All Original Toy Concepts, Written and Photographic content is Copyright MEL BIRNKRANT
Is there a concept on Earth more out of character for me than one that combines my two least favorite things: Sports and all things Automotive? But since my motive was making a living, I held my breath and dove right into this hardly heart felt concept. Can you believe I actually painted the NY Mets logo on that car? It really looks like something I might have picked up in a memorabilia store. My partners informed me that every sports team had its own “Team Car.” So the concept here was to combine collectible replicas of these vehicles with collectible sports cards. Therefore, each Team Car would hold a complete set of standard baseball cards.
This Product write-up tells the whole story. And then, it goes on to describe several variations including Micro Sports Cards, which is a concept that had never been done before. These could be stored in a miniature Team Car, or in a Baseball Trophy with a built-in magnifier.
We really thought that this concept would prove to be a Natural, a Grand Slam of an idea. We marveled that seemingly no one had thought of it before, and my teammates couldn’t wait to pitch it to toy buyers.
The canopy top of each vehicle would open up to store the cards. And a Fresnel lens was incorporated in the roof top of each vehicle to allow collectors to see every detail of the cards.
My partners, KISCOM were surprised to find that this concept failed to inspire buyers. One of the product sketches that featured Micro Machine sized vehicles generated more interest than the full sized Sports Car. According to the product history, a company called Marvel showed interest in the Micro Cards, and held the concept for a while, then sent them back again. Thus, when 1991 came to an end, there was no joy at KISCOM; the mighty Sports Cars had struck out!