Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Failed Trading Card Ideas Part 1

The last few days have got me thinking about all the different gimmicks companies have tried to make us buy cards. I've come up with a few failed ideas.

1) Over sized cards

Anytime a company has tried to do a card set larger then the standard 2.5 X 3.5 size, they have not returned for a second year with the exact same series and card size.

While many of the early hockey cards have odd sizes, I'll start with 1964-65 Topps because it was the first time a tallboy was introduced. Secondly it was the first time since the best set of all time: 51-52 Parkhurst that Topps had strayed from the tradition card size. This was also the first year (64-65) that Topps did not have to compete with Parkhurst since it had stopped producing cards after the 63-64 set.

While the 64-65 Tallboy set was actually pretty nice, Topps must have received enough complaints because they went back to the traditional card size the next year.

It was until 1993-94 that Fleer produced a tallboy set called Powerplay, again it did not return the year after. Parkhurst also released a tall boy set in 93-94, commemorating the 64-65 set. While I did like both these set's as a kid, I always remember thinking that the card size was just odd.

In 1997-98 Pinnacle really began to experiment with different idea's. They changed up the popular Zenith product featuring large 5 X7 Cards, with regular sized cards inside. As you can see on the pack the slogan for the product is "Dare to Tear".

I only ever got one pack of this product and I still have the wrapper, which is where the photo came from. My Grandma bought this pack for me because at the time my allowance was $5 a week and a pack cost $10! I remember doing well with the pack pulling a Z-Team 5 X7 of Martin Brodeur and a Manny Maholtra RC.

Pinnacle also produced a Beehive set that featured over sized cards in 97-98, although these did not have another card inside. The set was actually pretty nice and featured an on card Maurice Richard Autograph. Boxes of this product are much easier to find now then the Zenith and are a steal at under $30 a box.

After doing a bit more research I realised how many products in 1997-98 featured over sized cards. Donruss Studio, which featured 8 X 10 cards and also Donruss Priority that featured postcard sized cards.

Moving forward into the the 2000's, over sized cards have been used mainly as box toppers in upper deck product, usually in blasters. Only two sets have actually included over sized cards in each pack: 2003-04 Pacific Exhibit (a very under appreciated set) and 2006-07 Be a Player Portraits.

I wouldn't call over sized cards a complete failure, it just seems that most collectors enjoy the standard size card. As mentioned earlier in my post, a company has never featured over sized products in back to back years, EVER. It's been about four years now since BAP portraits so it could be very soon that another company will create an over sized card series.

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