Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Paige Spiranac

Here's yet another custom card inspired by an early 90's Upper Deck baseball design.  This is done in the style of the inaugural 1989 Upper Deck baseball set with a bit of a golf tweak to suit the subject.  That subject being the incredible Paige Spiranac. 

Paige is a pro golfer as well as a model/media personality.  In the same mold as the other woman I've made cards of recently using the UD designs she's got the game to go along with the good looks.  Paige, to me, looks like a real life Barbie doll, and I mean that in the best way possible.  I'm not much of a golf enthusiast really but I would make time to check it out if she was playing.  Shameless, yes, I'm aware. 

In spite of being a pro golfer Paige really doesn't have much of a trading card presence outside of inclusion in Topps' multi-sport 2018 Allen & Ginter set, so I decided to make her a proper, albeit unofficial, rookie card.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Ali Mills

In my never ending quest to come up with excuses for making new custom Karate Kid cards, I present to you my latest creation.

This Ali Mills "Heart Breaker" card is a play on the 1984 Topps football "Record Breaker" subset.  The photo is either a behind the scenes shot or a deleted scenes shot, I'm not 100% sure.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Michelle Jenneke

I've been having fun with early 90's Upper Deck designs as of late.  When I posted the Allison Stokke card on Instagram it was suggested in the comments that I also take a swing at a Michelle Jenneke card.  Well, it was actually suggested a few time, because you see, you simply cannot look up Allison Stokke or Winifer Fernández without Google recommending that you also check out Michelle Jenneke.  World class athletes in three different sports, but they have the common thread of being internet viral level hot.

Australian Olympic hurdler Michelle Jenneke caught the world's attention with her pre-race warm-up dance.  While some may describe her warm-up routine as "sexy" I think it's, pardon the language, fucking adorable.  She's infectiously cute and bubbly.  Personally, seeing it puts me in a good mood.  It's the kittens and puppies of warm-up routines.

For Michelle's card I went with the 1990 Upper Deck baseball inspired design.  It's simple, clean and distinctly early 90's Upper Deck.  I tweaked the top border a bit to give it more of a track and field feel.
1990 Upper Deck baseball

Friday, November 1, 2019

Garbage Phantom Kids

My love for trading cards started with Garbage Pail Kids.  My introduction to the gross-out Cabbage Patch dolls parody came in 1986 the the series' third installment.  From the very first .25¢ pack I was completely hooked.  Flipping through a stack of vintage Garbage Pail Kids these is about as nostalgic as it can get for me.  What I've come to realize that I really didn't as a snot-nosed kid was that I genuinely love the artwork.  Guys like John Pound, Tom Bunk, James Warhola and Jay Lynch are legends of my childhood.

I think it's pretty darn cool that the GPK franchise was revived for a whole community of man-kids like myself to enjoy, plus any younger collectors that may stumble upon them.  There's also a great new crop of artists carrying on the Garbage Pail tradition.  I was lucky enough to link up with one of those artists to help in creating the PCb. brand's second trading card.

Back in the early part of the summer I brought a concept to Mark Pingitore to bring to life for a Jackie Stalegum Garbage Pail Kids inspired card.  Mark has signed a few of the Garbage Pail cards he's done for me over the years and I knew him to be extremely gracious with his fans.  Actually, I find all the artists to be that way for the most part.

What I asked of Mark was for this card to be a mixture of 3 main inspirations.  First was the Jackie Stalegum character, the second was the infamous 1989 Fleer Billy Ripken F*ck Face "error" card, and lastly was the Garbage Pail Kids' Series 5 Hot Rod (#205a) by John Pound.  I've always loved the artwork on that particular card and I'm drawn to the colors in the background.  In my mind that mashup had classic GPK written all over it.  A couple of ancillary details I asked for was for PCb. to be on the bat's knob like the Ripken card and to have Jackie's bubblegum bubble to be revealing part of a skull face.

