As the 1990s unfolded, Fleer continued its efforts efforts to produce increasingly higher quality base cards and inserts. The Ultra product that the company offered was as high end as it got back in the day. Compared to today, the process wasn’t that complicated. You come up with an idea, add some gloss and some gold foil and call it a day.
The 1993-94 season saw number one overall pick, University of Michigan Fab 5 band leader Chris Webber drafted number 1 overall to the Golden State Warriors. The Orlando Magic drafted an elite point guard and generational playmaker in Memphis PG Anfernee Hardaway to tag team with their immovable force in the paint in second year super star center Shaquille O’Neal.
Fleer managed to get all of the big stars in the set and all of the key rookies in their pro uniforms, which was worth noting. One of the insert offerings from ’93-94 Ultra was the Inside Outside set.
Inserted in the 14 card series two packs, they caught a collector’s eye as soon as they were pulled from the gold foil wrappers.
The 10- card set features the 1993-94 Fleer Ultra logo and gold foil in the upper corner, the Inside Outside boxed logo in gold foil as well as the player’s name in gold foil at the bottom of the card. The design, although somewhat basic and straightforward, is still spectacular. On a clean black backdrop you will find large rim and net with a bright neon ball dropping through, hitting nothing but the bottom of the net. There is a large, crisp picture of the player featured that takes up about a third of the card in the foreground.
The card backs are very similar, showcasing the same rim, net and neon ball from the card front but there is a different action shot of a player from the front of the card. On the left hand side of the card you will find another foil Inside Outside logo and a paragraph of text that describes why the player featured is so unstoppable offensively from anywhere on the floor. The card number as well as the NBA logo and pertinent information are found at the bottom of the card in the text box.
The first card in this slick insert set features New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing. On the card front he appears to be releasing a one handed floater headed straight for the rim.
Card number two features Dallas Mavericks scoring machine point guard Jim Jackson. Jimmy, as some would call him early in his career, it seen raising up over Portland Trailblazers guard Terry Porter to get his shot off on the card front.
Jackson is a somewhat forgotten scorer from the era, so its nice to see him featured in the set.
The third card in the set features Charlotte Hornets power forward Larry Johnson. Johnson was an absolute force back in the early nineties and one of the bigger stars in the league, as evidenced by his inclusion in so many inserts sets.
The fourth card in the set is the one every collector was hoping to pull. MJ is the epitome of inside/outside and can fill it up from anywhere on the floor. The card shows Jordan taking one of his classic jumpers with an uncanny level of concentration.
Halfway through the set you’ll find Phoenix Suns shooting guard Dan Majerle. Thunder Dan was an elite score for a time in the early to mid nineties. The muscular Majerle is pictured releasing a one handed shot headed toward the net.
The sixth card in the set features Houston Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon. The Dream was ahead of his time with his footwork, ball handling and touch at the center position. He is seen taking a jump shot on the front of this particular card.
The incredibly versatile Scottie Pippen is next up at card number seven in the set. Pippen appears to be a split second away from throwing down a signature one handed jam and his classic white Bulls uniform.
Golden State Warriors shooting guard Latrell Sprewell could fill it up from the inside or outside as well as anybody back in the day. He is featured at card number eight in the set. Spree is driving ferociously to the hoop for a spectacular finish in the picture on his card.
The ninth card of the set is New York Knicks shooting guard John Starks. Starks was known for his touch from distance and being able to fill it up from deep but he could also get to the hoop and finish with authority. He’s shown finishing at the hoop and his classic white Knicks gear.
The final card in the set featured Sacramento Kings scoring machine Walt Williams. The high sock wearing Williams could fill it up from anywhere in the court and is one of the more underrated scores from the early 90s.
None of these cards will break the bank to collect individually or build the entire cool looking card set. Complete ungraded sets often sell for around $25 with the Jordan accounting for a good bit of that value. It certainly makes this one a no-brainer to add to your Jordan or 1990’s b-ball PC. Most of the other players, even the superstars, can be had for be had for five bucks or less in raw form. A PSA 10 Jordan did sell for over $750 in early May. No surprise there. Expect to pay at least three figures for nearly any 1990’s Jordan PSA 10 insert. You can check out sets and singles from this set on eBay here.
Sometimes less is more, even in early 90s basketball inserts and this beautiful, clean set is a great example.
About Tony Reid
From the time he was a little kid, Tony has been a huge sports fan. If he could play sports, watch sports and talk about sports it was a great day. From as early as he was drawn to sports, Tony was drawn to collecting sports cards. Not much has changed over the years. He collects RCs of star players in baseball, basketball and football. He also has a soft spot for first autographs of MMA stars. If you want to talk to Tony about the greatness of Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson or Ken Griffey, Jr. you can reach him at [email protected] and @OffCenterTR on social media.