In an era where everything is tagged as “collectible,” (including every jersey and pair of goggles mooched from a rider that ends up on eBay), finding some that truly is collectible, especially in the moto realm, can be kind of tough. Meanwhile, walk into any chain store, and check out their collector card section and you’re confronted with an array of trading cards for the ball and stick sports. That’s where Pro Core Sports is stepping in. They’re working on cards for skateboarders, snowboarders, and best of all, motocrossers.
We recently received a couple sample packs of their trading cards, and were impressed with their unique style. Looking over the samples, we’re not sure whether Pro Core will qualify as their printer’s best friend or worst nightmare. There are a variety of die-cut shapes, metallic and varnish printing, transparencies, wooden laminate cards, and embossing. But either way, the designs and photos are cool and unique, and once they hit the stores, the cards will definitely provide a collectible option for moto fans.
But who is Pro Core, and what are their plans for the future? We placed a call to Dane Herron, who is Pro Core’s Moto Manager. Dane was out at Ocotillo Wells for Halloween, riding, shooting photos, and having an all-around good time.
TransWorld Motocross: Okay, Dane, where did Pro Core come from? Is it a new company, or part of a larger company?
Dane Herron: Pro Core is actually its own company. It’s very small at the moment, but we have big things planned for the future. Roy Korbel is the owner. His father is actually one of the originators and founders of Upper Deck. Everyone in the company has been around trading cards most of their lives, so they’re no strangers to the trading cards. We’re looking forward to big things.
TWMX: What’s your role with Pro Core?
DH: I’ve been with Pro Core off and on for the last year-and-a-half. In the last five months I’ve been working full-time, managing their moto department. Originally when they started this project, about a year-and-a-half ago, I set them up with some photos for their initial samples. Then they changed some of the staffing and some of the financial stuff. Now they’re back full-time and we’re working on finalizing contracts. After the first of the year when we sell some product I’ll probably go on as an on-staff photographer for the whole moto department as well as managing the whole department. This is exactly what I need and enjoy. I’m a professional rider as well, so I have my own card, and I have a little more stake in it than just being employed.
We’re also sponsoring the Tamer Honda Arenacross team. We definitely want to give back to the sport as much as we can. We can only do so much right now because we don’t have any revenue yet, we haven’t launched the product, but in the future we want to do as much as we can, maybe sponsoring a supercross team eventually.
TWMX: Who do you expect to have for riders?
DH: Ideally, I want to give everyone who’s paid their dues a card. Guys that have been riding a few years, guys who have been around, even the privateers. Riders that people know, but who don’t get a lot of exposureI definitely want to do everyone in the top 100 National numbers. I want to do all the top 125 riders, most definitely. Obviously I want to do all the top freestyle guys who are out there busting their balls every day.
TWMX: Who’s the customer for trading cards?
DH: Our idea is to actually create the market for action sport trading cards. We’re not just doing moto, we’re actually doing skateboarding and snowboarding as well.
TWMX: Will they be packaged together? Or will each sport have its own packaging?
DH: Each sport will have its own packaging. For motocross it will be freestyle and motocross together.
Initially we’re working on a deal with the X Games, where we’re doing a Winter X Games set. That’ll be shipped hopefully before December so that it’ll be ready to go for the Winter X Games. We’re going to do some TV ads, so it should be good for us. All the athletes that we give X Games cards to, the majority of them will have standard cards in our standard set, so that’s obviously more money in their pockets.
TWMX: How do these differ from Hi Flyers and some of the other MX trading cards that have been out there in the past?
DH: They definitely differ from anything that’s been around before. We’ve spared no expense. We’ve spent a lot of time working different things with the production of the cards, and different designs that will stand out. When you see the cards you’ll definitely know that it’s nothing like anything you’ve seen before.
We’ve got metal printing, we’re going to do some stuff in the future where we take tires and chop them up and print them on the cards. We’ll also do stuff with actual pieces of their jerseys. We’re also doing fold-out cards, where when you look at it, it’s a regular-sized card, but it folds out to a double-size card. We’ll so sequences of some stuff that has never been done in the motocross world. Corners, or cool sections of supercross tracks all in sequence. Even if you’re not a collector, you’ll definitely want to go buy a pack of cards so you can check out the new things we’re doing.
TWMX: In the press material you sent out, there was also a mention of the old school racers.
DH: In the actual standard set, we’ve selected 10 to 15 of the top motocross guys in the history of the sport—Broc Glover, David Bailey, Rick Johnson, George Holland—a lot of those guys. Those athletes will be marked as Legends. The cards will have sort of a sepia tone look for the photo, so they’ll stand out a little bit. When dads go to buy a pack for their kids, they’ll want to buy a pack for themselves because these are the guys that they used to look up to when they were younger.
TWMX: When and where are you looking at having them available?
DH: We’re looking at having them out just before the first of the year, in time for Christmas. We’re looking at December 1st we want to start shopping. They should ideally be in Targets, Wal-Marts, and corner stores like 7-11s. We also want to take care of the industry. We want to sell them in all the shops. We’re trying to work a deal with Clear Channel…we want to do some merchandising at all the supercrosses.
TWMX: What’s suggested retail going to be for a pack?
DH: Right around $5.00. We’re not exactly sure of the total number of cards per pack. It will depend on the design of the cards and how thick they are. If I’m not mistaken it’ll be 10-15 cards per pack. We want to do a minimum of an 80-90 card set.
Pro Core Sports
1231 Puerta Del Sol, Ste. 100
San Clemente, CA 92673
Tel: (949) 218-3200
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