My Pinnacle Collection (Updated December 24th, 2021)
1991 Pinnacle: “Steve Broussard” #31
In 1991, Pinnacle Brands sports cards got into the football world by introducing us to their newest premium brand, "Pinnacle". The Pinnacle brands trading card company had already rocked the football world when it introduced us to its '89 Score set, (See the Score page for more info). If the "Pinnacle" title was going to be anything like its Score counterpart, then the hobby was going to be in good shape. Unfortunately for Score, this set didn't do anything near what the '89 set did, (See the 1991 Pinnacle: "Steve Broussard #31 left). The '91 set was a very nice 415 card set with no inserts. However, that first year, Pinnacle put their inserts within the base set. I never liked that. Cards such as "The Idols", "Pro Sideline" and "Game Winners" were just another way for the Emmitt Smith fans to get another Emmitt Smith card. I just wish Pinnacle would've put those cards in their own set and given us another 2nd or 3rd tier player. Regardless, that was the only major drawback of this first release. Over time I began to like this set, but it's still on my "Least Favorite Sets" list.
The '92 release of the Pinnacle title was another very nice set. The '92 Pinnacle set was a solid 360 card set with 2 insert sets. The design of the '92 set was, in my opinion, so much better. The front of the card flowed so much better than the '91 release, (See the 1992 Pinnacle: "Broderick Thomas" #45 right). Pinnacle continued with their additional sub-set insert sets of "The Idols", "Pro Sidelines" and "Game Winners" which aren't bad, but as I said above, I would have preferred them as their own insert set.
1992 Pinnacle: “Broderick Thomas” #45
1995 Pinnacle: “Hardy Nickerson" #118
1994 Pinnacle: “Reggie Cobb" #152
In '93, "Pinnacle" continued with their black-bordered style, (See the 1993 Pinnacle: "Steve Tasker" #86 left). They also stayed true to their 360 size card set. But in '93, the number of insert sets increased to 5. One of those insert sets being the 55-card "Men of Autumn" set. Pinnacle
1993 Pinnacle: “Steve Tasker” #86
The 1995 "Pinnacle" release was my favorite release. A 250-card set with 5 insert sets, this one was awesome. As a matter of fact, the "Hardy Nickerson" card is one of my favorite singles of all time, (See the 1995 Pinnacle: "Hardy Nickerson" #118 right). The '95 release also had an insert set called "Black 'n Blue" which is an incredibly hard insert set to complete. As a matter of fact, I don't have this set. The set books for $60, but the way some of the singles go online, it should book for a heck of a lot higher, (See the 1995 Pinnacle: "Greg Lloyd" Black 'n Blue #118 below right).
1995 Pinnacle: “Greg Lloyd” Black 'n Blue #8*
*Note: I do not own this card.
The 1996 "Pinnacle" set was another solid release. However, even though the design and layout were excellent, the set size was bad; 200 cards just don't cut it, (See the 1996 Pinnacle: “Robert Brooks" #2 below left). I always thought the Robert Brooks card gave a good reason why you shouldn't take a "Lambeau Leap"; you just might get your crotch grabbed. The other insert sets were solid too with one exception, the "Double Disguise" set was horrible. As a matter of fact, the "Double Disguise" insert set is firmly entrenched on my "Least Favorite Sets" list and it doesn't appear to be leaving any time soon, (See the 1996 Pinnacle: “Steve Young" Double Disguise #31 below right).
also added the 1993 Super Bowl set which was very sought after by Dallas fans everywhere.
The 1994 release was another pretty sweet release by Pinnacle. The set size in '94 dropped to 270 for this release and the insert sets dropped to 4. But with that being said, the '94 set was pretty impressive, (See the 1994 Pinnacle: "Reggie Cobb" #152. below left). Up to this point, every "Pinnacle" release, with 1991 being the lone exception, was very well designed, laid out, and had crisp new photography. I had "Pinnacle" down as one of the main titles I collected.
1996 Pinnacle: “Robert Brooks” #2
1997 Pinnacle: ”Willie Green” #93
The '97 "Pinnacle" release was very nice. I liked the elevated last name on the front, I thought it was different, (See the 1997 Pinnacle: "Willie Green" #93 below left). Again, what wasn't good was the set size; 200 cards are awful. I had mixed feelings on the insert sets too. In one case, they were stunning, (See the 1997 Pinnacle: "John Elway / Steve Young" Team Pinnacle Mirrors" #4 below right). In another case, I just don't understand the love affair. The love affair I'm talking about is the one that revolves around the "Epix" insert set and its parallels. I did not attach a scan, but regardless, I just have never understood why they continue, after all these years, to command such a high price.
In 1998, just before the new sets were to be released, the Pinnacle brands company was forced to declare bankruptcy. However, some of their promos made it to dealers early in '98, and then some of them made it to the hobby through secondary markets after Pinnacle closed their doors. This lead to some very interesting collections. Collections that included cards that were never released to the public, (See the 1998 Pinnacle: "Dan Marino" Team Pinnacle #F1 below left). So for those of us that put "Master" sets together, these unreleased promos, (or in the case of Dan's card below; a Non-Promo card), are excellent finds!
In closing, the "Pinnacle" title was a solid collectible for a decade. It may not have been the best title and it definitely wasn't the worst. It had one of my favorite singles and it also had 2 sets that made my least favorite list. So as you can tell the "Pinnacle" title had a wide spectrum. If you're brand new to the hobby and you're looking to get into some older sets, maybe something from the mid-90s, you shouldn't be worried about whether or not the "Pinnacle" brand will fulfill that void.
1996 Pinnacle: ”Steve Young” Double Disguise #17
1997 Pinnacle: ”John Elway / Steve Young” Team Pinnacle Mirrors #4
1998 Pinnacle: ”Dan Marino” Team Pinnacle #F1
I have complete sets:
1) 1991 Pinnacle Set
2) 1992 Pinnacle Set
A) Team Pinnacle Insert
B) Team 2000 Insert
3) 1993 Pinnacle Set
A) Rookies Insert
B) Team 2001 Insert
C) Team Pinnacle Insert
D) Men Of Autumn Insert
E) Super Bowl XXVII Insert
4) 1994 Pinnacle Set
A) Performers Insert
B) Team Pinnacle Insert
C) Draft Pinnacle Insert
D) Canton Bound Insert
5) 1995 Pinnacle Set
A) Showcase Insert
B) Clear Shots Insert
C) Game Breakers Insert
D) Team Pinnacle Insert
6) 1996 Pinnacle Set
A) On The Line Insert
B) Black 'n Blue Insert
C) Team Pinnacle Insert
D) Double Disguise Insert
E) Die-Cut Jerseys Insert
F) Die-Cut Jerseys Holofoil Insert
7) 1997 Pinnacle Set
A) Team Pinnacle Mirrors Insert
B1) Epix Orange Insert
B2) Epix Purple Insert - Incomplete ( 6 / 24 )
B3) Epix Emerald Insert - Incomplete ( 1 / 24 )
8) 1998 Pinnacle Set - Does Not Exist
A) Team Pinnacle Insert - Incomplete ( 8 / 10 )