This year's winner was a no-brainer. Even though there were only two entrants in this year's contest (an all-time low that speaks volumes about the current state of blogging), PunkRockPaint would have beaten 1,000 contestants with his hands tied behind his back. Let's take a look at what he sent.
Hmmm, looks like an ordinary, harmless box of 1991 Fleer, the unfairly maligned yellow set, the type you can pick up for about $5.00 at any card show.
Aha! Here's where things get interesting. The box came with a well-encased checklist card. The back of this card let me know that this is a special limited edition box of 1991 Fleer. Each pack comes with a special Choose Your Own Adventure card. You can read the cards like a story, beginning with card #666. If I've lost you at this point, I should explain that CYOA was a children's book series that allowed readers to make decisions that would alter the events of the story. Kids would typically read these until they got a favorable ending, although it was often more fun to be crushed by a giant rock or devoured by a satanic sasquatch than emerge the hero.
I've only opened two packs so far, but here's my first CYOA card, #578 George Canale.
And here's the back. We get an out-of-context slice of the story, and we can see that George has become a zombie.
The other card I've gotten so far is #712 Dale Sveum. This looks like an ending to the story, as there are no choices to be made.
I have to say I'm loving the CYOA graphic, clearly modeled after the Super Star Specials of the '80s and early-'90s. The cards are like real cards, indistinguishable from the ones in the original set. I'm utterly amazed at the effort that was put forth here, that someone would go to the lengths of creating an entire story and sending an entire box of cards. In the near future, I will be presenting the box in its entirety, set up in such a way that readers of this blog can click through their own story choices. Congratulations, PunkRockPaint, you have truly outdone yourself this year! A prize package will be on its way soon.