Monday, January 6, 2014

1992 Dad's Kid Tri Card

Card Manufacturer: Dad;s Kid
Card Set: 1991 Fleer
Year: 1992
Card Number: 601
Card Type: 3-D aftermarket product

Here's another great oddball item from the 90's.  I picked this up a few years back after seeing it on ebay and just scratching my head. At the time I had a hard time finding any information about this "card".  But after a recent online search I found a lot about this weird oddball.

There's a pretty decent thread on the Freedom Cardboard forums with an ongoing checklist.
You can check it out here if your looking for a player or have one of these and want to see if they've added it yet. Looks like Jose Canseco was the featured player with 5 versions.

First a little history before we get to the card. Dad's Kid put out these Tri Cards in 1992 and was promptly sued out of existence by the MLBPA and three of the big card companies at the time Score, Leaf (Donruss) and Upper Deck. I couldn't find any information on if Fleer ever sued. I do believe back in 1992 Fleer was owned by Marvel Entertainment Group and I wonder if they even cared.  

I found this court opinion on the Players Assn. case where they actually found in favor of Dad's Kid. Pretty much stating that the MLBPA actually benefited from this product since it takes 3 cards to make this one product and these cards were bought from a licensed sport card producer, so the MLBPA gets royalties on it. The judge also points out that cards get sold on the secondary market all the time and that cards are used to make unique plaques and player displays that are sold in trade publications, remember this is back before the internet.  You can read the whole brief HERE.

I couldn't find the outcome against the big three sportscard companies, but they had a little better legal standing than the MLBPA and from what I can tell they pretty much put Dad's Kid out of business.  

The company used cards from  1990, 1991, and a few 1992 Upper Deck, Fleer, Donruss, and Score to make this unique product. Topps never got into the fray simply because Dad's Kid never used any of there cards to make their product.  It is interesting to note that in the LA Times article that the company employed about 158 people at one time.  

Alright lets actually look at the product. The concept was actually pretty good. I didn't realize when I bought this that the company used other cards other than 91 Fleer.  The checklist on Freedom Cardboard lists over 50 different cards that were offered using a lot of different brands and it might possibly be more.  Originally each card was going to have a production run of 50,000. Which seems like a lot today, but back in the early nineties that was a short print run.  Each card was actually made up from three cards and the player was cut out and layered in a shadow box to give it a 3-D effect.  And it also looks like that 50,000 print run was for each player, not the type of card used, so the 5 Canseco variations all figure into that number.
When I bought this card on ebay it came with this photocopied document. Looks like my card was part of a completer set you could order with matching serial numbers.

Let me apologize for the picture quality. I still have mine in the original shirk wrap packaging and oddball stuff like this doesn't scan.

It's not clear how many of each player were actually made. Due to the lawsuit I know production was halted, but here we see that mine is number 1700, so we can probably assume that at least a few thousand got out. And it looks like these were originally sold through be big box toy stores, like Toys R Us, and Kaybee. It's also very possible that cases and cases of these were sold after the company was ordered to stop production to wholesalers.

I would love to actually pull this out and see what's going on it there, but the collector in me knows that I should keep it sealed. Maybe I'll find a cheap one that's been removed.

Until then....

1 comment:

  1. I just picked up the Canseco '91 Fleer and '91 Donruss. I'm interested to see what they look like. Are you going to be busting this out of its sealed case? I am considering so it can be put in a case with my others. I hate bulky stuff!