Score enters premium field with Pinnacle

COLLECTORS NOTEBOOK

December 22, 1991|By Ruth Sadler

Score, whose innovative designs have helped set the direction for late-century trading cards, is entering the premium market.

Next month, it will introduce a 415-card football set under the Pinnacle name. Adopting what has become a premium-card trademark, Pinnacle will have an anti-counterfeiting device, an imprint on the bottom border of card backs that will be visible only through a special lens.

Player cards feature a black background on a white border with a head shot and an action shot on the front. On the back, it's the same color scheme, last season's and career statistics and an action shot silhouetted on the black background. For the 58 rookie cards, the background color is green. Card stock is heavy and coated.

The Pinnacle set also includes: a Super Bowl XXVI logo card; a three-photo card on Franco Harris' "Immaculate Reception" (20th anniversary); a card showing the Denver Broncos' Kenny Walker, the NFL's only deaf player, signing "success"; and a card showing the Green Bay Packers' Esera Tuaolo singing the national anthem.

Among the five subsets are three originals. One is "Technicians," which uses action photos on the front and blueprint-style drawings on the back to illustrate football fundamentals, with all-star help. On one card, Warren Moon's passing set is diagrammed -- how he holds the ball, cocks his elbow, rotates his hips, etc. "Sidelines" features 22 players and their hobbies or off-season occupations. "Idols" shows 15 players (in color) with their boyhood idols (in black-and-white).

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Upper Deck filed suit last week in Superior Court of California against Topps over the rights to five Soviet hockey players. Upper Deck featured the players as part of its "Soviet Stars" subset of its 1991-92 low series hockey cards. President Richard McWilliams says Upper Deck has individual agreements with five Soviet players and that Topps says that it has held exclusive rights to all players in the former Soviet Union.

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Reggie Jackson and Nolan Ryan are joining Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes All-Stars for Upper Deck's Comic Ball 2. The 198-card set contains 10 18-card stories, 16 special cards with Jackson, Ryan and their animated teammates, two checklist cards and nine randomly mixed hologram stickers. When collected in Upper Deck's special albums, the cards show a comic-book-style story on the fronts and a picture puzzle with trivia questions on the back. . . . Action Packed's 84-card rookie/update set is out. It contains 74 rookies and 10 veterans with new teams. . . . Pro Set's NHL Platinum Series I has 150 cards and 10 "collectibles" (last season's six Pro Set Players of the Month and four top second-year players). Like Pro Set's NFL Platinum, the cards are full-bleed and have a gloss finish to increase durability, and some of the action shots are a combination of black-and-white and color. Since it went into production after the season started, some action shots are from the current season.

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Pro Set NFL fans: You have the cards; now read the book. "The Official NFL Pro Set Card Book" (Workman Publishing Co., New York, $19.95) is a 294-page paean to the official card of the NFL. It includes a brief history of football cards, how Pro Set received its NFL license and a series-by-series look at the cards. All regular-issue Pro Set NFL cards through 1991 Series I are depicted (front and back). . . . Speaking of Pro Set, NFL Platinum Series II is out, and it's 175 cards strong rather than the 150 originally planned.

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Upcoming events:

Sunday, baseball card show to benefit Loch Raven Recreation Council Baseball League, Loch Raven Optimist Bingo Hall (Loch Raven Boulevard and Taylor Avenue), (410) 931-4881.

Jan 5, baseball card show, Towson Quality Inn (I-695, Exit 26 S), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., (410) 239-7446.

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