Trading card

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A trading card (or collectible card) is a small card, usually made out of paperboard or thick paper, which usually contains an image of a certain person, place or thing (fictional or real) and a short description of the picture, along with other text (attacks, statistics, or trivia). [1] There is a wide variation of different types of cards. Modern cards even go as far as to include swatches of game worn memorabilia, autographs, and even DNA hair samples of their subjects.

Paperboard thick paper-based material

Paperboard is a thick paper-based material. While there is no rigid differentiation between paper and paperboard, paperboard is generally thicker than paper and has certain superior attributes such as foldability and rigidity. According to ISO standards, paperboard is a paper with a grammage above 250 g/m2, but there are exceptions. Paperboard can be single- or multi-ply.

Contents

Trading cards are traditionally associated with sports; baseball cards are especially well-known. Cards dealing with other subjects like Pokémon are often considered a separate category from sports cards, known as non-sports trading cards. These often feature cartoons, comic book characters, television series and film stills. In the 1990s, cards designed specifically for playing games became popular enough to develop into a distinct category, collectible card games. These games are mostly fantasy-based gameplay. Fantasy art cards are a subgenre of trading cards that focus on the artwork. The game with the highest number of unique cards and most popularity is Magic: the Gathering. [2]

Sport Forms of competitive activity, usually physical

Sport includes all forms of competitive physical activity or games which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants, and in some cases, entertainment for spectators. Hundreds of sports exist, from those between single contestants, through to those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in teams or competing as individuals. In certain sports such as racing, many contestants may compete, simultaneously or consecutively, with one winner; in others, the contest is between two sides, each attempting to exceed the other. Some sports allow a "tie" or "draw", in which there is no single winner; others provide tie-breaking methods to ensure one winner and one loser. A number of contests may be arranged in a tournament producing a champion. Many sports leagues make an annual champion by arranging games in a regular sports season, followed in some cases by playoffs.

Baseball card type of trading card relating to baseball, usually printed on cardboard, silk, or plastic, featuring one or more baseball players, teams, stadiums, or celebrities

A baseball card is a type of trading card relating to baseball, usually printed on cardboard, silk, or plastic. These cards feature one or more baseball players, teams, stadiums, or celebrities. Baseball cards are most often found in the U.S. mainland but are also common in Puerto Rico or countries such as Canada, Cuba and Japan, where top-level leagues are present with a substantial fan base to support them. Some notable baseball card producing companies include Topps, Upper Deck Company, and Panini Group. Previous manufacturers include Fleer, Bowman, and Donruss. Baseball card production peaked in the late 1980s and many collectors left the hobby disenchanted after the 1994-95 MLB strike. However, baseball cards are still one of the most influential collectibles of all time. A T206 Honus Wagner was sold for $2.8 million in 2007.

<i>Pokémon</i> Japanese media franchise

Pokémon, also known as Pocket Monsters in Japan, is a media franchise managed by The Pokémon Company, a Japanese consortium between Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures. The franchise copyright is shared by all three companies, but Nintendo is the sole owner of the trademark. The franchise was created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1995, and is centered on fictional creatures called "Pokémon", which humans, known as Pokémon Trainers, catch and train to battle each other for sport. The English slogan for the franchise is "Gotta Catch 'Em All". Works within the franchise are set in the Pokémon universe.

History

Origins

Trade cards are the ancestors of trading cards. Some of the earliest prizes found in retail products were cigarette cards — trade cards advertising the product (not to be confused with trading cards) that were inserted into paper packs of cigarettes as stiffeners to protect the contents. [3] Allen and Ginter in the U.S. in 1886, and British company W.D. & H.O. Wills in 1888, were the first tobacco companies to print advertisements. [4] A couple years later, lithograph pictures on the cards with an encyclopedic variety of topics from nature to war to sports — subjects that appealed to men who smoked - began to surface as well. [5] By 1900, there were thousands of tobacco card sets manufactured by 300 different companies. Children would stand outside of stores to ask customers who bought cigarettes for the promotional cards. [6] Following the success of cigarette cards, trade cards were produced by manufacturers of other products and included in the product or handed to the customer by the store clerk at the time of purchase. [5] World War II put an end to cigarette card production due to limited paper resources, and after the war cigarette cards never really made a comeback. After that collectors of prizes from retail products took to collecting tea cards in the UK and bubble gum cards in the US. [7]

Trade card card distributed by a business to clients and potential customers

A trade card is a square or rectangular card that is small, but bigger than the modern visiting card, and is exchanged in social circles, that a business distributes to clients and potential customers. Trade cards first became popular at the end of the 17th century in Paris, Lyon and London. They functioned as advertising and also as maps, directing the public to the merchants' stores.

Prizes are promotional items—small toys, games, trading cards, collectables, and other small items of nominal value—found in packages of brand-name retail products that are included in the price of the product with the intent to boost sales, similar to toys in kid's meals. Collectable prizes produced in series are used extensively—as a loyalty marketing program—in food, drink, and other retail products to increase sales through repeat purchases from collectors. Prizes have been distributed through bread, candy, cereal, cheese, chips, crackers, laundry detergent, margarine, popcorn, and soft drinks. The types of prizes have included comics, fortunes, jokes, key rings, magic tricks, models, pin-back buttons, plastic mini-spoons, puzzles, riddles, stickers, temporary tattoos, tazos, trade cards, trading cards, and small toys. Prizes are sometimes referred to as "in-pack" premiums, although historically the word "premium" has been used to denote an item that is not packaged with the product and requires a proof of purchase and/or a small additional payment to cover shipping and/or handling charges.

