Topps and Score aim at the middle with new and revised cards

MEMORABILIA

October 18, 1992|By Ruth Sadler | Ruth Sadler,Staff Writer

First there were cards. Then came premium cards, followed quickly by super premium cards.

Topps and Score, with sets at the low and high ends, are staking out the middle.

Topps has repositioned its Bowman line as a premium card between Topps and Stadium Club, and Score is bringing out Select, which fits between Score and Pinnacle, in December.

With Bowman, paper stock has been upgraded to that of Topps Archive, and like Archive, there will be no factory sets. The new Bowman was launched with the just-released 1992 baseball set. Football will be out later this month, followed by hockey in November.

New Bowman cards, unfortunately, aren't that different from last year's. The paper is better, and there are color photos on the card backs, but the big "B" logo is still superimposed on the stat blocks, and the word Bowman on the card backs is so prominent that it overpowers the player names. The 705-card baseball set also contains a printing error, with Willie Banks and Pat Clements having cards with No. 533. According to the checklist, it should be Clements.

Bowman comes in packs of 14. There's a 45-card subset featuring draft picks, minor-league MVPs and U.S. Baseball Federation alumni.

Probably the most radical thing about Select is its size -- 405 cards in one series -- puny by Score standards.

The borderless fronts are the first for a Score product. Fronts are UV-coated (like Pinnacle), while backs have a matte finish (like Score). Cards with horizontal fronts have vertical backs and vice versa, so each player is shown in horizontal and vertical poses. Statistics arespare (1992 and career), plus a "Select Stat," a sort of statistical one-liner (for Mitch Williams: ".77 save percentage in '91").

Score promises 24 limited-edition random-insert cards but has no details. Select will be sold in 15-card packs and 28-card

Super Packs.

Cards in the mall

Bob Young, who has a sports card store in Lancaster, Pa., has opened Bob's Sports in Towson Town Center. The store, which is open during mall hours, carries old and new cards, collectibles and clothing. Call (410) 821-6055.

Silver achievement

Art Monk became the NFL's all-time reception leader last week, and Chicagoland Processing/ENVIROMINT has commemorated the achievement with a silver medallion. There were 15,000 struck, and each is $29.95 plus $5 shipping. Call (800) 765-0123.

Last call for low series

Next month, Upper Deck's 220-card NFL Series II is cominout, and it will not contain any low series cards. The series includes a 10-card Football Heroes insert set featuring Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino. There is also a 20-card Coach's Report insert set in which a former coach analyzes rookies and second-year players.

Upcoming events

Oct. 24-25, baseball card show, Beltway Mall, Greenbelt, during mall hours.

Oct. 25, baseball card show, Comfort Inn-Airport (I-695, Exits 5 and 6A), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.

Card of the Week

NFL GameDay is the same size as Topps' 1965 set (2 1/2 x 4 11/16). Created by NFL Properties, the 500 cards are UV-coated, with the player in color and the background in black and white. Most players (rookies, free agents, traded players) are shown in their current uniforms. NFL Properties has also produced special six-pocket sleeves, binders and individual holders.

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