Sportflics 1990 – And It Was Finally Getting Good

Well, maybe good-ish would be a better way to put it. After Sportflics finally made what looked like a baseball card (instead of just a showcase for their lenticular technology) in 1989, they made it a trend of decent card designs in 1990. The gimmick is still very strong with this one, though. Check out the red and yellow “flashing” racetrack feature. Say it with me: “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” (it’s tough to see in the animation, but most obvious along the bottom border)

The back is where the design really shows they figured it out. A HUGE full-color picture of one of those great not-quite-action shots where the photographer has captured an unmistakable “baseball moment” without it being part of a baseball play. Very cool. Not so cool: All that purple. Geez. Even the trivia sentences (fragments, really) are purple. The cyan around the team logo sticks out like sore thumb, as does the 50:50 magenta+yellow=red filling up most of the bottom of the card. (the cyan+yellow=green also sticks out). But, with Topps still printing one or two colors on brown cardboard in 1990 the quality and clarity of these backs is something which outweighs the purple and “printer’s friend” shades of the primary additive colors.

1990 was the end of Sportflics run which began in 1986, and for our purposes here, it ended pretty well. Interestingly, Sportflics came back in 1994 renamed “Sportflics 2000” (so, yes, it was the “1994 Sportflics 2000” set), then the ’95 and ’96 sets were branded “Sportflix.” If Donruss 1990 was the ultimate early 90s set, these two set names absolutely SCREAM “mid-90s.”

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