W.D. & H.O. Wills was a British tobacco importer and manufacturer formed in Bristol, England. It was the first UK company to mass-produce cigarettes. It was one of the founding companies of Imperial Tobacco along with John Player & Sons.

Early baseball cards

Adrian Anson depicted on an Allen & Ginter cigarette card, c. 1887 Adrian "Cap" Anson, Baseball Player, from World's Champions, Series 1 (N28) for Allen & Ginter Cigarettes MET DP838205.jpg
Adrian Anson depicted on an Allen & Ginter cigarette card, c. 1887

The first baseball cards were trade cards printed in the late 1860s by a sporting goods company, around the time baseball became a professional sport. [8] Most of the baseball cards around the beginning of the 20th century came in candy and tobacco products. It was during this era that the most valuable baseball card ever printed was produced - the T206 tobacco card featuring Honus Wagner. [9] The T206 Set, distributed by the American Tobacco Company in 1909, is considered by collectors to be the most popular set of all time. [10] In 1933, Goudey Gum Company of Boston issued baseball cards with players biographies on the backs and was the first to put baseball cards in bubble gum. [11] The 1933 Goudey set remains one of the most popular and affordable vintage sets to this day. [12] Bowman Gum of Philadelphia issued its first baseball cards in 1948.

T206 Honus Wagner baseball card

The T206 Honus Wagner baseball card depicts the Pittsburgh Pirates' Honus Wagner, a dead-ball era baseball player who is widely considered to be one of the best players of all time. The card was designed and issued by the American Tobacco Company (ATC) from 1909 to 1911 as part of its T206 series. Wagner refused to allow production of his baseball card to continue, either because he did not want children to buy cigarette packs to get his card, or because he wanted more compensation from the ATC. The ATC ended production of the Wagner card and a total of only 50 to 200 cards were ever distributed to the public, as compared to the "tens or hundreds of thousands" of T206 cards, over three years in sixteen brands of cigarettes, for any other player. In 1933, the card was first listed at a price value of US$50 in Jefferson Burdick's The American Card Catalog, making it the most expensive baseball card in the world at the time.

The American Tobacco Company was a tobacco company founded in 1890 by J. B. Duke through a merger between a number of U.S. tobacco manufacturers including Allen and Ginter and Goodwin & Company. The company was one of the original 12 members of the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 1896. The American Tobacco Company dominated the industry by acquiring the Lucky Strike Company and over 200 other rival firms. Antitrust action begun in 1907 broke the company into several major companies in 1911.


The Goudey Gum Company was an American chewing gum company started in 1919. The company was founded by Enos Gordon Goudey (1863–1946) of Barrington Passage, Nova Scotia. Formerly an employee of Beemans, he opened a factory in Boston, Massachusetts in 1919 and later in Allston. It operated there from 1924 until it closed in 1962. Goudey sold the business in 1932 but he retained an interest as a consultant. On his retirement in 1933, William Wrigley Jr. dubbed him the "penny gum king of America". Today the Goudey name is mainly associated with its collectible baseball cards which were introduced in 1933. Goudey was the first American company to issue baseball cards with each stick of gum.

Modern trading cards

Topps Chewing Gum, Inc., now known as "The Topps Company, Inc.", started inserting trading cards into bubble gum packs in 1950 — with such topics as TV and film cowboy Hopalong Cassidy; "Bring 'Em Back Alive" cards featuring Frank Buck on big game hunts in Africa; and All-American Football Cards. Topps produced its first baseball trading card set in 1951, with the resulting design resembling that of playing cards. [13] Topps owner and founder Sy Berger created the first true modern baseball card set, complete with playing record and statistics, the following year in the form of 1952 Topps Baseball. [14] This is one of the most popular sets of all time, due in large part to the fact that it contained Mickey Mantle's rookie card. [15]

Topps American manufacturer of chewing gum, candy and collectibles

The Topps Company, Inc. is an American company that manufactures chewing gum, candy, and collectibles. Based in New York City, Topps is best known as a leading producer of American football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, soccer, and other sports and non-sports themed trading cards.

Hopalong Cassidy fictional cowboy hero

Hopalong Cassidy or Hop-along Cassidy is a fictional cowboy hero created in 1904 by the author Clarence E. Mulford, who wrote a series of popular short stories and many novels based on the character.

<i>Bring Em Back Alive</i> (book) book by Frank Buck

Bring ‘Em Back Alive is a 1930 book by Frank Buck. His first book, it was a huge best seller that catapulted him to world fame and was translated into many languages. Buck tells of his adventures capturing exotic animals. Writing with Edward Anthony, Buck relates some of his most frightening experiences, among them, his battle with an escaped king cobra. This venomous snake is the only jungle animal, Buck says, that has no fear of either man or beast. "Nowhere in the world is there an animal or reptile that can quite match its unfailing determination to wipe out anything that crosses its path. This lust to kill invests the king cobra with a quality of fiendishness that puts it in a class by itself, almost making it a jungle synonym for death." When the escaped king cobra confronted him, Buck wrote, for an instant, mind and body were numb. He stripped off the white duck jacket he wore over his bare skin and as the snake struck he lunged forward, threw himself with the coat in front of him upon it and hit the ground with a bang, with the cobra, trapped in the jacket under him.

