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.

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 so 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 a rock show marquee.  I filled the marquees with a mix of facts and quotes about Lzzy and Halestorm.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Mamba Forever

When Kobe Bryant perished in a helicopter crash this past January I was affected by the news as much as any celebrity death in my lifetime.  I remember sitting on my sofa in shock not really believing it could be true.  "Not Kobe, anyone but Kobe!"  I kept expecting to see a breaking update that Kobe had actually survived having jumped out of the helicopter moments before it crashed in true "Mamba Mentality" fashion.

As I've written on here before basketball is my favorite sport.  I grew up with the Bad Boy Pistons, so I pretty much hated every other team and star players because there was this notion that they hated us.  I've carried that type of fandom throughout my life.  I don't like the hoops darlings that the NBA tries to sell.  I like guys that are gritty, win at all cost non-prima donna types.  Kobe was that in my eyes.  He wanted to be the best as opposed to teaming up with the best.  I also was drawn to him because he was a thinker who was always intensely studying the world around him.  Couple that to the fact that he always came off as a "real" dude.  So many superstars I feel are cliché spouting cornballs.

I drew parallels with myself and Kobe Bryant. We're the same age and are both fathers of four.  From all accounts he was every bit the dad as he was the basketball player, if not more, and that devastated me to think about his three girls that lost their superhero of a father and a sister that was also on that ill-fated helicopter ride.

I made a Kobe card back in 2017 when I was plugging in celebrity ceremonial first pitchers in a 1986 Topps inspired design.  I've improved on my cards since then so I revisited that card and gave it new life with some touch ups and a card back commemorating his ceremonial pitch for the Dodgers back in the year 2000.

When Kobe passed away I was asked if I was going to do a card of him.  I didn't rule it out, but to just hurry up and do a card because he died seemed like bad form to me.  It had to be the 'right' card if I were to make one at all.

I've expressed my love for the 1991 Score subsets on here before.  One that I've always wanted to recreate was the Master Blaster subset -- there was also the K-Man and Rifleman subsets which were essentially the same thing with a different color laser burst background.  Like my reservation on a new Kobe card, it had to be the right Master Blaster card and not just any ol' picture thrown in there.  I finally came across some images that satisfied the prerequisites of being the 'right' fit.  The pictures, I assume, are media day pictures and probably for a cross marketing promotion done between the Lakers and Dodgers.
1991 Score

The two cards work in tandem to pay tribute to both Kobe's #8 and #24 eras.  I spent a lot of time on these particular cards and am satisfied that they're fitting tributes to a legend taken far too soon. 

Friday, May 8, 2020

Froggy Fresh

Back in 2012 Froggy Fresh (then known as Krispy Kreme) and his pahtna, Money Maker Mike, took the internet by storm with the video to the song "The Baddest".  I guess you could call it comedy rap?  They then followed that up with video after video that expanded the Froggy Fresh universe.  I was hooked from day 1.  The Froggy Fresh character is so well done that it had a lot of people wondering if it was actually a character or not.  The musical value is well produced and the story telling draws you in and keeps you entertained.

Unfortunately the guy behind Froggy Fresh has since retired the alter ego.  Fortunately, he still puts out music on YouTube under his actual name, Tyler Cassidy.  His newer stuff is still as funny but the genre has changed into a more soulful crooning style of music.  No elaborate videos either.  Just Tyler at a piano.  But it's still good stuff.

I did two cards for Froggy and Mike.  Of course I had to pay tribute to the video that started it all and that went into the 1991 ProSet Yo! MTV Raps inspired design.

I also made a card from my personal favorite from the Froggy Fresh catalog which is his song "Dunked On" using the 1980-81 Topps basketball inspired design.  This design is one of my favorites to use.  I really like making cards that feature multiple pictures on them.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Herman Munster

As I've written about in the past it seems like nearly every television series that was worth its salt had a baseball episode.  The newest card comes from one such episode from the 1960's monster sitcom The Munsters.  Although the original air dates were a bit before my time I got to see my fair share of episodes with the show staying in syndication for a good long time.

The design inspiration for this card is the 1987 Hygrade All-Time Greats set.  I remember getting this set as a gift as a kid.  I don't remember which relative got me it but I do seem to recall they came in a blister pack.  I really liked these cards when I got them.  I actually thought I had cards of guys like Mickey Mantle, Yogi Bear and Jackie Robinson.  I wasn't wise enough to realize that they were just reprints.
1987 Hygrade All-Time Greats

All of the cards listed the players playing years.  For Herman I chose 1964 - 1966 because it's the years that The Munsters originally aired.  The backs of the '87 Hygrade's would summarize the baseball legend's career.  For Herman's card I give give you the plot line of the episode, the baseball portion at least. 

I don't like making up information so I research as much as I can about all the cards I do.  It's said that Herman is 150 years old, the episode aired in 1965 ("Herman The Rookie") so when you take 150 from that you get a birth year of 1815.  Fred Gwynne is 6'5" -which helped him get the role as Herman Munster- and in the show his boots had a 4" rise bringing Herman up to a height of 6'9".  Gwynne weighed 220 lbs. and his Herman getup added 50 lbs., that's where I got the weight of 270 lbs.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Stalegum SLU

If you collected sports cards during the "junk wax era" then the chances are that you probably had a few of Kenner's Starting Lineup figures on top of your dresser as well.  Like the cards from that era, these nearly actionless figures didn't exactly prove to be the sound investments us ten year olds might have hoped for.

I had a few myself.  I even tried to play with them even though you're pretty locked into the player's one pose.  The head could turn side-to-side and the arms could move up and down at the shoulder and that was apparently all of the articulation Kenner thought would make us mini-consumers happy.

Along with your SLU figure Kenner would also include a card in the toy's blister pack to collect (sometimes also a coin or folded up poster).

To pay homage to the 4" tall plastic sports heroes I teamed with the talented artist Dave Houle to create the brand's third Jackie Stalegum card.

The illustration is molded after the 1989 Don Mattingly figurine, while the card is representative of the cards that came in the inaugural baseball set in 1988.

I put together a little Phan Pack for this card.  It'll include:

  • An autographed card by Dave Houle #'d/10 and in a 55 pt. Ultra Pro one touch case
  • a standard version of the card
  • a sticker pack as seen below

FUN FACT: Pat McInally, a former NFL player for the Bengals, came up with the idea for creating the figures.