Card of the Day: Sam Vincent 1990-91 NBA Hoops #223 – With Jordan In #12 Jersey

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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.

“Pin-Up” of the Week: I’m Sticking With Panini

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I hear the NHL and NHLPA have a ton of these just laying around 🙂

Panini has been around since the early 1960’s.  It all started when brothers Benito and Giuseppe Panini purchased a large collection of stickers from a company that was having trouble selling them.  The brothers decided to place the stickers inside of packs and sell them that way.  They ended up selling three million packs and having a lot of success.  The two ended up founding Panini in 1961 and manufacturing their own line of collectible stickers.

Collectors from the U.S. probably didn’t have that much involvement with Panini until 2009 when they acquired an exclusive NBA license.  Panini then went on to purchase Donruss/Playoff and inherited their NFL and NFLPA licenses.  Their American division is known as Panini America and is one of the most dominant trading card manufacturers in the country along side Topps and Upper Deck.

I’m not 100% sure how this pin was distributed, but I think it might have to do with an ITV Telethon which was held in the late 80’s and early 90’s in the United Kingdom.  Ever wonder why Panini uses a knight in their logo?

Topps Comes Through With HK Cut Signature Redemption

Lately Topps hasn’t been receiving the best feedback from collectors when it comes to their redemption cards.  Many are left out in the cold for months (sometimes years) wondering when they’ll get that card they’re due.  Unfortunately for some collectors the wait ends up in a total disaster.  They’ll get that bubble mailer in the mail, rip it open, only to find a replacement card not worth nearly as much as the card they were originally promised.  I don’t know what to say, other than they need a better system with improved communication.  An official Topps blog would be nice.

I rarely redeem redemption cards, let alone buy one.  But I certainly didn’t have a choice when someone posted the Harry Kalas 2013 Topps Series 1 Chasing History Cut Signature redemption for sale back in May.  Normally this is something I would never do, but I thought I’d take a chance on it.  My thinking was this.  Harry Kalas passed away back in 2009, and Topps didn’t have to chase him down for an autograph like they have to with many living players they issue redemptions for.  It was good enough logic for me to pull the trigger on the card.  After seeing that the Babe Ruth cut signature from 2013 Topps Series 1 was shipped, I was hoping the status on my card might change, and that’s exactly what happened a few days ago.

Here it is.  The Harry Kalas 2013 Topps Series 1 One-Of-One Chasing History Cut Signature.  He doesn’t have many cards, and this is one of the rarest for the former Phillies broadcaster/announcer.  Kalas rarely has cards appear in products, and that makes it even a bigger deal for me when I hear he is going to be included within something.  I have all of my Harry Kalas cards uploaded to Sports Card Album.  One of these days I’d like to get much more uploaded, as I have boxes full of relics and autographs I wouldn’t mind trying to sell.  Plus some other stuff I’d just like to show off.  At least this redemption card story has a happy ending.

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I’m still looking for the following HK cards:

  • Harry Kalas 1984 Tastykake Phillies Broadcasters #7
  • Harry Kalas/Gary Maddox/Richie Ashburn 1988 Phillies Tastykake Phillies Announcers #39
  • Harry Kalas/Chris Wheeler/Andy Musser 1990 Phillies Tastykake Phillies Announcers #35
  • 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game Mike Schmidt/Harry Kalas Announcing Greats Dual Auto #’ed/25
  • Harry Kalas 2004 UD Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Auto Black #’ed/100
  • Harry Kalas 2005 UD Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Auto Black Stitch #’ed/1
  • Harry Kalas 2005 UD Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Auto Red-Blue Stitch #’ed/40
  • Harry Kalas Sportkings Premium Back Redemption Sketches #’ed/1
  • Harry Kalas Sportkings Series E Top 50 Broadcasters Cut Signature #’ed/1

ITG Celebrates Chi-Town With Their 2013 National VIP Set

ITG has unveiled their 9-card set that will be made available to VIPs that attend this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention.  As you can see, this set celebrates Chi-Town.  Players in this set include: Tony Esposito, Bobby Hull, Glenn Hall, Stan Mikita, Roy Conacher, Charlie Gardiner, Bill Mosienko, Max Bentley and Pierre Pilote.  I think these are nicer than those puzzles ITG has made for past VIP packages.

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Flashback Product of the Week: 1986 Cheap Toys with Crummy Candy Series 1

One of my favorite things to do when it comes to the Flashback Product of the Week posts is to go off the regular path and explore some really obscure products.  This is going to be one of those times.

When I think of pop-culture from the 80’s, a few things come to mind.  One thing that sticks out the most would have to be Garbage Pail Kids.  Garbage Pail Kids are basically Cabbage Patch Kids from hell.  They aren’t cute and cuddly.  Instead these little guys/girls are horrific, ugly, and down right insulting in some circumstances.  That’s what makes them so awesome.

Garbage Pail Kids aren’t limited to their 2-D cards and stickers.  They have a strong collector following when it comes to their toys.  In 1986, Topps decided to release Cheap Toys with Crummy Candy, which has to be the most straight forward product title in history.  I could see today’s card manufacturers putting names to their products that actually reflect whats inside, i.e. 2012 Lots Of Base Cards & One Plain Colored Relic Worth Little To What The Box Cost.  Boxes contained little green bags that had a candy wafer, (1) figure, and a checklist inside.  Series 1 has a ten characters – Leaky Lindsay, Double Heather, Brett Sweat, Muggin’ Megan, Alice Island, Adam Bomb, Crater Chris, Graffiti Petey, Thin Lynn, and Brainy Janey.  You would think a product such as this wouldn’t be too complicated.  They’re just cheap little figures.  How far in detail could they possible go?  That’s the wrong question to ask.

While doing research for this post, I came to the conclusion that this figure set is almost as complicated and diverse as the Old Judge tobacco cards.  What started with ten figures who each have four colors – blue, red, peach, and green, has exploded into hundreds of figures with different variations.  These variations include material the figures are made of, colors, copyright dates, and different distribution types.  The list goes on and on.  Its far from an easy set to complete.  Figures of the four basic colors are worth about $10.00 a piece, but than you come across a rare neon yellow version like the one pictured below and you can look to spend around $80.00.

Of the two Series that Topps released, I believe Series 1 is in higher demand.  Sealed boxes of Series 1 continue to sell for hundreds of dollars.

If you have any questions about Cheap Toys with Crummy Candy or Garbage Pail Kids in general, I highly recommend checking out geepeekay.com.

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Topps Teases Us With A Peak Of 2012 Five Star Football

For all those collectors that have more money than god, here is a minor peak at 2012 Five Star Football.  You’ll have to wait until February to get your hands on these.  Every product on the market should be derived from Five Star.

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All these on-card autographs have to go.  Foil stickers all the way 🙂