Topps purchased their chief competitor, Bowman Gum, in 1956. [16] Topps was the leader in the trading card industry from 1956 to 1980, not only in sports cards but in entertainment cards as well. Many of the top selling non-sports cards were produced by Topps, including Wacky Packages (1967, 1973–1977), Star Wars (beginning in 1977) [17] and Garbage Pail Kids (beginning in 1985). [18] Topps inserted baseball cards as prizes into packs of gum until 1981, when cards were sold without the gum. Collectors were delighted, since the oil from the gum was ruining an otherwise pristine or valuable card. [19]

Non-sports trading card

Non-sport trading cards are a particular kind of collectible card designated as such because trading cards have historically prominently featured athletes from the world of sports as subjects. Non-sports cards are trading cards whose subjects can be virtually anything other than sports-themed.

<i>Wacky Packages</i>

Wacky Packages are a series of humorous trading cards featuring parodies of North American consumer products. The cards were produced by the Topps Company beginning in 1967, usually in a sticker format. The original series sold for two years and the concept proved popular enough that it has been revived every few years since. They came to be known generically as Wacky Packs, Wacky Packies, Wackies and Wackys. According to trader legend, the product parodies outsold Topps baseball cards during the early 1970s.

Garbage Pail Kids Parody Trading Cards

Garbage Pail Kids is a series of sticker trading cards produced by the Topps Company, originally released in 1985 and designed to parody the Cabbage Patch Kids dolls, which were popular at the time.

Digital trading cards

In an attempt to stay current with technology and digital trends, existing and new trading card companies started to create digital trading cards that lives exclusively online or as a digital counterpart of a physical card. In 2000, Topps established themselves in the digital space by launching a new brand of sports cards, called etopps. These cards were sold exclusively online through individual IPO's (initial player offering) in which the card is offered for usually a week at the IPO price. The quantity sold depended on how many people offered to buy but was limited to a certain maximum. After a sale, the cards were held in a climate-controlled warehouse unless the buyer requests delivery, and the cards could be traded online without changing hands except in the virtual sense. In January 2012, Topps announced that they would be discontinuing their eTopps product line. [20]

Digital collectable card games were estimated to be a $1.3B market in 2013. [21] A number of tech start-ups have attempted to establish themselves in this space, notably Stampii (Spain, 2009), [22] [23] Fantom (Ireland, 2011), Deckdaq (Israel, 2011), and 2Stic (Austria, 2013). These companies competed with the high cost of digital licensing of quality brand content, and they also had to struggle with the difficulty of monetizing Internet content particularly in an 8- to 12-year-old demographic. The only successful business model unlocked has been B2B, licensing the tech to sales promotion companies and sports franchises as digital inventory generators. The bulk of the revenue generated digitally is by US and Japanese games companies such as Wizards of the Coast, with deeper game play and their own intellectual property.

The dominant paper-based card companies continue to experiment slowly with digital, being careful not to cannibalize their print markets.

Panini launched their Adrenalyn XL platform with an NBA and NFL trading card collection. Connect2Media together with Winning Moves, created an iPhone Application to host a series of trading card collections, including Dinosaurs, James Bond - 007, Celebs, Gum Ball 3000, European Football Stars and NBA. In 2011, mytcg Technologies launched a platform that enabled content holders to host their content on.

On July 1, 2011, Wildcat Intellectual Property Holdings filed a lawsuit against 12 defendants, including Topps, Panini, Sony, Electronic Arts, Konami, Pokémon, Zynga and Nintendo, for allegedly infringing Wildcat's "Electronic Trading Card" patent. [24]

In 2012, Topps also launched their first phone application. Topps Bunt is an app that allows users to connect with other fans in a fantasy league type game environment wherein they can collect their favorite players, earn points based on how well they play and trade & compete with other fans. Three years later, the same company launched a digital experiment in Europe (geotargeted to exclude the USA) with its Marvel Hero Attax, using digital as an overlay to its physical product. [25]

Common functionalities that are shared between new and emerging digital trading card platforms include collection, live auctions, virtual shops, multiplayer gaming, a mobile- web- or Facebook application, Digital Rights Management, card tracking, and embedded content.

Value

Today, the development of the Internet has given rise to various online communities, through which members can trade collectible cards with each other. Cards are often bought and sold via eBay and other online retail sources. Many websites solicit their own "sell to us" page in hopes to draw in more purchase opportunities. [26]

The value of a trading card depends on a combination of the card's condition, the subject's popularity and the scarcity of the card. In some cases, especially with older cards that preceded the advent of card collecting as a widespread hobby, they have become collectors' items of considerable value. In recent years, many sports cards have not necessarily appreciated as much in value due to overproduction, although some manufacturers have used limited editions and smaller print runs to boost value. Trading cards, however, do not have an absolute monetary value. Cards are only worth as much as a collector is willing to pay. [27]

Condition

Card condition is one aspect of trading cards that determine the value of a card. There are four areas of interest in determining a cards condition. Centering, corners, edges and surface are taken into consideration, for imperfections, such as color spots and blurred images, and wear, such as creases, scratches and tears, when determining a trading cards value. [28] Cards are considered poor to pristine based on their condition, or in some cases rated 1 through 10. [29] A card in pristine condition, for example, will generally be valued higher than a card in poor condition.

