Tupac, Biggie, Mindless Behavior Among Platinum League's New Interactive Hip-Hop Trading Cards

5:07 PM PST 04/17/2012 by Gail Mitchell, Billboard

The series will be available May 1 with a variety of custom content, including key stats, career milestones and instant prizes.

Mindless Behavior, Diggy Simmons, Snoop Dogg, Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. are among the first 100 artists featured in the new Platinum League Trading Card Series (platinumleague.com) launching on May 1. Billed as the "first-ever interactive hip-hop trading cards," the series offers custom content, instant prizes and entry into a national sweepstakes.

Available at major retailers including Target, Walmart, 7-11, Best Buy and Hot Topic, the Platinum League Trading Card Series is also being promoted by a television commercial that will debut April 23 across cable outlets including MTV, BET, VH1, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. The spot will feature Mindless Behavior, Simmons and Snoop Dogg's daughter, singer Cori B.

Priced at $3.79, each pack of Platinum League Trading cards includes five randomly chosen artist cards and a sixth prize card. The front of each custom-designed artist card features an exclusive photo of the artist or group, while the back is comprised of the act's bio information and various career highlights. A limited number of cards will also be autographed. In the case of Tupac and Biggie, their respective mothers -- Afeni Shakur and Voletta Wallace -- have signed their sons' cards.

Each artist card also comes with a custom QR code icon that enables the music fan to download a diverse array of exclusive content from the artist, including video messages. Fans must first download the League Media Player, a free proprietary app available now to all iPhone and smartphone users. Launching with the "Self-Made" series, Platinum League will unveil a new card series every 90 days, updated with fresh custom content. Next in the series' pipeline: "Hustle Hard" and "Candy Land." 


The aforementioned sixth card sports a web link that lets consumers know which instant prize they've won. These prizes range from music, ringtone and screen-saver downloads to concert tickets, apparel and accessories. This card also allows consumers to enter The Platinum League Sweepstakes, whose prizes at the end of each 90-day cycle will run the gamut from private birthday bashes and backstage passes to watches. The sweepstakes' grand prize: a 2012 Chevy Camaro.

Platinum League Trading Card Series is the brainchild of owner/CEO William Green, who began working on the venture in 2003. "This is the future of where music is going," says Green of his taking sports and Pokemon trading cards to the next level. He notes that his card series encompasses everyone from the "top tier" of leading hip-hop artists to "the fresh faces, the next Lil Waynes."

"This is really cool, bringing some of the old-school factor back in terms of fans collecting and trading cards," said Mindless Behavior member Roc Royal during a break from filming the commercial in Los Angeles on Friday (April 13).

He and other members of the R&B/hip-hop group -- Princeton, Prodigy, Ray Ray -- are also working on the teen quartet's sophomore follow-up to 2011's #1 Girl. That set debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200, No. 2 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and has sold 251,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Later this year, BET will premiere The Mindless Behavior Project, a film documenting the boy band's burgeoning success.

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