Decision 2016 trading cards have look of landmark release

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Politicians have appeared on cardboard since the earliest years of trading cards — you know, in packs of cigarettes back in the 1800s — and they’ve appeared in countless non-sports, war and even sports sets of the last 30-plus years as collecting emerged upon the national psyche and flourished as part of the pop culture landscape.

GinterN51But the new Decision 2016 trading cards arriving this week include something that we haven’t yet seen in a political release — the chance at autographs and more advanced “hit” cards along with a healthy amount of traditional cardboard.

In the midst of one of the most-tumultous political seasons in years, this is a product that offers a promising start for a perhaps-expanding trading card genre of its own — and the potential for something more.

It already appears to be a landmark release, but don’t just take Buzz’s word for it.

ABC-Rick-Klein“The idea of a set that captures that drama of an election – that is compelling,” said Rick Klein, who is ABC News’ Political Director and also a long-time baseball card collector. “I feel like it’s something that could start as a novelty project but catch on. You’d be surprised by how many political junkies are also collectors. People love pins, hats, signs. I’ve seen autograph-seekers at obscure conferences for senators most people could never name.”

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The Product
The basic set (full checklist below) includes more than 130 standard cards noting individuals and moments from the past and the present as well as a look at future candidates on the presidential political landscape. Atop that there are several insert sets — standard cards and other types of cards that include cut autographs, shredded currency, coin-stamp combos, flag patches and gems — and for those who want even more in their overall collecting experience, they can consider exclusive bonus items that come with a purchase via the product’s Kickstarter program launched alongside the release. Purchases there can land collectors uncut sheets, bonus items and foil-stamped rarities depending on the size of their investment.

“There is unprecedented interest in this year’s presidential election,” said Brian Wallos, who created the product. “With Donald Trump joining the race and other non-traditional candidates campaigning, we felt that creating a high-quality collection of presidential trading cards was a natural. Not only can people learn from these cards and even make more-informed decisions about whom they might support, but they will now have an opportunity to memorialize this historic election campaign.”

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The Demand
Besides commemoration, there is also a good amount of financial demand for these cards — the promo cards for this product have been strong sellers on eBay — and Klein knows he and others have been waiting for a product like this one.

“What took so long?” Klein wondered. “I’ve been waiting for campaign cards for as long as I’ve been following politics, which is to say I wanted a [Michael] Dukakis rookie back when [Mark] McGwire was the biggest hit you could hope for. This has real potential as a concept. I really wish these cards came out last fall, with updates to come later. Topps and Upper Deck both played with the concept of presidential cards, in baseball sets, in 2008, but we’ve seen a real dip in political cards since then.”

>> Click here to buy Decision 2016 cards on

That past wave was a big one that culminated with the election of Barack Obama — he had his own trading card set from Topps and appeared on countless sports cards along with other politicians around that time. Since then, though, we’ve seen fewer political cards — but a healthy amount of Garbage Pail Kids political parodies this year.

09SF HollyAuto_BKThe Surprises & Future Potential
Buzz won’t pretend to be the Bowman Scout — or a political one — but Klein did detail some surprises in Decision 2016 and noted who might be promising for those banking on futures of politicians and others found in the product.

“Including Jill Stein and Gary Johnson — somebody did their homework on those” Klein said of his surprises. “Ronald Reagan as an ‘influencer’ — that sounds clever. And I’m thrilled, of course, that an ABC debate got its own card — that must be a first. I’ll read the back just on the off-chance I get a mention.”

There’s also a specific subset of 13 “future stars” for the 2020 election in the set, which Klein noted as being of interest for political fans in both the short- and long-term.

“Both Castro Brothers (Joaquín and Julian) got cards — that could matter for the Veepstakes. And George P. Bush — assuming this is a Rookie Card — keep that one gem mint for 2024 or 2028,” Klein said. “I’m also impressed by the inclusion of Sen. Tom Cotton. That’s not a future-star name you’d get just by Googling about the election. Plus the short-printed Tulsi Gabbard – I would buy that one up, unless you’re planning to bid against me on eBay.”

