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  #1  
Old 07-09-2012, 11:32 AM
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Default Topps 1985 Minis

Anyone else collect these ? This and the 1982 Topps Blackless set were the hardest Topps sets of the 80s for me to complete.

There are 132 cards in the set which was were apparently never sold at retail. They are bigger than the 75 Minis, but 10 % smaller than the regular 85 Topps cards ( 2 3/8 x 3 9/32). They were produced in Canada by O Pee Chee and on whiter stock than the regular 85s.

The 132 cards with completed backs are identical in format to their 85 regular counterparts. I have read that only about 100 of each of these cards are thought to exist. I have completed the set in regular back and blank back ( blank backs are thought to number less than 20 per card). I also have about 1/4 of the set done in red backs ( no green ink), but do not know if the set can be completed that way. I think many of the cards were hand cut or machine cut from proof sheets and wrinkles are a common defect.

The Ryan in blank back is tough for you Ryan collectors





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  #2  
Old 07-10-2012, 11:54 PM
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Default Brett Collector

Is there a Brett? Don't have that one on my checklist.

Very neat. Never seen these before.
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  #3  
Old 07-11-2012, 11:52 AM
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Default Brett

You're in luck, no Brett to fret about
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  #4  
Old 07-11-2012, 07:30 PM
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I have a Schmidt mini MINT, gotta send it to get graded. Possibly my most valuable card.
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  #5  
Old 07-11-2012, 10:10 PM
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Al,

These things are really cool. I never knew they existed and 1985 was right in the middle of my first go at collecting when I was a kid. Thanks for sharing these.

AndyH
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  #6  
Old 07-12-2012, 10:38 AM
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I am almost positive I saw some of those mini's 10-15 yrs ago, just a handful in a box at a yard sale or flea market, but didn't buy them because they were commons.

Wish I knew then what I know now......
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  #7  
Old 07-13-2012, 11:01 AM
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To add to David's garage sale observation, I have a handful of these cards. I'm almost positive I bought them at a local Tom Thumb in Maple Grove, MN. It is possible they are tough, but I don't believe there were only 100 of each card produced.
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  #8  
Old 07-13-2012, 01:10 PM
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Default 1985 Minis

If they were sold at retail in the US that would be worth knowing and new info. By all accounts they were produced in Canada and never retailed here. In putting my two sets together I had to buy most of mine through Canadian sellers, and the hardest cards to find involed Toronto Blue Jay players. My info about the 100 or less comes from SCD and several other hobby sources. I do know the blank backs are much tougher than the regular backs, and the red only backs toughest of all.
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  #9  
Old 07-13-2012, 04:29 PM
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Al-

It may be a week before I'm able to, but I'll follow up on this and take a look to see what I have. By no means do I want to spread false information. I can tell you that in 1988 I was able to buy both Topps and O-Pee-Chee at this same Tom Thumb. I don't know if it really matters, but I thought it might be worth noting. Stay tuned.

Last edited by jakeinge; 07-13-2012 at 04:30 PM.
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  #10  
Old 07-13-2012, 05:03 PM
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Default 1985 Minis

Jake--new hobby info comes to light all the time. Any insight is appreciated. I have every Topps baseball set from 1948 to 2012 and can say that anyone trying to put this set together will have a tough time. The 82 Blackless set is the only other 80s set that compares in difficulty, in my view
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  #11  
Old 07-13-2012, 07:22 PM
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I don't ever recall seeing them, or hearing much about these until the late 90's - that might lend some credence to them being from a source that got a bunch of sheets, and cut them up at some point. I think I picked up a Mets team set from one person on eBay about 7 or 8 years ago. I don't see many of these being offered on eBay right now - certainly not to the volumes you would expect if there were any kind of even a limited distribution. Considering the prices being asked and the nature of eBay, if there were a lot of them out there, there would certainly be many more listings, right?

I would also guess, since everybody and their brother were buying cards and leaving them unopened in the mid 80s, if these were ever sold in packs, we would see unopened packs for these today.

