Hobby Oddities: Cards Mounted On Cheap Plaques

Every card show has that one dealer with a booth jam-packed with them.  It wouldn’t matter if the card show consisted of only three dealers.  I guarantee that one of the three is selling base cards mounted on cheap plaques.  We’ve all seen them.  Where do they come from?  Why do they exist?  Do people really buy them?

I guess the plaques are suppose to make the base cards more desirable.  My running theory is that they’ve always targeted people who don’t know much about the hobby.  They’re hoping to catch that person who thinks if a card is mounted on a plaque it means that it’s special and/or valuable.  Rarely is that the case.  Sentimental value for certain individuals is really the only thing they have going.  Perhaps owning one brings back some great childhood memories.  The Big Apple Card Company out of Sunrise, FL was a major contributor to their mass-production.  Various other companies issued them too.

Odd, cheap, and annoying accurately describe these things.  They’ll never disappear.  If there was an all out nuclear war the only things left would be cockroaches and these plaques.

Flashback Product of the Week: 1973 O-Pee-Chee Royal Canadian Mounted Police

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I seriously thought about using this set last month when all those Flashback Product of the Week posts had a Halloween theme to them.  Its scary to think a manufacturer actually made a 55-card set based on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  Each card has a painted look to it, and the artwork isn’t half bad.  It was made to commemorate their 100th anniversary and covers their history.  At the time, O-Pee-Chee was known for going off the regular path to make special sets for various Canadian interests, but it sure wasn’t their bread and butter.  Sealed packs continue to sell for $20.00.

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Pick A COA, Any COA

This has to be one of the most disturbing trends I’ve found.  Individuals are now selling COA’s that are from or look like they are from reputable companies.  All a forger would have to do is purchase a few of these COA’s that look like they are from Steiner and then forge the autograph.  Each of these COA’s comes with a hologram containing the Steiner logo.  I’m wondering what happened to the actual items these COA’s belong to – if they existed at all.  Forgers could do this for all reputable authenticators within The Hobby.  A good portion of the time COA’s from companies like Steiner will contain serial numbers that match a hologram placed on the item.  All it would take is for some uneducated collector not to realize the serial numbers don’t match.  For many, they just see the Steiner name and that would be enough.  COA’s for autographed items is just one area forgers will use these things.  They could also be used for rare cards that could be purchased directly from the manufacturer such as blank backs, proofs, etc.

I don’t think eBay should allow sellers just to sell COA’s in an auction.  Why in the hell would someone want to purchase one if there isn’t an item to go with it.  The whole situation is setup to cater towards a counterfeiter.   Of coarse eBay won’t stop them because they want their fees.  Collectors have to be so careful when purchasing an autographed piece of memorabilia.  My personal favorite authenticator in The Hobby is Mounted Memories.  I have a Dan Marino autographed photo that contains a COA from them.  If you visit Marino’s official website, everything he has autographed comes with a COA from Mounted Memories.  At one time, Marino was on the Board of Mounted Memories too.

Nothing can ever be as good as meeting the athlete in person.  Sure it may cost a bit more, but you can be 100% sure the autograph you received is real.  Remember, if its too good to be true, it probably is.

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In Honor of the Dolphin’s Win Today

In honor of the Miami Dolphins winning today and going 7-5 for the season, check out this piece of memorabilia.  Its a full-size helmet signed by 35 members of the Perfect Season team.  All of the autographs are certified by Mounted Memories.  I would love to have something like this in my collection someday.  That day probably won’t be for a long, long, long time with a price tag of $2,500.00.