ConditionDescription
PristinePerfect card. No imperfections or damage to the naked eye and upon close inspection.
Mint conditionNo printing imperfections or damage to the naked eye. Very minor printing imperfections or damage upon close inspection. Clean gloss with one or two scratches.
Near Mint/MintNo printing imperfections or damage to the naked eye, but slight printing imperfections or damage upon close inspection. Solid gloss with very minor scratches.
Near MintNoticeable, but minor, imperfections or wear on the card. Solid gloss with very minor scratches.
Excellent/Near MintNoticeable, but minor, imperfections or wear on the card. Mostly solid gloss with minor scratches.
ExcellentNoticeable imperfections or moderate wear on the card. Some gloss lost with minor scratches.
Very Good/ExcellentNoticeable imperfections or moderate wear on the card. Heavy gloss lost with very minor scuffing, and an extremely subtle tear.
Very GoodHeavy imperfections or heavy wear on the card. Almost no gloss. Minor scuffing or very minor tear.
GoodSevere imperfections or wear on the card. No gloss. Noticeable scuffing or tear.
PoorDestructive imperfections or wear on the card. No gloss. Heavy scuffing, severe tear or heavy creases.

Popularity

Popularity of trading cards is determined by the subject represented on the card, their real life accomplishments, and short term news coverage as well as the specifics of the card. [27]

Scarcity

While vintage cards are truly a scarce commodity, modern day manufacturers have to artificially add value to their products in order to make them scarce. This is accomplished by including serial numbered parallel sets, cards with game worn memorabilia, autographs, and more. Time can also make cards more scarce due to the fact that cards may be lost or destroyed. [9]

Catalogs

Trading card catalogs are available both online and offline for enthusiast. [30] They are mainly used as an educational tool and to identify cards. Online catalogs also contain additional resources for collection management and communication between collectors.

Terminology

PhaseDefinition
9-pocket page A plastic sheet used to store and protect up card in nine card slots, and then stored in a card binder
9-Up SheetUncut sheets of nine cards, usually promos.
Autograph CardPrinted insert cards that also bear an original cast or artist signature.
Base SetComplete sets of base cards for a particular card series.
Binder A binder used to store cards using 9-card page holders.
BreakAn online service where someone (usually for the exchange of currency) opens packages of trading cards and sends them to the buyer. Breaks have "spots" for sale, typically sorted by team.
Blaster BoxA factory sealed box with typically 6 to 12 packs of cards. Typically made for sale at large retail stores such as Walmart and Target.
BoxOriginal manufacturer's containers of multiple packs, often 24 to 36 packs per box.
Box Topper CardCards included in a factory sealed box.
Blister PackFactory plastic bubble packs of cards or packs, for retail peg-hanger sales.
Card sleeve Sleeves that cards are to be put in to protect the cards.
CartophilyHobby of collecting trading cards, mostly cigarette cards.
CaseFactory-sealed crates filled with card boxes, often six to twelve card boxes per case.
Chase CardCard, or cards, included as a bonus in a factory sealed case.
Common CardNon-rare cards that form the main set. Also known as base cards.
Factory SetCard sets, typically complete base sets, sorted and sold from the manufacturer. [27]
Hobby CardItems sold mainly to collectors, through stores that deal exclusively in collectible cards. Usually contains some items not included in the retail offerings.
Insert CardNon-rare to rare cards that are randomly inserted into packs, at various ratios (e.g. 1 card per 24 packs). An insert card is often different from the base set in appearance and numbering. Also known as chase cards. [31]
Master SetNot well defined; often a base set and all readily available insert sets; typically does not include promos, mail-in cards, sketch cards, or autograph cards.
Oversized CardAny base, common, insert, or other cards not of standard or widevision size.
Parallel CardA modified base card, which may contain extra foil stamping, hologram stamping that distinguishes the card from the base card.
PackOriginal wrappers with base, and potentially insert, cards within, often called 'wax packs', typically with two to eight cards per pack. Today the packs are usually plastic or foil wrap.
Retail CardCards, packs, boxes and cases sold to the public, typically via large retail stores, such as K-mart or Wal-Mart.
Rack PackFactory pack of unwrapped cards, for retail peg-hanger sales.
Promo CardCards that are distributed, typically in advance, by the manufacturer to promote upcoming products.
Redemption CardInsert cards found in packs that are mailed (posted) to the manufacturer for a special card or some other gift.
Sell SheetAlso 'ad slicks'. Usually one page, but increasingly fold-outs, distributed by the manufacturers to card distributors, in advance, to promote upcoming products. With the proliferation of the Internet, sell sheets are now typically distributed in digital form to trading card media outlets such as Beckett and The Cardboard Connection so that collectors can preview sets months before they are released. [32]
Singles Individual cards sold at hobby or online stores.
Sketch CardInsert cards that feature near-one-of-a-kind artists sketches.
SwatchInsert cards that feature a mounted swatch of cloth, such as from a sports player's jersey or an actor's costume.
TinFactory metal cans, typically filled with cards or packs, often with inserts.
Top Loader A hard plastic sleeve used to store a single card to prevent scratches, corner damage and other blemishes.
Unreleased CardCards printed by the manufacturer, but not officially distributed for a variety of reasons. Often leaked to the public, sometimes improperly. Not to be confused with promo cards.
Uncut SheetSheets of uncut base, insert, promo, or other cards.
WrapperOriginal pack covers, often with collectible variations.

