Skip to content
A guide to collecting the best Michael Jordan cards
Articles

Top 10 Michael Jordan Cards - Late 90's Inserts

A guide to the top 10 Michael Jordan inserts from the late 1990's.
This website is user supported. Clicking some links and making a purchase may result in the site earning a commission. Affiliations include but are not limited to eBay. This does not affect editorial content.

This post began as an attempt to decide upon my top ten Michael Jordan insert cards from the 1990’s - Jordan’s heyday era with two three-peat championships. However it quickly became clear this was going to be an impossible task to accomplish due to the abundance of quality Jordans available from the era!

Luckily, the basketball card inserts from the 1990’s can be conveniently broken into two timeframes: 1990-95 and 1995-99. Inserts from the early 90’s maintain an old school, sentimental feel for many collectors while inserts from the later 90’s feature high quality, high value cards sought after by the most serious Michael Jordan cards collectors.

So I will break this post into two - this first one taking a look at my personal top 10 Michael Jordan inserts from the late 1990’s. Of course I was still unable to limit my list to 10 inserts so I’ve included a series of 7 notable mentions to kick the list off.

Here is the second post - top 10 Michael Jordan inserts of the early 90’s.

TL;DR - just show me the Jordans!

My top ten Michael Jordan cards from the late 90's including some nice retro release options.

Please bear in mind that I’m focussing on straight insert cards - this list will not include any of the amazing autograph or patch memorabilia cards available from the era. I’ll save those for a post another day.

By the 1995-96 season the quality and rarity of top shelf inserts began to skyrocket. We started seeing lenticular cards, seriously intricate die-cut cards, fascinating 3D foil effects and cards so rare that in some cases only 10 were made.

As a result, many of the cards in this list are very valuable. Any collection with even one or two of these cards will be spectacular.

So let’s kick off the countdown with 9 notable mentions that are far too awesome to leave out!

Notable Mention Michael Jordan Cards - Late 90’s Inserts

Notable mention: 1995-96 Michael Jordan Skyview

Manufactured by Hoops, card #SV1

The Hoops 95-96 Skyview cards feature a stunning, highly colourful semi-transparent insert within the card itself - absolutely spectacular when viewed through light!

Additionally the card features the same imagery on both sides - however instead of simply inverting the image (which would leave text and numbers reversed) the graphic designers have ensured all text displays correctly. This is quite cool to look at closely and a nice touch.

Generally the Hoops Skyview sells for around $70 - $100 so its not out of reach of most Jordan collectors and a fine addition to your collection.

The Skyview is actually a parallel to the much less valuable Hoops Power Palette which doesn’t feature the semi-transparent insert which gives the Skyview its name.

95-96 Michael Jordan Skyview
95-96 Michael Jordan Skyview
A very nice semi-transparent window and inverted image on the back - while keeping the jersey from going back-to-front - sets this insert apart.
95-96 Michael Jordan Power Palette
95-96 Michael Jordan Power Palette
A simpler version of the Michael Jordan Skyview retaining the well designed front and back inverted photography.

Notable mention: 1998-99 Michael Jordan Linchpins

Manufactured by Metal Universe, card #8

The Metal Universe Linchpins cards feature a very cool and unique die-cut design. Unlike most die-cut cards where the shape of the card is cut into an intricate shape, the Linchpins feature small pins cut out of the body of the card itself.

Coupling this with the bright, industrial design of the rest of the card results in a standout piece in any collection!

The Michael Jordan Linchpins sells for around $350 - $400 so it is starting to push into the higher end of the spectrum. Generally this card is in good condition but be sure to check the die-cut edges.

98-99 Michael Jordan Linchpins
98-99 Michael Jordan Linchpins
Reminiscent of the 95-96 Meltdown, this insert adds some very nice linchpin die-cuts out of the body of the card.

Notable mention: 1997-98 Michael Jordan Triumvirate

Manufactured by Topps Stadium Club, card #T1B

Regular readers know how big of a fan I am of nice die-cut cards and the Stadium Club Triumvirates fit this bill perfectly!

