How To Spot Fake 1952 Wheaties Hand-Cut Cards

“You better eat your Wheaties.” is a phrase ingrained into American culture.  Starting in the 1950s, Wheaties began to team-up with athletes.  Olympian Bob Richards was the first athlete to be featured on the front of the Wheaties box.  Since then, Bruce Jenner, Mary Lou Retton, Walter Payton, Chris Evert, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Dale Earnhardt, Brett Favre, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Michael Phelps, Mia Hamm, and Muhammad Ali have all graced the box cover.

Wheaties has issued various trading card sets with their cereal.  In 1952 they released a 60-card multi-sport set.  Card subjects range anywhere from baseball stars to professional divers.

We live in a time where anything and everything can be counterfeited.  Years ago someone forged a lot of these cards, and they made their way onto the market.  They’re still floating around.  It certainly isn’t the most expensive set in the world.  Perhaps that is why they thought they could get away with it.

Here are a few tips on what to look for in authentic/counterfeit 1952 Wheaties cards:

  • Hand-Cut – These had to be cut-off the side of the cereal box by collectors.  If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.  They won’t be perfect.  Major condition issues.
  • Stains – Authentic examples tend to have stains on the back.  Not uncommon when you have cards included with a food product.
  • Border Color – Counterfeits usually have very bright white borders.  Authentic cards have borders which are a bit darker in color.
  • Reverse Color – The back should be completely blank, and a grey color.

Authentic front

Authentic back

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How To Spot Fake 1989 Score Football Cards

Five cards come to mind when I think about 1989 Score Football – Barry Sanders #257, Troy Aikman #270, Derrick Thomas #258, Deion Sanders #246, and Thurman Thomas #211.  Do you know what each of them have in common?  All are rookie cards, and each one has been counterfeited over the years.  Specifically, Barry Sanders and Troy Aikman.

There are four key areas on these cards that can assist you in identifying a counterfeit:

  • Score logo on front
  • Red star on front
  • Black lines around the helmet on front
  • NFLPA logo on back

On counterfeit examples, fuzzy dots make up each of these parts.  You should be able to clearly read each word in the NFLPA logo.  Authentic examples have clear, crisp pictures, and the colors are solid.  Fuzzy printing has always been a common sign when it comes to counterfeit cards.  The printing methods just aren’t as superior as the manufacturers.  CLEAR = GOOD.  FUZZY = BAD.  Using a common base card from the 1989 Score Football set which isn’t worth a dime can be used as a comparison.  Special treatment wasn’t given to those five cards.  They were all printed the same way.

How To Spot Fake 1950 R423 Cards

Made available in 13-card strips, the 1950 R423 set certainly isn’t the first vintage set that comes to mind.  Its obscure, and can easily be overlooked.  They were most likely sold through bubblegum machines.  Card fronts feature a photoengraved picture.  Backs come in a variety of colors such as orange, red, green, blue, and purple.  Measuring only 1-5/8″ x 1-7/8″ they’re really small.  You could easily mistake them for a postage stamp.

Condition is a major issue.  It always is when cards come in a strip that needs to be pulled apart.  Examples in decent condition can command hefty asking prices.  WATCH OUT FOR COUNTERFEITS!

Below are a few tips when it comes to identifying counterfeit 1950 R423 cards:

  • Weight – Authentic examples weigh .05 grams.  Counterfeits weigh .15 grams and are much thicker.
  • Card stock – Authentic cards are printed on off-white stock which can be slick looking.  Counterfeits tend to have bright white stock.
  • Perforations – Authentic cards will have perforations on the left or right or both the left and right depending on which part of the strip they came from.  Most counterfeits don’t have perforations at all.  You don’t want to see smooth edges all around.
  • “Rind Effect” – Images on the card fronts are made up of tiny ink dots.  On authentic cards this “rind effect” print pattern can be seen on these photoengraved cards.  Counterfeits do not have this feature.
  • Measurements – Authentic examples should measure 1-5/8″ x 1-7/8″.

