1990-91 Pro Set Hockey is a messy set. Many variations. Many uncorrected errors. Numerous printing flaws. My kind of set! Back in early 1991, Pro Set ran ads in a ton of magazines, showing a card that seems to have never seen production, Check out this ad, where Pro Set greets us in French, with a card no Oilers fan will ever own:
Why Pro Set chose this as the face of their new series is anyone’s guess. It was already approaching a year after the Oilers won the cup and much had happened since. A similar card was issued as part of the “team facts/logos” subset, but it went through a number of minor design changes before pack-out.
With Pro Set’s die-hard fan-base, and the amount of stuff that “escaped” into the market after their bankruptcy, I’m truly surprised that not a single copy of this card has ever surfaced for sale.
1985 Topps is no stranger to radical printing/inking varieties. Vibrant or dull colored fronts, dark and light green backs…each card can be found in every degree along the printing spectrum if you look through enough of them. That said, one team’s cards seem to be affected by a major “darkening” and on a more-frequent basis than any other cards in the 1985 set: the Philadelphia Phillies.
Now, don’t get me wrong, these qualify for the “printing flaw” label, but an argument could be made that they are actual variations in that: 1.) This type of inking extremity really only affects the Phillies cards. No other team in the 1985 Topps set has an extra shade of black inking over the team/name box/logo area. 2.) It was fixed at some point by Topps. Suggesting the possibility that it was even a design change to more accurately reflect the Phillies’ actual colors 3.) Holding the two examples in person provides a look at just how striking of a difference the “black box” versions (as they’ve come to be called in auction titles over the years) really are.
Even if they don’t fit into your variation collection, they are a neat little oddity in the 1985 set, a junk-era Topps set that’s, surprisingly, lacking in major variations.
One of the most important error cards of modern card collecting is the 1990 Topps Frank Thomas “No name on front” variation.It often tops the “10-most-wanted” lists of many collectors, not just error collectors. A massive mistake affecting one of the game’s biggest stars
For years, speculation ensued, until just over a year ago, a devoted Big Hurt collector, known on the Collector’s Universe message boards as BunchOBull, started putting the pieces together, in turn summoning others interested in tying up the loose ends of this fascinating card’s production history. One of the most-impressive examples of a collecting community coming together to figure out the origin of an ambiguous issue with little-to-no previous factual information publicly available, this is a must-read for the error collector:
“1990 Topps Frank Thomas NNOF revisited…introduction to my theory”
Originally posted on the Collectors Universe Forums by BunchOBull (followed by numerous contributors).
Another mysterious Pro Set prototype issue. Meant to sample their up-and-coming, premium line of card, Platinum, this promo features former Cincinnati Bengals running back, James Brooks. This one looks like it was an in-hand sample, photocopied for use in the ad, rather than just an image on a sheet sent to the dealer:
Obviously, the backs of 1991 Pro Set Platinum went through a few design changes. What you see above, is the only reference for the card I have ever been able to find. Certainly, at least that copy must exist out there somewhere, but as of 2010, not a copy has surfaced on any of the usually channels.
PS: Check out those case prices. They are extremely limited!!
Did you know that the 1990 Topps Football Master Set has over 1200 cards to it? Each of the 528 cards comes either with or without an “unlicensed disclaimer” on back. That’s 1056 cards right there.
Then each of the 30 1000 Yard Club Cards have those variations. Plus an asterisk variation for each. That’s 120 more cards.
Then you factor in the box bottoms, those have the disclaimer variations….and so on…
Freshly discovered is yet another variation in the 1990 set, card #498 Checklist 1-132. One version has a gap in the border just before it touches the “hashmarks” at bottom-right on front.
A handful of other cards also contain some pretty noticeable variations: All of the Record Breakers subset cards have letter-code variations, Al Baker’s card has a logo color variation, Bruce Hill’s card has a similar border variation to this one. The master checklist on 1990 Topps Football is growing – which makes it one of the most challenging sets to build for the variation collector.
1992-93 Fleer Basketball is not widely known for error and variation cards and that’s probably due to the fact that only one card from that set has turned up in two different varieties: Card #4 of Atlanta Hawks center Jon Koncak was printed with two different photos on back. Unfortunately, I’ve got zero info on why Fleer chose to change the photo or which one came first, however, the “shooting” image is also the image used for the front of the card.
1991 Score is one of those set that hasn’t been paid enough attention to, in regards to error-hunting. Ive never really liked the set and I know that I’ve neglected my duty in sorting through bulk batches of it in effort to discover something new. One of the latest (ca. 2005-2006) discoveries from this set affect Bo Jackson’s card #420, from the Highlights subset. Early versions of the card have the ’90 on front, printed in a very light blue color. Later releases corrected it by printing the ’90 in dark blue just like the other cards in the set.