’62 Topps Printing Plate Scam

I Am Joe Collector spotted a great scam taking place on eBay yesterday and I thought I’d dig a little deeper on the subject.  He found someone claiming they owned the actual printing plates from 1962 Topps Baseball and Football.  This person is attempting to sell each individual plate for $60.00 to $80.00.  If those were real plates and/or proofs, they’d be selling for a lot more money than that.  So far it looks as if only one person fell for their little scam.  I e-mailed the seller and asked where they obtained these items, and they claim to have purchased them at the Topps sale of 1989.  Topps did sell a lot of items from their “Vault” back in ’89, but these were not on the list.  In addition to that, these plates/proofs don’t even come with a COA from The Topps Company.


This is suppose to be a plate of Mike Mercer from ’62 Topps Football.  Don’t you love the authentic label they slapped on there?  Any idiot with a label maker could do this.


This is a nice PSA look alike grading holder.  If its too good to be true, it probably is.

7 Responses

  1. One of a kind and irreplaceable!

  2. Hi:

    I’m one person that ‘fell for the scam’. I bought five total 62 football plates from this seller. I purchased two directly from ebay from that seller, and they were NOT in screwdowns with the ‘one of a kind’ printed label on them. I asked the seller privately for three additional and bought those also. Those were in the screwdown shown above. I realized when I purchased that they did not have authenticity cert. About five years ago I bought three printers plates for the topps football bucks from a different, but well known football expert dealer. Touchdown-treasures. Based on the plates I received and their varying condition, I have no reason to believe that they are fake. I would love to read further thoughts anyone has.


    • 1962 aluminum printers plates are real. these are the original cut up plates. there are 4 different plates of each card. they have been around in the hobby since the 1980s. csa and asa are both the old original card graders well before psa existed. that is why the holders are less detailed with less descriptions. so, there are plates, i can not say that yours are real, but the plates are. with a scan i can tell if they are real. they were around and sold for $2.00 to $5.00 at the shows. yes, they are rare but the problem with selling them for real money is that they are not in any of the price guides and psa does not slab proofs with nu merical grades or put values on them. so with not price guide listing them or their values, people will not pay good money for them. they are a novelty as opposed to a rare valued item. if you have any questions, i will try to answer them. but as for getting big money reselling them, without a price guide listing the value, people do not tend to spend big money on unlisted, uncataloged, cards not listed in a price guide.
      I have been doing this well before the advent of the football beckett, the deleffera’s football price guide and the existence of psa. the plates existed in the hobby well before anyone thought of reprinting or counterfeiting cards and plates. and before the technology was available back then to do so. there were no digital printers back then, let alone computers.

  3. I will also be inquiring with another expert I am familiar with.

  4. Hi:

    I spoke to two dealers that I have dealt with on numerous occasions and whom I consider my go-to guys when it comes to expertise on common and especially rare football card related memorabilia, values, and identifications. I will summarize key items they told me below. Please keep in mind I am being objective, not combative with the above post or in trying to justify the purchase I made on these. I didn’t spend enough money for it to be a worry even if they did turn out to be fakes. I’m delighted with adding these to my collection. I am more intrigued by the fact that there is discussion on these among us collectors and am always interested in learning all I can about my collection/hobby. Also, I am commenting on the 62 Football Plates only, not the strange PSA ‘looking’ Mercer baseball plate also mentioned.

    -With regards to assuming the 1962 Topps football plates are fakes:

    -The original poster makes the assumption based on the price the seller listed them at. The first dealer I spoke to stated “I have never heard nor do I believe these printing plates are fakes. It would be too costly to try and replicate. Original printing plate proofs are worth approximately 10 times the value of the actual item produced.” While the ebay seller might be listing them at a high price, that in it of itself shouldn’t determine authenticity. The second expert I asked stated “to base it (authenticity) strictly on price is absurd”.

    -The original poster also assumes that they are fakes since they are not on the Topps Vault sale list from ’89 and don’t have certificates of authenticity. My first source states “I have only seen original artwork for cards that were stamped ”1989 Topps Auction” or something like that. I think the other items like test color progression cards & these plates came with a letter that covered the entire lot group.”

    -Both sellers also commented on the difficulty it would be in re-producing these, and that the cost would likely outweigh the possible gain. A last note of interest as my other expert stated: “The only thing I question, is the one-of-a-kind mention. The bucks were done in two colors (black & green), while the cards were done in four colors, as most of these types of items were. There would be one print plate normally for each color. So any card would have 4 – just for the front, and 4 for the back.

    My last thought is my opinion that the ‘one of a kind ‘irreplaceable’ labels included along with placing SOME of the plates in screwdowns was done simply to dress up these plates for later sales.

    -Again, looking forward to everyone’s thoughts.

  5. Hi! I recently won the item below. I am normally an error collector and Topps Vault Proofs. However, I won the below item for $12.00 do I’m not concerned. I have no clue whether or not it’s real or the value. In any case, if you can provide any info. I would appreciate it. Thanks!

    Item # 120529982506

    • I also own a few tin or aluminum plates of skowrun and kubek I got them from a collection years ago fom a lady who was selling her dead husbands
      small collection. They have no print matter only the player and card info like original.
      Neil Riggs 863-242-5301

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