These cards are actually designed to fit together in a series of three - hence the name Triumvirate. The die-cut shape of each card complements those either side. In the Bulls edition of the 97-98 Stadium Club Triumvirate is Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman featured on the three separate cards.

Additionally the cards are all available in Luminescent parallel versions which are much rarer than the standard versions. The Luminescent editions feature a coating similar to that of refractors and are highly sought after. The Luminescent Triumvirate was inserted at a rate of 1:192 packs.

Even rarer again is the Illuminator version! This version of the card parallel the Luminescent version and features semi-transparent acetate stock which show light through the non-foil parts of the card. The Triumvirate Illuminator was inserted at a rate of 1:384 packs.

I like what the seller has done in my sample image below placing the card over a printed page so you can clearly see the Illuminator acetate semi-transparency.

Sales prices are around $100 - $150 for the standard Triumvirate, around $300 - $400 for the Luminescent Triumvirate and up to $1000 for the Illuminator Triumvirate.

It can be hard to tell the difference between these cards when not seeing them in person so be careful before buying either of the parallel versions.

97-98 Michael Jordan Triumvirate
97-98 Michael Jordan Triumvirate
A finely die-cut Stadium Club insert designed to be joined together with other playmakers to form the triumvirate.
97-98 Michael Jordan Triumvirate Luminescent
97-98 Michael Jordan Triumvirate Luminescent
The Luminescent Triumvirate parallel featuring a refractor-like coating.
97-98 Michael Jordan Triumvirate Illuminator
97-98 Michael Jordan Triumvirate Illuminator
The Illuminator Triumvirate parallel featuring semi-transparent acetate stock.

Notable: 1998-99 Michael Jordan 3D’s

Manufactured by Skybox, card #4

Selling for $150 - $200 this is one of the cards a little easier to add your collection.

The Skybox Michael Jordan 3D’s features a single image of Michael Jordan displayed at differing sizes along a series of statistics and descriptions of Jordan’s style of play. The card itself is coated with a very cool foil effect which displays very nicely.

This is a must have card for the price and I believe a fine addition to any Michael Jordan cards collection.

98-99 Michael Jordan 3D's
98-99 Michael Jordan 3D's
Very nice use of a single photo in multiple executions along with flecks of striking foil. The card here is shown under light to make the foil fleck pop.

Notable mention: 1998-99 Michael Jordan Dunk ‘n Go Nuts

Manufactured by EX Century, card #15

The Triumvirate Illuminator isn’t the only acetate stock card to feature today. You can’t go past the EX Century Dunk ‘n Go Nuts acetate card when compiling a list of the top late 90’s Michael Jordan cards!

This card features a totally transparent background with high gloss type in the vein of the branding of Dunkin’ Donuts. It looks great in any collection and is quite a conversation piece.

Watch out for ‘gold’ or ‘orange’ versions as these are simply cards which have not aged well in the conditions in which they were stored or displayed. It’s worth noting that they do still grade well however.

Acetate cards tend to hold their condition well in corners and edges due to the strength of the plastic.

The 98-99 Michael Jordan Dunk ‘n Go Nuts sells for around $200 - $230.

98-99 Michael Jordan Dunk 'N Go-Nuts
98-99 Michael Jordan Dunk 'N Go-Nuts
Awesome acetate card focussing on dunking prowess. The card shown here is on a dark background to show off the transparency.

Notable mention: 1998-99 Michael Jordan Intimidation Nation

Manufactured by Skybox, card #1

The Skybox Intimidation Nation doesn’t feature any special effects like many of the other inserts in this list however it is a very cool card in its own right.

The Intimidation Nation insert set highlights close-up photography of the players and their intimidation of their opponents - a very cool and unique idea!

The cards are quite rare with a pack insert rate of 1:360 and command an equally high price at around $300.

