Pro Set's comeback from Chapter 11 nearly complete

MEMORABILIA

June 19, 1994|By Ruth Sadler | Ruth Sadler,Sun Staff Writer

Remember Pro Set, the champion overproducer of sports cards?

It filed for bankruptcy Aug. 20, 1992, and had been operating under Chapter 11 protection. Two weeks ago, its creditors approved a plan that will allow Pro Set to emerge from Chapter 11.

That clears the way for Pro Set to be sold to Power Entertainment, a new company formed by Chadwick, Chambers & Associates of Houston, later this month.

"The challenge is to re-establish credibility with collectors," said Pro Set's vice president of sales Ken Parlini, who was in Baltimore last weekend for Diamond Comic Distributors' annual retail seminar. "We always made a nice card, but we made too many."

Despite the sale, Pro Set is not changing its name. Parlini said it's because it is restoring its credibility -- and good name -- with collectors.

"We attend a lot of shows," Parlini said, "and listen for feedback [from collectors]. . . . I think we're doing more right than wrong."

What Pro Set did was to announce its production figures in advance, number its boxes and submit to an audit. Parlini said collectors have been paying attention.

"In '93 we sold out of just about everything," he said. "We announced production numbers and kept to them."

Pro Set's next product will be Power Racing Jumbos in mid-August. The Winston Cup cards (the jumbo refers to pack size, 24 cards) will contain statistics updated through July 17 and 30 new cards.

Power NFL, Pro Set's premium line, is scheduled for the end of August, and Pro Set NFL will appear in one series at the end of September and in jumbo packs in October. A Power update set is planned for early November and jumbo packs later in the month.

According to Parlini, Pro Set's new owners may be looking to expand beyond cards. "We may have the opportunity to do memorabilia," he said.

Score Board signs Earnhardt

The Score Board Inc. has signed Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt to a two-year agreement that will cover autographed and non-autographed memorabilia. Earnhardt will become spokesman for Classic Games' new line of auto cards, and Score Board will start a fan club for the driver. Products included in the agreement are ceramic and pewter figurines, plates, computer and video games software, coins, medallions, lithographs and the sale of autographed race-used items such as uniforms, tires and gloves.

Camden Yards phone cards

Camden Yards phone cards from AMI Communications Inc. will be available tomorrow. According to Scott Bosley of AMI, they will cost $7 each for 10 minutes of domestic calls. Cards whose time is used up can be renewed at $10 (for 28 minutes) or $21 (60 minutes). Call (800) 554-0153 to order.

Coming events

Through Oct. 31, "Sheriff and His 'Boys,' " exhibit on Sheriff Fowble, who helped develop major-leaguers Al Kaline, Ron Swoboda and Tim Nordbrook, Babe Ruth Museum, 216 Emory St., (410) 727-1539.

Through Dec. 31, "The UnFOURgettable Years" exhibit opens, featuring events from years ending in 4, Babe Ruth Museum, 216 Emory St., (410) 727-1539.

July 8-12, Upper Deck All-Star FanFest, Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh.

CARD OF THE WEEK

Classic's 1994 NFL draft picks set is coming this month. For the first time, card fronts show the helmet of the NFL team that drafted the player. (Shown is Redskins top pick Heath Shuler.) Among the inserts are autographed Jerry Rice cards and basketball preview cards. There are 105 cards in the basic set, 37 inserts and 105 gold cards.

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