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Panini America Makes History with Michael Jackson-Worn Memorabilia Trading Cards

June 13, 2011

They say clothes don’t make the man. But these aren’t just any clothes and this isn’t just any man.

Sometimes, under extraordinary circumstances, clothes do make the man. They make him more collectible, more memorable, and perhaps even more touchable than he’s ever been.

The man in this case is, well, “The Man” — Michael Jackson. As for the history-making clothes, they were worn by the King of Pop himself from 1971 through 1974 during many memorable performances, including “The Flip Wilson Show,” “American Bandstand,” “Soul Train,” and televised specials anchored by such luminaries as Bob Hope and Diana Ross.

Leading trading card manufacturer Panini America purchased the history-soaked pieces of sartorial splendor at auction two years ago — and cut them up.

As a result, Jackson fans and collectors everywhere will have the unique opportunity to own pieces of Jackson when the company’s Official Michael Jackson Trading Card Set hits stores next week.

“We’re thrilled to be able to partner with the Jackson estate in an official capacity to honor Michael’s memory and his legendary career with this truly unique trading card set,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. “We’ve been working diligently for more than two years to bring this set to market, and we’re confident that the inclusion of Jackson-worn memorabilia will make this a product unlike any other we’ve ever produced.”

Below you’ll find a stunning gallery of the Jackson memorabilia cards randomly inserted into the set, along with the corresponding auction description of the respective piece of clothing used.

The Official Michael Jackson Trading Card Set will be available starting next week at Target stores nationwide and at the Panini America Online Store.

See the links after the gallery for additional coverage of this groundbreaking set.

Additional coverage of the Official Michael Jackson Trading Card Set:
Recalling The King of Pop’s Greatest Albums
Michael Jackson Must-See: The King of Pop’s Top 20 Achievements
The ‘Number Ones’ Subset in Panini’s Official Michael Jackson Trading Card Set
World Premiere: Inside the Official Michael Jackson Trading Card Set
Panini Peek: 2011 Michael Jackson

36 Comments leave one →
  1. June 13, 2011 12:05 pm

    Cool looking cards. I wonder, though, why you didn’t use the pictures of MJ wearing the actual pieces on the cards; I think it would’ve been a nice touch and would give a nice reference point for the swatch.

    Still cool, though!

    • June 13, 2011 12:11 pm

      Great point. I thought the same thing. I’m assuming card-quality photography wasn’t available.

      • spotfoor permalink
        June 14, 2011 1:43 am

        also, this is how newer collectors remember him.

  2. June 13, 2011 12:11 pm

    The relic card with the bedazled jewels is too perfect. I don’t think there should be a Michael Jackson relic that isn’t bedazled.

  3. Byron permalink
    June 13, 2011 1:52 pm

    Why wasn’t the company able to produce a “cut” card for this product?

    • June 13, 2011 4:24 pm

      It wasn’t a lack of want-to, I can assure you.

      • spotfoor permalink
        June 14, 2011 1:40 am

        i am sure it wasn’t. this stuff looks awesome! i am especially excited that these are older era swatches. looking good.

  4. sbsanta permalink
    June 13, 2011 8:37 pm

    As loved and admired as MJ was and IS, this piece of merchandising is absurd. It’s a travesty that the Estate of Michael Jackson would agree to allow a random company to tear apart vintage Jackson wardrobe which would otherwise undoubtedly be perfect for a (likely) MJ/Estate museum exhibit… I get it, capitalism, but this is something MJ himself would not have condoned: cutting up pieces of his clothing and selling them as “trading cards” in supermarkets. Completely an afront to the legend and memory of MJ, not to mention in completely bad taste. Think consumers are that lowly as to buy tattered shreds? The Estate couldn’t hold onto or purchase these back to create a more fitting, permanent tribute (AND make a buck at it the right way)?? Shame on Michael Jackson Estate executors on this one.

  5. Joe Dokes permalink
    June 14, 2011 5:37 am

    It says these cards will be available at Target and Panini’s site. I’m confused–does this mean they will be offered *exclusively* through retail at only Target stores? Or won’t be able to get them through hobby shops and the like? Because not all of us live near a Target. I don’t have one in my entire State! (Vermont) Thank you.

  6. June 14, 2011 8:46 am

    Is there a glove relic card anywhere in the future?

