Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Dream Girl Kathy Ireland

This custom card is probably long overdue.  I've made a few of these "Dream Girl" cards from a 1991 Score baseball "Dream Team" inspired design.  When you're talking about dream girls for Gen X'ers, Kathy has to be on the shortest of shortlists.  Hopefully, this card makes up for her absence to date.

Get one HERE

Thursday, July 16, 2020

John Goodman

This image is a pretty internet famous image, but it's usually the photoshopped version of it where John is wearing a Black Flag band shirt.  I figured the original image where Goodman is wearing a shirt of his beloved LSU Fighting Tigers would make for a pretty fun card because who isn't a John Goodman fan?  He's been a lot of great stuff which includes several sports-themed roles.

I'm not 100% sure what year the image was taken but I'm fairly sure it's from the '80s.  Usually, I'm a stickler researching so I can match the year to the card design but I knew from the outset that I only wanted to put the image in a 1984 Topps football inspired design.  It's the only football design from the 80's that incorporates a logo (not counting the on-helmet logos '82 & '88 designs), and I really wanted to use the logo LSU used as their primary logo throughout the 1980s.  That logo, to me, looks so generic and dated, therefore it has the type of charm I dig.

I've used the '84 design quite a few times in the past but this is the first time I added a card back.  I was unfamiliar with the back of these cards.  I had to check several sources to make sure I was indeed looking at the back of the right cards because it looks so dated, even more so than 1984.  It looks more like it would befit a football card from the 1970s, or even older.

Get a copy HERE.
1984 Topps football 

Friday, July 10, 2020

Joe Dirt

Joe Dirt is one of those late '90s / early '00s comedies that I didn't realize how much I liked.  Also, I never remember taking note of what a good message the movie has --while being cloaked in lowbrow humor.

If you've read this blog in the past you might remember that my affinity for trading card design, for the most part, comes to a halt in the early '90s.  Joe Dirt came out in 2001 and I have no idea what trading cards looked like by then.  I know they were shinier with foil stamping, but that's about all I know.  So I had to choose a vintage-inspired design that I thought would be a good fit for the movie. 

In looking at the movie's poster I noticed the Joe Dirt type logo has something of an orange gradient fade coloring which made me think of the 1988 Topps football design with its gradient color fades that coordinated with the different NFL teams.  I chose to color the frame the same as that movie poster font logo.  I did that for the 6 character cards in the mini-set and then made 3 "Classic Scene" cards with a blue gradient fade coloring to set them apart as a subset.
1988 Topps football

The card backs are inspired by the '88 Topps football card backs, but not a 1:1 match.  I freestyled a bit to pack as much into the back of these cards as possible. 

Get your mini-set HERE.

I also did an additional David Spade card as a bonus card to the set. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Snake Plissken

This card is based on the basketball scene from John Carpenter's Escape From L.A. (1996) starring Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken.

This particular card drove me a bit mad.  I like the way it turned out overall, but I didn't get to do *exactly* what I wanted to do.  I didn't get to add the Skybox signature basketball motion trail.  The quality of the image wasn't the greatest for starters.  The positioning of the ball didn't make the most sense and the trail also made the card look a bit crowded.  I wasn't as discouraged after seeing that at least the James Worthy card in the set just has the glowing ball without a trail.  Fortunately, I didn't have this problem with the first card I did using the 1990-91 Skybox inspired design because there wasn't a basketball present in the image. But, like I said, overall I feel it's a pretty cool card.

Get a copy HERE.
1990-91 Skybox

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Debbie Harry

As you might have picked up on if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, I think women fronted bands are super cool.  To me, there's something inherently badass about a female lead singer.

I got a pretty positive response to the Joan Jett card I did so I definitely had my radar up for another possible iconic female rocker to make a card out of.  That didn't take all that long thanks to coming across a killer 1978 concert picture of Debbie Harry from Blondie.
1978 Topps baseball

I threw the picture into a 1978 Topps baseball inspired design.  I made the back to focus on the particular photo as opposed to doing like a "who is" type write up.

