Hobby Oddities: 1999 Fleer Tradition Spectra Star All Star Baseball Kites

Spectra Star was a toy company known for making marbles, flying discs, yo-yos, and kites.

In 1995 they were purchased by now defunct Toy Biz.

Most of their products featured the images of licensed properties – Star Wars, Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, etc…

One specific line of kites they sold jumps out to me. Spectra Star released six kites that have baseball cards on them. Specifically six cards from the 1999 Fleer Tradition set. The players they made kites for are Ken Griffey, Jr., Greg Maddux, Mike Piazza, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Derek Jeter.

The kite measures 28″, and is a sled style.

Included with the kite is a matching baseball card.

The card looks just like it’s normal counterpart found in the regular 1999 Fleer Tradition set except for one tiny difference.

You can see the card that comes with the kite has a different number.

Kite cards are numbered “X OF 6”. This Derek Jeter kite card is numbered “6 OF 6”. Derek Jeter’s regular base card found in packs of 1999 Fleer Tradition is #5.

2023 Topps Chrome Sapphire Edition Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi

Members of the Topps 582 Montgomery Club get to take advantage of their first pre-order tomorrow 5/24/23.

Club members will have the opportunity to pre-order (1) box of 2023 Topps Chrome Sapphire Edition Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi.

According to the e-mail from Topps:

In honor of the 40th anniversary of Return of the Jedi, Topps is excited to announce Star Wars Chrome Sapphire is back!

We are reissuing the original 1983 Topps Return of the Jedi set on Chrome Sapphire for the first time in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the film’s release in theaters.

To make the celebration even that much more exciting, we’ve added redemptions for slabbed/graded original ROTJ cards and for the first time in Chrome Sapphire history, inserted rare, autographed cards from original cast members like Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher.

Card of the Day: 1983 Topps Star Wars Return of the Jedi – Darth Vader #3

Q&A – Did Star Make Chrome Cards?

No. But thanks to Topps collectors found out what Star Chrome cards would have looked like.

Between 1983 and 1985 Star was the only company to issue licensed NBA basketball cards. The cards were issued in team poly bags instead of traditional wax packs. At first they weren’t very popular. But then Michael Jordan decided to become the greatest basketball player of all-time, and then collectors began to pay more attention to the Star brand. The debate on whether Michael Jordan’s 1984-85 Star #101 or his 1986-87 Fleer #57 is his true rookie card is one that will continue to be discussed forever.

Star produced some unlicensed basketball cards after their NBA license ended following the 1986 season. The company eventually went out of business in the early 90’s.

In 1996 Topps created a 50-card Finest Reprints insert set. (25) cards were inserted into 1996-97 Topps Stadium Club Series 1, while the other (25) can be found in 1996-97 Topps Series 2.

The theme of the set is classic basketball cards printed on Chrome stock. (42) of the (50) subjects are from past Topps basketball sets. (8) cards are from Star.

Charles Barkley, Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, John Stockton, Isiah Thomas, and James Worthy are the (8) Star cards found in the Finest Reprints set.

Each card in the set has a Refractor parallel.

Base Insert

Hobby Oddities: How To Reach Your Favorite Sports Star

Remember this series of books from the 90’s? Did anyone have success in reaching their favorite sports star using the info found in these? If so, please let me know. I’d be interested to know.

Lowell House out of Los Angeles, CA published at least four versions of the “How To Reach Your Favorite Sports Star” series of books. Inside you’ll find athlete bios, stats, photos, fan clubs, and addresses.

I remember owning a copy of the fourth book. I don’t recall any autographs ever coming my way. Most of the addresses are public knowledge. For example, writing to Michael Jordan meant sending your letter to the address the Bulls’ arena is located at. Very generic. The odds of the information working back then are slim. I certainly wouldn’t have been including valuable cards in the mail hoping to get them back with an autograph.

In the late 90’s Lowell House was purchased by the Chicago Tribune.

The summary highlights how outdated this book is. We don’t need to write letters anymore to let our favorite sports stars know what we think of them. Social media has taken care of that.

Book Summary:

From basketball phenomenon Michael Jordan and all-pro running back Terrell Davis to soccer superstar Mia Hamm and Olympic gold medalist Tara Lipinski, How To Reach Your Favorite Sports Star 4 will help you get in touch with today’s hottest athletes!

Do you want to tell Kobe Bryant that you watch all of his games, or let Martina Hingis know that you think she’s the best tennis player ever? All you have to do is write each of them a letter! How To Reach Your Favorite Sports Star 4 provides you with the athletes’ addresses, as well as statistics, little-known facts, and fascinating information on each star.

So start writing – and let your favorite sports stars know what’s on your mind!

Card of the Day: 2021 Topps Chrome Star Wars Galaxy – A Hutt Called Jabba #85

Card of the Day: Jerry Remy 1983 Fleer Star Stickers #68

Card of the Day: 2021 Topps Star Wars Masterwork – Frog Lady #37

Card of the Day: 2022 Topps Finest Star Wars Han Solo Refractor #47

Card of the Day: Marshawn Lynch 2007 Upper Deck Star Rookie – Rookie Exclusives #280