Flashback Product of the Week: 1991 Hot Aire Trading Cards

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In a million years you couldn’t have guessed that I’d pick this product.  The 80’s and 90’s were filled with a lot of obscure sets.  With the rise of sports cards as an investment, people were willing to put anything on cardboard hoping one day it would amount to riches.  Looking back, I think we can all agree how that went.  Overproduction set in, and many products ended up being worthless.  Needless to say, all this rush did create some funky products that manufacturers today would never even think about making.

Yes.  This is a product dedicated to hot air balloons and their pilots.  Hot Aire Trading Cards made their debut in 1991 during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  It was the brainchild of two hot air balloon enthusiasts, Danny Edwards and Patrick O’Hea.  Edwards would collect pilot bios and take photos while O’Hea designed the cards.  Their first set consists of (100) cards.  When they were first introduced, you could purchase them by the pack for $2.50 each or in factory set form for $23.50.  Only producing 30,000 sets was thought to increase the cards’ value.  As you can probably guess, that didn’t happen.  The last complete set to sell went for $15, which is still way more than what I was expecting.  Hobby boxes range anywhere from $15 to $30.

Hot Aire Trading Cards lasted for a few years, and then fizzled out.  I’m surprised they lasted that long.  The Fiesta continues to be held each year though.  When it comes to chase cards, there really aren’t any.  No “hot” packs.  These are more of a novelty now than anything.  A modern day interpretation of a product like this would be interesting.  You could have autographs, relics, and perhaps some type of inflatable card.

Topps To Issue Special Allen & Ginter & Gypsy Queen Cards For The ’15 NSCC

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There are a lot of promos flying around the National each year.  Almost everyone has something going on in the corporate area.  I think Topps does it the best though.  The best thing about the exclusive cards Topps gives out during the National is that they can be integrated into already existing products like Allen & Ginter and Gypsy Queen.  Here is what they have going on for 2015.

Can you believe that Allen & Ginter turns ten this year?  Topps has created special die-cut Allen & Ginter cards only available at the National.  For every sealed 2015 Allen & Ginter hobby box that is brought to the Topps booth and opened in front of a Topps representative, you’ll receive a pack.  This year Topps has randomly included autographs.

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Topps will also have a Gypsy Queen giveaway.  Topps will have 3-card packs that contain cards of Kris Bryant, Carlos Correa, and Byron Buxton in the 2015 Gypsy Queen design.  Look for parallels!!!  To get one of these packs, you need to open one sealed hobby box of the following 2014 or 2015 products listed below:

Baseball:

  • All 2015 Topps and Bowman hobby boxes (Opening Day does not count)

Football:

  • 2014 Bowman
  • 2014 Bowman Chrome
  • 2014 Bowman Sterling
  • 2014 Topps Chrome
  • 2014 Topps Chrome Mini
  • 2014 Topps Platinum
  • 2014 Topps Prime
  • 2014 Topps Supreme
  • 2014 Topps Finest
  • 2014 Topps Fire
  • 2014 Topps Jumbo HTA
  • 2014 Topps Museum Collection
  • 2014 Topps Triple Threads
  • 2014 Topps Valor
  • 2015 Bowman

Soccer:

  • 2015 MLS

UFC:

  • 2015 Topps UFC Knockout

Autographed Beckett Cover Cards Coming To The 2015 National

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The Beckett Cover Cards Scavenger Hunt is a popular activity to take part in for those lucky collectors attending the National Sports Collectors Convention.  I’m happy to say that it will be returning for 2015.

This year there will be (15) cards to find.  These cards can be found throughout the show from various dealers and case breakers.  In order to obtain these cards you most likely have to buy something from one of the dealers.  That is how it has worked in the past.  The picture below shows all (15) Beckett Cover Cards and where you can find them.  Just click to enlarge.  As you can see, Cubs rookie phenom Kris Bryant is featured on five of them.  All cards will be serial numbered as they have been in the past.  Golfer Jordan Spieth will have a cameo appearance on one of the cards.  Jordan Spieth really doesn’t have any cards yet, except for the one that came from Sports Illustrated for Kids.

