In 1998, we as collectors saw the very last of the true Pinnacle Brands products. It was a sad, tragic sight to see the most promising baseball card company since Upper Deck die such a public death. Fifteen years later, Panini America, formerly Donruss Playoff L.P, formerly Donruss Trading Cards, with the Pinnacle Brands license in tow, resurrected the Pinnacle brand to disappointing results.
Despite a good effort on Panini’s part (at least you tried), these new cards lacked personality, fun, and most importantly, MLB logos. While there are some good cards that came as a result of ‘Panini Pinnacle’, the brand was scrapped and retired with little fanfare and to be honest, it’s probably for the best. If you can release a Pinnacle Brands product in today’s age, go big or go home.
That’s why It’s so awesome to see MJ’s work on Twitter. Despite growing up on the other side of the world, MJ is just as addicted (if not more) to Pinnacle Brands’ historic 7-year run in the world of trading cards. The guy isn’t a collector who simply likes Pinnacle, he is a hardcore, Pinnacle Brands fanatic and historian who loves everything this former card company produced.
In 2021, MLB will either renew Topps’ awful exclusive contract or grant new licenses to deserving companies. My hope is that Panini America is one of those companies not only due to their Donruss legacy but because there is a small chance we could see licensed, 2021 Pinnacle Brands cards produced. If they know what’s good for them, they would put MJ on a plane and move him to Texas permanently.
In this day and age when card companies are solely relying on the tired, game-used relic and autographs to sell their cards, it is important to remember that there are many collectors looking back fondly to the days when baseball cards were well-designed, unique, and featured top-notch photography. Hopefully, the company or companies who are put against Topps in 2021 pay attention to that fact.
Here are just two example’s of MJ’s Pinnacle re-imaginations. He has recently done the same with NBA and NFL and seeing these cards, it is painfully obvious that an exclusive license for any major sport is a terrible idea and one that hopefully comes to an end with this decade. To see all of MJ’s Pinnacle creations, check him out on Twitter and make sure to hit follow.