In 1991, just after the enormous success of 1990 Leaf Baseball as Donruss’ entry into the ‘premium’ card market, the other companies were looking to launch a high-end line of cards. Fleer put together a set that was to be called ‘Elite‘ but because Donruss already had a major insert set by the same name, Fleer was forced to change the name to ‘Ultra‘ just before release.
The above images are from a 1991 SCD Basketball, Football, Hockey Collector magazine ad. This is the best image that’s out there for these samples, as far as I know. Notice how the card logos are blacked-out, recalling Fleer’s Bill Ripken bat-handle editing technique. I have no idea whether this is the doing of the dealers who were running the ads, possibly at Fleer’s behest, or if Fleer sent them samples or mock-ups with the blacked-out logos.
Makes you wonder if any physical samples are out there. Either blacked-out or with the Elite logos. I know I’d love to add a Robin Ventura to my collection!