The fact that only one sheet's worth of players exists I think further fits in with the one sheet test run theory, but certainly any additional thoughts or information are appreciated!
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  #12  
Old 07-13-2012, 10:17 PM
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Default 1985 Minis

Good post
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  #13  
Old 07-15-2012, 10:08 PM
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I have had mine since about 1990. Got it in trade with Gary, from Let's Collect in Canada, at a card show. He used to supply me and my buddies with (nearly) all of our Canadian oddball issues. It is indeed very rare, a true dumpster dive, with many that were recovered wet, stained or otherwise damaged. Population reported above supposedly comes from the original owner.

BTW, they were NOT "sets". They were a one sheet test print (132 cards) numbered the same as the regular issue. Hence the Schmidt #300 and the McGee #757.
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Last edited by Deertick; 07-15-2012 at 10:12 PM.
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  #14  
Old 07-16-2012, 01:04 PM
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Default Sets ?

I realize they were not intended as a set, but they are listed as a set in the SCD Standard Catalog and in the PSA Registry. In that regard they are similar to the 1982 Topps Blackless "set" of 396 ( 3 sheets) or the Topps 1984 Encased proof "set" ( head in the box) of 66...also one sheet. People do collect them as sets

I mentioned I have the 85 Minis completed in blank back and regular back, and about 1/3 in red only backs ( no green ink). Does anyone know if the "set" can be completed that way ?
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:14 PM
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Sorry Al, I should have been more clear in my post. It was in response to other posts indicating a retail venue, and the quantity.
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  #16  
Old 07-16-2012, 04:44 PM
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Default Odd Ball and Schmidt

Got it Jim. Do you know Marc ( mikeschmidt on CU )? He is a Philly and Schmidt collector friend of mine. Not sure he posts on 54. If you're inclined, send me a pm about what odd ball Topps stuff you collect, or what you collect in general.
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  #17  
Old 07-21-2012, 06:32 PM
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I have every Dodgers 85 Topps mini in three variations (stat back, white blank back, and tan blank back) with the exception of a Steve Yeager tan blank back. If anyone has one they're willing to sell please let me know, thanks!
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  #18  
Old 07-22-2012, 03:48 PM
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Default Yeager

I have 3 versions of Yeager, regular back, blank white back and what I call red back...it has the stats but no green ink and is on tan stock . Do you have tan blank backs of your other Dodgers and if so can you post one along side a white blank back. I mentioned earlier that I am not certain if the set can be completed in red back form


Last edited by ALR-bishop; 07-22-2012 at 06:49 PM.
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  #19  
Old 07-27-2012, 09:57 PM
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Sorry for the delayed response, I forgot that I posted in this thread...yes, I will post a scan of the blank tan backs next to the white blank backs as soon as I can. I did not realize there were "red only" stat backs until you mentioned it so I don't know how many exist. That's actually frustrating news as now I have to locate more to complete that team set, lol.
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  #20  
Old 07-28-2012, 01:06 PM
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Here are scans of three of the cards (front and back) from my Dodgers team set. The scan shows examples of the green stat back, the blank white back, and the blank cream/tan back.

To trade I have the following extras: Steve Yeager (white back); Steve Sax (green stat back) PSA5; Pedro Guerrero (green stat back) psa6; Tom Niedenfuer (white back, green stat back ungraded, green stat back psa4).

I would like to trade these to anyone who might have any Dodgers with the red ink only stat backs that I previously didn't know existed.
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File Type: jpg 85 topps minis front.jpg (17.5 KB, 307 views)
File Type: jpg 85 topps minis back.jpg (7.6 KB, 308 views)
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  #21  
Old 07-28-2012, 02:49 PM
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Thanks for the scans. I assume you could complete the set in tan blank back. I have none of those , but do have the set done in white blank back. Not sure about red only backs but assume there was at least one full sheet like that.

