One of my favorites were laser cut, die-cut cards. I know that card companies had been creating die-cuts for decades, but in the 90's the precision was taken to the next level. Check out these two Tony Gwynns I recently had shipped to me from COMC:
1998 Paramount Fielder's Choice #14
1999 Paramount Fielder's Choice #16
Pacific inserted these into their Paramount boxes at a rate of 1 per 73 packs, so they were fairly tough pulls. Throw in the fact that there are 20 cards in each of these sets and the odds of pulling a specific player are insane.
When these cards first came out, they were pretty expensive. Unfortunately... they're losing the war against time. Every year that passes, more and more collectors lose interest in their older inserts in an effort to keep up with the Joneses (including myself).
The good news is that since demand is dropping... prices have dropped too. A few weeks ago I picked up the pair for $5.15, which probably seems expensive since it doesn't contain his autograph or a swatch of his jersey. But one look at these cards in your hands and you'd understand my purchase.
Happy Monday and sayonara!