In 1996, Pinnacle Brands was on the verge of greatness … and a premature cardboard death. It’s Select Certified brand from the same year caught fire on the secondary market thanks to ultra-rare parallels that over twenty years later, still sell for outrageous sums. Just an example of Pinnacle’s greatness can be seen in this 1996 Select Certified Blue Mirror parallel #’d to 45 which recently sold for almost $6,000 dollars. The next year, Select Certified became Pinnacle Certified and Totally Certified, two legendary products with zero autographs or game-used relics that regularly sell for thousands of dollars on eBay. A year later, Pinnacle Brands left the card industry.
Now, let’s go back to 1996 and the beginning of Pinnacle’s non high-end products which were way out in left field. Pinnacle Aficionado, which according to Google Translate means ‘Amateur’. Being Hispanic, I think the correct translation is “Obsessed”. Whatever the case, this product is definitely one of a kind and although not as fancy as some of Pinnacle’s other releases, still had some high-end characteristics including a 20 pt. thick card stock and lots of foil and other fun gimmicks which gave this brand the upper hand over several other releases from 1996. Oh, did I mention that Pinnacle sprayed a special bubble gum scent on every card?
As for unopened boxes, there are still plenty available for dirt cheap. Currently, there are two on eBay for less than $40 dollars. What will that get you? Well, for starters 16 packs, 5 cards per pack so 80 total cards, give or take 1 or 2. If you’re lucky, a pretty rare Artist’s Proof and some extremely well-designed, 22 year-old baseball cards featuring just about every Hall of Famer from the past decade and many future ones including Derek Jeter in one of his earlier, non-rookie cards. If you invest, it may also ignite an undying love for the company who was only around for 7 years but made a dent in this collector’s heart which has yet to heal.
Pinnacle Aficionado didn’t return for the 1997 Pinnacle calendar year.