Saturday, February 1, 2014

Minis? Who Remembers Jumbo Cards?

During the late 90s there was some odd rush on jumbo sized cards.  I am not sure quite why, but I ran into them yesterday afternoon sorting out cards and was really intrigued flipping through some of the cards.  Really, there seemed to be two main products which released gobs of jumbo cards: Studio and Zenith.  The cards, especially the Zenith, actually have some great photography.  If you are into lugging around 8 x 10 baseball cards then here's my take on the two sets.  If not all of these cards can be found on the standard sized baseball card too...

1997 Pinnacle Zenith Mark McGwire 8x10

I always thought the Zenith cards were the best of the jumbo cards.  If Studio was the base/standard for jumbo cards, then the Zenith cards were clearly a premium product.  The cards are made on a thicker stock and have great photograph with a high gloss finish.  At some point I had thought about making a point to get this set signed, but I am not really one to chase people down or do a lot of TTM autographs.

1997 Pinnacle Zenith Ken Griffey Jr.

This Griffey card from the set has always been amongst my favorite cards of him.  Just an incredible picture of the future Hall of Famer and his awesome follow through.  The Zenith's only downfall at the time seemed to be the fact that jumbo cards did not seem too popular and there was a serious lack of chase cards.  All 90s sets needed something good to chase down to be truly great, right?  Here's one insert from the set...

1997 Pinnacle Zenith V2 Alex Rodriguez

The V2 cards were pretty cool with the GIF like flip replay on the left side of the card.  I loved this card back in the late 90s.  Only card I have from this insert set.  Should probably find the rest?  Maybe not.  There were more jumbo cards still....

1997 Donruss Studio Masterstrokes Andy Pettitte

The Studio cards of the late 90s were kind of the staple jumbo cards.  Not as nice of a product as the Zeniths, in my opinion, but still a pretty nice set of cards.  Studio cards had inserts and serial number short-prints in addition to the regular cards.  They even threw in some autographs.  Donruss disappeared after 1998, but after it reemerged in 2001 the Studio cards reappeared with jumbos again.  They were all autographed. 

2001 Donruss Studio Private Signings Rick Ankiel Autograph

I actually really like the Studio autographs and own a handful of them.  That alone made discovering my stash of jumbo cards worthwhile.  Especially this Ankiel card.  There were other ventures made by card companies into the jumbo card market, but they all ended the same way: unsuccessful.  Probably because there really is not a market for jumbo cards.  Still doesn't mean they're not fun.  One last one for the road.  We all like cheap wax and cool looking cards.  What late 90s set had some cool photography?  The 1998 Topps set.  You want a copy of that set in jumbo form? 

1998 Topps SuperChrome Barry Bonds

Released during the 1998 and 1999 seasons, the SuperChrome sets picked out 36 of the best Topps cards, put them in Chrome form, and made them Jumbo sized.  Nobody collected them, but I do have the complete 1998 set.  Pretty cool set with cool pictures.  Better yet, the cards are still out and about and dirt cheap in wax form.  Go on Ebay and search Topps boxes.  Guaranteed to be one of the cheapest things out there is the 1998 SuperChrome boxes.  No problem finding them for less than $20.  It's worth it for the Vladimir Guerrero card alone. 


  1. Jumbo cards rule... especially the Zenith's. They had great photography in the set you featured... sort of reminds me of Topps Stadium Club on steroids. Another oversized Zenith product that I enjoyed was the 1998 Dare to Tear stuff.

    1. I have seen those Fuji, but I do not actually own any of them. I will have to keep my eyes open for a few.

    2. I know some collectors didn't appreciate the concept behind the cards, because it required you to damage the big card to acquire the smaller card. But back in the late 90's, I was still in the "investment" mode. So I always figured that one day the 5x7 cards would be worth a lot, because everyone ripped them. I was wrong AGAIN ;-)

    3. It's an interesting concept. Interesting that it wasn't well received back then considering Topps uses the rip concept with Allen & Ginter which is one of their more popular brands.

  2. I have one jumbo cards however it is in my storage.Those jumbo card are more look classic that the new cards sadly i don't have new collection of card cause last time i fill a bankruptcy and hoping to solve this financial problem smoothly.