Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Box Break - 1995 Sportflix UC3

Gimmicks have always been around.  As a toy collector gimmicks are nothing new.  A toy line can live or die by it's gimmick.  If it weren't for the Mech Tech weapons gimmick with the current movie line of Transformers toys, the figures would just be another movie tie-in line.  The same thinking can be applied to trading cards as well.  Since I bought my first pack of cards in 1990 I've seen a lot of card gimmicks come and go.  Some I like while others just didn't appeal to me.  One of my favorite gimmicks is the lenticular technology.  Some may not see it as a gimmick...doesn't really matter.  Some cards that feature this style can look awesome while others can look down right ugly.  1995 UC3 straddles the fence in my opinion.  When the set was first released I thought they were the coolest thing since sliced bread.  Fast forward 16 years and they look just ho-hum.  Somethings just don't age as well I guess.  That doesn't stop me from liking these cards.  I don't love them...there are better looking lenticular cards/sets, but I was able to score a sealed box several months ago for cheap so I thought why not.

1995 was the first and only year UC3 was released and I can say that I'm really not that surprised.  First of all the name of the product is rather goofy.  Secondly the base design isn't the best looking.  Let's take a look.

About the only thing on the regular base cards that even remotely looks 3-D is the baseball.  The player does appear to be lifted and "standing" in front of the glove.  The cards don't look horrible, but one look at these cards and most should be able to tell this was a 90's product.

Thankfully there is a subset called In-Depth that features a much better design that really lets the lenticular technology shine.  Look at this card of Ken Griffey Jr. for instance.  Doesn't it look head and shoulders better than the Piazza base card?

The rookies in the set also had their own design, but I forgot to scan one.  Trust me when I say they are pretty ugly.

Inserts are where things get a little better.  Just a bit.  Like a lot of Pinnacle products the parallel set Artist's Proof makes an appearance.  I think the odds were 1 per box or 1:36 packs.


Cyclone Squad were seeded 1:4 packs and the most common of the inserts.  Checklist features sluggers of the game (for it's time) with large circular fans (?) in the background that appeared to spin when you held the card just right.

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In Motion cards were seeded 1:18 packs and featured a morphing helmet to player deal.  These cards really don't scan very well.  Silly idea when I stop to think about to them, but at least my box yielded a Ripken.



Clear Shots were seeded 1:24 packs and my box was missing this hit.  Can we call these cards hits?  I believe these cards were partially translucent (hence the name) and featured young and up and coming talent.

I know there is a card of Chipper Jones in this set that I want to track down.  These are probably the best looking insert set of the bunch.

I ended up with all but 14 cards from the set.  Not bad out of one box.  I do have some doubles that I plan on listing on my trade pages if anyone out there cares.  I figured I'd also try and finish out the Cyclone Squad and In Motion insert sets since I already have a (small) start on them.  If anyone has any of these cards and wants to trade please let me know.  All in all it was a fun box of cards to open and isn't that what it's all about?  One day I'll go after building some of the other pseudo 3-D card sets like the base sets of Sportflix and Topps DIII.

Base set needs:
4, 14, 22, 35, 41, 48, 73, 92, 115, 125, 128, 142, 145, 146
Cyclone Squad
#CS01 Frank Thomas
#CS04 Cal Ripken
#CS05 Barry Bonds
#CS06 Mike Piazza
#CS07 Matt Williams
#CS09 Jose Canseco
#CS10 Will Clark
#CS13 Tony Gwynn
#CS14 Raul Mondesi
#CS15 Bobby Bonilla

In Motion
#IM02 Ken Griffey, Jr.
#IM03 Frank Thomas
#IM04 Mike Piazza
#IM06 Matt Williams
#IM07 Kirby Puckett
#IM08 Greg Maddux
#IM09 Don Mattingly
#IM10 Will Clark


  1. hehe...I was planning on this box being in my July break. Since I wasn't married to it, I will find something different because I want not necessarily unique, but unseen for a while.

    The set reminds me of the "breakthrough" 2020 insert that everyone loved from 2010 U&H.

    1995 was possibly the worst year ever for card designs. I will have to write up a post about that.

  2. Sorry to spoil your fun hiflew. What about one of the other mid 90's Sportflix sets?

  3. Nice break on this box. Would that Royce Clayton and any other Giants extras you have be for trade? I am sure I can hit on some of your want list if it is. LMK, Adam

  4. @arpsmith Yes Adam, the Clayton card is available and I'm sure I have some other Giants players available. Send me an e-mail (flywheelsATyahooDOTcom) and we'll work out a trade.

  5. Oh no worries whatsoever...I found a couple of adequate (read: awesome) replacements that I think will be acceptable to everyone involved.