Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Where Have They Gone? Part I: Clear Cuts

From my observation, the mid '90s were a time when card companies were a little more open to trying new, "futuristic" technologies with their cards. They used insert sets as a place where these new card types could live. One particular insert set that comes to mind is 1996 Fleer Ultra Seasons Crowns. I remember when I pulled this card (no idea what happened to it) in pack, I was floored:

First off, I was confused. I'm not supposed to like cards of Red Sox players. Especially goofy knuckleballers (ohh hey Aaron Boone). But this card was so sweet looking! The white and yellow is completely transparent, as these cards are made from acetate as opposed to cardboard. I wanted more. I remember trading my friend for the Hideo Nomo (no idea where the card is now either!). I got the Tony Gwynn in a pack, and ended up getting it signed by him TTM. It looked great.

I started to notice clear cuts popping up more and more after this. Pacific Invincible had a set and those fancy SkyBox EX-whatever cards did as well. But those were base sets. This was a 10 card insert set, and the first time I had seen anything like this.

It got me thinking...are clear cuts still relevant or cool in today's hobby? Do they have a place? They don't really fit in with all the newer sets that focus on vintage designs. However, since I've been away from the hobby for a few years, maybe I missed some sets in the 2000s with clear cuts. Please leave a comment if you can think of a recent set that included them, as I easily could have missed them over the years.

Since my want list consists of Tino Martinez and Yankees, I thought I would diversify myself as a trading partner a little bit by including this 10 card 1996 Fleer Ultra insert set. I can get a complete set on ebay for around $10, but thought it might be fun to try and trade for it - card by card or the set as a whole. If you have any, let me know!


  1. I just got a neat multi-layer acetate Craig Biggio card from 2003 Fleer EX in a grab-bag box this weekend.

    Stadium Club made use of clear-cut technology for some of the autograph cards in their 2008 set.

  2. Very cool. I definitely have a few of the EX cards in my Yankees collection. I also remembered after I posted that Topps had Topps Tek (with all the card variations) in 1998 and 1999. Cool cards but the concept was pretty obnoxious...having 60 variations of each card.