Fleer Card Talk From 1994 Retailer Trade Show

Fleer Prints Were Inserted One Per Case in X-Men Ultra

This is one of the earliest videos promoting the Launch of Fleer Marvel Cards.  We put this together on a shoe string of $1,000 in one day.  I was told Fleer needed a video sales presentation that Diamond could play on the jumbotron at the ballpark during the 7th inning stretch, and during their retailer conference.  I’m not sure if it ever aired in the ball park, but it was played for retailers throughout 1994 at various sales conferences and trade shows.  We even sent out a few hundred VHS copies to retailers at their requests.

$1,000 bought us exactly 8 hours of an editing machine and editor, and that was including the discount.  Somehow Ted Turner (Fleer Sports Spokesperson) managed to get Phil Rizzuto to introduce us.  I never met Phil, Ted brought the sample on tape.

Knowing that in 8 hours we weren’t going to be able to do much in the way of effects, I grabbed the Fleer sportscards commercials (which were very cool and polished), and the trailer for the “New” X-Men animated series.  I also manged to find a tape of Beavis & Butthead animation.  The addition of the animation and the pro commercials helped give the crude simple piece a more finished and pro feel.

This video was edited on an AVID that was probably worth 150k in 1994 that today wouldn’t have the capability of a Mac with Final Cut.  It reminds me of these huge 1 Meg syquest disks that were $200 a piece that I used to truck all over collecting Flair art from the artists.

Fleer Ultra X-Men was the first release from Fleer since being purchased by Marvel.  It was a huge success, and went on to win an award from Diamond Comics for “Trading Card set of the Year, ’94.”

It was a tough act to follow.  We knew we had to take trading cards to a new level – Flair Presents the Marvel Universe was born.

While creating Flair, and pioneering production quality and computer coloring with the help of a very talented group of artists we also managed to complete Beavis & Butthead for MTV, Marvel Masterpieces Featuring the Hildebrant Brothers, X-Men Ultra II, Spider-Man, and Marvel Universe.

It’s noteworthy to mention that in 1994 Marvel Cards, run by Bill Jemas, made more money than Marvel Comics.  It was a glance into the future.  After leaving Fleer for a few years Bill returned to Marvel to bring their stock price from under $1 to almost $30 with the creation of Ultimate Spider-Man / Ultimate Marvel.