July 06, 2011

All Puffed Up

Say it’s 1989, and you collect baseball cards. In fact, you are a champion card collector. Even your very best friends, with whom you compete on a daily basis in the violent arena of having baseball cards, recognize you as champion, as does your Uncle Phil, who held the very same title back in ’71.

Another thing you like to do is wear clothes. Mostly you enjoy hoodless sweatshirts. “What’s with the hoods, anyway?” you ask yourself frequently. It’s not like you live in Antarctica, plus you view those who wear hooded sweatshirts as troublemakers. Show your face, troublemaker! The hoodless sweatshirt—or, as you refer to it, “sweatshirt”—keeps you warm but not too warm; snug yet flexible. Plus it’s versatile. Whether it’s school, a card show, dinner at Bennigans, a wedding, Saturday shopping at Bradlees, naptime, or a tour of a local museum, the hoodless sweatshirt is appropriate wear.

So, the question remains: How do you combine these two worlds? Your champion-caliber card collecting and simple yet refined fashion sense. Unsure if such a fusion is even possible, you tear open a pack of cards and …BAM!

So beautiful. You can barely even imagine the adrenaline rush of walking into school one day wearing this baby. Hello, world. It’s me. I am a champion card collector and I like BASEBALL. Read the sweatshirt if you don’t believe me. What’s up, Regina? Still going steady with Mark? How’s that working out for ya’? (Look over at Mark, who is wearing Umbros and mis-matching Hypercolor t-shirt.) Heh.

Still, so many questions. First: Is it of high quality?


Nice. But are the letters puffy? It’s a 3-D world in 1989! You can’t be walking around wearing a flat-lettered top. That’s just embarrassing.

Puffy-lettered Sweatshirt

Breathe. Breathe!

as shown Style B.

You do not need to see Style A. How much does this sweatshirt cost? $500?

To order send check (no cash) for $19.95 plus $1.50 postage and handling ($21.45 total)

“I can add, Topps! GET ON WITH IT!”

plus any three 1989 Special Offer Cards,

You know what that means. And you have 312 of them.

Your name, age,

Age is important because Topps is trying to hit a specific age demographic of fashion. Any geezers trying to get their age-spotted hands on this will be denied.

address, zip code

Part of the address, traditionally.


Fortune 500 company.

Allow up to 8 weeks for shipment.

Fashion like this doesn’t get produced overnight. No, it takes two months. It’s a 15-day process just to get the letters puffy at the Topps-operated puffy plant in Tiawan. In two months, you figure, school will be out, and who even knows if you’ll still be champion …

You toss the card away. Regina’s not even that hot, you figure.


Anonymous said...

I remember those godawful giveaways... thanks for the trip down memory lane. Very funny stuff!

--David said...

I agree! This was a wonderful trip down memory lane. I never did send off for one of these... If I had, I could sell it on eBay nowadays for... I dunno, maybe 20 bucks? Great post! Very funny!

Monster Dad said...

Great stuff! I remember seeing those cards when I was buying 1989 Topps into the early 90s. Wonder how many kids (or grown-ups for that matter) actually bought these. For a "Special Offer", I have to say that twenty bucks is pretty steep! Wouldn't a kid rather blow that kind of scratch on more packs of cards?

mkenny59 said...

Thanks, guys! And yes, Monster Dad, I think I did underestimate the value of $20 to a 10-year old. That's more packs or even a couple hard-case cards. Counterpoint: Did you SEE that sweatshirt? Tough call.

Batboy said...

But Mike, the sweatshirt is pictured WAVING TO YOU! It beckons, making spending $20 on anything else pointless.

mkenny59 said...

Wow, Batboy -- how did I not notice that? It DOES beckon! It's decided then -- Who has $20 I can borrow? And also a time machine?

Sean said...

As a Canadian I used to hate seeing these offer cards.

"Offer good in U.S.A. only."

"Screw you, Topps." I'd think. "I'll just order my sweatshirts from O-Pee-Chee."

Only O-Pee-Chee didn't have any sweatshirt offers. Certainly not any special ones, anyway. So the last laugh was always on me.

NickL said...

This is the funniest website that exists.

Scott said...

Man, I remember that card and that sweatshirt....awesome! By the way, like the new blog design.