For those collectors that obtain all (15) Beckett Cover Cards, you have a nice surprise coming your way.  When you stop by the Beckett booth and prove that you have all (15) cards, you’ll be given a blind package containing a special autographed card.  This is totally new for 2015.  These signed Beckett Cover Cards include Emmitt Smith, Bo Jackson, Frank Thomas, Cal Ripken Jr., Pete Rose, Stan Musial, Mike Modano, Jose Canseco, Dennis Rodman, and Mike Tyson.  Autographed cards will begin to be given out on Thursday, July 30th.  Only (50) autographed cards will be given out each day.

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CollectorCrate Announces March Exclusives

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UPDATE

CollectorCrate has announced it’s March lineup of exclusive sketch print cards.  Depending on which sport you decide to purchase, you will receive a sketch print card of Tom Brady, Andrew Wiggins, or Ted Williams.  All were drawn by Emily Tester.  Good luck with your box breaks!!!

How To Spot Fake 1984 Fleer Update Baseball Cards

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The 1980’s are notorious for issuing some of the most overproduced garbage collectors have ever seen.  Despite that, there are a few gems to keep an eye out for.  One of those gems that still holds quite a bit of value today is the 1984 Fleer Update set.  This was Fleer’s very first update set, and contains 132 cards.  It had a short print run, and was only available through dealers.  The set grew in popularity and prices went up and up.  Today a complete set is worth $200.00.  That’s a lot considering most sets from the 80’s 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.  Even though its far from a rookie, the Pete Rose card is popular with collectors too.

I was on eBay earlier this week and saw something I thought would be good to reinforce to collectors.  Many of those key cards were faked and forged years ago.  Signs of a counterfeit 1984 Fleer Update card include appearing blurry and having a different print dot pattern when compared to an authentic example.  Real cards from this set were known for having terrible centering as well.  I’m not saying that real ones can’t have good centering, but most do not.  Many fakes have perfect centering.  But one of the biggest signs that your 1984 Fleer Update card is a fake is finding a capital “K” in the word “Know” on the back.  These fakes are really good looking other than that small mistake.

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eBay is filled with these fakes, and people are bidding on them.  The Puckett and Clemens XRCs are the most valuable today.  Raw examples can sell for $40.00 to 60.00 in some cases.  You would think eBay would police this, but they don’t.  Users can report items, but who knows how much good that does.  eBay lets them there so they can collect their fees.

Shopping For That Special Collector This Holiday Season?

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Unboxing The Uncle’s Cards #4 – The Final Unboxing

Its been over five months since I’ve given an update on the uncle’s cards.  Its not that I stopped going through them.  I just hadn’t found anything really worth talking about.  This past weekend I worked my way through the last few boxes.  There were lots of base/inserts from the 90’s and 2000’s, but nothing that carried a whole lot of value.  Even if I had found an individual card, it most likely would have been damaged.  Many of the cards in these final boxes were beat up pretty bad.  The most promising stack of cards I came across was a ton of 2001 Bowman Baseball.  I was hoping to find an Ichiro or Pujols rookie, but it never showed up.  The only note worthy card was a Miguel Cabrera #299 error, but it wasn’t in the best condition.

The last bin I went through was stuffed with loose cards, extremely thick holders which were empty, and old albums.  Working my way through the clutter, I did find three sealed boxes worth trying to sell:

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1995 Fleer

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1993 Topps Traded Factory Set

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2010 Topps Factory Set w/ 1958 Mickey Mantle Gold Chrome

There really isn’t much to look for in the box of 1995 Fleer.  The 1993 Topps Traded Factory Set has Todd Helton’s best rookie, but that’s about it.  All the value is in the 2010 Topps Factory Set which has a 1958 Mickey Mantle Gold Chrome card.

Don’t forget to check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of Unboxing The Uncle’s Cards.