Skybox / Fleer & Pinnacle Brands were two card manufacturers who were creating truly out of this world, strange products in the mid to late-90s. One such brand that made it past 1-2 releases was Circa. All these cards had trippy, psychedelic backgrounds which showed players floating in mid-air, among other unusual design themes. I never fully appreciated Circa but enjoyed busting 1-2 packs of this stuff per year. It was a nice change of pace from the usual, normal baseball cards Topps and Upper Deck were putting out.
So, while Circa didn’t make it to see the new decade, the hard to find Rave and Super Rave parallels only grew in hobby stature thanks to player collectors fighting to complete want lists on eBay. Unlike Topps’ Refractor technology and even Pinnacle with Dufex, these Circa parallels were not all that special. However, Fleer was CLEARLY ahead of its time because they knew collectors wouldn’t care about looks but how rare the parallels were. Rave parallels are #’d to 150, Super Rave cards are #’d to just 25.
So yes, Chrome Refractors and Pinnacle Dufex cards look better than these Rave cards but Chrome and Dufex were not numbered back then, making these dull, Rave cards and the collectors who pulled them, rich overnight. Wait, did I say overnight? I meant like 15 years later when Super Rave cards of Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz sold for over $500 a piece. That of course was 2012, today, these cards have dropped in price much like everything else in our hobby but the Jose Cruz, Jr. below did just recently sell for $60.
There are currently unopened boxes of 1998 Circa Thunder on eBay for under $60. This is one product that is extremely risky because if you don’t find one of these ultra-rare Super Raves, you’re pretty much left with a ton of these weird, trippy Circa cards. If you do decide to keep them, I recommend displaying them the same way I do, back of card facing front. Fleer has a long history of making better card backs than anyone else in the business and 1998 Circa Thunder was no different.