Fleer does it again with another classic product. This time with 2004 Fleer Tradition Baseball and a throwback feel from the early '80's.
Personally, I love it. Look at those colors for a moment. The soft greens, neutral browns and gray-blue really promote somewhat of a soft but closely guarded fondness with Fleer releases from the early '80's. In terms of the design, let's put it this way, if a pack of 1990 Donruss and a pack of 1991 Topps '53 Archive dated and eventually procreated, this is what their offspring would look like. I rather enjoy the 6-fingered black & white drawing of the pitcher against a vintage looking circular logo with the words, "2004 Major League Baseball". This combination really adds to the intended throwback feel that is Fleer Tradition. The orange pinstripes also do the trick here which only cushion the nostalgia of the early '80's. The bold brown classic Fleer logo right there in the middle makes this package very easy to identify. Pair that with the playful green flag-like banner that states, "2004 Major League Baseball Trading Cards" and you have a nice mix of class and nostalgia. A beautiful and comforting design.
Fleer has done something fun here with the release of Retrospection Collection Autographs. This set showcased some of the younger players whose potential was still being realized. Alongside the scarce Retrospection Auto's is a slew of other tempting inserts, subsets and short-prints for the enticement of your chasing desires.
The Base Design:
The colorful flag name plates that play off of the players team colors and classic Fleer logo placed strategically on the upper right corner are simple but necessary additions to the base design layout. Additionally, the placement of the team logo is in an optimal location in the lower right corner. The player photos are cropped well with clear action shots of the talent from the year.
The flat backs remind me of a combination of 1982 and 1987 Fleer. Notice the circular number logo on the upper left corner, that's very much akin to that of the '82 release although the '82 release back was printed horizontally instead of vertically as you see here. Which leads me to the '87 backs. These strongly reflect the backs of '87 Fleer with the overall look and feel of the way the full-run stats are depicted along with the placement of the player info. Full-run stats were popular in the '80's but not nearly as much today likely because of the amount of real estate they consume especially with veteran players like Moyer. This product has the nice addition of a pitcher character in the upper right corner. This same image is found on the backs of all base cards from this set. The colors reflect the theme of the player's team. Moyer with the Mariners depicts a favored deep green. Classic MLB licensing info on the bottom paired with a modern Fleer logo reminds you that this is still a modern release.
With the perfectly aligned product packaging and the strategically designed base card layout, this product should really hit a homerun with the nostalgic collector. It's a quality product with opportunities to pull some very high quality inserts i.e., the Retrospection Collection Autographs. The base design both front and back present pleasant reminders of products from the '80's. If you collected in the '80's, I would at least anticipate that you would enjoy 2004 Fleer Tradition Baseball if for only a reminder of the way things were when you collected back then.
Question of the Day:
When was the last time you opened a product from the '80's and what was it?