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New series to have NBA autographs

Fleer/SkyBox has announced what is believed to be the largest NBA autographed trading card promotion in the history of basketball cards.

Autographics, which debuts in the 1996-97 NBA HOOPS first series in late-August, will span all seven of the 1996-97 SkyBox NBA products. The odds of getting an Autographics card in all seven products are the same _ one in 72 packs. Nearly 100 active NBA players are included in the promotion.

Autographics cards will be designed differently than other SkyBox brands and will carry only the SkyBox Autographics logo. The first wave of signed cards will be inserted in '96-97 Hoops Series I (scheduled for release Aug. 21), with the additional autographed cards inserted into SkyBox's new Z-Force brand (scheduled for release in October), SkyBox Premium (release date Nov. 13), the Series II releases of Hoops, Z-Force and SkyBox and E-XL.

"It can almost be called a new set," said Sherry Wallace, director of basketball marketing for Fleer/SkyBox. "It's basically an insert set that straddles all the SkyBox brands."

Among players who have agreed to sign cards for Autographics are Grant Hill, Jerry Stackhouse, Toni Kukoc, Latrell Sprewell, former Florida State star George McCloud, Juwan Howard and Kevin Garnett. Each team will be represented by at least two players.

NATIONAL RACING CONVENTION: The first National Racing Colletibles Convention is set for Dec. 13-15 in Charlotte, N.C. It will include interactive events to go along with guest appearances by some of the top drivers in NASCAR. Press Pass and Maxx racing card manufacturers, among others, will be active in the event.

MR. SELF-PROMOTION: Dennis Rodman and McDonald's teamed on collector's cups that were issued during the playoffs. The set consisted of four cups, with each depicting the Bulls' forward with a different hair color.

Issued in Chicago and its northwest Indiana suburbs, the cups originally were distributed at the United Center during a game against the Celtics on March 2. But the reaction was so positive that McDonald's eventually bolstered the promotion to include stores in the aforementioned areas.

WORK OF ART: The Dallas Cowboys have been honored in Dan Smith's World Champions XXX print. Originally a watercolor, the print features prominent players Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Larry Brown, Jay Novacek and Michael Irvin set against the Super Bowl XXX logo and the Arizona skyline.

Sierra Sun Editions Inc. distributed the print and produced just 1,000 signed and numbered copies, 60 artist proofs, 30 honorary copies, and 60 canvas transfers. Roughly 200 signed and numbered copies remain.

The print measures 21 by 15{ inches and is bordered by "World Champions" in blue and silver. Issue price for the print is $195.