1988 Sportflics Baseball Review

Back in April, we brought some true innovation to the blogging community.  The first ever (to our knowledge) 3D box break was met with much little fanfare.  Well, you saw our video, or maybe it made you motion sick and you turned it off.  Either way, it’s now time for the inevitably delayed review.

Hey, it’s not like it’s the hot new release.

Main Set

There is nothing about these cards that doesn't scream "80s"

I used to review movies semi-regularly.  Something I always tried to do with my film reviews was to approach it as if it were brand new.  If I was analyzing Slumber Party Massacre for example, I didn’t want to let any knowledge or plot points of Slumber Party Massacre II or Slumber Party Massacre III infiltrate my writing.  It was a matter of letting the film stand on its own and trying to put myself into the time it was released.  Account for what came before, but not after whenever possible.  We don’t have the benefit of looking at 2012 releases with a historical eye, after all.

With older cards, it’s tougher to do that.  Partly because of the lack of cardboard knowledge I have and partly because the market has changed so drastically.  It’s unfortunate that the financial aspect is a factor, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that it is.

In 1988, these Sportflics cards were high-end.  You got 3 cards in a pack that cost significantly more than your Topps and Fleer wax did.  The wrapper wasn’t even wax! Stylin’ AND Profilin’ right there.  An eight year-old kid like myself could only afford to buy a couple packs.

See that Sutton card up there?  It’s card #213 in a 225 card set.  That meant if you were looking for a specific player, or even team, the risk factor was high and it was a huge thrill if you succeeded.  That kind of excitement rarely exists anymore in a hit-driven cardscape.

If you want to know what made the set high-end, all I can say is “Open your eyes, man!”  Look at the card move!  Action shots that show actual actions.  A full swing or full pitch on your card.  Multiple players seen with a flick of the wrist.  A weird combination of action and close-up portrait shots that don’t mesh.

Okay, aside from that last one, the novelty of lenticular technology was a huge draw for us special effects starved 80s kids.  This is all we had.  Well…this and holograms and scratch ‘n’ sniff stickers.

Inserts and Parallels

It's coming right at us!

The packs come with 2 of these trivia mini cards.  Even as a kid, I never really cared these throw-ins.  They always felt like left over scraps that the company decided to print things on.  All of them feature either a team name, a logo, or a hat, never any players.  While it was cool to see a Mets logo in varying sizes fall out of the pack, it would have been so much better to see a mini Strawberry or Gooden instead.  Player specific trivia shouldn’t be out of the question, so to speak.

Still, it’s about the closest we’re going to get to an actual insert.  This isn’t a product with frills.  Well, except for the whole motion card thing that it banks on.

Conclusion

If you’re curious about the stats, our box saw us get 108 of the 225 cards with no doubles as well as 58 of the 153 trivia minis with 4 doubles.  Not too bad at all.

The player selection in the set is fantastic for being so large.  Even in packs with so few cards, it’s not entirely impossible to get a great player (even if he’s not your favorite or on your team).  The trivia cards don’t add much except space and the awkward size makes them even less desirable to people like me.

If this were a movie review and I were Gene Shalit, I’d have to call this product “LentACULAR!”  You can see why I gave it up now, right?  That and all the hate mail for my Kate & Leopold review.

Design – ***
Set Collecting – *
Inserts – **
Overall – ** out of 5

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