Additionally there is a re-release version of this card as part of the 2011-12 Fleer Retro set which makes for a very cool side-by-side display.

98-99 Michael Jordan Intimidation Nation
98-99 Michael Jordan Intimidation Nation
An insert designed to give us a close-up view the of what the opposition of top NBA players face every time they take the court.
11-12 Fleer Retro Michael Jordan Intimidation Nation
11-12 Fleer Retro Michael Jordan Intimidation Nation
Nice college playing version of the 1998 Skybox Intimidation Nation.

Notable mention: 1998-99 Michael Jordan Takeit2.net

Manufactured by Flair, card #13

I’m a big fan of this card - in fact I’m in the process of developing a fan site around the domain name takeit2.net.

This card celebrates the boom of the internet with the play on words for the domain name of takeit2.net celebrating the whole, very cool set. All players in the set are given email addresses on the card with Michael Jordan receiving [email protected].

As with all of Flair’s productions, the card is printed on the thicker and more durable stock. The printed circuit board background features a high gloss foil which looks fantastic in person. Additionally, when the card is angled to the light, a very nice feature appears: the outline of a basketball hidden within the circuitry. And finally the card features a high impact photo of Jordan literally taking it to the net.

This one is a must have for all great collections - it sells for around $200 - $250 ungraded online.

98-99 Michael Jordan Takeit2.net
98-99 Michael Jordan Takeit2.net
Celebrating the emergence of the internet in the 90's this very nice card features rich green foil, circuit board imagery and a subtle basketball outline on the surface when angled.

Notable mention: 1998-99 Michael Jordan Noyz Boyz

Manufactured by Skybox Thunder, card #9

The Skybox Thunder Noyz Boys set features a very cool die-cut design with a lenticular-like coating giving the cards a varying colouration and texture depending on the angle of view.

The card displays fantastically especially given that you can display the re-release version from the 2011-12 Fleer Retro set alongside it!

98-99 Michael Jordan Game Noyz Boyz
98-99 Michael Jordan Game Noyz Boyz
The die-cut is nice, the surface glimmers and the photography pairs perfectly with the card design in this well respected insert.
11-12 Fleer Retro Michael Jordan Noyz Boyz
11-12 Fleer Retro Michael Jordan Noyz Boyz
Retro version of the Michael Jordan Skybox Thunder Noyz Boyz.

Notable: Michael Jordan Thunder and Lightning Cards

Manufactured by Skybox, cards #1 and #5

I’m fairly sure the Thunder and Lightning cards would not be mentioned with most people’s list of top 10 Michael Jordan late 90’s inserts however I think they are very nice and worth a notable mention. This is possibly partially due to the fact in my early days of collecting the 1993-94 Skybox Shaquille O’Neal / Anfernee Hardaway Thunder and Lightning was one of my favourite cards. So the opportunity to own two Michael Jordan versions of the Thunder and Lightning is very cool.

There are two options: the 1996-97 and 1997-98 Thunder and Lightning cards. The 1996-97 Thunder and Lightning features Michael Jordan on the outside with an inner card of Scottie Pippen on the inside - a very cool and unique feature. This means you have to watch condition however at only around $25 the card isn’t too risky.

The showpiece, however, is the very nice 1997-98 Michael Jordan Thunder and Lightning. This one is much rarer and commands prices in the realm of $125 - $175. It features Michael Jordan alone (unlike all other Thunder and Lightning sets which featured two players) and has a really nice foil overlay with some nice graphics slightly reminiscent of the 1993-94 Michael Jordan Scoring Kings.

96-97 Michael Jordan Thunder and Lightning
96-97 Michael Jordan Thunder and Lightning
A dual piece card shared with Scottie Pippen.
97-98 Michael Jordan Thunder and Lightning
97-98 Michael Jordan Thunder and Lightning
A similar design to the legendary 93 Scoring Kings: lightning, shimmering foil and excellent photography.