I had a slight bit of trepidation when commissioning the piece because it was to be done in marker.  Unlike a digital rendering it's pretty much a one shot deal.  There's zero hyperbole when I say I could not be more pleased with the results.  It is better than I would have imagined, and Mark NAILED everything I asked for.  As soon as I stopped drooling all that was left was to make it into a trading card.  If you would have told me as a kid that I'd have a chance to have a brainchild of mine turned into Garbage Pail Kid art I would probably also assumed I lived in a giant mansion and was the star of television shows and professional sports teams.  I'll take the one out of the four.

I've put together a Garbage Phantom Kids Phan Pack for anyone else who would like to revel in my childhood goal accomplishment.  Here's what you'll get:

  • Jackie Stalegum 2a card (#'d/50)
  • Jackie 2au Pingitore auto sealed in UV protected Ultra Pro one-touch (#'d/12)
  • 2b Jim Mint sticker (#'d/50)
  • Garbage Phantom Kids die-cut sticker combo
  • 1.25" button

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Men At Work

I may have mentioned it in another post, but back in the early '90s we used to watch a lot of HBO, especially in the dog days of summer when there wasn't much else to do.  Any time I see that old "HBO Feature Presentation" intro floods me with nostalgia of watching the premier of a anticipated new movie with my family. 

Men At Work was a movie I watched a ton of time.  My mom like it so much I remember she dubbed it on VHS.  It's one of the movies that I could probably go line-by-line for most of its scenes.  Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez had great chemistry, and why shouldn't they, right?  They're brothers after all.  They should have done more movies together, in my opinion.  Keith David also killed it in this movie.

For this card I wanted a way to feature both Carl and James on the same card.  That drew me to the 1990 Fleer baseball "Major League Prospects" subset.  I remember being really geeked when I pulled the George Canale / Kevin Maas  Prospects card.  With all the hype surrounding Maas I was sure that car would one day be worth roughly a zillion dollars.  Yea, no.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Winifer Fernández

Encouraged by how my Allison Stokke card turned out I was eager to try another Upper Deck inspired design. 

Winifer Fernández basically became the Allison Stokke of women's volleyball in 2016 when images and video of her went viral because she's really, reallly attractive.  But, just like Stokke she is way more than just a pretty face, but rather a very accomplished athlete at her own respective sport, and like Allison Stokke that was pretty much overlooked on account of her being smoking hot.  So, like I did with Allison Stokke I made a custom card that highlights both Winifer's beauty and her athletic brilliance. 

I wouldn't have minded again using the 1989 Upper Deck baseball design for this card but I didn't think it lent itself as well to volleyball.  So, I went looking for a basketball design since both sports are played indoors on a gym floor.

1992-93 Upper Deck McDonald's
I landed on the 1992-93 Upper Deck McDonald's basketball.  I remember being really excited about theses cards when they came out.  I don't have stats and figures but I want to say around this time basketball cards were taking the hobby spotlight from baseball.  This was due to it being Shaq's rookie year and there was never anyone quite like him before, a true phenomenon.  You also had hobby favorite Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls thoroughly dominating the league in the midst of their first three-peat run.

The 1992-93 Upper Deck McDonald's were a 50 card set only available at McDonald's restaurants.  I seem to recall with the purchase of a value meal you could also get a pack of these cards.  McDonald's did something similar with NBA Hoops the season prior. Cards came three to a pack in the familiar Upper Deck foil wrappers.  It was just star players bolstered by a solid rookie class that was headed by names like Shaquille O'Neal, Alonzo Mourning and Christian Laettner.

I was always a fan of oddball type issues.  I dunno, just something about them that's a bit more exotic I guess.  Cards used to come as cereal prizes, on snack boxes, as fast food premiums, retail store exclusive boxed sets, etc.  These were always favorites of mine because they were a little more difficult to come by, especially pre-internet.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Another Fletch Card

While sifting through my personal card collection I was reminded of Star's 1985 All-Star subset that was sponsored by Miller Lite (there's also a version that uses the same player photo just with a gold border and a Crunch 'n Munch logo).  I thought the Lite version would be awesome for a Fletch card.  Even though I've made a number of Fletch cards I went back for one more.

