In 1990, The Liggett Group Inc., a U.S. tobacco company, announced it would change its name to Brooke Group Ltd. and split into two subsidiaries, Liggett Group Inc. and Impel Marketing Inc. Liggett covered the tobacco business, while Impel covered its non-tobacco activities. At the time of the announcement, the company had small businesses in collectible football and basketball cards as well as confectionery products, both of which used the same distribution channels as cigarettes. Impel was to be headquartered in Durham, North Carolina and was expected to broaden the scope of the company's sports and entertainment business.
Impel Marketing changed its name to SkyBox International Inc. in April 1992. That same year, the company appointed Magic Johnson as its spokesperson. In June 1993, SkyBox started making milk caps under the name SkyCaps beginning with DC SkyCaps. Later that year, Brooke Group, Inc. spun SkyBox off as a NASDAQ traded public company.
In 1995, Marvel Entertainment Group, a comic book publisher and maker of Fleer baseball and hockey cards, purchased SkyBox for $150 million. Marvel merged SkyBox and Fleer as Fleer/SkyBox International.
SkyBox produced many licensed non-sports trading cards, including sets for Disney, Star Trek and Marvel Comics. SkyBox also produced SkyCaps, its milk caps games brand. Cap series included DC Comics characters, Jurassic Park, Batman: Knightfall, and a National Football League series.
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."
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- "Will Cardboard Caps From Milk Bottles Become Cream Of All". Hartford Courant. Times Mirror Company. July 26, 1993. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
- Norris, Floyd (October 8, 1993). "Market Place; The Brooke Group thinks more of a spinoff than the market does". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
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