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Another subset in the release focuses on the spouses of candidates — cards that could appeal to many different groups of the overall voting and collecting base. It’s one that includes Melania Trump, Heidi Cruz and even Bill Clinton. Klein sees the appeal there and they even sparked the idea of another inclusion idea that could be seen in a future release.

“Political fans will love this aspect of the set — I have little doubt about that. I think it’s great that the spouses get their own cardboard,” Klein said. “It reflects the reality that spouses are players more and more. This is a trend that we’ve seen continue and get amplified this year. I’m personally a little offended that there’s no subset for pundits and political reporters. So I’m not really offended, but there’s always room for new concepts.”


The Collecting Potential Already Here … and Potential for More
The inclusion of money cards seems particularly apropos for a billionaire like Trump, but 17 others also appear in the set. As one of the potential hits found only in hobby boxes, they will appeal to collectors who like memorabilia cards — but they seem like just the start of things in Klein’s collecting view.

“Why stop there? The shredded money thing is a little gimmicky — you can get that stuff at gift shops across DC — but what about relic cards?” Klein asked. “Ties worn in announcement speeches would work. Wood from podiums. Maybe a vial of water for a Rubio card. Clearly a strand of Donald Trump’s hair would be the biggest hit in any given case.”


Although this brand has just arrived — and it will apparently include some updated cards noting the recent deaths of Nancy Reagan and Antonin Scalia — Klein said there have been many of moments during this campaign, particularly since it’s still ongoing and been full of surprises, that could easily lend itself to a second release.

“There’s probably never been a set produced that needs an update series as badly as this one,” he said. “The moments are never-ending — I feel like we need a version of Topps NOW for politics sometimes. It might actually help me remember some of the wild moments. I mean, the ‘Trump Under Fire’ subset stops at 24 cards. We’re just getting started here, folks. That set could be huuuge.”

>> Click here to buy Decision 2016 cards on


Formats & Moving Forward
Target stores will have loose packs, while there are 12-pack blaster boxes and hobby boxes also available. They all will be found via typical hobby channels and also through the Decision 2016 website,

Wallos feels there will be a wide appeal for these cards this year — particularly with the controversial moments in the campaigns so far.

“I believe these cards will be ‘must-haves’ not only for collectors but for political enthusiasts such as me, students and then again anyone who has an interest in this unprecedented election campaign,” Wallos said. “Hobbyists will like the collectability of the set, as presidential memorabilia ranks high among collectors’ interest and this unique set will surely earn a niche in that world.”

The company also has proclaimed that, when it comes to collecting “politics is the new sports” — a slogan seen on the boxes — and that’s a notion that Klein acknowledged.

“Nobody drops more sports references into political conversation than I do, but that concept makes me slightly uncomfortable,” he said. “Yes, this is a great spectator event. At times the combat feels like sports. But we always have to remember that the future of the country is at stake. Voting is more than a scoreboard, just like there’s way more to politics than just the outcome of an election. That said, I’m glad that people will be able to experience this election through cards in this way.”

>> Click here to buy Decision 2016 cards on

Follow Buzz on Twitter @BlowoutBuzz or send email to


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Basic set

1 Ben Carson
2 Bernie Sanders
3 Bobby Jindal
4 Carly Fiorina
5 Chris Christie
6 Donald Trump
7 George Pataki
8 Hillary Clinton
9 Jeb Bush
10 Jill Stein
11 Jim Gilmore
12 Jim Webb
13 John Kasich
14 John McAfee
15 Lincoln Chaffee
16 Lindsey Graham
17 Marco Rubio
18 Martin O’Malley
19 Mike Huckabee
20 Rand Paul
21 Rick Perry
22 Rick Santorum
23 Scott Walker
24 Ted Cruz

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25 Al Franken
26 Bill Clinton
27 Trey Gowdy
28 Debbie Wasserman-Schultz
29 Deval Patrick
30 Elijah E. Cummings
31 Elizabeth Warren
32 Harry Reid
33 Ivanka Trump
34 Joe Biden
35 John Boehner
36 John Kerry
37 John McCain
38 Jon Huntsman Jr.
39 Kevin McCarthy
40 Michelle Obama
41 Mitch McConnell
42 Mitt Romney
43 Nancy Pelosi
44 Nikki Haley
45 Paul Ryan
46 President Obama
47 Reince Priebus
48 Ronald Reagan
49 Sarah Palin
50 Tom Kaine