Top 10 Michael Jordan Cards - Late 90’s Inserts

Now that we’ve taken a look at the quality cards too good to completely exclude from a list like this you know the actual top 10 Michael Jordan inserts from the 90’s will be amazing!

As with all top 10 lists, this is a list of my personal favourite Michael Jordan inserts from the late 90’s. I’m keen to hear your thoughts and top 10 cards.

10: 1995-96 Hot Numbers

Manufactured by Flair, card #4

The Flair Hot Numbers set highlights some of the numbers and statistics from Michael Jordan’s career in a very cool lenticular fashion. As you view the card and differing angles you see movement within the card which is a real standout.

The card is presented on Flair’s thicker stock with the lenticular coating strengthening it further - its a card quite easy to find in very nice condition.

I highly recommend the Michael Jordan Hot Numbers for a standout showpiece in your collection especially given the card isn’t too expensive at between $150 and $200 ungraded and sold online.

95-96 Michael Jordan Hot Numbers
95-96 Michael Jordan Hot Numbers
A lenticular design with such depth it has to be seen to be believed.

9: 1996-97 A Cut Above

Manufactured by E-X2000, card #5 If you’re a fan of die-cuts then the E-X2000 A Cut Above cards are for you!

These cards feature a high quality die-cut design with a saw blade in the background overlaid with a very nice coloured foil effect. Its a real talking piece in any nice Jordan cards collection.

It is a somewhat rare card and sells for around $650 - $700 ungraded online.

You can also look at the 2011-12 Fleer Retro A Cut Above which features the same design with Jordan in his college uniform - a very nice side-by-side piece and considerably cheaper at around $100!

Watch out for issues with the die-cut edges when buying ungraded.

96-97 E-X2000 Michael Jordan A Cut Above
96-97 E-X2000 Michael Jordan A Cut Above
Spectacular circular saw styled die-cut with a very nice foil overlay.
11-12 Fleer Retro Michael Jordan A Cut Above
11-12 Fleer Retro Michael Jordan A Cut Above
Precision die-cutting is shown on this revival of the 1996 Skybox insert.

8: Michael Jordan Playmakers Theatre

Manufactured by Fleer Tradition, card #9

Though the 1998-99 Fleer Tradition Michael Jordan Playmakers Theatre does have a less flashy design than many of it’s late 90’s counterparts - this is a very highly sough after and respected card. The design features a somewhat cultured feel with a nice emboss that needs to be seen in person to be truly appreciated.

It commemorates Jordan’s playmaking prowess - I quite like the quote on the back: “You’ve seen the footage for 13 years and it still hasn’t gotten boring.” Too right!

It is limited to only 100 copies so doesn’t show up for sale often - though there is a retro version available also.

Be careful with this card when purchasing online. There are copies of the card (some of which have been graded) which are not embossed, are not stamped with a serial number and have a matte finish. Rumour is that the cards were purchased as unused complete sheets when Fleer auctioned its assets and these copies where then cut from the sheets.

To make it more confusing there are also available embossed copies (supposedly ‘backups’ in case Fleer needed to replace any pack pulled copies) which are not numbered.

Just make sure to view the serial number of any copy you’re looking to buy if you want to ensure you’re buying the true, pack pulled copy. Otherwise, as the non-numbered copies where produced by Fleer, you may be happy with those copies also.

98-99 Michael Jordan Playmakers Theatre
98-99 Michael Jordan Playmakers Theatre
An elegant design with a nice emboss and serial numbered to only 100 copies.

7: Michael Jordan Big Man on Court Cards

Manufactured by Skybox Z-Force, card #4 and #9

There are three Skybox Z-Force Big Man/Men on Court cards which I highly recommend for any top Michael Jordan late 90’s insert collection: the 1996-97 standard Big Man on Court, the 1996-97 Z-Peat Big Man on Court and the 1997-98 Michael Jordan Big Men on Court.

The 1996-97 Big Man on Court features a stunning high colour, highly intricate die-cut design which looks great in all Michael Jordan cards collections. There is a very rare parallel version in the Z-Peat parallel which features a spectacular foil overlay. These cards sell in the realm of $200 - $300 and $600 - $700 respectively.

