|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2009)|
SkyBox International Inc. was an American trading card manufacturing company based in Durham, North Carolina. A subsidiary of Vector Group, it was originally formed as Impel Marketing in 1989. In 1992, the company was renamed SkyBox International. For the next few years, they produced trading cards for the National Football League and National Basketball Association.
SkyBox also produced many licensed non-sports trading cards, including sets for Disney, Star Trek and Marvel Comics. The Lion King cards for Disney were among the most successful card sets ever produced.
Other series were created under a master license for DC Comics. This began with Cosmic Cards (1991) and Cosmic Teams (1993), followed by Milestone: The Dakota Universe (1993) and sets that included Superman, Batman, Sandman and Vertigo.
During the 1990s, Skybox produced at least one trading card set per month. In 1995, SkyBox was acquired by Fleer, a subsidiary of Marvel Entertainment Group at the time. Fleer continued to produce sets under the SkyBox brand. NBA Hoops and other NBA cards were card collector favorites. In 2005, following Fleer's bankruptcy proceedings, the Fleer brand name was acquired by Upper Deck.
One of the first card companies on the Internet, SkyBox branched into multimedia, producing CD-ROM collectibles and games. With Skyborg: Into the Vortex, the company stated, "SkyBox is well-known for its marketing and technological innovations, of which this first-ever interactive, multimedia card line, which is also SkyBox's first CD-ROM product, is only the most recent example."