Last edited by ALR-bishop; 07-29-2012 at 03:12 PM.
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  #22  
Old 07-30-2012, 01:58 AM
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Al - there's a guy on ebay that goes by the handle gotjacollectibles. I purchased mine off of him about five years ago. He still has some tan backs listed. I'm currently working with another guy on obtaining some test issues and error cards and he has a few minis with stat backs and blank backs but he too had never heard of the red-ink only backs. He said he had purchased his minis off of gotjacollectibles in the late 90's. He said gotja got the sheets from the Topps Guernsey Auction in 1989 and that he had the sheets professionally cut himself. I contacted gotja through ebay and he said he doesn't have any red-ink only backs either.
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Last edited by 4reals; 07-30-2012 at 02:09 AM.
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  #23  
Old 07-30-2012, 09:14 AM
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Default 85 tan blank backs

Funny how you can learn new stuff everyday about even about a 25 year old issue. I guess I will stand pat on the two sets I have and keep a look out for anymore reds. I feel going after the tans now would be a slog

Al
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  #24  
Old 07-30-2012, 10:24 AM
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I followed up with Alan again (gotja) and he checked the Guernsey Auction catalog and said no red-ink back minis were sold that day. Where the heck did you find yours?
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  #25  
Old 07-30-2012, 11:08 AM
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Default red backs

Ebay. Can not remember if it was a Canadian or New York seller. It could be it was a one run color proof sheet. I also have one or two cards with only red and green swirls on the back. I will post one if I get a chance today
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  #26  
Old 07-30-2012, 12:25 PM
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Yeah, it might be...I look forward the scan, thanks!
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  #27  
Old 07-30-2012, 02:05 PM
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Default 85 Mini odd balls

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  #28  
Old 07-30-2012, 03:35 PM
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Thank you for sharing. Interesting, very interesting.
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  #29  
Old 02-18-2014, 10:29 PM
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Default I never gave an update on this....

Turns out, my minis were a 1988 issue I'm thinking about buying a few of these on ebay. Any thoughts as to the potential demand 5-10 years from now?

And apologies for not responding sooner. I'm getting old
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  #30  
Old 02-23-2014, 10:18 AM
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Default 1985 Mini

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Originally Posted by ALR-bishop View Post
Ebay. Can not remember if it was a Canadian or New York seller. It could be it was a one run color proof sheet. I also have one or two cards with only red and green swirls on the back. I will post one if I get a chance today
One of the sellers promoting 1985 mini's indicates that he has correspondence from Topps which, in part confirms that more than 130 sets were issued. By his accounting Topps hired O-Pee-Chee to make the mini-test set. OPC then sold among other things, 210 sheets to a scrapper, which then sold 110 of the 132-card "sets" to a Long Island dealer. The dealer then cut the sheets in to cards.

By the dealers account, the sheets may have included 3 color progressive proofs, later shown to exist - which presumably may be where your red backs came from, Al. Of course this is just conjecture, but it certainly sounds plausible.

He also indicates that the cards were printed on normal OPC "white" stock or regular Topps cardboard stock - possibly explaining the 2 types of blank backs (tan & gray cardboard). Other accounts in a previous thread indicate some of the sheets were thrown away and retrieved from dumpsters due to smeared ink, etc.
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File Type: jpg 1985 Topps Min Back Gray Tan Sixto Lezcano.jpg (77.4 KB, 242 views)

Last edited by Zach Wheat; 02-23-2014 at 10:21 AM. Reason: add pic
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  #31  
Old 02-23-2014, 01:44 PM
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Default 1985 Minis

Great info Zach. I guess you and I will never be 100 percent sure of all the facts, but everything you have passed on is consistent with my experience in collecting them
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  #32  
Old 06-04-2014, 07:30 AM
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I know I have at least one Julio Franco 1985 Topps mini. Hmmm...now I am going to have to check out the back to see what I have. Thanks for the info.
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  #33  
Old 09-11-2015, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALR-bishop View Post
Thanks for the scans. I assume you could complete the set in tan blank back. I have none of those , but do have the set done in white blank back. Not sure about red only backs but assume there was at least one full sheet like that.
yup / one sheet of redbacks / was at the george washington motor lodge show in willow grove, pa where these things surfaced from canada.
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  #34  
Old 09-12-2015, 05:49 AM
Zach Wheat Zach Wheat is offline
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Default 85 minis

Can you post a scan or pic of the sheet?