Sports cards

Sports card is a generic term for a trading card with a sports-related subject, as opposed to non-sports trading cards that deal with other topics. Sports cards were among the earliest forms of collectibles. They typically consist of a picture of a player on one side, with statistics or other information on the reverse. Cards have been produced featuring most major sports, especially those played in North America, including, but not limited to, American football, association football (soccer), baseball, basketball, boxing, golf, ice hockey, racing and tennis.

The first set with a sporting theme appeared in 1896, a cricket series by W.D. & H.O. Wills of 50 cricketers. The tobacco companies soon realised that sports cards were a great way to obtain brand loyalty. In 1896 the first association football set, "Footballers & Club Colours", was published by Marcus & Company, a small firm in Manchester. Other football sets issued at that time were "Footballers & Club Colours" (Kinner, 1898); "Footballers" (J. F. Bell, 1902); "Footballers" (F. J. Smith, 1902) and "Footballers" (Percy E. Cadle, 1904). [33]

The first stage in the development of sports cards, during the second half of the 19th century, is essentially the story of baseball cards, since baseball was the first sport to become widely professionalized. Hockey cards also began to appear early in the 20th century. Cards from this period are commonly known as cigarette cards or tobacco cards, because many were produced by tobacco companies and inserted into cigarette packages, to stiffen cigarette packaging and advertise cigarette brands. The most expensive card in the hobby is a cigarette card of Honus Wagner in a set called 1909 T-206. The story told is that Wagner was against his cards being inserted into something that children would collect. So the production of his cards stopped abruptly. It is assumed that less than 100 of his cards exist in this set. The 1909 T-206 Honus Wagner card has sold for as much as $2.8 million. [34]

Sets of cards are issued with each season for major professional sports. Since companies typically must pay players for the right to use their images, the vast majority of sports cards feature professional athletes. Amateurs appear only rarely, usually on cards produced or authorized by the institution they compete for, such as a college.

Many older sports cards (pre-1980) command a high price today; this is because they are hard to find, especially in good quality condition. This happened because many children used to place their cards in bicycle spokes, where the cards were easily damaged. Rookie cards of Hall of Fame sports stars can command thousands of dollars if they have been relatively well-preserved.

In the 1980s, sports cards started to get produced in higher numbers, and collectors started to keep their cards in better condition as they became increasingly aware of their potential investment value. This trend continued well into the 1990s. This practice caused many of the cards manufactured during this era to stay low in value, due to their high numbers.

The proliferation of cards saturated the market, and by the late 1990s, card companies began to produce scarcer versions of cards to keep many collectors interested. The latest trends in the hobby have been "game used memorabilia" cards, which usually feature a piece of a player's jersey worn in a real professional game; other memorabilia cards include pieces of bats, balls, hats, helmets, and floors. Authenticated autographs are also popular, as are "serially numbered" cards, which are produced in much smaller amounts than regular "base set cards".

Autographs obtained by card manufacturers have become the most collected baseball cards in the hobby's history. This started in 1990 in baseball when Upper Deck randomly inserted autographs of Reggie Jackson into boxes. They are commonly referred to as "Certified Autographed Inserts" or "CAI's". Both the athlete's and card company's reputations are on the line if they do not personally sign these cards. This has created the most authentic autographs in existence.[ citation needed ] These cards all have some form of printed statements that the autographs are authentic, this way, no matter who owns the autograph there is no question of its authenticity. CAI's have branched out into autographs of famous actors, musicians, Presidents, and even Albert Einstein. Mostly these autographs are cut from flat items such as postcards, index cards, and plain paper. Then they are pasted onto cards. In 2001, a company called Playoff started obtaining autographs on stickers that are stuck on the cards instead of them actually signing the cards. There is strong opposition against these types of autographs because the players never even saw the cards that the stickers were affixed to.[ citation needed ]

The competition among card companies to produce quality sports cards has been fierce. In 2005, the long-standing sports card producer Fleer went bankrupt and was bought out by Upper Deck. Not long after that, Donruss lost its MLB baseball license.

Association football

Early association football card by Churchman, 1909 Churchman card birmingham.jpg
Early association football card by Churchman, 1909

The first association football (or "soccer") cards were produced in 1898 by the Marcus & Company Tobacco in Manchester, England. [35] The set consisted of over 100 cards and was issued under the title of "Club Colours". They featured illustrated images of players on the front of the card, and a tobacco advertisement on the back of the card. Many other cigarette companies quickly created their own series, beginning with Kinner in 1898. [36] A later series of cards was produced in 1934 by Ardath, which was a 50-card set called Famous Footballers featuring images of players on the front of the card, and a tobacco advertisement and short biography of the player on the back of the card.

