Sports Time Playboy Chromium Cover Trading Cards: Edition 1

This set of Chromium Cover cards of Playboy magazines was released in 1995 by Sports Time Inc., who seem to do very few sports cards that I’ve been able to find is a little confusing in terms of the number of cards available. The set appears to be 100 cards which is what the back of the pack would suggest, stating that there are 96 chromium cover cards and 4 checklist cards. Among these it looks like there are 18 different illustrated chromium refractor cards and 12 refractor celebrity cards. However where things get confusing is when it states at the top of the pack that there are 70 refractor cards available if you sent off 5 used wrappers and $99.95. So it looks to me like the full set of 70 cards which isn’t either a check list card, celebrity or illustrated card can also be purchased as a refractor edition.

If you were looking to buy some full sets or boxes those numbers are that there were 24 foil packs of 6 cards in each box, and 12 of those boxes in a case.

The review

I will say one thing about these cards… Obviously they are Playboy cards and Playboy was one of the first mainstream magazines to run nude content, and this along with the lifestyle of creator Hugh Heffner lead to this becoming one of the most well know brands on the planet. However, again, this fame came from the nude content so when getting a few packs of these cards I was unsure exactly what to expect. Then of course I remembered that these cards celebrate the cover of this iconic magazine – so they had to remain quite tame right?

Absolutely right!

These cards, atleast from the small sample I got, are not in the slightest smutty or in bad taste and to be honest the iconic imagery combined with the grade A photography they were known for and finally printed in the chromium style has lead to some of the most classy and artistic trading cards I have actually had the pleasure of opening.

I got a a nice little selection from the 4 packs which I purchased although I have to say that it did lead to a bit if disappointment due to what I can only imagine was laziness in the packing of the cards. It looks like the way the cards are randomly distributed in packs isn’t that random as out of my tiny sample of 4 packs I actually ended up with 2 completely identical packs. This was a bit of a shame but it also meant that I got 2 of the Dan Aykroyd cards in his Coneheads outfit with Pamela Anderson sitting on his lap. This is one of the most famous and valuable Playboys on the market and it looks even better as a trading card.

It’s funny, between that particular cover and some of the others like the Toast to Bikinis issue or the Chicago issue – you don’t realise until you see them in this style and in this isolated format, just how iconic these images and this brand actually is.

One thing which I have actually only just now noticed on closer inspection of the cards, in particular the 2 identical packs is that the print quality on one is totally different to the other, as you can see in the photos below, and that print quality difference in consistent throughout the whole pack, so it doesn’t seem like an error or like there is damage to the pack / cards at all. Was this a production error, or maybe one of them is some kind of parallel set – although they don’t seem to be refractor cards… Who knows! Maybe you know?

Each set also came with a little advertising leaflet to sell you the binder on one side for $14.99 and then on the other side a 12 months subscription to Playboy for $25.99. There were even some cards, like the letter cards (see the “A” at the end of this article) which had holiday competitions printed on the back.

I really did worry that these cards might just be a collection of smut, but I needn’t have worried and could have opened them on any of my social media channels without ramification… They genuinely are actually very well made, tasteful and beautiful photo cards – I’m pretty impressed with these. Even compared to something like the V.I. Model Search Bikini cards, they feel nothing like that – it doesn’t feel like a set of cards designed to let blokes gawp at women on a scale small enough to fit in their pocket. If this were one of the centrefolds collections on the other hand I’m not convinced they’d be quite as classy – who knows? I actually just purchased the 4 packs to be able to do a review, but now the more I look at them I do keep wondering whether this is a gorgeous collection to keep hold of or even grow… I never thought I would think that about them.

So which cards are there in this set?

Base cards:

