Card of the Day: Jeff Garcia 2015 Upper Deck CFL Marks Auto

Q&A – What’s Up With Those Black Marks On 80’s Topps Boxes?

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Question: Dear Sports Card Info: I really enjoy your blog, especially the weekly contests.  I’ve got a question for you.  I’m looking to purchase a box of 1984 Topps Football.  Why do so many of them have black marks on the front?  It seems like a lot of Topps boxes from the 80’s have these markings.  Thanks!

Answer: Great question!  Congrats on wanting to purchase a box of 1984 Topps Football.  That set has some great rookie cards including Dan Marino and John Elway.  Opening a box like that can be really fun.  If that’s what you plan to do.

During the 1980’s, Topps allowed distributors and stores to return older products that they were having a difficult time selling.  A way to get rid of old inventory.  The people making the return would get a little something back.  When an old case would be sent back, Topps would open it, place a black mark on the front of each box, and then send it back out to discount retail outlets for sale.  If I’m not mistaken, Topps would even allow individual boxes to be sent back too as long as they contained all (36) packs.  Back then, Topps did not seal their boxes with plastic like they do today.  Its possible that individual boxes sent back could’ve been compiled from other boxes in order to make a complete box.  Its almost impossible to know if the packs inside are the original ones Topps put in there.  They could be from other ’84 Topps Football boxes.

Authentic boxes without the marks will almost always be more desirable.  I wouldn’t purchase a valuable older box without the people at Baseball Card Exchange looking at it.  They have a great reputation with collectors.  The last thing you want to do is spend $1,000 and find out your box was tampered with.

Flashback Product of the Week: 1993 Diamond Marks

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Barry Colla and Terry Smith.  Two names you don’t always think about when it comes to a card set.  Combining Barry Colla’s photos with Terry Smith’s artistic talents, you get 1993 Diamond Marks.  The 1993 Diamond Marks set consists of 120 bookmark shaped cards that measure 2.5″ x 5″.  There are no autographs, relics, short prints, or rookies to look for.  This product has very little to offer.  Boxes came with 48 sealed 10-card packs.  Every box should have at least one 1993 Diamond Marks Art card.  The art set has 8 cards and have a painted look to them.  They’re probably the nicest looking cards when it comes to this product.

The only Diamond Marks cards that have any real demand come from the prototype set.  In order to gain the approval from MLB, a 6-card prototype set was produced.  This is a common practice when new companies want to use MLB team names and logos.  MLB likes to see what the product might look like before they give them the ok.  Card Collectors Co. was the main distributor of Diamond Marks.  They ran a promotion in which dealers could obtain one prototype with their order.  Player collectors seem to really like these prototypes.  Three Will Clark prototypes have shown up for sale recently.  Two of them went for around $90.00, while another got into a bidding war and sold for $255.00.  All of the prototype cards say “1993 Prototype” on the back.

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Sealed boxes are easy to find and cost about $40.00.

Brilliance Auto Contest! – NOW CLOSED

This contest is for a Anthony Morrow 2012-13 Panini Brilliance – Marks of Brilliance Auto #’ed/199.  Good luck!!!

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Contest Details:

  • This contest will end Friday, January 10, 2014 @ 8:00 p.m. EST.
  • To enter, please leave a comment in this post.
  • You can enter once per day.
  • The winner will be selected at random.
  • Please provide a valid e-mail address when entering.
  • The winner will receive an e-mail when the contest is over.
  • The winner has one week to send me their contact information or the contest will be held again.
  • Once the contest is over, I will need the winner’s mailing address so I can ship them this card for FREE!!!

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