Fleer: E-X & E-X Century
My Fleer E-X & E-X Century Collection (Updated December 21st, 2021)
1997 Fleer E-X 2000: “Carl Pickens” #37
1997 Fleer E-X 2000: “Shawn Springs” Fleet of Foot #20
1998 Fleer E-X 2001: “Yancy Thigpen” Helmet Heroes #16
1999 Fleer E-X 2001: “Randy Moss” E-Xtraordinary #10XT
2000 Fleer E-X: “Tee Martin” Rookie #121
In 1997 Fleer debuted its newest release, "E-X 2000". Actually, Fleer had no idea what to call this, baby. It went from E-X 2000 to E-X 2001 to E-X Century to just plain E-X. Whew, and that was in just the first 4 years. I had mixed feelings about this newest release; the cards themselves were cutting edge and high quality, but the set size was dismal. The original release of the Fleer E-X 2000 series was only 60 cards. Horrible, (See the 1997 Fleer E-X 2000 "Carl Pickens" #37 top left). And even though I hated the set size, the insert sets, and there were 3 of them in this initial release were remarkable.
The 1997 original release of the "Fleer: E-X 2000" series had, in my opinion, some of the most memorable die-cut cards. The Cut Above insert cards still commands a pretty penny, so much so, that this 10-card insert set still has a $150 Book Value per the latest Beckett price guide, (See the 1997 Fleer E-X 2000 "Dan Marino" A Cut Above #3 right). Talk about a die-cut card, this one is truly it.
The Fleet of Foot insert set is still one of the most attractive die-cut insert sets, (See the 1997 Fleer E-X 2000 “Shawn Springs” #20 below left). I think it's still a great-looking set and the set itself also books for a very high price. The Fleer E-X 2000 may have missed on the base set, but the insert sets were very memorable.
In 1998, Fleer did it again. A great-looking base set with a pathetic set size. The '98 release was on a plastic card stock, but a good portion of the card was clear. It was unique, cutting edge, and very memorable, but in one area they did not do well. Guess how many defensive players were included in the '98 release? If you said, zero, you were 100% correct. Seriously? Not a single one. However, the design leads working on the Fleer: E-X 2001 title decided that a Yatil Green card would excite the hobby masses more than say, a Darrell Green card, (See the 1998 Fleer E-X 2001: "Yatil Green" #39 below right). Now, I have no problem with Yatil being included, but not a single player on defense was in the '98 release base set. That was pathetic. I guess that was hard to do when you only had a 60 card base set. At least they had their insert sets to fall back on.
In 1998, the Fleer E-X 2001 team thought it was their turn to do a "Helmet" card. Playoff started it in '95 with its Die-Cut Helmets insert set, Upper Deck jumped aboard in '96 with its Helmet Cards insert out of its Upper Deck Silver set, and in '98 Fleer thought they'd take a turn at it, (Note: Leaf had a set in '97 that showed their Helmet cards and Pacific jumped in too in 2000 with its Helmet Styrotechs insert set.). But I always thought that the Fleer E-X 2001 release had the best, (See the 1998 Fleer E-X 2001 "Yancy Thigpen" #16 left).
In '99 the Fleer E-X title continued with its plastic stock formula which was just as nice as the '98 release, (See the 1999 Fleer E-X Century "Curtis Martin" #5 right). Oh, and Fleer changed the name of their release again, this time they called their release "Fleer E-X Century". Well, at least they expanded their set size. The 1999 release had a 90-card set, still way too small for my liking, but at least they were heading in the right direction. The '99 release had about the same # of insert sets it
1997 Fleer E-X 2000: “Dan Marino” A Cut Above #3*
*Note: I do not own the card above. Unfortunately, I haven't taken the time to put this set together. The high asking prices have a lot to do with that.
