Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Chloe Cluchey

Chloe Cluchey is a gymnast for the University of West Virginia.  This card continues a theme of highlighting accomplished female athletes that are, or most certainly could be, fitness models using early Upper Deck inspired designs.  This one happens to be reminiscent of the 1990 UD baseball design.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Cool As Ice

Here's another gem I got reacquainted with during the stay-at-home order we're currently under here in Michigan.

Here's a little admission, I was a huge H-U-G-E Vanilla Ice fan back in the day.  I remember getting the To The Extreme cassette tape in December of 1990.  I bought it for myself while Christmas shopping for others.  Not only did I know every word to every song I also know how those songs sounded when the batteries to my Walkman were about to die, which usually happened to and from school on the bus.  I had posters up and I even read his, what I know was highly fabricated, biography from a book I got from the Scholastic book order.  Easy to say I was the perfect demographic mark for the Ice Man.

Here's some nice things I'll say about Cool As Ice.  It does a pretty good job of encapsulating some totally early 90's fashions.  Let's see, it features Michael Gross (dad from Family Ties) and Kristin Minter (older cousin from Home Alone).  It's quotable.  There's three nice things for ya.

But, this is a bad movie.  I like bad movies though, so I do legitimately like Cool As Ice.  It's overtly obvious that this movie was simply thrown together to cash in on Vanilla Ice's rocket ship like ascension to the top of popular music --  To the Extreme spent 16 weeks at the top of the Billboard 200, and sold 15 million copies worldwide.  But, the movie made zero sense to the point it's comical.  It cost $6 million to make but only had a box office gross of $1.2 million.  Ironically, after being on top of the world a year prior, Vanilla's run was pretty much over by this time as a paradigm shift to grunge music took the place of Ice's sequined and airbrushed pop-rap.  It's kind of a shame too because Vanilla is a pretty charismatic guy (as evidenced by all the reality TV he's been a part of over the years).  As good as the timing was for his music career, this movie's timing was equally as bad for his acting career.  I would be genuinely interested in seeing him in a movie role where he wasn't just playing a caricature of his rap caricature.

As for the card, this is of course inspired by ProSet's 1991 Yo! MTV Raps card set.  I think, like Cool As Ice, these cards are an example of the cash in on the card boom of the early '90s, or, as it's come to known as, the "junk wax era".
ProSet's 1991 Yo! MTV Raps

I've done a number of cards in cards in the past.  They all, sans the B-Rabbit card, have fun with the gentrification of rap music.  This card is obviously not an exception.  What does set this one apart though is that I've gone little deeper into the design, giving the card a little more flava with a full bleed card back complete with a Johnny Van Owen Yo! Fact!

Thursday, April 16, 2020


Here is the second card birthed out of my quarantine watch list.

I remember as an eleven year old kid the impactfulness of Boyz n the Hood.  This around a time where urban culture was really gaining steam in becoming popular culture.  Up until that point most of it was fun Kid 'n Play type stuff, but director John Singleton's Boyz n the Hood was a more raw look into gang culture.  It certainly wasn't the first movie to venture there, but it is, in my mind, the best and most significant.

I popped in this VHS and watched this movie for the first time in a long time.  The movie has held up and still worthy of all the praise it gets.  It's not just for the story the movie tells, but the cinematic excellence for which it was told.  Boyz n the Hood has a masterful aesthetic appeal and the acting put names like Cuba Gooding, Jr., Lawrence Fishburne, Ice Cube and Nia Long on the map.

While watching I couldn't ignore the Old English D on "Doughboy's" Tigers' cap that Cube wore throughout the movie.  I'm sure I noticed it as a kid from the metro Detroit area, but it has a new significance now that I've been channeling my creative angst into retro inspired trading cards.  Now it's like of course there needs to be a Darrin "Doughboy" Baker Detroit Tigers baseball card!

In 1991 when Boyz n the Hood came out there was a must have baseball card that would be sure to make you a rich man in the future... the '91 Score Chipper Jones #1 Draft Pick card.  Like I've stated in the past about the 1991 Score set, it's a pretty forgettable looking base card, but the subsets are some of the best ever in my opinion.  I remembering pulling the Chipper Jones from a pack and really liking the looking of the card.  The sunset looking orange-to-yellow gradient fade gives the card a sweltering look, perfect for a "hot" rookie card.
1991 Score

As a side note, if you're familiar with the '91 score set the "Rifleman" or "Master Blaster" subsets might come to mind as a missed opportunity for this card.  But, I went with #1 Draft Pick inspired template for two reasons; for one, because of the Chipper Jones card it's just way more iconic and two there wasn't really any great images of Doughboy with his piece to complete the tongue-in-cheek reference the card would be making.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Private School

Suffice to say the quarantine sees me with extra time to watch movies.  With that being said I'll be rolling out some cards I've made from movies on my 'quarantine watch list'.

First up is this card from 1983's Private School.  Sex comedies from the 1980's are pure gold, and this one is no exception.  This was actually a first time watch for me.  This movie has a classic 80's cast.  Phoebe Cates, Betsy Russell, Matthew Modine and Ray Walston are among those starring in this one.  

While I wanted to make cards of the movie I could really see a mini-set coming out of it.  I mainly want to make cards of Phoebe Cates and get a Betsy Russell card into the PCb. catalog.  I don't know this for a fact but I'd be willing to say that this movie was a vehicle for Phoebe Cates, being it comes out on the heels of Fast Times,  but, for me at least, Betsy Russell hijacked this one.  While Phoebe was her adorable self it was Betsy Russell's presence that commanded the most attention.

I decided on 1983 Topps baseball for a design inspiration.  While originally I thought about a card each for Phoebe and Betsy I decided to instead have them share a card in a recreation of the '83 set's team leader cards.