During my hey day of blogging, it seemed that 75% of my thousands of posts were about the greatness of Pinnacle Brands and how much we collectors needed a return. Well, during my long hiatus … it happened. So now it’s time to start campaigning for another long, lost brand. There was many to choose from but when it came down to it there was just one that I really want to come back. It was a brand that only lasted four years during the mid to late 90s but created one of the most memorable (and beautiful) base cards I have ever seen in 1997.
The brand was Emotion and was produced by Fleer/Skybox and although it went by different name in each of its four years, it is hard to deny the impact its cards left behind. Sure, it’s 2015 and there is probably not a lot of collectors clamoring for Emotion but that’s where I come in. Along with several upcoming posts and even box breaks of Emotion, I plan to track down at least one of the people behind this brilliant yet now forgotten product, which there is a chance of a revival as Fleer is owned by the Upper Deck Company.
So let’s begin by taking a look at all four releases.
1995 Emotion – 200 base cards, no parallels, minimal inserts
In its debut, Fleer/Skybox focused more on design and less on gimmicks although to be fair in 1995 there really wasn’t much gimmicks to fall back on. Pack-inserted autographs were extremely rare and we were still a year away from the introduction of game-used relics in baseball cards. In 1995, Emotion concentrated their efforts on design and photography and blessed collectors with extra-thick base cards with a theme describing each of the 200 players featured. If you look below, Jose Canseco’s theme was “Strength”.
There is very little value for this product on the secondary market and with a little work you can pick up a box for well below $30 dollars on eBay.
In 1996, Fleer/Skybox stepped their game up design-wise. Just look at the base card below. By next year they would take designing baseball cards to legendary levels but this was a great preview of what was to come in a year’s time. Once again, Emotion skimped on the parallels but there were some decent inserts to tide collectors over.
What Emotion did differently in 1996 was insert at 1:100 packs, a lenticular “motion” card which was a nice attempt to test the waters with gimmicks. Ultimately, Sportflics stopped being fun in the 80s so it fell kind of flat. Again, not much secondary market activity so much so that there isn’t even a recent unopened wax box sale.
1997 E-X 2000 – 102 cards, two serial numbered parallels, a high-end, die-cut insert, and autographs
This was the game-changer. Hands down, the most beautiful baseball cards ever made. You gotta give Fleer/Skybox credit, it took them three releases before playing the parallel game and they did it just right. Instead of multiple levels of parallels, they did just two and both were serial numbered (#’d 299, #’d 99). To be perfectly honest, however, they weren’t as pretty as their base cards, which is a rare feat with parallels.
For the first time, Emotion, now using its third name, E-X 2000, featured pack-inserted autographs seeded at 1:500 packs. If you remember how expensive this product was in 1997, by those standards, you will slightly comprehend how hard these autographs were to find. I’ve personally never have seen one. The biggest name in the checklist, unfortunately, is Alex Rodriguez.
As for secondary market value, this product is as strong as ever. An ungraded Griffey Jr. insert, with nothing more than a die-cut gimmick almost hit $200. A parallel featuring the same player sold for over $100. Even players who sucked at baseball do pretty well on eBay. Full boxes of this product don’t come up often but can usually be had for much less than $100 dollars.
I busted a box of this product on video in 2008. To watch, click HERE.
1998 E-X 2001 – 100 cards, two serial numbered parallels, a big chase card, and much easier to find autographs
Nothing lasts forever. By Emotion’s fourth effort, it was all gimmicks and way over the top design. The base cards, once classy and elegant, now were printed on acetate and had all kinds of holographic crap on it. Perhaps this was one of the reasons this product was officially retired after 1998. Despite this fact, collectors still go ga-ga over 1998 “Emotion” and its hard to find parallels.
This product kills it on the secondary market and is a favorite among player collectors. Once again, Griffey Jr. leads the pack with a nearly $600 parallel after a small bidding war. Hell, even a hobby pariah like Bonds hits $400, although to be fair the card was graded Gem Mint.