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The Spouses
51 Frank Fiorina
52 Candy Carson
53 Columba Bush
54 Heidi Cruz
55 Jane O’Meara – Sanders
56 Janet Huckabee
57 Jeanette Rubio
58 Karen Kasich
59 Katie O’Malley
60 Kelley Paul
61 Libby Pataki
62 Mary Pat Christie
63 Melania Trump
64 Bill Clinton

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The Debates
65 Voters First Forum 8/3/15
66 Fox News Republican Pre-Debate 8/7/15
67 Fox News Republican Debate 8/7/15
68 CNN Republican Debate 9/16/15
69 CNBC Republican Pre-Debate 10/28/15
70 CNBC Republican Debate 10/28/15
71 Fox Business Republican Debate 11/10/15
72 CNN Republican Debate 12/15/15
73 CNN Democratic Debate 10/13/15
74 CBS Democratic Debate 11/14/15
75 ABC Democratic Debate 11/14/15
76 Fox Business Republican Debate 1/14/16

09SF HollyAuto_BKFinalists
77 Ben Carson
78 Bernie Sanders
79 Carly Fiorina
80 Chris Christie
81 Donald Trump
82 Hillary Clinton
83 Jeb Bush
84 John Kasich
85 Marco Rubio
86 Martin O’Malley
87 Mike Huckabee
88 Rand Paul
89 Rick Santorum
90 Ted Cruz

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Campaign Moments
91 Clinton hits Iowa Early
92 Trump’s First Debate
93 Trump – Cruz Running mates?
94 Trump – Bush low-five
95 Sanders-Clinton Tired of E-mails
96 The Bengazi Hearings
97 President Barack Obama

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Future Stars 2020
98 Andrew Cuomo
99 Cory Booker
100 George P. Bush
101 Joaquín Castro
102 Julian Castro
103 Kelly Ayotte
104 Kirsten Gillibrand
105 Kris Kobach
106 Michael Bennet
107 Mike Pence
108 Pat McCory
109 Scott Walker
110 Tom Cotton

Insert Cards
High Numbers (Nos. 111-135)
111 Michael Bloomberg Candidates
112 Gary Johnson Candidates
113 Wayne LaPierre Influencers
114 Bill De Blasio Influencers
115 George W. Bush Influencers
116 Rev. Al Sharpton Influencers
117 Tulsi Gabbard Influencers
118 Fox News Google Republican Debate 1/28/16 The Debates
119 NBC News Democratic Debate 1/17/2016 The Debates
120 PBS Democratic Debate 2/11/2016 The Debates
121 CBS Republican Debate 2/13/16 The Debates
122 CNN Republican Debate 2/25/16 The Debates
123 Sarah Palin endorses Donald Trump Campaign Moments
124 Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood Endorses Hillary Campaign Moments
125 Ted Cruz endorsed by Rick Perry Campaign Moments
126 Jeb Bush endorsed by Lindsey Graham Campaign Moments
127 Bushs come out for Jeb Campaign Moments
128 Chris Christie endorses Trump Campaign Moments
129 Ted Cruz Wins Iowa Campaign Moments
130 Hillary wins Iowa by a coin flip Campaign Moments
131 Trump Huge in New Hampshire Campaign Moments
132 New Hampshire feels The Bern! Campaign Moments
133 Former Candidates Jindal & Pataki Endorse Rubio Campaign Moments
134 Hillary clobbers Bernie in South Carolina Campaign Moments
135 Trump Wins big in Nevada Campaign Moments

First Lady Portraits
(retail only)
1 Barbara Bush
2 Michelle Obama
3 Hillary Clinton
4 Laura Bush
5 Nancy Reagan
6 Jacqueline Kennedy
7 Rosalynn Carter
8 Betty Ford
9 Pat Nixon