Z
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  #35  
Old 09-12-2015, 08:13 AM
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I only have one or two cards. I'd have to check. Schmidt (maybe Carlton).
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  #36  
Old 09-12-2015, 09:19 AM
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Default Reds

I have a bunch, maybe 1/4 of the set, in red back and posted one in first post. I think Zach is asking about a scan of the sheet you mentioned
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  #37  
Old 09-12-2015, 04:11 PM
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the sheet!? / that was about 20 years ago or so. all the redbacks came from it. It doesn't exist anymore / was cut down to singles, like all the other sheets (tan/white/reg backs).
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  #38  
Old 09-12-2015, 04:13 PM
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we purchased most all the mets and phillies card that were at the show.
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  #39  
Old 09-12-2015, 04:30 PM
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Default Reds

It used to be said there were about 100 of the sheets and that 10 to 20 were blank back. I have no idea if those figures are accurate. I put together my regular back and blank back sets quite awhile back. When I bought the red backs I have there were a bunch on eBay. Wish I had bought more. While I think the red backs are scarcer than the others, I have no idea if there was only one sheet. I have some extra cards that have smeared backs, so I assume there are more of those too. But I agree that most, if not all, of them out there are cut from test sheets, similar to the Topps 84 Encased or Head In The Box cards
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  #40  
Old 09-12-2015, 10:18 PM
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yes, but about half the sheets were ruined and not bought (at first). The smeared cards are most likely from them. the other half was very nice. there was only one sheet of red backs.
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  #41  
Old 09-13-2015, 11:22 AM
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Default 1985

This seller includes similar info

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1985-TOPPS-M...item5408daa36f
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  #42  
Old 09-13-2015, 11:34 AM
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Default Smears

Here is one of my smeared cards. I tend to think the ones I have are print defects and not due to damage because the fronts look good and the backs look like defects not damage




The toughest cards for me in completing both the regular and blank back sets were the Blue Jay cards. Also, because they all seem to have been cut from sheets it is hard putting the set together without minor wrinkles. A lot of the cards look great even in hand until you make a close inspection which often turns up the minor wrinkles, I assume from the sheets being rolled and unrolled over time
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  #43  
Old 09-13-2015, 07:22 PM
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Default '85 Topps Minis

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the sheet!? / that was about 20 years ago or so. all the redbacks came from it. It doesn't exist anymore / was cut down to singles, like all the other sheets (tan/white/reg backs).
Yes I was referring to the sheet. The original source of information on the set indicated there were more than 1 copy of the sheet. In fact, he had mentioned 110 sheets were sold after originally taking them out of the garbage at the back of the OPC printers....which I suspect is where your 'smeared" card came from Al.

He also mentioned there was threats of litigation for removing sheets from a dumpster but nothing came of it. I am still suprised more cards - and for that matter, whole sheets - haven't turned up.

Z
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  #44  
Old 09-13-2015, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALR-bishop View Post
This wasn't the original seller of the '85 mini test sets. I forgot his handle on eBay...will have to dig through my notes.

Z
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  #45  
Old 09-13-2015, 08:02 PM
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iv never heard of these cards. crazy stuff
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  #46  
Old 09-19-2015, 01:03 AM
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I need the Ryan if anyone has one available.
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  #47  
Old 09-23-2015, 09:41 PM
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I have a few I bought years ago that are still in the ASA slabs. I've been meaning to send them into PSA but haven't got around to it.
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  #48  
Old 10-02-2015, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALR-bishop View Post
If they were sold at retail in the US that would be worth knowing and new info. By all accounts they were produced in Canada and never retailed here. In putting my two sets together I had to buy most of mine through Canadian sellers, and the hardest cards to find involed Toronto Blue Jay players. My info about the 100 or less comes from SCD and several other hobby sources. I do know the blank backs are much tougher than the regular backs, and the red only backs toughest of all.
This info echos exactly what I heard from the same sources when they started to get some print in the early '90's, at which time I bought raw mint copies of the Rice and Murray. Ryan was unbelievably hot then, and too expensive for my taste at that time. I believe 100 of each is a reliable and accurate estimate, and think they will do well in the future (I have also seen some high recent prices on ebay).

Happy collecting,

Larry
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  #49  
Old 10-02-2015, 08:23 PM
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Default 1985 mini

Glad to hear there is no Brett to worry about
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  #50  
Old 10-19-2015, 03:44 PM
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Default red back

just got around to taking the pic--sorry it's a little out of focus at the corner
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