Since I started making these custom cards I've done a three Fletch basketball cards starting with a 1985 Topps baseball inspired design.  There was also the behind-the-scenes shot of Chevy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar that I plugged into a 1986 Fleer basketball inspired design.  After that was the 1985 Star Co. design with the purple Lakers border.

Not only did I think it would be a humorous addition because of the beer sponsor, but it also gave me a chance to do a custom card back. 

At this point I've just resigned myself to the fact that I'll never be done making custom Chevy Chase cards.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Allison Stokke

Remember Allison Stokke?  She's the California high school pole vaulter that became an overnight phenomenon thanks to a candid photo of her that went viral in 2007.  While a then 17 year old Stokke was simply waiting for her next vault a photograph was taken of her that made its way onto a popular sports blog and changed her life.  That photograph also sparked a lot of controversy over the sexualization of female athletes.

Anyone with a set of eyes, or even if ya just have one, can see why this image spread across the internet like a California wildfire.  There's no two ways around it, Allison Stokke is a beautiful girl.  But, looking at that same picture there's something equally as obvious, Allison Stokke is an athlete.  You don't get the muscle tone she has by sitting around texting.  Allison's athletic accomplishments were every bit her world class beauty's rival.  Stokke wasn't merely participating in track and field she was breaking national records on her way to earning a full ride to The University of California.

Unfortunately for her the years of dedication got overlooked because of well, her hotness, basically.

I wanted to make a card for her that gave that infamous photo somewhat of a redemption.  I wanted my card to recognize her athletic accomplishments while not pretending that she isn't  incredibly stunning.  There's no reason why she can't be both.

1989 Upper Deck
With the photo locked and loaded I needed to decide what kind of design to use.  The image is from 2007 and I couldn't pick out a 2007 trading card design from a 2017, so that was out of the question.  Gotta keep it vintage inspired, my friends.  I noticed Allison was born in 1989 and with I had a great excuse to finally use the ground breaking 1989 Upper Deck baseball inspired design.

Not only can the 1989 Upper Deck easily double as a track and field motif it is also home to maybe the most important baseball card of all-time ... the Ken Griffey, Jr. card no. 1 (although the '52 Mantle might have something to say about that).  The '89 Griffey  rookie really started the baseball card boom of the 1990s when it seemed like there was a card shop popping up on every corner.  The 1989 Upper Deck cards were white hot.  They added a premium look to baseball cards with the glossy white stock, high resolution photos and hologram technology.  I even recall a  small lawn mower shop by my house that would put out a sandwich board advertising that they had Upper Deck baseball cards.  A lawn mower shop for Pete's sake!  People spent obscene amounts of money trying to horde the Griffey RC as a future investment.  Unfortunately the bubble has long since burst due to there being no real scarcity of any card from the era, especially after the internet came along.

Since THE photo was how the world was introduced to Allison I threw the famous UD rookie logo on her card.  This card comes along at a good time being that I'm starting to do more with card backs.  This gave me a chance to highlight Allison's athletic prowess and also add another great smiling shot of her.  I also got a chance to use my hologram tamper sticker as part of the card's overall design in the same way Upper Deck made famous with there card's design.

Allison went on to have a solid vaulting career at UC Berkeley where she earned All-American honors in 2011.  Not only that but the also completed a masters degree in sociology from UC.  She continued to compete professionally after college while also getting into the world of sportswear modeling for likes of Nike and others.  Just this month Allison married professional golfer Ricky Fowler who she'd been dating since 2017.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Darthy McFly

There's been a couple of times I've come up with a custom card idea that I can't believe I didn't think of earlier.  Add this card to that list.

Remember that scene in Back to the Future where Michael J. Fox appears to  Crispin Glover as Darth Vader the extraterrestrial from the planet Vulcan?  I went out on a limb thinking some Stars Wars fans may have also seen BTTF and could appreciate a good custom trading card mashup.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Friday The 13th Part 2

I wanted to get this set done in time to have it out last month when the 13th fell on a Friday, but I just couldn't get it in under the wire.  So, I held onto it figuring an October release would be the next best thing.