  7. June 14, 2011 4:54 pm

    Poor Michael, There is no respect anymore…This memorabilia needs to be respected and shown in Musuems…not in trading cards !
    Panini, you disappoint many fans, you can be sure of this point :-(((((

  8. June 21, 2011 8:09 am

    Have these people lost their minds? I would have preferred to visit and museum and see them WHOLE….as MJ wore them! OMG I can’t believe they cut up Michael’s precious stage outfits…!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. SoCalGal permalink
    June 21, 2011 3:32 pm

    I predict these cards will be shunned out of respect for Michael; respect he got precious little of when he was alive from the snarling jackals of media who, like Mark Warsop, cut his life up and fed it to the public like bits of Snausages. Shame on [Panini], who wouldn’t know (or apparently understand) the sensibility of a true Michael Jackson fan if it bit him them on the [backside].

  10. J. Mason, New York, NY permalink
    June 21, 2011 4:22 pm

    Pieces of Michael Jackson’s clothing cut up and put on cards? For more than 20 years, Jackson’s life was brutally ripped apart by media vermin and spit out to the public bit by bit for profit. Maybe Panini America and the Estate mean well by choosing this singular way of sharing stellar moments in Jackson’s life with us. But for me (for now), the comparison of cut up costumes with a cut up life is too gruesome to get any enjoyment from this form of memorabilia. Sorry, no sale.

  11. John permalink
    June 21, 2011 5:47 pm

    Mrs Hackler, can you tell us who is responsible for this, please? I can’t believe you bought these historical costumes to destroy and sell them in peaces. Is this what you’ve really done? No, I can’t believe it… If so, I can predict you big problems and very bad publicity for this. There is absolutely no limits in the lack of respect this man has had, even in death. .

  12. bruna MJ permalink
    June 24, 2011 11:26 pm

    AND STILL SAY THEY ARE HONORING DOING THIS. Honor and respect, and not make LIES LIKE THESE ANIMALS media and world coins.

  13. tom permalink
    July 7, 2011 3:44 pm

    ok…but an autograph cut would be great!!whats the print run on the jl1 and jl2 cards?is there a known count made available?

    • tom permalink
      July 8, 2011 11:11 am


  14. July 9, 2011 6:55 am

    These things are the best product EVER!
    I love these cards so much!

    I am 15, and ever since I was 7 it has been a dream of mine to own something Michael wore, and now we have the chance! My goal is to collect all of the different swatch cards! 🙂

  15. Shae Love permalink
    August 1, 2011 5:10 pm

    Holy crap! Did they say they cut up Michael’s precious outfits????!!!! ::OOO
    How could they???? Why not just put the outfits in a museum as a WHOLE to be admired?!?! I get that the estate would want Michael’s devoted fans to own a piece of history, and Michael loved us fans… *sighs* Right now I see a little war of love going on here… The estate and Michael care about and are thankul of the fans so they want to give back but the fans feel the same and think his memorabilia should be treated like the gold it is and cherished.

    Dammit, I’m as pissed as I was when I heard they were auctioning off Michael’s stuff at NeverLand rather than cherishing and remembering… 😡

    I’m feeling indifferent…

    • tom permalink
      August 2, 2011 9:03 am

      just like they cut up ELVIS,MARLYN MONROE,BABE RUTH,MICKEY MANTLE,JOE DIMAGGIO,AND OTHERS TO MAKE RELIC CARDS.this is not the 1st celebrity to have a relic cards made!!

  16. ljmissmj permalink
    August 12, 2011 11:23 am


  17. April 13, 2012 9:08 pm

    The Blog was easy to read. Fun read. Knowledgeble information. Loved your Blog. Keep up the good work. Good Job on Michael pictures!

  18. Tammi permalink
    May 17, 2013 10:12 am

    I’ve got some MJ trading cards and stickers if anyone is interested.

  19. Brenda permalink
    January 12, 2017 1:03 am

    I don’t know much about new MJ stuff, but, I used to collect his stuff back in the 80’s. Most of which I have already sold., but, I still have some of the sets of his trading cards from 1984. Do you know anything about him recalling many of this first set and replacing them with a different ones? Sometimes it was the picture replaced, and sometimes it was just a word or a sentence on the back side of the card. I have both sets. The first set is worth more because there wasn’t as many of those made.


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