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800 copies of 1990 Upper Deck Mike Witt #702 Discovered!

11 Jul

A card previously believed to be quite rare, with under 50 copies estimated in circulation has now jumped to closer to 1000 known copies with the recent discovery of an 800 count box filled with 1990 Upper Deck card 702, featuring Mike Witt. The cards were believed to have been pulled from production and destroyed, however, it appears that at least one box made their way out of the factory.

A collector named Gilbert claims to have found the box at a flea market in California. After corresponding privately with collectors he found via commenting on this blog, he took to posting at FreedomCardboard.com for more information on the Witt card. Here is a link to that discussion, which provides so very interesting information: Mike Witt 800ct Discovery Freedom Cardboard Forums Discussion

Below is the initial emails I received upon their discovery:

Gilbert writes:
“Hey Guys,just wanted to update everyone on these cards,ive sold a total of 10 cards so far,some less then $100,my intentions was and will try to get them out to all collectors who would want one for their collection,I’ve made a lot more money from these then I can imagine for something I spend $10 on,talked to a lot of cool people from all over the U.S…made some friends and had a few who tried to take advantage,lol..but it has been an experience,its gotten me into the collection world,the guy I got them from continues to have a huge collection and I’m there every Saturday and Sunday looking thru them,And my “Gem Mint 10″ is now on eBay,so I’m excited about that,i just want that card to be sold for a little higher then the most expensive one sold for(1300)…only time will tell,after that,i might sell a total of maybe 10 after that,but I won’t give them away,lol…so after that,the will be put away…there might be over 800 cards,but not a lot out in the market,what hopefully they keep some value…I admire all you guys,maybe some day I can be a master collector like you all…have a great day people!��”
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For Sale: Rare (and Interesting) 1980s and 1990s Error & Variation items

13 Oct

My last batch as an eBay seller is up right now and I’m hoping to move some of this over the next week before I stop selling on the site. A recent 60-day review showed me $600 in sales, netted me $140 in pocket and this has been going on this way for over a year with no sign of changing for the better!  So, unfortunately, this current batch of stuff will be my last for the foreseeable future. The good news is, it’s some of the best I have had in a long time. You can check it all out here.

Currently taking lower-than-usual offers on this stuff, after this next week, I will be revamping the “For Sale” page on this site to include a large run-down of available merchandise and will most likely only sell through this site. An occasional “must-auction” item may hit eBay here and again, but my days of selling on their site in any kind of volume are over.

So, please do, check ’em out and make offers, mention JunkWaxGems for free, combined shipping!

Thanks!

1994 Topps Sheet Code Variations…An Ongoing Mystery

8 Oct

Continuing on with my recent spotlighting of post-prime era variations (mid 90s and on), here is a look at a recently discovered (2007-ish) variation affecting an unknown number of 1994 Topps subjects. Several of the base cards are commonly found without a print code on back – very common for this set, however, a handful of these subject have shown up in extremely limited quantities with a print code.

Brought to my attention from a fellow collector, so far, only Mark McGwire, Pedro Martinez, Mel Rojas and an already-forgotten Montreal Expos common have been confirmed. This is most-likely due to the fact that by 1994, the error and variation craze had died down considerably and collectors weren’t pouring over the issue like they had in the late 80s. My own research has been pretty limited as far as this set goes, I’ve poured over half a dozen factory sets and twice as many 3200ct boxes but have never found a with code and without pair.

I’d be interested to hear what the player collectors out there turn up. If anyone has any more info on these variations or other 1994 Topps errors, I’d like to get an ‘Ongoing Checklist’ for 1994 Topps going soon. I am fairly certain there is a lot more to be discovered in 1994 Topps.

Record Sale For 1990 Topps Frank Thomas No Name On Front Error

17 Aug

Not mine, but I sure wish it was…

http://cgi.ebay.com/FRANK-THOMAS-1990-TOPPS-RC-NNOF-NONAME-FRONT-BGS-8-5-/360385899834?pt=US_Baseball&hash=item53e8ac6d3a

A benchmark sale for the Junk Wax Gem of Gems!