Get your copy HERE.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Started From The Bottom?

Unlike most things I've made cards of, I'm not a really big fan of Drake.  I admit he makes catchy songs but to me he's one of the faces of today's hip-hop genre which, as a whole, I don't care for.  It does not hold a candle to the hip-hop I grew up with. /oldmanrant 

For those that may not know before the rap-singing Drake, a.k.a. Aubrey Graham, starred as Jimmy Brooks on the Canadian teen soap Degrassi.  The character was wheelchair-bound after the storyline had him shot in the back. 

This card is a bit cheeky but wasn't all that hard to make since I already created the template for my Beastie Boys card, so why not?

Grab a copy HERE.

Friday, June 26, 2020

The Cobra II

When I posted the first Dave Parker card I made to the PCb. Instagram feed it was suggested that I also make a card from probably the most infamous picture of the colorful Parker, that of him having a puff off a cigarette in the Pirates' dugout.  I had actually thought about a card for that while making the hockey mask card.  The card I originally envisioned would have a design inspired by the 1980 Topps set, the year in which the photo was taken.  But, the suggestion to make the card got me thinking in an entirely new direction... the T206 set!

The tobacco card set known as T206 was issued from 1909 to 1911 in cigarette and loose tobacco packs through 16 different brands owned by the American Tobacco Company. The T206 set contains the most valuable trading card of any kind, the Honus Wagner.  A PSA 5 Wagner most recently sold at auction in 2016 for a record of $3.12 million!  The reason for the card's premium is that so few exist and Wagner is an all-time great.  It's estimated between only 50 to 200 made it out to the public whereas tens of thousands exist for other players.  Wagner refused to let the card with his likeness be a part of the set.  The most common reason is that he didn't approve of the card being marketed in tobacco products that kids might try to buy, while another explanation has Honus wanting to be compensated better by ATC for being part of the set.

Nowadays it's odd to see a professional athlete smoking, especially knowing all of the dangers linked to it, 1980 though was a different time.  Back then you could smoke anywhere.  Both my parents smoked so as a kid out to eat I was subjected to the "smoker's section" of restaurants.  Myself, I never got why people smoked. Even as a young kid I fancied myself an "athlete", plus I've always been really pragmatic.  I just didn't *get* it.  I remember thinking "so, you put it in your mouth, light it on fire, then breathe in its smoke??".     

Back to the card.  Being designed after the T206 it's obviously a tongue-in-cheek reference to the former league MVP enjoying a tobacco product... in-game, no less! I tried to make the photo look a bit like a lithograph like the original cards, but I didn't go overboard with it.  I also left the "H" off of Pittsburgh the way it is on the Honus card.  I aged the card back a bit by making the graphic look a little beat up and print off-center.  These are the approximate size of the T206 cards as well.

Get your copy HERE.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Over The Top

It seems like I do not go all that long before making another Sylvester Stallone card.  If it isn't obvious, he's definitely a favorite of mine.  Over the Top is one that's been on my radar for a little while but I couldn't figure out how I wanted to play it.  That changed upon running across a 1987 Topps football season leader card.
1987 Topps football

When the movie gets to the tournament there's an interesting cast of characters, almost like an 80's pro wrestling roster.  I thought about doing a mini-set like I did for Bloodsport and trying to get each of those a guys a card but ultimately I thought I'd be better served to put my energy into making one really cool card of Lincoln Hawk and Bull Hurley.  Plus, I really dig making cards with multiple persons on them. 

I rewatched the movie, specifically the arm wrestling tournament portion, a number of times so I could really solidify the card's back.  A lot of the same verbiage and details from the movie made it onto the card back.  I numbered the card 213 as an Easter egg to Over the Top's February 13, 1987 release date.

On a side note, this movie has a really cool soundtrack.  Does anyone know how Kenny Loggins is not the richest man in the music industry off of residuals alone? 