Modern Association football trading cards were sold with bubble gum in the United Kingdom from 1958 to 1975 by A&BC, and later by Topps, UK from 1975 to 1981. Similar smaller sized cards were issued in Spain and Italy beginning in the late 1940s. Cards have been produced from 1981 to present, save 1985 and 1986. [37] [38] [39] [40] Under its Merlin brand, since 1994 Topps has held the licence to produce stickers for the Premier League sticker album. [41] Launched by Topps in the 2007–08 season, Match Attax, the official Premier League trading card game, is the best selling boys collectable in the UK – with around 1.5m collectors in the UK – and with global sales it is also the biggest selling sports trading card game in the world. [41] [42]

Sticker trade in Brazil for Panini's 2018 World Cup sticker album Troca de cromos da panini - 1.jpg
Sticker trade in Brazil for Panini’s 2018 World Cup sticker album

Other variations of football products exist, such as marbles, cut-outs, coins, stamps and stickers, some made of light cardboard and attached with glue or stickers, into sticker albums specifically issued for the products. Forming a partnership with FIFA in 1970, Panini first produced a World Cup sticker album for the 1970 World Cup. [43] [44] Initiating a craze for collecting and trading stickers, since then, it has become part of the World Cup experience, especially for the younger generation. [45] [46] The Guardian states, “the tradition of swapping duplicate [World Cup] stickers was a playground fixture during the 1970s and 1980s.” [45] Panini begins assembling World Cup squads for their sticker album a few months before they are officially announced by each nation, which means surprise call ups often don’t feature in their album. A notable example of this was 17-year-old Brazilian striker Ronaldo who was called up for the Brazil squad for the 1994 FIFA World Cup. [47]

Panini’s football trading card game Adrenalyn XL was introduced in 2009. In 2010 Panini released a UEFA Champions League edition of Adrenalyn XL, containing 350 cards from 22 of the competing clubs, including defending champions FC Barcelona. The fourth edition of Panini FIFA 365 Adrenalyn XL was released for 2019, featuring top clubs, teams and players. [48]

Baseball

Baseball cards will usually feature one or more baseball players or other baseball-related sports figures. The front of the card typically displays an image of the player with identifying information, including, but not limited to, the player's name and team affiliation. The reverse of most modern cards displays statistics and/or biographical information. Cards are most often found in the United States but are also common in countries such as Canada, Cuba, and Japan, where baseball is a popular sport and there are professional leagues.

The earliest baseball cards were in the form of trade cards produced in 1868. [49] They evolved into tobacco cards by 1886. [50] [51] In the early 20th century other industries began printing their own version of baseball cards to promote their products, such as bakery/bread cards, caramel cards, dairy cards, game cards and publication cards. Between the 1930s and 1960s the cards developed into trading cards, becoming their own product. In 1957, Topps changed the dimensions of its cards slightly, to 2-1/2 inches by 3-1/2 inches, setting a standard that remains the basic format for most sports cards produced in the United States. [52]

Basketball

Basketball cards will feature one or more players of the National Basketball Association, National Collegiate Athletic Association, Olympic basketball, Women's National Basketball Association, Women's Professional Basketball League, or some other basketball related theme. The first basketball cards were produced in 1910, in a series cataloged as College Athlete Felts B-33. The complete series included ten different sports, with only 30-cards being associated with basketball. The cards were issued as a cigarette redemption premium by Egyptiene Cigarettes. [53] The number of cigarette packages needed to redeem for the tobacco cards is not known.

The next series of basketball cards were issued in 1911, in two separate series; T6 College Series, measuring approximately 6" by 8", and T51 College Series, measuring approximately 2" by 3". These series included a variety of sports, with only 4 cards being associated with basketball, [54] one card from the T6 series and three cards from the T51 series. Both series were produced in two variations, one variation reading "College Series", the other, "2nd Series". The cards were acquired in trade for fifteen Murad cigarette coupons. The offer expired June 30, 1911. [55]

Basketball cards were not seen again until 1932, when C.A. Briggs Chocolate issued a 31-card set containing multiple sports. In exchange for a completed set of cards, Briggs offered baseball equipment. [56] The number of basketball cards in the set is not known.

Boxing

According to Tallent, one of the first boxing cards on record in "America's Greatest Boxing Cards", and encyclopedia and check-list of boxing cards, was of John C. Heenan issued by Charles D. Fredericks in the 1860s. [57]

Cricket

Cricket cards will usually feature one or more cricket players or a cricket-related theme..

Gridiron football

A gridiron football card is a type of collectible trading card typically printed on paper stock or card stock that features one or more American football, Canadian football or World League of American Football players or other related sports figures. These cards are most often found in the United States and Canada where the sport is popular.

Most football cards features National Football League players. There are also Canadian Football League and college football cards. Player cards normally list the player's statistics.

Golf

Golf cards will usually feature one or more golf players or a golf-related theme. Golf cards were first introduced in 1901 by Ogden. [58]

Horse racing

Horse racing cards will usually feature jockeys or equestrian related theme.

Ice hockey

The first hockey cards were included in cigarette packages from 1910 to 1913. After World War I, only one more cigarette set was issued, during the 1924-25 season by Champ's Cigarettes. NHL player Billy Coutu's biography includes an example of one of the 40 cards issued at that time.

During the 1920s, some hockey cards were printed by food and candy companies, such as Paulin's Candy, Maple Crispette, Crescent, Holland Creameries and La Patrie.

Through 1941, O-Pee-Chee printed hockey cards, stopping production for World War II. Presumably, the 1941 involvement of the US in the war affected the hockey card market, since Canada had been in the war since 1939.