No. 01 – April 1954, Vol. 1 No. 5
No. 02 – April 1955, Vol. 2 No. 4
No. 03 – June 1955, Vol. 2 No. 6
No. 04 – October 1955, Vol. 2 No.10
No. 05 – May 1956, Vol. 3 No. 5
No. 06 – June 1956, Vol. 3 No. 6
No. 07 – November 1956, Vol. 3 No. 11
No. 08 – April 1957, Vol. 4 No. 4
No. 09 – May 1957, Vol. 4 No. 5
No. 10 – August 1957, Vol. 4 No. 8
No. 11 – October 1957, Vol. 4 No. 10
No. 12 – July 1958, Vol. 5 No. 7
No. 13 – December, 1958 Vol. 5 No.12
No. 14 – April 1959, Vol. 6 No. 4
No. 15 – August 1959, Vol. 6 No. 8
No. 16 – November 1959, Vol. 6 No. 11
No. 17 – February 1960, Vol. 7 No. 2
No. 18 – April 1960, Vol. 7 No. 4
No. 19 – June 1960, Vol. 7 No. 6
No. 20 – April 1961, Vol. 8 No. 4
No. 21 – May 1961, Vol. 8 No. 5
No. 22 – August 1961, Vol. 8 No. 8
No. 23 – December 1961, Vol. 8 No. 12
No. 24 – June 1962, Vol. 9 No. 6
No. 25 – First checklist
No. 26 – November 1962, Vol. 9 No. 11
No. 27 – January 1963, Vol. 10 No. 1
No. 28 – July 1963, Vol. 10 No. 7
No. 29 – March 1964, Vol. 11 No. 3
No. 30 – May 1964, Vol. 11 No. 5
No. 31 – February 1965, Vol. 12 No. 2
No. 32 – February 1967, Vol. 14 No. 2
No. 33 – June 1967, Vol. 14 No. 6
No. 34 – August 1968, Vol. 15 No. 8
No. 35 – February 1969, Vol. 16 No. 2
No. 36 – September 1969, Vol. 16 No. 9
No. 37 – September 1970, Vol. 17 No. 9
No. 38 – May 1971, Vol. 18 No. 5
No. 39 – August 1971, Vol. 18 No. 8
No. 40 – June 1972, Vol. 19 No. 6
No. 41 – December 1972, Vol. 19 No. 12
No. 42 – February 1973, Vol. 20 No. 2
No. 43 – April 1973, Vol. 20 No. 4
No. 44 – December 1973, Vol. 20 No.12
No. 45 – January 1974, Vol. 21 No. 1
No. 46 – June 1974, Vol. 21 No. 6
No. 47 – August 1974, Vol. 21 No. 8
No. 48 – May 1975, Vol. 22 No. 5
No. 49 – September 1975, Vol. 22 No. 9 (Playboy “P”)
No. 50 – Second Checklist
No. 51 – June 1976, Vol. 23 No. 6
No. 52 – August 1976, Vol. 23 No. 8
No. 53 – September 1977, Vol. 24 No. 9
No. 54 – February 1978, Vol. 25 No. 2
No. 55 – April 1978, Vol. 25 No. 4
No. 56 – October 1978, Vol. 25 No. 10
No. 57 – May 1979, Vol. 26 No. 5
No. 58 – December 1979, Vol. 26 No. 12 (Playboy “L”)
No. 59 – February 1980, Vol. 27 No. 2
No. 60 – March 1980, Vol. 27 No. 3
No. 61 – April 1980, Vol. 27 No. 4
No. 62 – November 1980, Vol. 27 No. 11
No. 63 – May 1981, Vol. 28 No. 5 (Playboy “A”)
No. 64 – November 1981, Vol. 28 No. 11
No. 65 – January 1982, Vol. 29 No. 1
No. 66 – April 1982, Vol. 29 No. 4 (Playboy “Y”)
No. 67 – August 1982, Vol. 20 No. 8
No. 68 – February 1984, Vol. 31 No. 2
No. 69 – July 1984, Vol. 31 No. 7
No. 70 – September 1984, Vol. 31 No. 9
No. 71 – February 1985, Vol. 32 No. 2
No. 72 – May 1985, Vol. 32 No. 5
No. 73 – March 1986, Vol. 33 No. 3
No. 74 – August 1986, Vol. 33 No. 8
No. 75 – Third Checklist
No. 76 – February 1987, Vol. 34 No. 2
No. 77 – August 1987, Vol. 34 No. 8 (Playboy “B”)
No. 78 – December 1987, Vol. 34 No. 12
No. 79 – May 1988, Vol. 35 No. 5
No. 80 – July 1988, Vol. 35 No.7 (Playboy “O”)
No. 81 – March 1989, 36 No. 3
No. 82 – August 1989, Vol. 36 No. 8
No. 83 – September 1989, Vol. 36 No. 9
No. 84 – January 1990, Vol. 37 No. 1
No. 85 – March 1990, Vol. 37 No. 3
No. 86 – February 1991, Vol. 38 No. 2
No. 87 – June 1991, Vol. 38 No. 6
No. 88 – November 1991, Vol. 38 No. 11
No. 89 – December 1991, Vol. 38 No. 12
No. 90 – January 1992, Vol. 39 No. 1
No. 91 – August 1992, Vol. 39 No. 8
No. 92 – Septembe 1992, Vol. 39 No. 9
No. 93 – October 1992, Vol. 39 No. 10
No. 94 – December 1992, Vol. 39 No. 12 (Playboy “Y”)
No. 95 – April 1993, Vol. 40 No. 4
No. 96 – June 1993, Vol. 40 No. 6
No. 97 – July 1993, Vol. 40 No. 7
No. 98 – August 1993, Vol. 40 No. 8
No. 99 – January 1994 Vol. 41 No. 1
No. 100 – Fourth Checklist

As you can see there are 7 cards which can be used to spell out PLAYBOY (which you could get separately from the rest of the set by mailing off for it) and there was a full set of Chromium and then Parallel chromium refractor cards available. Other sets or cards which were available along with an official binder were…

1 x Box topper which was a binder offer card

3 x Factory binder incentive cards for later versions of the binder which were 3 autographed cards for Ellen Michales, Lisa Sohm and Julie Peterson.

3 x Sold separately autograph cards for Hugh Hefner (which is now one of the most sought after, if not the most sought after cards from this series), Elke Jeinsen and Anne Marie Goddard.

1 x Dealer sell sheet

1 x Promo card which was the same as card number 99 (January 1994) but numbered P1

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I'm a collector of pop culture items, with by far my biggest collection being in excess of 1,200 DVDs (yeah I still stay old school - can't wrap my head around the whole streaming thing yet), as well as various figures and Memorabilia (with most of these being McFarlane Walking Dead 5 inch figures, Funko Pop and Funko Pint Size Heroes, with a few other exceptions too). I'm a massive nerd and giant child at heart so feel free to have a chat about anything toy and movie related. My biggest movie passions are horror by far (especially slasher and zombie), sci fi and to a lesser extent action and comedy.

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