Get your copy HERE.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Deathstalker II

Okay, so this is definitely going to be one of the more obscure mini-sets I've made, but it's oh so fun.

I was certainly what I would call a "He-Man kid".  I wasn't into Transformers or anything overly sci-fi.  I really dug the heroic fantasy elements of Masters of the Universe.  I was wanting an excuse to use a Topps 1984 Masters of the Universe inspired theme for some cards as a tribute to my no. 1 favorite thing as a child.  But, if you're familiar with that card set the border doesn't exactly scream heroic fantasy ... although the sticker inserts did!

The movie I decided to plug into the design was Deathstalker II (1987).  Yes, a B-movie... sequel.  If you've never seen this movie it's a lot of fun.  The writing is great because it didn't try to be Conan.  There's a light heartedness to the movie that's generally not part of the genre.  Lot's of corny one-liners, a good story and some really decent action scenes.  Plus, it gave Monique Gabrielle a chance to show off something besides her body.  I mean, she does that too thankfully, but she's also really funny in this movie.  John Terlesky is great in it too.  If you like movies that aren't huge budget Hollywood blockbusters, and that don't take themselves too seriously I highly recommend Deathstalker II.

There's 9 cards in this mini-set.  They have a '84 MOTU inspired scroll frame on the front a custom back utilizing Boris Vallejo's poster art for the movie.  All 9 cards have unique movie info on the backside.

Get you set HERE.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

The Cobra

In 1978 for one at bat, in one game, the 6'5 , 230 lb. Dave "The Cobra" Parker wore a hockey goalie mask for what has to be the most menacing sight ever witnessed inside a ballpark.

From the back of the card:
July 16,1978:  After suffering a broken jaw in a collision with Mets' 
catcher John Stearns on June, 30, Dave Parker returned to the Pirates' 
lineup well ahead of schedule to take on the Padres.  To protect his 
newly healed jaw Parker purchased a goalie mask at a sporting goods 
store.  Parker cut, painted and padded the mask himself to fit the contour 
of his face.  Perhps intimidated by his appearence, the Padres intention-
ally walked him that day.

The hockey goalie mask only lasted the one game with Parker switching 
to a football facemask affixed to his batting helmet that he wore only for 
base running.

I though it would be a cool idea to put the image of Parker in the goalie mask on a 1978 Topps style hockey card.  I thought it made the most sense to go with the color scheme used on the Penguins' cards for '78.

Get your copy HERE.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Streets of Fire

Streets of Fire is actually one of the oldest movies I have memories of watching as a kid.  A few things about it from then that are vivid still; the fact the Willem Dafoe's "Raven" character scared the crap out of me as well as how frightening the idea of a sledgehammer fight was.  Another thing that stuck with me too was the love of the song "I Can Dream About You" by Dan Hartman.  It's a great song.  Some songs become synonymous with movie's that they're a part of and for me I can't hear "I Can Dream About You" without thinking of Streets of Fire.  And that was the motivation for me to make this set.  I heard that song and started thinking about this movie and wondering if it would make for a good card set.

I pictured in my head just about all the card sets both sport and non-sport that came out in 1984, and I just couldn't see any of them really lending themselves all that well to this movie.  I decided that being as visually stylish as Streets of Fire is that it could really use a design of its own.  I challenged myself to come up with a design I could see this movie going into had a set been made.

What I came up with was a design that was a hybrid of two sets in particular, 1979 Rocky II and 1985 football, both from Topps respectively.  I've been wanting to make a set with a red border and I think this was the right one to do it with.

The card back is a also a custom-custom.  I used an alternate poster art for the title card because I wanted to incorporate the film's more recognizable movie poster art on the card backs.

There's 18 cards in all, perfect for two 9-sleeve card pages.  There's a title card, 8 character cards, and 9 scene cards.  The first 6 character cards have a quote and trivia fact on the back and the remaining cards have trivia facts.

