Collector score: **** (4 Stars)
Prices reflect value in Near Mint condition
Alta Loma were made for just one year, 1995. Dimensions are 2.5 x 3.5 inches.
The last known tobacco cards ever issued, one card was placed in each package of 4 hand-rolled cigars under the brand name “Alta Loma Premiums” during that year. The company reportedly operated during the mid 1990s in Tampa, Florida.
On the other hand, I have also been told that the product was created and packaged, but the company was unable to find a distributor and went out of business. A few boxes were apparently sold locally before the project folded, quantity unknown.
Regardless of the questions about their pedigree, by all accounts they are high quality cards.
The cards are thick and sturdy, printed on pasteboard with monochrome fronts and spot color on the backs. They are cogently written and seem to have been well researched.
Alta Lomas are all serial-numbered up to #50 – no more than 50 of each card was created.
The subjects are baseball players, actresses, boxers, football players, and other famous personalities. Known cards as of the date of this post are: Ty Cobb, Floyd Patterson, Rick Casares, Al Lopez, Babe Ruth, Pete Rose, Willie Mays, Carole Lombard, Brooks Robinson, and Paul Hornung.
Considering that these are probably the last tobacco cards which will ever be issued, and the small number of cards printed, they have some collectible value. If the venture had been successful, they would be worth a lot more. Even so, in near-mint condition, they should probably retail for $20 and up for “commons” and more for the big name players.
The cards have a nice feel to them, using cardboard similar to that used in the early 1950s Topps cards.