Additionally there is the 1997-98 Big Men on Court which is a very cool and very rare card. It is quite plain in comparison to the 1996-97 Big Man on Court, however I think the restraint and subtleness shown with this card is elegant and effective.

As with many cards in this list we don’t have to stop there! There are a further two Big Man/Men on Court cards you can couple with these in your collection - those release as part of the Fleer Retro sets. The retro cards feature the same designs as the original Big Man/Men on Court cards however show Jordan playing in his college uniform.

96-97 Michael Jordan Big Man on Court
11-12 Fleer Retro Michael Jordan Big Man on Court
11-12 Fleer Retro Michael Jordan Big Man on Court
Retro version of the Michael Jordan Big Man on Court.
97-98 Michael Jordan Big Men on Court
97-98 Michael Jordan Big Men on Court
A very nice surface treatment and a subtle net-like overlay gives the BMOC from 1997 serious eye-appeal.

6: Michael Jordan Star Rubies

Manufactured by Skybox, card #29, #235 and #23

The SkyBox Star Rubies Michael Jordan cards are stunning parallel cards of the basic Skybox sets. The cards were limited to a print run of only 50 cards and are extremely well sought after.

By far my favourite is the 1998-99 SkyBox Premium Star Rubies #23 Michael Jordan. This card features a unique foil design along with a high gloss deep etched photo as well as the beautiful ruby foil effect on the lettering and Skybox logo we’ve come to love of the Star Rubies series.

As well as the 1998-99 Star Rubies, the cards #29 and #235 of the 1997-98 set are also worth a mention. Also featuring high foil and high colour photography these are spectacular additions.

These cards stand out in any collection and are certainly worth the effort to try and track down. And finally - there are retro versions also available which can help fill the void if you don’t have any of the late 90’s versions.

98-99 Michael Jordan Star Rubies
98-99 Michael Jordan Star Rubies
Grain-like foil and Skybox's signature subtle ruby foil accents.
97-98 Michael Jordan Star Rubies
97-98 Michael Jordan Star Rubies
Spectacular foil and subtle ruby accents coupled with excellent design by Skybox. Parallel of the base card and limited to 50 copies.
97-98 Michael Jordan Star Rubies Team Skybox
97-98 Michael Jordan Star Rubies Team Skybox
Another fine example of foil and ruby accent use in this sub-set parallel card. Limited to 50 copies.

5: 1996-97 Michael Jordan Hot Shots

Manufactured by Flair Showcase, card #1

Featuring the vibrant colours and flame die-cut design the Hot Shots is a card that will always standout.

The card sells for around $400 - $500 ungraded online.

96-97 Michael Jordan Hot Shots
96-97 Michael Jordan Hot Shots
One of the most intricate, well designed Jordan die-cuts of all time.

4: Michael Jordan Golden Touch Cards

Manufactured by Skybox, card #5 and #1

Once again a stunning design and rare card which piques huge interest gets released in consecutive years.

The Michael Jordan Golden Touch cards are available as part of the 1996-97 and 1997-98 Skybox sets.

Both cards feature amazingly intricate die-cut designs and golden foil and texture that has to be seen in person.

They aren’t as expensive as you might think - the 1996-97 version can be bought for around $150 - $200 and the 1997-98 around $400.

There is also the 2011-12 Fleer Retro re-release featuring a design similar to the 1997-98 Golden Touch with Jordan playing in his college uniform. This card can be bought for between $70 and $100.

96-97 Michael Jordan Golden Touch
96-97 Michael Jordan Golden Touch
A beautiful die-cut couples with amazing etched gold foil and supreme iconic Jordan action photo.
13-14 Fleer Retro Michael Jordan Golden Touch
13-14 Fleer Retro Michael Jordan Golden Touch
Retro version of the Michael Jordan Skybox Golden Touch.