“Michael Jackson is dead.”
It was one of those “remember exactly where you were” bombshell bits of news that seemed somewhere between implausible and impossible. My parents had the John F. Kennedy assassination. I had this.
Completely different circumstances, I know, but both were tragic, shocking and left a heavy-hearted world to mourn the loss of a true American icon. All this time later, there are those all over the globe grieving both monumental losses still.
Frankly, it doesn’t seem like an entire year has passed since the King of Pop passed away so unexpectedly at the age of 50 in his California home. But that’s the alarming revelation that stunned us all some 365 days ago.
In the hours, days, weeks and months that followed Jackson’s death, there were countless tributes paid to one of the greatest entertainers the world has ever known. And those tributes, in concert with the passage of time, have helped the forevermore memories – the music, the moves, the transcendent artistry – prevail.
The passage of time also has afforded Panini America officials the opportunity to work behind the scenes creating a stirring Jackson tribute of its own: The officially-licensed King of Pop Michael Jackson trading card set tentatively slated to release to mass retailers in late August.
For the first time in more than 25 years — and for just the second time ever — The Gloved One will be the subject of a stand-alone trading card release. And according to tentative information released by the company to distributors late last month, the set will include the first Michael Jackson-worn memorabilia cards ever produced.
It’s worth noting that Jackson was the subject of a 66-card 1984 Topps release that also included 66-sticker and 13-Super Sticker insert sets; he also appeared on single cards in the 1991 Starline Hollywood Walk of Fame and 1991 Pro Set Superstars MusicCards UK releases. But there’s never been a comprehensive, career-spanning Jackson retrospective quite like Panini has planned.
While the exact composition of the set is not yet known, this much is certain (at least for now): The product will deliver 24 packs per box with five-card packs retailing for $3. In addition to more than 80 base cards, every box will deliver three Gold parallels and eight Achievements, 12 Decades, six Top Tens and six Number Ones insert cards.
The memorabilia lineup is highlighted by Eclectic Threads Shirt, Pants and Dual-Swatch cards, Televised Fashions and Jackson Live single- and dual-swatch cards all numbered to 499 or less.
Each 20-box case promises one Jackson memorabilia card and one or more limited insert cards from a lineup that includes Diamond parallels numbered to 10 or less, Number Ones Deluxe and Black or White.
Fans all over the world are sure to share their myriad recollections of Jackson on Friday to honor the first anniversary of his death. Soon enough, those fans will be able to share their collections, too.
Stay tuned to Beckett.com for additional information on this product.
Tracy Hackler is the editorial director for Beckett Media. Have a comment or question? Send an e-mail to him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.