The inspiration the do a custom card mini-set from this movie was really so I could do a card of Kirsten Baker's "Terry" character.  I know everyone loves Amy Steel's "Ginny" and she is a phenomenal female lead, but for me it's all about Terry.  I have no shame.  She was tanned, toned and pretty much perfect.  But, if I was going to make a Terry card I might as well go ahead and get the whole Camp Packanack gang back together.

Other than that though I really do like this chapter of the Friday The 13th franchise.  I like that Jason has a little different aesthetic wearing a burlap sack as opposed to the trademark hockey mask.  I also like it because it's one of the only movies where he's killing actual campers, which is part of the Jason Voorhees shtick.  Jason technically only does that in this movie and again in Part VI.

To coincide with the year the movie was released I went with a 1981 Donruss inspired design.  This is only the second time I've used this charmingly vintage looking template; the first time coming with my Freaks an Geeks set.  I outfitted all of the cards with a blue border as a tie-in to Jason's blue flannel shirt.

I've been experimenting more with card back designs in the last few sets I've made.  For this set each card got it's own numbered back, each with different movie fun fact.

I've included a special addition to this set.  There's 3 two-card puzzles, and when you combine those 6 cards they make another puzzle on the back side.

You can get your set HERE.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Bad News Bears

You would think that if one was making custom trading cards from movies (primarily) then The Bad News Bears would be on the shortests of short lists.  While The Bad News Bears has always been on my radar I’ve hesitated because if I were to make a set, I would want it to be in a 1976 inspired design to coincide with the movie’s year of release, and that only leaves the 1976 Topps set.  While I like the look of that particular set I’ve shied away from the base set design due to the clip-art like baseball player in the lower left of the card’s frame denoting the various player field positions.  It just seemed like it would be a real pain to recreate.  Being that back in 1976 Topps still had a monopoly on the baseball card market that was all there was to choose from, or so I thought…

From 1975 through 1979 Topps partnered with Hostess to create a package premium that gave collectors another baseball card set to chase.  For their time these cards were very popular for the simple fact it was something else to go after once they completed their 1976 Topps sets.

The cards were distributed on specially marked packages of Hostess products.  There were 150 cards in a complete set. The first 60 cards could be found individually on Twinkie packages and then again as part one of the 50 three-card panels on confections like HoHos, King Dons, Suzy Q’s and Choco-Diles.  So as you can imagine collecting all 150 required dedication and a Herculean sweet tooth.  Add to it that we’re talking pre-internet days, so there was more legwork involved in networking with other collectors.  There’s stories of ambitious collectors posting on grocery stores’ bulletin boards offering to buy the Hostess boxes (sans the treats) from shoppers.

1976 Hostess
The 1976 offering’s three bar design was similar to that of the regular Topps set but each card shared the same red, white and blue color scheme.  If it slipped your mind, 1976 was the country’s bicentennial celebration and it was red, white and blue coiffing for everything that summer and these cards were riding that patriotic wave.  They are smaller than a standard issue trading card measuring in at approximately 2.25” x 3.25” and had a dashed outer border to encourage collectors to cut them out.  The backs are pretty basic with the card number, player’s name, biographical info plus a 5-year stat snapshot (plus a lifetime line).

I took a little extra time with this set knowing how beloved this movie is.  If you’re familiar with the movie you know it’s the type of non-PC film that you could get away with 43 years ago, but would never see the light of day in 2019.  There was a remake in 2005 starring Billy Bob Thorton in the Morris Buttermaker role that I’ve never bothered to watch but I have to imagine it was not word-for-word dialog to the original.

There was a lot of research done to find the right images and field positions.  I also tried my best to put these on a card stock that would be similar to that of the original cards found on the side of Hostess boxes.  I also want the card backs to have a similar look to ‘76 Hostess cards.  Instead of making up biographical information I put the name of the actor below the character’s name.  In place of statistics I went with a colorful quote for each character.  There’s cards of each of the Bears plus Roy Turner and his son Joey from the rival Yankees.

Get your 16 card mini-set HERE.

