Pepsi Cards: Drinking, recycling, and collecting.

Back in 1995 the Pepsi Corporation thought of another way of making kids addicted (beside the sugar and caffeine that is). The idea was similar to the one implemented by Gum companies back in the 1930`s: add some cool cards with the buy of the product for kids to collect. In the case of Pepsi, the gimmick was to give a pack of cards to kids in exchange of a couple of empty cans plus fifty cents. It’s not a surprise that this strategy worked, making it one of the biggest and successful promotional campaigns ever.

I remember being 12 and going around the block collecting empty cans. My closest competitor was my best friend, who was into them too. Now, thinking back, I can see that we did plenty of good for our planet ( LOL ). After gathering enough cans, we used to go the mall`s Burger King with a couple of dollars and, bang, we had a lot of fun for the afternoon.

The set is basically a reprint of the 1994 Flair Marvel (Inaugural Edition) American set. There are some differences in both sets. Flair`s cards are thicker (ergo a little heavier), glossier and with the Flair logo on a corner written in a golden finish. The caption at the foot of the card is also in gold. The back of the cards are totally different. The Flair set is in English in difference to the Pepsi edition which is in Spanish. It also has different art on their backs as well as logos.

The Pepsi set consisted of a base set of a 100 cards with 9 prism chase cards. The cards have the great art of the original Flair set.  The quality of the images is outstanding. The colors are sharp and brilliant. It also has the story and mythologies of the different characters in the Marvel Universe. Back then there wasn’t a computer in every house. Most of had access to the internet in school at most. So it was kind of difficult to keep track with the ever-expanding Marvel universe and its spinning and turning storylines. To that problem, those summaries on the back of the cards were great and accurate.

The chase cards weren’t that hard to find but I can say pretty confidently that there were some more scarce than others. The Spiderman and Cyclopes cards were the rarest followed by the iron man one. The other ones were relatively easy. All of the chase cards were prism with black backs featuring a close up of the character in the middle and no text. Ironically in this set the common ones seems harder to find. Some of them were pretty scarce and hard to find. In my experience the “hardest cards to find are number 2 (El Increible Hulk), 18 (Dr. Doom) 32 (“El juicio del Sr Fantastico), 41 (Nightcrawler), 45 (Venom), and 93 (Bishop).

Those set are really coveted by Latin non-sport collectors all over America. If you enter different bidding sites, these babies can go as high as 500 dollars for a master set. Its popularity goes beyond the set itself (after all, they’re a lot of sets with better quality than this). This set is so great because of the memories attach to it. The hours and hours of can gathering, wrapper opening, and card sorting. The great childhood days of running, eating, sleeping, collecting and swapping.