By Rick Black
Copied from Innova Collector group, Facebook post on 2/16/2017
So I get a lot of questions and see a lot of posts about what is CE and what is Ching? 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 conversatiosn 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.
The Ching stamp story. (1997-2003) Ching is a company started in Charlotte in 1997. The founder, Mike Holgate, had discovered a new way to stamp discs using a computer generated design and a new application process. An end result of the process was a flattening of the top flight plate during the application and a certain feel to the top flight plate which was the result of a protectant added afterwards to help preserve the stamp. The 1st Ching stamped discs released were in the summer of 1997 as fundrasiers for the 97 Worlds in Charlotte. The process along with the Ching Skilshot design were eventually sold to Innova in early 2003. After the sale the process was renamed the Innova Full Color stamp.