And as we all know... the latter flourished in our hobby for over two decades and even though they no long have a Major League Baseball license, their baseball cards continued to be popular among collectors.
On the other hand, Sports Illustrated for Kids trading cards cater more to a niche market. I know that statement can be said for trading cards in general, but it's especially true for these cards. The fact is... outside of a few cards like the Tiger Woods rookie, there aren't a lot of valuable SI for Kids trading cards.
Now the question is... are they cheap because nobody wants them? Or does nobody want them, because they're cheap?
So without further adieu... here are my top 5 reasons to love SI for Kids cards...
#1: They're fully licensed and feature the hobby's biggest names.
March 2015 #401
Unlike Upper Deck, Panini, and Leaf... Sports Illustrated has a MLB license. That mean's you'll actually see team logos on their cards.
#2: They specialize in variety!
September 1993 #181-#189
Where else are you going to find a placekicker, barefoot water skier, and racquetball player in the same set? Oh wait... isn't that what Goodwin Champions and A&G specialize in too? Well Sports Illustrated was years ahead of them.
#3: Want rookies? They've got them too.
March 2013 #210
This Manziel card was produced months before his next trading card and almost a full year before his first regular issue trading card. Sports Illustrated is constantly targeting athletes who are still in college. Sometimes they even produce cards of kids. It's only a matter of time before one of them grows up and becomes a professional athlete.
#4: Do you like women? So does SI for Kids.
November 1992 #98
I can't remember the last time one of their nine card sheets didn't feature at least two female athletes. They've featured everyone from Jennie Finch to Serena Williams. Of course my personal favorite is the 1992 Kristi Yamaguchi rookie card.
#5: Like the name of their magazine states... it's for the kids!
Let's face it, even the cheapest 2015 packs are going to run $1 to $2... and that's for retail product where hits are few and far between. The fact is... card companies haven't targeted kids' money in years. But SI for Kids does it every month. I'm not sure there's anything that can convince millions of kids to start collecting cards again, but at least this is the one magazine that's trying.
I'll wrap things up by saying that one of the greatest things about our hobby is the variety of cardboard we have to choose from. I know that these cards aren't going to be for everyone. I just figured that if one or two of my readers were looking for something new to collect, I'd throw these cards into the mix.
Happy Saturday and sayonara!