Hockey cards next appeared during 1951-52, issued by Shirriff Desserts, York Peanut Butter and Post Cereal. Toronto's Parkhurst Products Company began printing cards in 1951, followed by Brooklyn's Topps Chewing Gum in 1954-1955. O-Pee-Chee and Topps did not produce cards in 1955 or 1956, but returned for 1957-58. Shirriff also issued "hockey coins."

Lacrosse

Lacrosse cards will usually feature one or more lacrosse players or other lacrosse related theme.

Racing

Racing cards consist of a card stock with stats and pictures on it. Sometimes it shows the car, sometimes it shows the driver's face, and sometimes both. It also shows the endorsing companies for the car.

Sumo

Sumo cards consist of sports card that features one or more sumo wrestlers (sumoists) or other sumo related theme

Tennis

Tennis cards will usually feature one or more tennis players or other tennis related theme.

Manufacturers

This list contains companies that produce, or have produced, sports trading cards. This list does not contain all the brand names associated with their respected manufacturers.

ManufacturerAssociation
football
BaseballBasketballBoxingCricketGolfGridiron
football
Ice
hockey
RacingTennis
Ace Authentic [59] NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYes
Action Packed [60] NoYesYesNoNoYesNoYesYesNo
Allworld [61] NoNoNoYesNoYesNoNoNoNo
Best [62] NoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Bowman Gum [note 1] [63] [64] [65] [66] [67] </ref>NoYesYesNoNoYesYesNoNoNo
Classic Games, Inc. [note 2] [68] [69] [70] </ref>NoYesYesNoNoYesNoYesYesYes
Collect-A-Card [71] NoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Collector's Edge [72] NoNoYesNoNoYesYesYesNoYes
Courtside [73] NoNoYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNo
Donruss [note 3] [74] [75] </ref>NoYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYes
Extreme Sports [76] NoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNo
Fleer [note 4] [77] </ref>NoYesYesNoNoYesYesYesYesNo
Futera YesYesYesYesYesYesNoNoYesNo
Front Row [78] NoYesYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNo
Genuine Article [79] NoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Goodwin & Company NoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Goudey [80] NoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Grand Slam Ventures [81] NoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNo
Grandstand [82] NoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Hi-Tech [83] NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNo
JOGO Inc. [84] NoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNo
Just Minors [85] NoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
KayoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNo
Leaf, Inc. [note 5] [86] </ref>NoYesNoYesNoYesNoNoNoNo
Maxx [87] NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNo
Multi-Ad [88] NoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
National Chicle [89] NoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
NetPro [90] NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYes
O-Pee-Chee [91] NoYesNoNoNoYesNoYesNoNo
Pacific Trading Cards [note 6] [92] </ref>YesYesYesNoNoYesNoYesNoNo
Panini Group YesYesYesNoNoYesNoYesNoNo
Parkhurst Products [93] [94] NoNoNoNoNoYesNoYesNoNo
Pinnacle Brands [note 7] [95] [96] </ref>NoYesYesNoNoYesYesYesYesNo
Press Pass, Inc. [97] NoYesYesNoNoYesNoNoYesNo
Pro Set [98] YesNoYesNoNoYesYesYesYesNo
ProCards [99] NoYesNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNo
Razor Entertainment [100] NoYesNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNo
Rittenhouse [101] NoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoYesNo
Royal Rookies [102] NoYesNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNo
SA-GE Collectibles, Inc. [103] NoNoYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNo
Signature Rookies [104] NoYesYesNoNoYesNoYesNoNo
SkyBox [note 8] [105] </ref>NoYesYesNoNoYesYesYesNoNo
Sportscaricatures [106] NoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
Stampii [note 9] YesNoYesNoNoYesNoNoYesNo
Star Co. [109] NoYesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Star Pics [110] NoNoYesNoNoYesNoYesNoNo
Superior Pix [111] NoNoYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNo
Superior Rookies [112] NoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNo
Topps [113] YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Traks [114] NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNo
TRISTAR [115] NoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Upper Deck [116] YesYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYes
USA Baseball [117] NoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Wild Card [118] NoNoYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNo
Wizards of the Coast [119] YesYesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Wonder Bread NoNoNoNoNoYesNoYesNoNo
Notes
  1. Gum, Inc. from 1939 to 1941. Bowman Gum from 1948 to 1955. Includes trading cards manufactured under Play Ball. Topps acquired the company in 1956.
  2. Includes trading cards manufactured under Classic Games, Inc., Classic/Scoreboard and Score Board.
  3. Includes trading cards manufactured under Donruss and Donruss/Playoff.
  4. Manufactured trading cards from 1959 to 2005, save 1964, 1965 and 1967. Upper Deck acquired the brand name in 2005.
  5. Manufactured trading cards from 1948 to 1960.
  6. Manufactured trading cards from 1984 to 2005. Donruss/Playoff acquired their brand names in 2005.
  7. Includes trading cards manufactured under Sportflics and Pinnacle/Score.
  8. Manufactured trading cards from 1990 to 1995. Fleer acquired SkyBox in 1995.
  9. Spanish company established in 2009 that released digital cards only. [107] [108]

Non-sports cards

Non-sports trading cards feature subject material relating to anything other than sports, such as comics, movies, music and television. [120] Supersisters was a set of 72 trading cards produced and distributed in the United States in 1979 by Supersisters, Inc, featuring famous women from politics, media and entertainment, culture, and other areas of achievement. The cards were designed in response to the trading cards popular among children in the US at the time which mostly featured men.

