article image

History of Air Jordan Retro Cards

4.88 / 5 4 VOTES
post-desclaimer-icon This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. The opinions and information provided on this site are original editorial content of Sneaker News.

The deep stories and events that shadow every Air Jordan in history is what made the Retro such a booming success, and as far back as 1994, Nike made sure that we were reminded of the message behind each design. Since the first Air Jordan Retros in 1994 during MJ’s first retirement to all OG and Retro colorways that hit stores in the late 90’s and 2000’s, a tw0-sided post-card detailing a brief history of the shoe as well as an iconic flashback image of the times came included with the shoes; these cards have been referred to as Retro Cards, and while some may have not given them much though, some sneaker collectors did their best to gather them all. With the Air Jordan Retro Card making a surprising come-back with the upcoming Air Jordan VIII Retros and the possibility of more Retro Cards with future Retro releases, it’s about time we took a look back at every single Retro Card that Nike ever put out – from the first ones in 1994, to the latest ones that came accompanied with a Doernbecher release. Enjoy this throwback piece below and let us know which you’re missing from your set!

Air Jordan 1 – 1994, 2001-2004, and 2007.

The Retro Card dates back to 1994 when the Air Jordan 1 was among three Air Jordans to re-release that year. These Retro cards are larger than the ones we’ve come to know as they were nearly the size of the box lid.

A second version picturing the memorable playground photo was used in Retro releases between 2001 and 2004 as well as 2007.

Air Jordan II – 1994, 2004, and 2007

The Air Jordan II also featured the larger Retro Cards when this model was brought back in 1994.

A second version was utilized for the 2004 Retro releases.

A third version of the Air Jordan II Retro Card was included in the release of the Air Jordan II “Doernbecher”.

Air Jordan III – 1994, 2001, 2003, and 2006

The large edition of the Retro Card was used for the 1994 Retro releases.

The second Free-Throw Line photo would be used for the later Retro releases in 2001, 2003, and 2006/2007.

Air Jordan IV – 1999 and 2006/2007

The 1999 Air Jordan IV Retro was the first Air Jordan Retro after Michael officially retired from the Bulls in 1998. The legendary playground photo would be used for the ’99 releases as well as the 2006/2007 Retros.

Air Jordan V – 1999/2000 and 2006/2007

The famous Wings poster would represent the Air Jordan V during the 1999/2000 and 2006/2007 Retro releases.

This special version of the Air Jordan V Retro Card was used exclusively on the Laney release in 2000.

Air Jordan VI – 2000 and 2002

This cartoonized illustration of Michael was used for the 2000 and 2002 Retro releases.

Air Jordan VII – 2002, 2004, and 2006

The Air Jordan VII Retro Card comes in three varieties – the first for the 2002 Retro releases of the “True Red” and “French Blue”.

A second version was made in 2004 for the release of the Olympics…

…and this third Black/White photo of MJ was used for the 2006 Retros.

Air Jordan VIII – 2003, 2007

Michael flying through space in the Aqua was the Retro Card photo for both the 2003 and 2007 Retro releases.

Air Jordan IX – 2002

With no in-game shots of Jordan wearing the Air Jordan IX existence (he was retired), the 2002 Retros of the Air Jordan IX featured this popular print-ad with Jordan rocking UNC gear.

Air Jordan X – 2005

Michael Jordan’s comeback shoe was re-released in 2005 in various colorways. This Retro Card features the shoes during an NBA game and is the only Retro Card for the corresponding model in which Jordan’s face is not pictured.

Air Jordan XI – 2001, 2003, and 2007

The earliest version of the Air Jordan XI Retro Card came with the 2000 and 2001 Retro releases of the Concord and Cool Grey.

The second version of the XI Retro Card is clearly of the IE Low; these were distributed with the 2003 Retros.

The third and final XI Retro Card again depicts the XI IE Low – this one coming with the 2007 Retro releases.

Air Jordan XII – 2003 and 2009

2003 marked the year of the Air Jordan XII Retro and the debut of the Retro Cards. MJ, wearing Taxis, is seen dishing the ball.



The controversial “Rising Suns” featured an original Michael Jordan poster from 1997.



The 2009 release of the Flu Games featured this new Retro Card with the Flu Game logo.

Air Jordan XIII – 2004

The Air Jordan XIII first Retroed in 2004 and features the fierce imagery of MJ and a Black Cat – an animalistic persona that Jordan felt he had.

Air Jordan XIV – 2007

The Retro Card for the Air Jordan XIV came in 2005 with all of the new and OG colorways that hit that year. Depicted is Michael Jordan’s historic “Last Shot”.

Air Jordan XV

The Air Jordan XV is the most recent Air Jordan design to feature a Retro card. It came with the 2007 Retro releases and features the signature Woven material as the backdrop.

Photos: hhhcommunity/defy