My Fleer: Focus Collection (Updated December 24th, 2022)
1999 Fleer Focus: “Scott Covington” RC #164
1999 Fleer Focus: “Charles Johnson” Fresh Ink #19
2001 Fleer Focus: “Jeremiah Trotter” #94
Fleer must've broken open the bank in '99 because they flooded the market with products. One of the releases that Fleer introduced the hobby to in '99 was "Fleer: Focus". The "Focus" wasn't a bad title, (I've seen a heck of a lot worse), and as a matter of fact, I kind of liked it. The only thing bad about the initial release; a 175-card base set. I didn't like that. I never do. The cards were very nice, however, (See the 1999 Fleer Focus: "Scott Covington" RC #164 card left). The real reason why I don't like those small sets is that a player like Scott Covington would normally never see a card unless he was a Rookie. I call it the "Kurt Warner effect". In 1994, Kurt Warner went undrafted in the NFL draft, but it was the 1999 season when he broke out that very few, (Pacific being one of the only card sets), to include this little-known football player. So having a 175-card set would not get you a Kurt Warner card today. (Note: in 2000 there were a lot more Tom Brady Rookie Cards produced due to the "Kurt Warner effect" than what would've been produced otherwise.)
The "Fleer: Focus" release did have a good # of insert sets; 6 to be exact. Those 6 sets included a memorabilia set, (See the 1999 Fleer Focus: "Brett Favre" Feel the Game #3FG card right). and an autograph set, (See the 1999 Fleer Focus: "Charles Johnson" Fresh Ink #19 card below left). Both of those sets made the 1999 "Fleer: Focus" intro into the hobby a good one.
In 2000, the Fleer brass increased the set size from the dismal 175-card set in '99 to a much better 260-card set in 2000, (See the 2000 Fleer Focus: “Kevin Hardy" #180 below right). However, there was much else to talk about. The 6 insert sets in '99 decreased to 4 in 2000. And not only that, but the 2000 set didn't have a single autograph or memorabilia set. In the years 2000 on, if a product didn't have either one of those 2 items, your product wouldn't be around long. The insert sets in the 2000 set were nice, but that just doesn't cut it in today's hobby.
The 2001 release of "Fleer: Focus" made amends from a lackluster 2000 release. The 2001 release did drop slightly when it comes to the size of the set to 230-cards, but the insert sets jumped from 4 to 7 in 2001. With one of those being an autograph set. In fact, the 2001 release had one of my favorite autograph sets of all time, (See the 2001 Fleer Focus: “Drew Brees” Certified Cuts #CCDB below left). What a great concept for an autograph card; a signed check! If you want to make up for a dismal release the year before, that is a great way to do it. The 2001 release also had some great memorabilia sets too, but what I really liked were the parallels to those sets, (See the 2001 Fleer Focus “Marvin Minnis” Rookie
1999 Fleer Focus: “Brett Favre” Feel the Game #3FG
2000 Fleer Focus: “Kevin Hardy” #180
Premiere Jersey #RPMM2 below right). The card that I have shown is the parallel version of the main insert set. The card shown is the "Shirts & Skins" parallel #'d to 50. I also liked the set, "Property Of" parallel set, (See the 2001 Fleer Focus “Rod Smith” Property Of #PORS below right). This parallel set was also called "Shirts & Skins" and was also #'d to 50. If you're going to include a parallel set in a release, do them right. These 2 parallel sets were done right.
2001 Fleer Focus: “Drew Brees” Certified Cuts #CCDB
In summary, the "Fleer: Focus" title was very nice. The 2000 release, was a bit of a downer, but it set still had a 260-card base set, so it wasn't all bad. The "Fleer: Focus" title did come back in 2002, although it added the "JE" extension at the end of its name. Why? I have no idea other than trying to compete with the Press Pass title. "Fleer: Focus" did return for one last season in 2003, (without the "JE" extension), before going away fully. I hated to see the "Fleer: Focus" title go away, and I can't say that about every title.
I have complete sets:
Fleer Focus Series:
1) 1999 Focus Set
A) Feel The Game Insert
B) Sparklers Insert
C) Wondrous Insert
D) Glimmer Men Insert
E) Fresh Ink Insert - Incomplete ( 30 / 37 )
2) 2000 Focus Set
A) Good Hands insert
B) Sparklers Insert
C) Last Man Standing Insert
1) 2001 Focus Set
A) Tunnel Vision insert
B) Toast of the Town Insert
C) Certified Cuts Insert - Incomplete ( 20 / 25 ) *
D) Property Of ( Shirts & Skins ) Insert
E) Rookie Premiere Jerseys ( Shirts & Skins ) Insert - Incomplete ( 28 / 36 )
F) Tag Team Tandems Insert - Incomplete ( 4 / 15 )
*Note: I added 4 cards to this set. A Michael Vick unlisted autograph and 6 Autograph Exchanges; Deuce McAlister, James Jackson, Kevan Barlow, Donovan McNabb, Michael Bennet, and Koren Robinson. Beckett had the total at 18, my total is 25.
2001 Fleer Focus: “Marvin Minnis” Rookie Premiere Jersey (Shirts & Skins Parallel) #RPMM2
2001 Fleer Focus: “Rod Smith” Property Of (Shirts & Skins Parallel) #PORS