1998 Fleer: E-X 2001 “Yatil Green” #39
1999 Fleer E-X Century: “Curtis Martin” #5
In addition to the awesome Authen-Kicks memorabilia set in the '99 release, Fleer also added some amazing run-of-the-mill insert sets. The E-Xtraordinary set was stunning. (Note: The scan doesn't do it justice.) The background on the card just comes alive as you look at it. I just loved these cards, (See the 1999 Fleer E-X Century "Randy Moss" E-Xtraordinary #10XT left).
Fleer continued with this plastic card stock into 2000. This time, though, the cards weren't see-thru. But they still had the same feel as the previous 2 releases. I was so happy to see that the Fleer
1999 Fleer E-X Century: “Randall Cunningham” Authen-kicks #4AK
2000 Fleer E-X: “Dennis Northcutt” NFL Debut Postmarks #11
had always had, but in '99 they added a memorabilia set, and what an addition it was. The 1999 Fleer E-X Century Authen-kicks was a totally awesome release, (See the 1999 Fleer E-X Century "Randall Cunningham" #4AK below right). Hands down, one of the best memorabilia sets to be released up to that point. The cards were #'d on the front, the front design was indeed busy, yet it was unique, memorable and with its 12-card size, it wasn't too hard to complete. A true masterpiece!!
brass decided to expand, yet again, the set size. This time going from 90 to 150. Wow, the Fleer E-X title was actually starting to resemble a football card set and NOT something you got at a gas station or with your pizza. As I've stated several times on this website, I've never been a fan of players pasted onto crazy backgrounds, but with these 3 sets; the '98, '99, and 2000 releases these cards were different. I really liked the 2000 release, but what I didn't like; they didn't return the Authen-Kicks cards. As a matter-of-fact, the 2000 release didn't have a single autograph set or memorabilia set. And we're talking the year 2000 here. It did have the pretty cool Postmarks insert set though, which featured real stamps on the card front, (See the 2000 E-X "Dennis Northcutt" NFL Debut Postmarks #11 right).
2001 Fleer E-X: “Drew Bledsoe” Turf Team #3
By 2001, the Fleer E-X title was ready to take off and with memorabilia sets, it did. It also included an autograph set and a parallel to the "Behind the Numbers" memorabilia insert set. Not too shabby for a title that, up till now, had only 1 previous memorabilia set. And Fleer took their time too, these insert sets were sweet, (See the 2001 Fleer E-X Century “Brad Johnson” Constant Threads #12 right and the 2001 Fleer E-X Century "Drew
2001 Fleer E-X: “Brad Johnson” Constant Threads #12
Bledsoe" Turf Team #3 left). Now, this is what I envisioned the E-X title looking like.
In conclusion, the Fleer E-X title or whatever name they called themselves was a great set, if you didn't care about set size. I definitely didn't care for the 60-card sets, that was a joke, but the insert sets made up for any short-comings. And the 1999 Fleer E-X 2001 Authen-kicks memorabilia insert set is one of my Top 10 Favorite memorabilia sets. After 2001, the Fleer E-X title disappeared for a few years until it returned in 2004. This was the last year for the Fleer E-X title. In early 2005, Fleer announced that it would cease all productions of trading cards and file an Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors, which is a State Court liquidation, similar to Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It was a sad end to such a long-lasting and memorable card manufacturer.
I have complete sets:
Fleer E-X & E-X Century Series:
1) 1997 E-X 2000 Set
A) Fleet of Foot Insert
B) Star Date 2000 Insert
2) 1998 E-X 2001 Set
A) Star Date 2001 Insert
B) Helmet Heroes Insert
3) 1999 E-X Century Set
A) Bright Lites (Lime Green) Insert
B) E-Xtraordinary Insert
C) Authenkicks Insert
4) 2000 E-X Set - Incomplete ( 149 / 150 )
A) E-Xciting Insert
B) E-Xplosive Insert
C) Generation E-X Insert
D) Xceptional Red Insert
E) NFL Debut Postmarks Insert
5) 2001 E-X Set - Do Not Have
A) Turf Team Insert
B) Constant Threads Insert
C) Behind The Numbers Insert
D) Rookie Autographs Insert - Incomplete ( 2 / 39 )