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Old 01-12-2018, 06:46 AM
West West is offline
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 23

Originally Posted by Rich Klein View Post
I wish I still had the letters we received from collectors in 1990-91 who received the Thomas out of the pack while we were working on exactly what that card was.

I have no doubt from my memory that these cards are legit, were put into packs, and more importantly it was just a printing fluke which make the NNOF. Since we were a publishing company in those days, we had tons of people with printing experience. I still remember we showed one of our pre-press managers the card and he said the error was a printing mistake and was absolutely legit.

Thanks a lot for your response Rich. I've been working on something - independently of this thread - regarding this card and I may PM you for a bit of information at some point.

An educated opinion from someone with pre-press or plate making experience would be very helpful as I am always looking for more opinions on these cards.

One thing I might note on the print variation vs. printing defect discussion. Many people have termed the NNOF and the other blackless errors a "short run print defect". When I think of print defect, I think of fisheyes, ink run, solvent drips and the like. The most convincing theory that I have seen put forth regarding the cause of the error contends that the error was the result of a bad plate, which in my opinion is quite different from a print defect. According to those with printing experience, that is the only way that this error could be exactly reproduced in quantities in the hundreds. The cause of the plate production error is still in dispute. The most likely hypothesis that I've seen (from forum member Steve B) is that a piece of tape or paper blocked the negatives from being exposed onto the black printing plate when the plate was made. This theory makes a great deal of sense to me given the conditions required to produce an exact replica of the error over a print run of 400-1000 sheets. Also, when looking at the physical shape of the error, it appears that tape or paper could very well be the culprit. Looking at different examples of errors in the "Show me your...print variations" thread that were caused by solvent or water drips, this fact becomes fairly indisputable.

I wholeheartedly agree that the error was indeed a printing mistake and not an intentional move by Topps to recreate the Fleer FF fiasco or generate buzz. At the same time, I think that knowledge of exactly how this error occurred is beneficial to collectors who want to reach an understanding of what constitutes a simple print defect (fisheye, etc), a print variation (an actual change in the printing plates, such as the different Fleer FF versions) or a print error (the player's name mispelled, wrong team, etc).

If we accept the conclusion that the error was produced with its own set of printing plates, and then had to be corrected by producing a new set of plates, I would be inclined to characterize the NNOF and the other dozen errors as true printing variations (not just a random "print defect"), worthy of their inclusion in the PSA registry.

Last edited by West; 01-12-2018 at 08:23 AM.
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