On the hand, I was a little surprised that people still purchase and use phone cards. After doing some research, I discovered they're good for calling people internationally or when you're on vacation.
Personally, I haven't used one in decades. I'm pretty sure the last time I used a phone card was in the late 90's to call my parents when they moved to Las Vegas. With that being said... there's a set of Tuff Stuff phone cards that I've been trying to complete for around five years.
Back in April of 2003, I purchased a starter set of four cards on eBay for $3.99 shipped, but I still needed the first card in the set.
I have seen that card on numerous occasions, but refused to pay the vendor's inflated prices. A few months ago, I found the card on COMC for two dollars, which is twice as much as I wanted to pay... but by far the cheapest I've seen it for, so I grabbed it.
Here's a look at the set in its entirety:
1995 Tuff Stuff Telecard #1
I'm not 100% sure how these cards were originally distributed. If I had to guess, I'd say they were a magazine subscription premium. As you can see the first card was produced in 1995 and expired in 1996. This is also the only card in the set that's serial numbered.
It took two years for Tuff Stuff to release the next two cards...
1997 Tuff Stuff Telecard #2
1997 Tuff Stuff Telecard #3
It was at this point where Tuff Stuff added "Legends of the Game" to the front of each phone card. I'd say that's a pretty accurate description. Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, Ty Cobb, and Honus Wagner were all members of Baseball Hall of Fame's inaugural class in 1936. Cy Young entered the following year and Lou Gehrig two years after that.
1998 Tuff Stuff Telecard #4
1999 Tuff Stuff Telecard #5
As far as I know, Walter Johnson was the final card in the set. I'm pretty sure that by this point sports related phone cards were a few years past their peak. However I could be wrong. Maybe there are more of these phone cards floating around out there.
I realize that phone cards aren't for everyone, but I enjoy the quirkiness and it feels good to finally wrap up this set of hall of famers.
What about you?
Did you ever collect or use phone cards?
Did you have a subscription to Tuff Stuff Magazine?
Happy Thursday and sayonara!