There is an endless amount of “I wish I could go back in time” moments when it comes to this industry. Some people would travel back to when Mickey Mantle signed baseballs at a show for only $40.00. Others would go back even further to snatch up tobacco packs containing Old Judge cards. Basketball fans would no doubt take a trip to 1986 to buy boxes of 1986-87 Fleer. The list goes on and on.
If you did have a time machine, visiting your local grocery store or department store in 1985 might be a good place to check out. Among all the neon clothing, He-Man action figures, and cases of New Coke, it wasn’t uncommon to find vending machines filled with shiny stickers. Stickers ruled in the 1980’s.
You can’t miss the line of Prism/Jewel Stickers that were released in ’85. Looking at them for too long could easily burn your eyes out. To say they’re shiny is an understatement. There are (14) basketball stickers to collect. It shouldn’t surprise you that the Michael Jordan is the most valuable. That sticker predates his ’86-’87 Fleer rookie. Examples have easily sold for over $1,000 depending on the condition. Other stickers in this set include Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, Magic Johnson, and Moses Malone.
Unlike cards, when these stickers came out most people didn’t think about their value. Many fans simply peeled off the back and slapped them on pretty much anything. Prism/Jewel Stickers were found all over the country, jammed inside tiny vending machines. But not every vending machine contained the same stickers. A lot of the basketball stickers were found out west.
Most collectors think these are ugly as hell. I might agree with them if the picture was a photograph. But I like the animated drawings. The reflective surface looks just like a Superfractor. In a way I believe the design was way ahead of it’s time.