Mystery – Fleer basketball stickers

A few days ago I posted an undated pack of Fleer stickers.  This product is a bit of a mystery and not included in Beckett’s database.  Here are the facts.

I bought it off eBay as a pack from the 1970s.  At the time, I thought the pack might be from 1960.  Why 1960?  Well, the good folks over at the Baseball Card Exchange have the same item for sale in a PSA holder.  The PSA holder shows a date of 1960 on the pack.

Once I had the pack in hand, I knew it wasn’t from 1960.  On the back of the pack is an address for Fleer, and that address includes a ZIP code.  Zip codes didn’t appear until 1963.  Even in 1963, it’s not like everyone adopted them immediately.  This pack is from 1963 at the earliest and probably somewhat later.

1969 Fleer Basketball Stickers closeup

A little more digging on the web pulled up an old lot from Legendary Auctions of a nearly complete box of this same product.  The lot description by Legendary is hard to read because it so over-the-top.  Legendary describes the box as being a test issue from the 60s by Fleer.  That’s not much help, but it’s better than PSAs 1960 date.

I do know a few other things…  This pack sold in stores for 5¢ back in the day.  Based on a little more digging on the web, the 1974 Fleer stickers and 1970 Fleer Harlem Globetrotters cards were both priced at 10¢.  The Topps basketball packs from 1969-70 through 1972-73 were also 10¢ each.  Based on price alone, I’d put this pack as earlier than the Globetrotters stickers of Fleer.

The 1974 Fleer stickers are interesting.  I did a post on them not too long ago.  The pack was issued in 1974, but the pack has a copyright date of 1969.  I thought that was weird when I did the post.  (Warning – lots of speculation here with no proof)  Fleer must have had some trouble getting a basketball product out the door in 1969.  The source of that trouble was likely Topps, which was getting back into NBA cards for the 1969-70 season.

These facts, ideas, and guesses lead me to say that this undated Fleer product is from either 1968 or 1969.  One option is that Fleer was getting its feet wet in 1968 before doing its planned 1969 sticker release (which didn’t happen until 1974).  Another option is that Fleer had trouble in 1969 doing NBA stickers and rushed this out the door instead.  I’m leaning with 1969.  Final answer.

Those are my thoughts on this pack.  If you have any other information or theories, please add them in the comments section.

1969 Fleer Basketball Stickers Wax Pack

The wax pack

1969 Fleer Basketball Stickers Wax Pack

Description

This old pack is in mighty fine shape for being over 40 years old.  It’s almost a shame to have to rip it.

Cost

The pack cost $28.00 on eBay ($25.00 BIN + $3.00 s/h).  I originally lost on an auction around $32.  The seller had another pack, and let it go for less.

Cards/Patches

All American Tryout (front only)

1969 Fleer Basketball Stickers card 1

Best Referee (front only)
Fatty (front only)

1969 Fleer Basketball Stickers cards 2

Summary

  • contents
    This pack had three stickers, and one sticker had a bunch of names at the bottom.  The names can be removed and placed in the blank boxes of other cards.
  • usage
    According to the pack, these stickers are useful for ridiculing your clumsy, obese, or otherwise disabled friends who can’t play basketball.  What are friends for?
  • date
    I put this pack at 1969, but that’s a complete guess.  I’ll do a post at the end of the week to justify (weakly) my choice of 1969.
  • stickers
    Back in early 1900s, people bought cigarettes and happened to get a baseball card.  I don’t know when, but at some point, people started buying baseball cards and the product (gum) was the bonus.  These stickers are so bad that they turn back the sports card clock.  I can’t imagine anyone would buy this pack for the stickers.  They are completely stupid.  They cannot hold a candle to Topps’ basketball issue in 1969.
  • conclusion
    The stickers are a total bust.  They are worthless.  Of course, if this wasn’t such a terrible product, then there’s no way I could afford to buy a 40+-year-old wax pack and rip it for this blog.  It is pretty fun to rip an old pack like this.

Bonus Rip – 2012-13 Panini Kobe Anthology Foil Pack

The foil pack

2012-13 Panini Kobe Anthology Pack

Description

As far as I know, these packs can only be had by buying boxes of certain Panini products.  So far this year I picked up one of these packs in a box of NBA Hoops and Prestige.  I have opened two NBA Hoops boxes.  The Kobe Anthology pack was in the hobby box, not the retail.  The pack contains five cards.

Cost

These are freebies (kind of).  Buy a hobby box and you’ll get an extra pack.

Cards

56 – Kobe Bryant (front and back)

2012-13 Panini Kobe Anthology 56 front 2012-13 Panini Kobe Anthology 56 back

98 – Kobe Bryant (front only)
151 – Kobe Bryant (front only)

2012-13 Panini Kobe Anthology 98 front 2012-13 Panini Kobe Anthology 151 front

166 – Kobe Bryant (front only)
174 – Kobe Bryant (front only)

2012-13 Panini Kobe Anthology 166 front 2012-13 Panini Kobe Anthology 174 front

Summary

  • contents
    Every pack has 5 cards.
  • cards
    These cards are like a vacation photo album of Kobe’s career.  Here is Kobe holding the NBA trophy.  Here is Kobe at the Grand Canyon.  I know that Kobe is still pursuing another ring, but this set makes me feel like he’s already retired.
  • inserts and parallels
    I am not listing all the different inserts and parallels for this set.  Suffice it to say that there are lots of them.  Low-numbered autographs seem to be the home run cards.  Although I only pulled base cards, even the base cards are fairly thick and hefty.
  • conclusion
    To put out a set on just one player, you’d need to be sure that the one player was very popular and maybe even adored.  I don’t think Kobe is that player.  I don’t know who that player would be – Magic Johnson?  Regardless, this set is about Kobe.  While the cards are nice, I can’t imagine that many people would collect this set.  Buy a whole box, and you just get one pack.  The base set is full sized at 200 cards.  Singles are way overpriced on eBay.  No thanks.  Then again, if Kobe is your guy, then knock yourself out.  I shouldn’t be too critical on this set.  The packs are thrown in as a bonus.  If you don’t like 2012-13 Panini Kobe Anthology, then don’t collect it.