Decision-2016Candidate Portraits
CP1 Barack Obama
CP2 Ben Carson
CP3 Bernie Sanders
CP4 Bill Clinton
CP5 Carly Fiorina
CP6 Chris Christie
CP7 Donald Trump
CP8 George W. Bush
CP9 Hillary Clinton
CP10 Jeb Bush
CP11 John Kasich
CP12 Marco Rubio
CP13 Michael Bloomberg
CP14 Martin O’Malley
CP15 Mike Huckabee
CP16 Rand Paul
CP17 Ronald Reagan
CP18 Ted Cruz
CP19 George H. W. Bush
CP20 Mitt Romney
CP21 Joe Biden
CP22 Sarah Palin
CP23 Lindsey Graham
CP24 Rick Perry
CP25 John McCain
CP26 Rick Santorum
CP27 Gary Johnson

01LG Inscrip_FRTrump Under Fire
TUF1 Trump vs. Mexican Immigration
TUF2 Trump says McCain not a war hero
TUF3 Trump vs. Megyn Kelly
TUF4 Trump ejects Univision Reporter
TUF5 Trump mocks Carly’s face
TUF6 Trump vs. CNBC debate moderators
TUF7 Trump claims Muslims celebrated 9/11 in NJ
TUF8 Trump “Mocks” disabled reporter
TUF9 Trump wants to put ban on Muslim immigration
TUF10 Trump Pledges to Republican Party
TUF11 Says Hillary Clinton “Got Schlonged”
TUF12 Trump calls for database of Muslims
TUF13 Cruz battles Trump over citizenship issue
TUF14 Parliament debates Trump ban from UK
TUF15 Trump vs. Women
TUF16 Trump vs. National Review
TUF17 Trump says he could shoot and not lose voters
TUF18 Trump Faces off against Fox News Debate
TUF19 Trump critical of G.W.Bush & Iraq War
TUF20 Trump calls for Apple Boycott
TUF21 Pope critical of Trump’s stance on immigration
TUF22 Mexican President says he will not pay for wall
TUF23 Trump waffles on David Duke endorsement
TUF24 Mitt Romney Blasts Trump

Jumbo Box-toppers
(hobby only)

J1 Barack Obama
J2 Ben Carson
J3 Bernie Sanders
J4 Bill Clinton
J5 Carly Fiorina
J6 Chris Christie
J7 Donald Trump
J8 Elizabeth Warren
J9 George W. Bush
J10 Hillary Clinton
J11 Jeb Bush
J12 Joe Biden
J13 John Kasich
J14 Bernie and Hillary e-mails
J15 Marco Rubio
J16 Martin O’Malley
J17 Michael Bloomberg
J18 Michelle Obama
J19 Mike Huckabee
J20 Mitt Romney
J21 Paul Ryan
J22 Ronald Reagan
J23 Sarah Palin
J24 Ted Cruz


Hobby Version Rare Inserts (“Hits”)

01LG Inscrip_FRAuthentic Cut Signature Cards
(hobby only)
CS1 Ben Carson
CS2 Donald Trump
CS3 George W. Bush (SP)
CS4 Hillary Clinton
CS5 Jeb Bush
CS6 Marco Rubio
CS7 Mike Huckabee
CS8 Rand Paul
CS9 Rick Santorum
CS10 Scott Walker
CS11 John Kasich
CS12 Ted Cruz (SP)
CS13 Carly Fiorina (SP)
CS14 Chris Christie
CS15 Mitt Romney (SP)
CS16 Lindsey Graham
CS17 Martin O’Malley
CS18 Rick Perry
CS19 Paul Ryan
CS20 John McCain
CS21 Sarah Palin (SP)
CS22 Bernie Sanders (SP)

01LG Inscrip_FRGod Bless America Flags (patch)
(hobby only)
GBA1 Barack Obama
GBA2 Ben Carson
GBA3 Bernie Sanders
GBA4 Bill Clinton
GBA5 Carly Fiorina
GBA6 Chris Christie
GBA7 Donald Trump
GBA8 Hillary Clinton
GBA9 Jeb Bush
GBA10 John Kasich
GBA11 Marco Rubio
GBA12 Martin O’Malley
GBA13 Mike Huckabee
GBA14 Rand Paul
GBA15 Ronald Reagan
GBA16 Ted Cruz
GBA17 Hillary Clinton
GBA18 Donald Trump

