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, and in a startling contractual upset, the Bench Warmer brand was transferred to 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 nude 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.
Cindy Margolis auction
An e-Bay auction featuring a "Bikini Swatch Card" autographed by Cindy Margolis netted $335 in an auction on eBay.com. The card was numbered #22 out of only 25 autographed. It was sold in a 25-bid auction that began at $5 and climbed all the way to $335. In addition to being a signed and numbered limited edition, the "Swatch" card features a piece of a bathing suit that was actually worn by Margolis, once known as the web's "Most Downloaded Woman."
Appearances by Playmates
- Sara Jean Underwood
- Megan Hauserman
- Tamara Witmer
- Katie Lohmann
- Jaime Bergman
- Lauren Michelle Hill
- Tina Marie Jordan
- Brande Roderick
- Nikki Schieler
- Victoria Silvstedt
- Tiffany Taylor
- Colleen Shannon
- Devin DeVasquez
- "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.
- "Cindy Margolis Bench Warmer Swatch Card Fetches $335 on eBay!" (Press release). Business Wire. 2002-12-19. Retrieved 2009-06-24.
- Sieberg, Daniel (2000-09-08). "Guinness Records revises 'Most Downloaded Woman' title". CNN. Retrieved 2009-06-24.
- Bench Warmer official website
- Benchwarmer "Back-to-School" Party, Hollywood, CA - May 28, 2009
- Benchwarmer Party, Hollywood, CA - April 17, 2009
- Cindy Margolis Bench Warmer Swatch Card Fetches $335 on eBay!
- Benchwarmer Holiday Party 2008 on Fox 11 News - Part 1
- Benchwarmer Holiday Party 2008 on Fox 11 News - Part 2