Manufacturers

This list contains companies that produce, or have produced, non-sports trading cards only. This list does not contain all the brand names associated with their respected manufacturers.

ManufacturerCartoonCollectable
Card Game
Comic bookHistoricMusicMovie/
Television
5FinityYesNoYesNoNoNo
Bushiroad NoYesNoNoNoNo
Cartamundi NoYesNoNoNoNo
Cryptozoic NoYesYesNoNoYes
Cult StuffYesNoYesYesNoNo
Dart Flipcards NoNoNoNoYesYes
Decipher NoYesNoNoNoNo
Digimon YesYesYesNoNoYes
Donruss NoNoNoNoYesYes
Fantom YesYesYesYesYesYes
Hidden City NoYesNoNoNoNo
Konami YesYesYesYesYesYes
Monsterwax NoNoNoNoNoYes
Nintendo NoYesNoNoNoNo
Press PassNoNoNoNoYesNo
Quality PlayingYesYesYesYesYesYes
Score NoYesNoNoNoYes
Wax EyeYesYesNoNoNoNo
Webkinz NoYesNoNoNoNo
Wizards of the Coast NoYesYesNoNoNo

See also

Related Research Articles

Fleer company

The Fleer Corporation, founded by Frank H. Fleer in 1885, was the first company to successfully manufacture bubble gum; it remained a family-owned enterprise until 1989.

Donruss American sports card manufacturer

Donruss was a manufacturer of sports cards founded in 1954 and acquired by the Panini Group in 2009. The company started in the 1950s, producing confectionery, evolved into Donruss and started producing trading cards. During the 1960s and 1970s Donruss produced entertainment-themed trading cards. Its first sports theme cards were produced in 1965, when it created a series of racing cards sponsored by Hot Rod Magazine.

Allen & Ginter Allen and Ginter was the Richmond, Virginia, tobacco manufacturing firm formed by John Allen and Lewis Ginter in 1865.

Allen and Ginter was a Richmond, Virginia, tobacco manufacturing company formed by John Allen and Lewis Ginter in 1865. Allen & Ginter created and marketed the first cigarette cards for collecting and trading in the United States. Some of the notable cards in the series include baseball players Charles Comiskey, Cap Anson, and Jack Glasscock, as well as non-athletes like Buffalo Bill Cody.

O-Pee-Chee

The O-Pee-Chee Company, Ltd. was a Canadian confectionery company founded in 1911 that produced candy until the mid-1990s. The company produced its first trading card sets in the 1930s and the name is kept going today through licensing.

The Bowman Gum Company was a Philadelphia-based manufacturer of bubble gum and trading cards in the period surrounding World War II founded by Jacob Warren Bowman in 1927.

Hockey card Type of trading card

A hockey card is a type of trading card typically printed on some sort of card stock, featuring one or more ice hockey players or other hockey-related editorial and are typically found in countries such as Canada, the United States, Finland and Sweden where hockey is a popular sport and there are professional leagues. The obverse side normally features an image of the subject with identifying information such as name and team. The reverse can feature statistics, biographical information, or as many early cards did, advertising. There is no fixed size or shape of hockey cards, running the gamut from rectangular to circular, however modern North American cards have typically standardized on a 2.5 by 3.5 inch rectangular format.

American football card

An American football card is a type of collectible trading card typically printed on paper stock or card stock that features one or more American football players or other related sports figures. These cards are most often found in the United States and other countries where the sport is popular.

Star Wars trading card usually refers to a non-sport card themed after a Star Wars movie or television show. However a common colloquial reference to trading card can also include reference to stickers, wrappers, or caps (pog) often produced along the same theme. Usually produced as either promotional or collectible memorabilia relating to Star Wars, the cards can depict anything from screen still imagery to original art. In addition, there have been various companies that have issued promotional Star Wars trading cards that include reference to or information about that corresponding company.

This a list with brief descriptions of Topps trading card products for 1980. All sets listed are standard size unless noted.

1981 Topps

This a list with brief descriptions of Topps trading card products for 1981. All sets listed are standard size unless noted.

1982 Topps

This a list with brief descriptions of Topps trading card products for 1982. All sets listed are standard size unless noted.

1984 Topps

This a list with brief descriptions of Topps trading card products for 1984. All sets listed are standard size unless noted.

1988 Topps

This a list with brief descriptions of Topps trading card products for 1988. All sets listed are standard size unless noted.

Panini is an Italian company headquartered in Modena, Italy, named after the Panini brothers who founded it in 1961. The company produces books, comics, magazines, stickers, trading cards and other items through its collectibles and publishing subsidiaries. Panini distributes its own products, and products of third party providers. Panini maintains a Licensing Division to buy and resell licences and provide agency for individuals and newspapers seeking to purchase rights and comic licences. Through Panini Digital the company uses voice-activated software to capture football statistics, which is then sold to agents, teams, media outlets and video game manufactures.

Basketball card

A basketball card is a type of trading card relating to basketball, usually printed on cardboard, silk, or plastic. These cards feature one or more players of the National Basketball Association, National Collegiate Athletic Association, Olympic basketball, Women's National Basketball Association, Women's Professional Basketball League, or some other basketball related theme.

Association football trading card

An association football trading card is a type of trading card relating to association football, usually printed on cardboard, silk, or plastic. These cards feature one or more players, clubs, stadiums, or trophies. Football cards are most often found in Europe, Asia and South America.

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