Truly an ode to the power of the catalog’s recognition coupled with star factor. How many unlisted printing flaws could $2K get you?

 

 

New Blog Feature: Ongoing Checklists

20 Jun

One feature I’ve been meaning to work into the blog for at least a year now, is an ongoing checklist category. Essentially, it will be a “living” checklist of featured sets that will be added to as new variations are found. I will continue to update the posts in the same way I continue to add to the 1990 Pro Set Master Set Checklist post. This will hopefully function as a valuable source of information for junk era set completion.

Suggestions, new info and comments are very welcome with this, but keep in mind that wrong backs, blank backs/fronts and missing foil errors will not make the cut beyond an occasional note of “such and such printing flaws are very common in this issue” etc.

Also, I may note when a particular variation is exceptionally rare or seldom (or never) offered for sale, but I would rather not receive a bunch of “value” or “worth” requests of such cards or “how much will you pay for this” type comments. Mainly because the E&V market tends to fluctuate dramatically on a weekly basis. The lack of catalog info on many variations tends to create a hesitant buying market. One of the key goals of this blog is to provide and share information on variations and to eventually get many of these variations properly cataloged in future annual guides.

1992 Topps Blackless (Missing Ink) Variations

29 Mar

A recent trip to the card shop in search of some junk boxes yielded one1992 Topps Wax Box and one 1997 Score Hobby Reserve Box (complete waste of money). The Topps box was quite a score because almost every other pack had two Match The Stats game cards, which were the primary reason for the purchase. But in the last quarter of packs, these two cards popped out:

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1989 Fleer Randy Johnson #381 Marlbroro Variations

10 Aug

THERE ARE WAY MORE THAN 3 DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF THIS CARD.

There are at least 8 different versions of this card.

Here we are, some 10+ years after it’s discovery (if you take the word of Beckett’s editors), 20+ years after it’s release and this card is still causing confusion and trouble. It’s origin remains murky as no former Fleer reps have gone on record to explain why this card was changed or why it took Fleer so many different tries to get it right. Even stranger is that this is not a legend’s brother’s second-year card or a journeyman reliever’s card, this is the rookie card of one of the game’s greatest pitchers and yet very little info exists on it. And what little info that does is severely in need of an update.

I can’t tell you for certain how many variations exist on this card, because just like it’s more famous relative, 1989 Fleer Bill Ripken #616, new varieties are being discovered all of the time. But it’s safe to say that Fleer altered this card at least 8 different times! I’ve spent more time than you can imagine, squinting at poor-quality scans of this card on ebay over the last 8-9 years now. I know a lot about the different varieties, or I should say, I thought I knew a lot, but then I met, and began discussing this card, with an avid collector of them named Kevin, who has compiled an impressive collection of the varieties, including the only known copy featuring a completely-clear Marlboro sign. Kevin’s knowledge and collection have helped reignite my interest in this variation, specifically it’s proper cataloging in the “big books” and with PSA’s registry, in turn.

Let’s take a look a some of the many, many different varieties available. This article will not cover every version, especially considering how many distinct varieties do not scan well.  Plus, I will be updating it with new images and notes on versions not listed here, as they become available. For now, here are the basics:

This is typically what get’s labeled, bought and sold as the “Marlboro” version. Long thought that this was among the clearest types out there. Sign is pretty visible, no green or red tinting (we’ll talk about that later).

As you can see on this “Red Tint” version, the sign has received a darkening effect of some kind. As if a reddish filter was placed over just the sign area. Certain features of the sign, such as the cowboy and lettering appear to be muddled with an even darker red coloring.

This looks very similar to the previous card but there are a handful of subtle differences. I’m not 100% sold that this is a completely separate variety than the one listed above but something about the tinting, specifically around the lettering on the sign stands out to me when compared to the above card (especially in person).