Counterfeit on left

Counterfeit on left

Key Rookie Cards of Apollo 11’s Crew

Within 66 years we went from the Wright brothers first flight to landing on the moon.  That’s some incredible innovation right there.  Did you know a couple of relics from the Wright brothers flyer were aboard Apollo 11 and made it to the surface of the moon?  Relics like that would make an excellent addition to Allen & Ginter or Goodwin Champions cards.  It probably won’t happen though as those relics are safely kept on display at the Smithsonian.  I wonder what cards containing pieces of the Wright brothers plane would sell for on the secondary market?  Its safe to say quite a bit considering how big of an event in history that is.  The relics aren’t very big either, so very few cards could be made.

On July 20, 1969 Apollo 11 landed on the moon.  2019 marks the 50th anniversary of this historic event.  Many men and women played important parts in order for that mission to be a success.  Three key individuals from the Apollo 11 mission are Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins.  When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin traveled down to the lunar surface, Michael Collins remained in the Command Module “Columbia”.

Thousands, if not millions of years from now the Apollo 11 mission will continued to be talked about.  Its the first time mankind stepped onto a surface not of this Earth.  Truly an astonishing achievement.

Thanks to Topps, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins each have rookie cards.  These cards can be found in the 1969 Topps Man on the Moon set.  Its important to note that this set was reissued in 1970.  The 1969 set consists of (55) cards.  The 1970 reissue has the same (55) cards plus an additional (45) cards bringing the total to (99) cards.  Telling the difference between the 1969 and 1970 set is fairly easy.  All of the cards from the 1970 reissue set are numbered “1 of 99”, “2 of 99”, “3 of 99”, etc…  Whereas the original 1969 set has them numbered “1A”, “2A”, “3A”, etc…

Complete sets in exceptional condition will require some deep pockets.  In general though singles can be obtained for a relatively low price.

Did You “Know” This About 1984 Fleer Update Baseball Cards?

The 1980s are notorious for issuing some of the most overproduced sets.  Despite that, there are a few gems to keep an eye out for.  One that still holds quite a bit of value today is the 1984 Fleer Update set.  This is Fleer’s very first update set, and it contains (132) cards.  It has a short print run, and was only available through dealers.  The set grew in popularity, and prices went up dramatically.  Today a complete set is worth well over $200.  That’s a lot considering most sets from the 80s can’t be given away.  Key XRCs from this set include Roger Clemens, John Franco, Dwight Gooden, Jimmy Key, Mark Langston, Bret Saberhagen, Ron Darling, and Kirby Puckett.  Roger Clemens and Kirby Puckett are the big money cards.  Even though its far from a rookie, the Pete Rose card is popular with collectors too.

  • The print dot pattern is different when compared to an authentic card.
  • Perfect centering – counterfeit cards usually have great centering.  Authentic cards are known for having terrible centering.
  • One of the biggest signs that your 1984 Fleer Update card is a counterfeit is finding a capital “K” in the word “Know” on the back.

Counterfeit

Authentic

How To Spot Fake 1954 Dan-Dee Potato Chips Baseball Cards

Sports cards popup everywhere.  You can find them in packages of underwear, socks, and various food products.  Its been this way since the dawn of time.

In 1954, salty snack lovers received a surprise inside their Dan-Dee potato chip containers.  Waiting for them inside was a baseball card.  The entire 1954 Dan-Dee Potato Chips set only consists of (29) cards.  Phil Rizzuto, Larry Doby, Bob Feller, Gil Hodges, and Monte Irvin all highlight the set.  There are even a few Short Prints – Walker Cooper and Paul Smith.  But by far the dominant card collectors want the most is Mickey Mantle.

Given that they were packaged directly next to the chips without any protection is one of the main reasons as to why a majority of them have damage.  Its very common to find them with grease stains, creases, and rounded corners.  Finding ones in nice condition is difficult to do.