Road to The White House – Letters
(hobby only; l
etters spell last name)
RWH1 Ben Carson
RWH2 Bernie Sanders
RWH3 Carly Fiorina
RWH4 Chris Christie
RWH5 Donald Trump
RWH6 Hillary Clinton
RWH7 Jeb Bush
RWH8 John Kasich
RWH9 Marco Rubio
RWH10 Martin O’Malley
RWH11 Mike Huckabee
RWH12 Ted Cruz

Elite Premium Set
(hobby only)

E1. Justice Scalia
E2. Bush Dynasty
E3. Trump & Palin
E4. The Clintons
E5. The White House
E6. George Washington
E7. Nancy Reagan

12063517_1543923915901394_3717655448543959843_nSuper Flags (jumbo patch)
(hobby only)
SF1 Barack Obama
SF2 Ben Carson
SF3 Bernie Sanders
SF4 Bill Clinton
SP5 Carly Fiorina
SF6 Chris Christie
SF7 Donald Trump
SF8 Hillary Clinton
SF9 Jeb Bush
SF10 John Kasich
SF11 Marco Rubio
SF12 Martin O’Malley
SF13 Mike Huckabee
SF14 Rand Paul
SF15 Ronald Reagan
SF16 Ted Cruz
SF17 Hillary Clinton
SF18 Donald Trump
SF19 Mitt Romney
SF20 Michael Bloomberg
SF21 Sarah Palin
SF22 Michelle Obama
SF23 Joe Biden

01LG Inscrip_FRPolitical Gems
(hobby only)

PG1 Barack Obama
PG2 Ben Carson
PG3 Bernie Sanders
PG4 Bill Clinton
PG5 Carly Fiorina
PG6 Chris Christie
PG7 Donald Trump
PG8 George W. Bush
PG9 Hillary Clinton
PG10 Jeb Bush
PG11 John Kasich
PG12 Marco Rubio
PG13 Michael Bloomberg
PG14 Martin O’Malley
PG15 Michelle Obama
PG16 Rand Paul
PG17 Ronald Reagan
PG18 Ted Cruz
PG19 Mitt Romney
PG20 Mike Huckabee
PG21 Melania Trump
PG22 Joe Biden
PG23 Sarah Palin
PG24 Donald J. Trump (SP)

01LG Inscrip_FRPieces of America (stamp and quarter)
(hobby only)

PA1 Hillary Clinton (IL)
PA2 Donald Trump (NY)
PA3 Bernie Sanders (VT)
PA4 Marco Rubio (FL)
PA5 Ted Cruz (TX)
PA6 John Kasich (OH)
PA7 Ben Carson (MI)
PA8 Bill Clinton (AR)
PA9 George W. Bush (TX)
PA10 Barack Obama (HI)
PA11 Chris Christie (NJ)
PA12 Jeb Bush (FL)
PA13 Mitt Romney (UT)
PA14 Rand Paul (KY)
PA15 Mike Huckabee (AR)
PA16 Martin O’Malley (MD)
PA17 Mike Bloomberg (NY)
PA18 Ronald Reagan (CA)
PA19 Carly Fiorina (VA)
PA20 Sarah Palin (AK)
PA21 Joe Biden (PA)


Money Card (shredded money from Federal Reserve)
(hobby only)
MO1 Barack Obama
MO2 Ben Carson
MO3 Bernie Sanders
MO4 Bill Clinton
MO5 Carly Fiorina
MO6 Chris Christie
MO7 Donald Trump
MO8 George W. Bush
MO9 Hillary Clinton
MO10 Jeb Bush
MO11 John Kasich
MO12 Marco Rubio
MO13 Michael Bloomberg
MO14 Martin O’Malley
MO15 Mike Huckabee
MO16 Rand Paul
MO17 Ronald Reagan
MO18 Ted Cruz


2 thoughts on “Decision 2016 trading cards have look of landmark release

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