Friday, August 16, 2019


I get why there was never a Commando trading card set back in 1985 with trading cards, especially movie sets, being marketed to kids and Commando having a high kill count and all, but I knew eventually it was something I'd put something together.  The movie kicks ass and it's Arnold Schwarzenegger.  (I know, that last sentence was kind of redundant.)   

This set is done in a 1985 Topps football inspired template.  For the second set in a row my each card has it's own unique back featuring a quote from the character on front.  And, for the first time this set is numbered.  There's nine cards, perfect for a binder sheet.  The nine cards are character cards, and I plan to eventually do a series two with nine action cards.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Just One Of The Guys

Just One of the Guys is an incredible movie that I personally feel sometimes unfairly gets overlooked because it was made in the '80s when so many other great movies came out.  Heck, in just 1985 alone -- the year the movie was released -- you had movies come out like Back To The Future, First Blood Part II, Teen Wolf, Commando, The Goonies and the list goes on-and-on.  For me though, Just One of the Guys is right up there with that list.  I can watch it anytime.  It's a charming movie that unfortunately I'm not so sure could be made in today's over-sensitive culture.  Joyce Hyser's Terry was an androgynous rock star plus Sherilyn Fenn and William Zabka are a couple of all-time favorites of mine.

As it usually goes I was inspired to do this set after a recent re-watching.  Since this movie, in my opinion, is so slept on I wanted to do something special as far as a custom card set goes.  I tried to visualize how cards would look in all of the different 1985 sport card templates from all the major companies and nothing looked in my mind like a home run.  Then, like the loser I am, I watched the movie again a couple of days later and the answer was right there in the dialogue:

Terry: "I'm a girl.  I'm a woman."
Rick: "Right, and I'm Cyndi Lauper."
Eureka!  In 1985 Topps put out a Cyndi Lauper trading card set! Perfect! I knew the pink paint splatter design would be a great throwback look for this set.
1985 Topps Cyndi Lauper

The Cyndi Lauper cards were not captioned on the front, they all just said "Cyndi Lauper" in that squiggly nameplate thingy.  I thought to use that same design for a caption would be a real pain in the ass.  So, what I did was I threw a Just One of the Guys movie logo in the upper left corner.  When I looked at that it felt like it needed something else.  The logo doesn't really pop so I decided to add something to the lower right corner to kind of even the card out for the eye.  I first thought of some sort of head shot cameo and started looking for the right image.  That's where I came across the overseas VHS cover art and got an idea to edit the image to do the half-and-half Terry you see on the cards.  I really think that's my favorite part of these cards.

Since I didn't have a caption on the front I decided to do something that has been requested but not done with my cards to this point ... each card has a unique back.  I studied a lot up on the movie so I could have a unique quote and fun fact on the reverse of each card.  I personally love that kind of nerd fanboy stuff.  That cameo head shot idea I was going to use for the front got incorporated onto the back design.  I'm not sure how often I'm going to make unique backings for future cards but, like I said, I wanted  to do something a little special for this set.

This mini-set consists of a title card plus nine cards all with unique quotes and facts on the back... plus a bonus card, shaking out to eleven total cards.  Get your set HERE.

I feel like I'd be neglectful if I didn't mention something about "the scene" in which Terry proves to Rick that she is indeed a she by revealing to him a couple of the most perfect breasts in cinematic history.  For a guy like me that is probably closest maturity-wise to the ever horny younger brother Buddy, that scene is everything.  As far as breasts scenes go I put it as 1b to Phoebe Cates' 1a in Fast Times, it's that spectacular.  In researching the movie it seems Joyce Hyser is a little uneasy about the whole thing all these years later especially when it's found on the internet out of context to the movie's plot.  I get that, and as respectfully as possible I would say to her she's got nothing to feel uneasy about.  I found it interesting when I read that she's said no one has ever asked her at a signing or convention to sign that particular scene.  I don't think I'd have the fortitude myself  to try and get that signed but I'd probably be picturing it in my head while she signed one of my PG-13 cards.  Sorry, Joyce.