Sunday, July 27, 2008

1997 Topps Screen Plays

Cards that play movies!

A scan cannot do these cards justice. They are made out of plastic, and work sort of like the old Sportflics cards. But way better. When you move the card you see, in this particular card, Barry Bonds taking a might swing. They are the same size as a regular baseball card, although thicker than normal.

It's like stop motion animation. They've somehow embedded multiple images in the card. The surface of the card is like a prism (I guess) which only allows one image to be seen at a time, depending on the angle you're looking at it. This is how the Sportflics cards worked but these Screen Plays have many more images.

The cards came in a round steel can, one card to a can. The cards were pretty expensive at $9.99 a pop. You knew who you were buying because the player in the can was featured on the can. The container was supposed to make you think of a roll of movie film.

The card was cushioned in a slab of black foam, with a thiner slab of foam on top. In one of the three I bought, the foam has badly deteriorated and has actually left a residue on the card. The can is rusted as well. Perhaps water got in somehow. I noticed this maybe 5-6 years after I bought them. I removed the other cards from their cans when I saw this.

There are several of these available on eBay right now, at a good price, considering what they cost when new. Ken Griffey's card is going for just 99 cents.

3 comments:

--David said...

I have a Jim Thome in these, and it is one of my all-time favorite oddball/ gimmick/ weird cards/ tins/ stands. :-)

Travis said...

If I remember correctly, there was a paper disc inside the wrapper that covered the player... Oooh, mystery!

There were even some "inserts." Does anyone remember what the difference was?

capewood said...

I have the Jim Thome as well. That's the one with the disintegrated foam.

Yea, I forgot about the paper disk. I think you're right, it did cover the player on the can.

I didn't know there were inserts. The Sport's Collector's Digest says there were 20 cards in the set and a 6-card insert set. But it doesn't say how the inserts were different.