And now, things start to get weirder. At some point – or possibly a result of Fleer using multiple printing facilities, Fleer proofers added a very green tint to the sign (note the bubble by the cowboy, especially how you can see the white of the logo – you’ll see the bubble again later…). Like the muddled red versions above, there are varying versions that are similar enough to not warrant their separate cataloging but an understandable challenge for the completest. It should be noted that the green tint varieties are among the tougher to acquire. This type is commonly referred to as the “Green Tint” version.

Again, like the Billy Ripken card, this proves so frustrating that that Fleer decides to crudely scribble over the offending sign:

Probably the toughest of the varieties outside of the “Clear Sign” version, this appropriately-labeled “Black Scribble” version can be a bear to track down. I’ve seen fewer than 10 copies of this type, though I am certain many more are out there, but due to how seldom they show up, I would guess that this is a short-run, transitional type, much like the “White Scribble” Billy Ripken variation.

One of Fleer’s other tricks was to place a “box” around just the Marlboro logo in the background. I have found that these vary in size and in some cases, you can see the word ‘Marlboro’ through the box with a good light source. This card pictured is a “Green Box” version. The overall tint or color to the box is greenish.

“Red Box” without bubble. Pretty much the same idea as above but using a reddish tone to cover the offending portion of the background. These come in several shades with many minor varieties to them leaving it up to the collector as to whether or not they should be cataloged separately. These are fairly common among the non “Blacked-Out” types.

“Red Box” with “bubble.” There are a handful of differences between this and the card pictured above, most notably the bubble by where the cowboy should be. This bubble shows up on a few of the different correction attempts and is always in the same place. This would suggest that something was obstructing that spot of one of the printing plates even throughout changes to the background! A mysterious little fingerprint left to aid in the unraveling of this card’s production origins.

This card. Not sure what it should labeled. Maybe “Black Box?” I’ve seen fewer of these than either of the above-mentioned “box” varieties. In person, this card looks almost like the final, “Blacked Out” version but it isn’t. An exceptional light source will reveal that it has an triangular black shape over the lettering that looks almost identical to the “Green Scribble.” This version seems to have also cleaned up all those little edges, bubbles and bright spots on the other “box” varieties.

This is the most common type found. In fact, these have been pulled out of boxes that contain the Bill Ripken “Fuck Face” error, a testament to how quickly all these changes were made to this card. This is the “Blacked Out” version, the final version, using a similar method of correction as card #616 – a full black-out of the offensive area. This is the version most frequently found for sale and it’s also the version that comes out of factory sets (they were produced last).

Sadly, I do not have a larger image of the holy grail of Marlboro varieties, but here is a rare glimpse of the only known copy of the “Clear Sign” version:

Hopefully you’ve found this tutorial useful. It is my goal to get these recognized by the big guides and one day come to a final tally on the different variations.

FYI, all images in this blog are scans of variations owned by me with the exception of Kevin’s amazing “Clear Sign” copy (shown above). I look forward to posting more varieties as they come into my possession so keep checking back to this article periodically.

Remember, even though this card comes from a massively overproduced set, it’s still the rookie card of a future Hall-of-Famer, with 5 Cy Young Awards, a perfect game, a no-hitter, 300+ wins, 4800+ Ks, 10-time All-Star and World Series MVP! I think given the rarity of some of these variations, it’s a no-brainer that Randy’s scarcest RC is found within the 1989 Marlboro varieties. Imagine if Nolan Ryan or even Roger Clemens had 10+ variations of varying rarity affecting their rookie?

UPDATE 8/13:

Just received this today:

This looks especially “blacked-out” around just the lettering of “Marlboro.” At this point, I am unsure if this qualifies for a new, unique variation, but check out this comparison shot next to the 1st version mentioned above, aka, the Marlboro version: