These aren’t your grandpa’s trading cards — you know, the ones that are actually historic and valuable — the hip kids on the block are packing video clips onto their mint-condition rectangular beauties. At least, that’s the plan from sport card manufacturer Panini America, which plans to offer the cards featuring NBA, NFL, and NHL players.
Each card will still be made from the traditional cardboard with a small color LCD display, speakers, 2 GB of memory, and onboard battery power. The cards will come pre-loaded with 20 minutes of career highlights for a particular player, starting with NBA stars Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, and John Wall. Because of all the embedded electronics, the cards will be many times thicker than the average trading card. In what could be an interesting nod to the hacker community, each card has additional storage space for users and comes with rechargers. Packs are expected to retail in packs of five for $20.
Though undeniably cool, I have a hard time shaking the awful memories of the 1990’s “collectors market” when I look at these new cards. Those who lived through those dark times will remember the Beanie Babies preserved in plastic boxes, the gold-embossed hollow-foil cards, and the “limited edition” comics; all promising to be a valuable investment in the future. Indeed, the collector community can look forward to special autographed video cards. In the new world of YouTube, these new cards will face stiff competition, but even if the cards fail to find an audience, the DIY types might have a hard time passing up cheap, tiny electronics.
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