A good number of reprints and counterfeits have entered the market.  Remember these tips:

  • On the front of the card, locate the black box which contains the player’s name.  That box should be solid black with very small speckles of white.  Dots with circles around them is a big red flag.
  • Dan-Dee cards were printed on very thin, flimsy card stock.  You can easily shine a light through one.  On reprints and counterfeits the light will not shine through so easily.
  • Original Dan-Dee cards have a waxy coating, and almost always have some type of grease stain.
  • Reprints and counterfeits tend to be in much better condition, and have darker colors.  Very white borders too.

Authentic

Reprint

Product Highlight: 1992 Dad’s Kid Corp. Tri Cards

Various companies have taken a stab at making 3-D cards over the years.  A company that did it really well was called Dad’s Kid Corp.  Their Tri Cards product has one of the best 3-D effects the hobby has ever seen.

Dad’s Kid Corp. brought their Tri Cards product to the market in 1992.  Each box has (1) card.  A window on the front allowed you to pick which player you wanted.  Three base cards were used to make one card.  Strategically cutting and overlaying the three cards gave them the 3-D look.  Base cards from 1990, 1991, and 1992 were used.  Upper Deck, Score, Leaf, and Fleer cards made it into the mix.  Stores like Toys “R” Us, F.A.O. Schwartz, and Spencer Gifts all carried them.  At one time I believe QVC even had them available.

The serial numbering can be a little misleading.  Every player’s Tri Card is serial numbered to 50,000 copies.  That 50,000 accounts for all of the cards for that specific player.  Lots of players have more than one type of card in here.  For example, Nolan Ryan has at least three different Tri Cards.  That doesn’t mean each one is limited to 50,000.  It means that the print run for all three adds up to 50,000 copies.  They never released the print run for the individual brands.

Thanks to them offering what they call a “Completer Set”, we know that (36) different players had Tri Cards made.  (300) “Completer Sets” were issued to those collectors who wanted matching serial numbers.  Players offered included Sandy Alomar, Roberto Alomar, Wade Boggs, Bobby Bonilla, Barry Bonds, Tom Browning, Jose Canseco, Will Clark, Wes Chamberlain, Eric Davis, Andre Dawson, Cecil Fielder, Juan Gonzales, Dwight Gooden, Ken Griffey, Jr., Rickey Henderson, Gregg Jeffries, Howard Johnson, Wally Joyner, David Justice, Kevin Maas, Ramon Martinez, Don Mattingly, Kevin Mitchell, Jack Morris, Fred McGriff, Terry Pendelton, Kirby Puckett, Cal Ripken, Jr., Nolan Ryan, Ryne Sandberg, Ozzie Smith, Darryl Strawberry, Frank Thomas, Greg Vaughn, and Robin Yount.

As unique and fun as these cards seem to be, they didn’t stick around very long.  A trip through the legal ringer brought this company down.  The MLBPA, Upper Deck, Score, and Leaf all sued.  When it came to the MLBPA’s lawsuit, the court actually sided with Dad’s Kid Corp.  In addition to the card manufacturer lawsuits the legal bills just kept adding up, and Dad’s Kid Corp. came tumbling down like a pile of Jenga blocks.  However, we do know that production was stopped while the lawsuits were going on.  Its very possible that not all 50,000 Tri Cards were made for every player.  I think its safe to say thousands made their way out.

Don’t look for a lot of value here folks.  Most of them can’t break $10.  Ken Griffey, Jr. has been known to reach $20.  Its too bad a Frank Thomas rookie didn’t make it in here.

Dubbed “The next dimension in sports card collecting.“, baseball was the only sport they were able to produce.  They had plans for 3-D basketball, football, hockey, tennis, golf, comics, and celebrities.  A Kid’s Club was offered to 20,000 people.  Being a member got you access to exclusive cards.  I’ve never seen these cards surface.  Dad’s Kid Corp. may not have been around long enough for them to make their way out.