30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nifty 90's Nostalgia #3: 1995 NFL Santa Cards

One of my favorite things about Christmas is that it brings people together. It's rare that my whole family comes together, but when we do... it's at Christmas. What makes this more special is that everyone is jolly and giving, in order to make things special for the kids. I'm convinced it's the magical power of Santa Claus.

Santa doesn't only affect my family... he also impacts the hobby. In the mid 90's, he brought all of the major card companies together and produced an annual set of cards. The first set produced was in 1993. This continued for five years straight and ended in 1997. I'm not sure exactly how these cards were distributed, but I've seen some eBay listings that say it was part of a wrapper redemption program.

I own the 1995 NFL Santa set. It came into my possession when I purchased a collection off of Craigslist a while back. You can find them on eBay for around $10/set.

Personally, I think the companies did an amazing job of producing their cards. But... I'll let you judge for yourself.

Here's the header card, which features all of the company logos on the back. This particular Santa reminds me of the 1990 Pro Set Santa, because of the white hat with the NFL logo.

The next three cards are from Classic, Collector's Edge, and Fleer/Skybox.

I really like the Classic card, because they used their 1995 Pro Line base card design. It doesn't hurt that the card also features Drew Bledsoe and Emmitt Smith.

Next up are Pacific and Upper Deck's contributions...

The Upper Deck card has a drawing of Dan Marino being attacked by the Chicago Bears defense. On the back of the card, UD wrote a Christmas Carol describing Marino's heroics.

Here are the Playoff and Topps cards from the set...

Playoff's Santa is my favorite. I think it's because he's fat and realistic looking. Topps' also included some players in their card. At first, I thought #25 was Rodney Hampton... but after some research, I found out it's safety Vencie Glenn. I think the other player is sporting a #95 jersey. If that's the case, then it's a phantom player... because nobody on the Giants wore #95 during the 1995 season.

And finally... I give you the 1995 Pinnacle NFL Santa card.

I love this card, because it features three Hall of Famers: Dan Marino, Emmitt Smith, and Steve Young. And it has my favorite holiday word... "Ho!' written three times as well. A little trifecta in it's own right.

Wednesday's question of the day is...

What's your opinion on card companies collaborating and coming together to produce a set?

I remember that Topps and Fleer produced a hockey card set in 1996 together, called NHL Picks. The companies sold them in their own packs. You could pull odd numbered cards out of the Topps' packs and even numbered cards out of the Fleer packs. They chose to use separate designs and unfortunately... both were pretty bad. So, this concept wasn't brought back the following year.

Even though 1996 NHL Picks was essentially an epic fail, it was nice to see them try it out. I personally would like to see more collaboration between companies. Then maybe it's just the egg nog talking... maybe I just want to see bitter rivals come together and hug it out. I mean... that's what the Christmas spirit is all about... right?

Happy holidays everyone!

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