Get your set HERE.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Zeke RC

This card is a bit of a break from my usual shtick.  Not so much of a pop-culture fun card, but a sports card that never was.

If I had a time machine I would of course go back and win a huge lotto.  Part of my winnings would go to seeing that Topps never stopped making basketball cards after their 1981-82 set.  If I'm not mistaken they did so because the interest just wasn't there for basketball cards at the time.  But, looking beck they pretty much missed out on the golden era of the NBA... the 1980's.  After 1981-82 there weren't any major brand basketball cards until Star acquired the license in 1983.  But, Star was not on the scale as companies like Topps, Fleer and Donruss.  They didn't distribute in the traditional manner with boxes of wax packs.  Their cards were in team bags and sold through dealers and at arenas.  It wasn't until the 1986-87 season did another major card brand (Fleer) start making basketball cards and Topps didn't get back in until the 1991-92 season just in time to cash in on the Shaquille O'Neal mania.  Thus, my idol, Isiah Thomas, was robbed of a true rookie card.  I've corrected that.

This card is working with the idea that Topps made a "Traded" set for their 1981-82 basketball set like they do with baseball to be able to have cards of guys on their new teams and the season's rookies. 

I've made two other Isiah Thomas cards before this one but I'm glad I made this particular one now with my skills and know-how being further along than before. 

On the card's front there's a great pic of Zeke during his rookie season.  The one thing I wish was different is the color scheme Topps chose to use for the Pistons.  It's the same as the Celtics cards and being as this photo is obviously taken from an away game at the Boston Garden it makes you think I was trying to pass off Isiah as a Celtic, which for a Bad Boys fan like myself is blasphemous.  I was excited to add Topps' all-star rookie trophy.  I loved those as a kid.  After all, Isiah DID make this all-star team as a rookie and continued to be selected an all-star for the next 11 consecutive seasons.

On to the back... I started by numbering the card "11T", the same way Topps would designate cards in their Traded sets.  A little detail was Isiah's weight.  Throughout his playing career he was listed at 180 lbs., but in the 1981-82 Pistons media guide he's listed at 1985 lb.  Let's assume these cards would have been started after the trade deadline so there wouldn't be a way to list the completed stats from the season, so with that notion I chose to list Isiah's collegiate stats from his two years at Indiana University.  This card is the first PCb. card to list statistics.  Then came some collegiate highlights and the mention of the all-star selection.

My favorite part is the cartoon art.  It's the same as on the reverse of the Magic Johnson card just of course with the years changed.  I think if you're a card nerd like myself these details are really important to have.
1981-82 Topps

Get you Isiah Thomas RC HERE.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Air Bud

When Air Bud came out in 1997 I had no interest in seeing it.  I was in my late teens at it's a kid's Disney movie.  I was much too cool to see that type of movie.  I've never seen Air Bud (much less any of its umpteen sequels) until right before I started making this card.  I knew I was going all in on this idea so I wanted to be sure I was familiar with the movie so I didn't miss a detail that would help the card out.  I don't own Air Bud so I actually paid to rent it on YouTube.  That's dedication, homes.

The movie is cute, I guess.  As basketball obsessed as I was as a kid had this come out when I was say 9, or somewhere about, Air Bud probably would have been a personal classic to me.  I will say that Disney did a great job of finding an antagonist kid with a 10 on the punchable face scale.

What gave me the inspiration to make this card is the picture used on the backside.  That is actually the "Air Bud" being carried off of the court by Dennis Rodman during a 1992 NBA Playoff game between the Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.  "The Worm" scooped him up after Air Bud stormed the court during play.  I believe the dog was there to do the halftime show that was sponsored by Bud Light.  Yes, Air Bud could actually put the ball in the hoop by bouncing it off his snout. 

