Innova Champion Edition (CE) History

I wanted to take the time to save all of Rick Black’s memories about Champion Edition all in one place. Thank you Rick for relaying this information!

Direct From Innova during the end of CE 2/4/03:

-Through many communications from our valued INNOVA customers and with many improvements to INNOVA products. We have defined the new line up of disc products for 2003.
Unfortunately, we have not been as skilled at communicating as we have been at disc-making. In recent months, our top of the line discs have changed names, changed looks, and now, changed prices. These changes have confused Innova throwers and dealers alike, prompting many questions, such as: “What’s up with all the changes?” Over the summer and fall of 2002, we were running out of the material we used for several of the Pro discs. We thought, “No problem, we will just add more of the CE-type material, making the pro discs last longer.” Eventually, we completely ran out of the Pro material. At this point, Pro discs were virtually identical to CE. Many companies in a variety of industries have no problem selling the same product at different price points, but we could not. So we decided to discontinue the more expensive one (CE), and we changed the name of the beautiful, see-through, super durable discs to Candy Pro.
-“What’s the difference between CE, Candy Pro, and Champion?”These are different names that describe the same type of discs. Champion Edition (CE) is the old name; Candy Pro is the current name; Champion is the name that we will soon start using. All three are made from essentially the same super durable material. However, due to improved molding techniques, the current runs of these top-of the-line discs cost less, look sweeter, and are more consistently available.
-“How does Candy Pro differ from Pro?” Candy Pro are the super durable clear and pearlescent top-of-the-line discs. Pro discs are the white, stiff or super “grippy” discs that we’ve sold for years such as the KC Roc and JK Aviar Putter. There’s no mistaking the Pro and Candy Pro once you see them, but having two Pro lines is inherently confusing. That’s one of the reasons we are changing the name of the top-of-the-line discs to Champion.
-“Is Innova going to settle on names for 2003, and if so, what will they be?” Yes. Our three lines for 2003 will be DX, Pro, and Champion. We are in the process of creating new Champion artwork right now.
-“Will there be any other changes for 2003?” Undoubtedly. For 20 years, Innova has pulled the disc golf market forward technologically. 2003 will be no different. Already, the Beast and Monster are ravaging course records.
-During this period of change, there will be some confusion. The confusion will be particularly acute as we sell-through the remaining Candy Pro stamped discs and transition to Champion stamps. We apologize for this. We will do all we can to minimize confusion. We appreciate your past support and look forward to meeting your needs this year. Hopefully, in 2003 we will better match our communication efforts with our disc-making skills. As a result of the new disc line up we have also made appropriate price adjustments for 2003. The prices for DX and Pro discs have remained unchanged. The prices for our top of the line discs have actually declined from last year, reflecting improved production techniques.

 

From Rick Black:

So I get a lot of questions and see a lot of posts about what is CE? I also see a lot of things mislabeled or folks just generalize as CE era etc… So I’m going to share some info that I’ve researched and collected over the years. This info comes from my time as vendor with Innova during the early 2000’s and is straight from the factories and conversations with Dave, Harold, JP, Tim and other employees.

CE and the CE era (2000-2002). CE discs were 1st introduced at the 2000 Worlds flymart in the form of the 1 of 60 SE/CE Teebirds. A new polymer blend Dave was experimenting with, making them more durable than anything before. The response was positive and the next 2 molds, Valks and Gazelles, went into production. These protos were released in September of 2000. The “first runs” of the original big 5 molds were sent to retailers and vendors in December 2000. The final run CE Teebirds were released in September 2002. This is also the final run of anything CE. Both warehouses still had some inventory left in stock and the announcement to discontinue was made in February of 2003. All remaining stock was gone from East by mid spring of 2003.
The original Big 5 molds were Valks, Teebirds, Eagles, Fireirds and Leopards. There were other molds made that were part of a fundraising campaign offered. Some of these other molds were Rocs, Aviars, Spiders, Rhynos, Cheetahs, Gazelles, Aeros, Sharks, Classic Rocs. Plus the 3 Millennium molds, QJLS, QMS, QOmega.

 

Another Write Up from Rick Black:

CE Plastic 101 – The beginning. In early 2000 Dunipace started playing around with a new plastic formula which was going to be more durable than anything released before. With this new batch they ran 60 Teebirds ( the 1 of 60). Since CE hadn’t been termed yet, they stamped these discs with the Special Edition Teebird stamp. Out of the original 60, only 30 were deemed suitable for sale. 30 were destroyed. Of the remaining 30, about half went to team members for testing, the remaining went with Dave to the 2000 Worlds for sale. $25 each.

This new plastic would go on to become CE plastic after favorable reviews. After the 1 of 60’s, Innova ran another larger batch of test discs, the original CE Gazelles. The next in line were what I call the 1st run CE Valkyries, also referred to as the proto run. This initial batch of Valks consisted of aprox. 2000 total discs. 1800 Reds and the 200 “TRUE” Blueberry. These were 1st released at the 2000 Socal Am Championships. Most were stamped with the original star stamp with very limited quantites ran with the Zonedriven stamp (aprox. 2 dozen in each color), the 2001 Icebowl stamp (aprox. 2 dozen blues with this stamp) and a small number of reds going to Chris Himing and stamped with the Texas 10 logo.

Opacity changed from the original teebirds which were clear or cloudy to the 1st production runs of the familiar molds. This change to the opaque was a direct result of the weighting agent used, most notably beryllium.

 

Questions:

Q: So the CE Cobra, (Gold-110, Black-190 and Smoke-12?) were part of the original big 5 molds produced in this narrow time window?

A: This is a tricky one. They were not part of the original big 5. These were actually released the summer of 03. However when talking about their release Dave called them CE when in fact they were some of the first Champs. He did this on the old PDGA Discussion board. Kind of hard to correct the creator and it’s just stuck all this time. In 03 there was a lot of confusion about the plastics and what they were going to call them. This also holds true of many other discs that are often labeled CE, when in fact they were called ‘candy’, or Champion. There were never any CE vipers, or CE Whippets.

Q: What about other Millennium molds?

A: Not 100% sure, but from what others are stating from their knowledge: Some 1.6 EXP’s, all 1.7 EXP’s, and 1.13 PLS, are CE. There were not any CE QPLS.

Q: What about the Stingray?

A: Released in 2003 and not CE