  The second fad was the yo-yo craze.  That one kept my attention much longer.  I had three different yo-yos.  It all started with a black-and-white Duncan.

Today it is all about fidget spinners.  Who knows what will be the “must have” thing tomorrow.  But we’re all going to wish we had thought of it first.  Companies like to cash in on these fads.  We’re already seeing officially licensed sports-themed fidget spinners hit the market.  I know the Williamsport Crosscutters are giving one out to kids this season.  It wouldn’t surprise me if lots of other teams do the same.

Racing Champions produced many diecast NASCAR collectibles throughout the 90’s.  To capitalize on the yo-yo popularity, they released more than one set of yo-yos.  It makes perfect sense that they would make a line of NASCAR yo-yos.  Seeing them release more than one set of baseball yo-yos was the real shocker.  With a name like Racing Champions you just don’t think about them issuing anything related to baseball.

It was the summer of 1999 when Racing Champions released Series 1 of their baseball yo-yos.  Although they weren’t licensed by MLB, they did get the ok from the MLBPA.  Each yo-yo in the set features a player on the front while picturing their name, jersey number, and town on the back.  The set consists of the following players:

  • Mark McGwire
  • Sammy Sosa
  • Ken Griffey, Jr.
  • Cal Ripken, Jr.
  • Derek Jeter
  • Mike Piazza
  • Tony Gwynn
  • Ivan Rodriguez
  • Greg Maddux
  • Kevin Brown

Another set of Racing Champions MLBPA yo-yos exist.  The checklist is exactly the same.  What differs are the foil pictures and overall color of the yo-yo.  They almost remind me of a parallel.  All were mass produced, and can be purchased for barely nothing.  Its possible that prototype yo-yos exist or existed at one time before they were put into production.  Most likely they were destroyed or taken home by someone that worked there.

Racing Champions is still around, but in name only.  A company called Round 2 now uses the name.  They still produce diecast cars, but nothing relating to NASCAR.

Flashback Product of the Week: 1992-93 Case XX Racing Series Knives

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No.  You’re not imagining anything.  This was a real product sold in stores.  What is it with racing fans and knives?  They seem to go hand in hand with each other.

A few different companies came together in order for this product to reach the shelves – Little River Knives, Case XX Racing Collectibles, and Maxx Racing.  From what I can find, at least three different sets were released between 1992 and 1993.  As you can clearly see, inside each package is a fully functioning folding pocket knife and an exclusive Maxx Racing card.  The cards come with red, blue, and black borders.  They also contain the Case XX Racing Collectibles logo in the corner.

I think we can all agree the most interesting thing here is the knife.  You just don’t see knives packaged with cards.  Its down right odd.  Each knife matches-up with the driver pictured on the card.  You’ll even find a facsimile signature engraved on the blade.  I can’t help but think of that Saturday Night Live skit with Dan Aykroyd selling dangerous toys to children.

Anytime something is labeled “Collectors Edition” in this hobby the odds of it being worth anything is low.  All of these knives were massively overproduced and can easily be found today.  Most can be bought for $10 to $20.  What they do have slightly going for them is the conversation piece factor.

Its ironic that you probably need a knife to get into the package.  No mystery here folks.  This product gets straight to the “point”.

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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2014 Press Pass Redline Racing Box Break

I would normally review a box like this on all the usual factors – Design, Price, “Hit” Quality, and Overall.  But in all honesty, the 2014 version of Redline Racing is barely any different from what we’ve seen already.  Nothing new at all.

Auto/Relic

  • Denny Hamlin Dynamic Duals Sheet Metal/Firesuit Red Ink Auto #’ed/50

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Auto

  • Dale Jarrett Redline Signatures Red Ink Auto #’ed/15

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Relics

  • Michael McDowell Redline Relics Firesuit #’ed/25
  • Jimmie Johnson Redline Relics Firesuit #’ed/50
  • Marcos Ambrose Pieces Of The Action Sheet Metal/Firesuit/Glove #’ed/25

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Parallels

  • Denny Hamlin Black/White #’ed/75
  • Regan Smith Black/White #’ed/75
  • Josh Wise Black/White #’ed/75
  • Joey Logano Blue #’ed/50
  • Brendan Gaughan Blue #’ed/50

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Inserts

  • Tony Stewart RPM #10
  • Jeff Gordon RPM #3
  • Danica Patrick Redline Racers #14
  • Kevin Harvick Redline Racers #8
  • Tony Stewart Redline Racers #15
  • Kyle Busch Intensity #1
  • Matt Kenseth Intensity #8
  • Jimmie Johnson Intensity #6

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Windshield & Truck Tread Relics Coming To 2014 Total Memorabilia

Press Pass seems to have given Total Memorabilia a complete makeover.  This is a great thing considering only after two years it was beginning to feel like Triple Threads (prior to it’s redesign).  The 2012 set reminds me of Ultimate Collection which I liked.  Last year’s set has that terrible pattered grey background that looks like the wallpaper you’d find in an old lady’s house.  2014 Total Memorabilia not only looks a lot better than it’s predecessors, but contains some new memorabilia that collectors haven’t really seen before.

The two new types of cards to look for include Dirt Track Treads and Clear Cuts.  Dirt Track Treads contain pieces of truck tires that were used at the first dirt track race at Eldora Speedway.  Clear Cuts (totally unrelated to Strata’s Clear Cuts) will have a piece of race-used windshield in them.  In addition to that, Total Memorabilia will have the standard firesuit, tire, shoe, and sheet-metal relics we’ve all seen before.  The only drawback I see are the big white boxes for the autographs.  Overall, I would say that this product looks better than their high-end Five Star set they plan to release later this year.

Every box has (5) autographs/relics, (5) NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaque inserts, (5) Acceleration inserts, (5) parallels, and (25) base cards.

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