There was nothing from 1997 that grabbed me as far as the card's design.  I choose a design inspired by the 1991-92 Skybox because of the court storming incident and because I love the design and have been wanting something to come along that would inspire me to use it and this was it.  I've been working on a signed '91-'92 Skybox set for quite sometime.  The with all the white negative space as part of the design it really helps autographs to pop.
1991-92 Skybox
This card is kind of ridiculous, I admit.  I spent a TON of time on it, too much really.  Even though I'm not a huge Air Bud fan, this card, from a technical standpoint, has got to be one of my favorites that I've done in a while.

Get you a copy HERE.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Well, That's Redundant.

The idea behind Phantom Cardboard is the creation of cards that are modeled after vintage trading cards that didn't actually exist.  Well, when doing some scrolling recently on eBay I happen to come across the card pictured above.  Not only was an Ahmad Rashad card made for the preseason game in 1990 that he suited up for the Sixers, but it was made by the exact same card set I was looking to emulate -- the 1990-91 Skybox set.

It wasn't part of their regular set, it was a part of special broadcasters set Skybox put together.  I searched out and found that there's a total of four cards to this set.  Along with Ahmad there is Julie Moran, Bob Costas and Pat Riley (although I could only find images for Rashad and Moran).

Whoopsie.  Oh well. 

Friday, May 22, 2020

Joan Jett

I come across this image of Joan Jett with a baseball bat on her shoulder a few times while bumping around the 'net but, for some reason, it never dawned on me to make a card using the picture until recently I saw it captioned with the year it was taken, which was 1977.  Light bulb moment, 1977 Topps baseball.

Upon doing a little research on Joan Jett I found out she's a huge Baltimore Orioles fan which is something I didn't know prior and lent well to the factoid area on the reverse on the '77 Topps card back design. 

Thursday, May 21, 2020


Another movie I've given a rewatch to in this time of quarantine is 1992's Juice.  Very entertaining movie and just more proof that Tupac was a very talented actor. 

Here's a custom card of Omar Epps' character, "Q", who was an aspiring DJ.  Something that's perfect for the 1991 Yo! MTV Raps inspired template.

Get your copy HERE:

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Princess Cheri

This past Star Wars Day fitness model Ana Cheri posted a great cosplay picture of herself in the Princess Leia slave bikini.  Obviously that had to become a custom '83 style Return of the Jedi card.

Friday, May 15, 2020

All Hale

If this is your first time seeing my custom card blog you should know I'm a big fan of Lzzy Hale.  If this is not your first time reading the blog you're most likely sick of reading that I'm a big fan of Lzzy Hale -- seeing as this will be the 4th time I've done an entry about cards I've made of her.

Why I love Lzzy is much is that not only is she a badass but she's also an awesome human being.  I've said for a long time that, to me, Dave Grohl is the coolest guy in rock 'n'roll and I am of the opinion Lzzy is the female Dave Grohl in the way that she's a cool person that just so happens to be a rock star.  Any interview I've read or watched, any fan interaction I've ever read about or seen she's truly a down-to-earth class act. So there's that, which is enough, but I also love the music she and her band Halestorm make and also let's not pretend she's not easy on the eyes.

I got it in my head that I wanted to make a Lzzy Hale mini-set.  I originally wanted to make it a 9 card set to display nicely in a 9 pocket card binder sheet.  The problem was I was able to narrow down my favorite 10 Lzzy pics but couldn't leave any one of the 10 off, so... it's 10 cards.

The set isn't a direct homage to a particular vintage card set but it does get some inspiration from the 1978 Donruss Kiss set both at the top of the frame and the font used for the "Lzzy Hale" design in the lower right.  I thought that font would be fitting because to me it resembles the lettering on Lzzy's guitar strap.  I wanted to incorporate Lzzy's signature Epiphone Explorer guitar into the design so I made it a part of the frame.  I was originally going to make all of the frames the same color but as a nod to Lzzy's championing of equality I used 5 different colors and tried to coordinate them to the 10 different photos.

The card back was just something I came up with that I thought would look cool.  It's meant to resemble be a rock show marquee.  I filled the marquees with a mix of facts and quotes about Lzzy and Halestorm.