Bench Warmer International
Bench Warmer International is a company that produces trading cards featuring female models. Bench Warmer International is a manufacturers and distributor of collectible trading cards in the U.S. Its motto is "Trading Cards Never Looked So Good". Models are generally featured in swimsuits, wearing baseball gloves or football helmets. A few of the first models featured were Baywatch actresses Cory Givens and Traci Bingham.
Founded in 1992, Bench Warmer International, Inc. is the creation of Connie Lolan Woods, who was also the star of the "Women of the World" card set. After much disagreement when it was discovered that Wallos had secretly packaged product, was selling it through his other corporation and then lending the money back to Bench Warmer, Inc. and after a startling legal battle, the Bench Warmer brand was stolen by her partner, Brian Wallos .
Many trading card collectors see the Woods Bench Warmer trading card set as the beginning of 'tasteful' model cards. Series and releases following Wood's departure have met with low sales and much disdain from fans .
Most series typically consist of 100 cards. These series traditionally include 60 different model cards, complete with "stats", biographical information on each model, "Replay" cards, "Double Play" cards, "Series 2 Preview" cards and checklist cards for the enthusiast collector.
Insert cards tend to feature Authentic Bikini Swatch Cards cards with a piece of a bikini worn by Bench Warmer celebrities. To increase collectibility, 25 cards are signed by each celebrity. Other inserts include 20 different autographed cards; 12 "All American Chromium" cards; eight "Hottie Chromium" cards; and eight 5" x 7" "Jumbo" cards.
To this day, Connie Lolan Woods' caricature (a billowy-haired girl in a baseball uniform seen from behind) still appears as the Bench Warmer logo as is the preference of Wallos.
Over the years, models who have appeared on the wrappers and boxes throughout the years have included Jaime Bergman, Brande Roderick, Nikki Schieler, Victoria Silvstedt and Valentina. Reality television star Megan Hauserman also has appeared on several Benchwarmer cards. In looking to capitalize on the popularity of inserts commonly found in sports cards (for example, autographed and jersey cards), Benchwarmer would release their own insert cards featuring bikini swatches and autographs.
The models who have appeared on the Benchwarmer cards themselves have been a veritable who's who of Playboy models and past WWE Divas including Christy Hemme, Torrie Wilson and Candice Michelle. TNA Knockouts have recently been seen in the 2008 Signature Series set and they include Traci Brooks, Gail Kim, and Christy Hemme.
Appearances by Playmates
- "Bench Warmer Trading Cards Salute 2008 Presidential Race With Limited Edition Political Satire Cards" (Press release). Market Wire. 2008-10-21. Retrieved 2009-06-24.