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  #1  
Old 11-03-2017, 01:20 PM
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samosa4u samosa4u is offline
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Default Mass-Produced Football Cards

Being Canadian, I have been collecting vintage hockey for many years now and there aren't that many of them out there. For example, if I do an eBay search for a 1958 Topps Bobby Hull Rookie, I will see that there are currently 25 of them up for sale. There are 15 1960 Topps Stan Mikita rookies and only 5 1961 Parkhurst Dave Keon rookies.

Now I was searching for some vintage football last night, and I just couldn't believe how many of them are out there. I see at least 120 John Unitas rookies and 90 Jim Brown rookies - that's quite a lot!

In Canada, companies didn't start mass-producing hockey cards until the late 1970s. In USA, it looks like companies were doing this as early as the 1950s. With baseball it's even worse. There are a trillion Roberto Clemente rookies and Hank Aaron rookies out there.

Anyways, I do want to go after the key football rookies, but it just sucks that there are so many of them.
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Old 11-03-2017, 03:15 PM
jefferyepayne jefferyepayne is offline
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Originally Posted by samosa4u View Post
Being Canadian, I have been collecting vintage hockey for many years now and there aren't that many of them out there. For example, if I do an eBay search for a 1958 Topps Bobby Hull Rookie, I will see that there are currently 25 of them up for sale. There are 15 1960 Topps Stan Mikita rookies and only 5 1961 Parkhurst Dave Keon rookies.

Now I was searching for some vintage football last night, and I just couldn't believe how many of them are out there. I see at least 120 John Unitas rookies and 90 Jim Brown rookies - that's quite a lot!

In Canada, companies didn't start mass-producing hockey cards until the late 1970s. In USA, it looks like companies were doing this as early as the 1950s. With baseball it's even worse. There are a trillion Roberto Clemente rookies and Hank Aaron rookies out there.

Anyways, I do want to go after the key football rookies, but it just sucks that there are so many of them.
I guess its all perspective. We in the states consider the mass production of cards to have started in 1989 when all sorts of companies besides Topps began producing them.

To me, "mass produced" means there are so many that the price for them is close to zero. I would not consider Unitas, Brown, and Namath rookie cards as mass produced given their cost.

jeff
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Old 11-05-2017, 11:44 AM
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I collected the 75th anniversary team set which consists of 48 key rookie cards and really it wasn’t much fun. The cards are for sale constantly. If you have a grade you want and a price you want to pay then that can require some patience. But if you take a card like the Walter Payton rookie - it feels more like shopping than collecting as there are so many for sale at any given time. For collectors who really want excellent centering, I think that can create a challenge for pretty much any vintage card though.

Last edited by TanksAndSpartans; 11-05-2017 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 11-06-2017, 07:08 AM
jefferyepayne jefferyepayne is offline
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I collected the 75th anniversary team set which consists of 48 key rookie cards and really it wasn’t much fun. The cards are for sale constantly. If you have a grade you want and a price you want to pay then that can require some patience. But if you take a card like the Walter Payton rookie - it feels more like shopping than collecting as there are so many for sale at any given time. For collectors who really want excellent centering, I think that can create a challenge for pretty much any vintage card though.
Or go pre-war! No worries about overproduction of those sets LOL.

jeff
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Old 11-06-2017, 02:08 PM
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Or go pre-war! No worries about overproduction of those sets LOL.

jeff
Yep, that's where I wound up.
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Old 11-06-2017, 06:48 PM
clamendo clamendo is offline
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I looked there are over 3000 graded Jim Brown rookies and they still command a hefty price.
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Old 11-06-2017, 06:51 PM
jefferyepayne jefferyepayne is offline
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I looked there are over 3000 graded Jim Brown rookies and they still command a hefty price.
Exactly. If demand is much greater than supply, you aren't talking about a card that was overproduced.

jeff
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Old 11-08-2017, 10:23 PM
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Exactly. If demand is much greater than supply, you aren't talking about a card that was overproduced.

jeff
Jeff, I get your point that the cards aren't over produced like modern cards, but I'm not thinking of mass produced as the quantity that drives the price to near zero. I'm just saying that there is enough mass that one really doesn't have to go through much effort to obtain one (I had to know someone to add a particular Bread for Health card to my collection, but I pretty easily picked up a Brown rookie from eBay for example.) And its not just the Brown, I would say almost the entire HOF rookie set (there are some high numbers and short prints in the set which is why i say almost) aren't cards that you really need to wait long before they are auctioned off. Also, I think the OP was talking more about rarity than cost prohibitiveness. I think we are pretty lucky on the football side that most mid grade cards in the HOF rookie set don't break the bank esp. when looking at comparative baseball cards (Jim Brown and Mickey Mantle were rookies in the same decade for example). The OP mentions Brown and Unitas rookies which at least a few years ago I think could be obtained for around $300 in mid-grade.

Last edited by TanksAndSpartans; 11-09-2017 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 11-09-2017, 12:31 PM
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Gentlemen, thank you for your posts.

First of all, I disagree that mass-production began in the late 1980s, because like John pointed out, there are a million 1976 Walter Payton rookies out there. I also disagree with the criteria that in order for any card to be considered mass-produced, its value has to be near to zero. America's population is huge and there will always be demand. Even the 1989 Score Barry Sanders RC brings in some money and if you lined these cards up side-by-side, you could probably circle the earth a couple of times. Now maybe I shouldn't have called the Brown and Unitas rookies mass-produced, but there are still so many of them out there, especially compared to hockey.

And I don't think that you football collectors should consider yourselves "lucky" because mid-grade HOF rookies can be purchased for a few hundred. Don't you want the value of your collection to grow? A mid-grade 1958 Topps Bobby Hull RC can fetch around $2,000 and anyone who purchased it for $1,000 is obviously going to be really happy about that. Now a 1951 Parkhurst Gordie Howe RC is probably at least $3,000. These mid-grade HOF football rookies won't go up by much in value because there are too many of them out there.
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Last edited by samosa4u; 11-09-2017 at 03:42 PM.
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  #10  
Old 11-10-2017, 07:47 AM
jefferyepayne jefferyepayne is offline
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You guys make very good points. I guess in my mind I was equating the term "mass produced" with "over produced" and they are most definitely not the same thing.

Clearly cards in the states were produced at a much high rate than in Canada and ARE pretty available if you have the $$$.

The difficult to find football cards typically fall into these categories in the states:

1. Pre-war sets - not all pre-war cards are scarce but some most definitely are (examples: 1926 Spalding, 1926 Pottsville Maroons RPPCs, Mayo Dunlop)
2. Scarce regional sets - those with very limited distribution and/or where some cards were distributed through unpopular products (examples: bread labels, Eskimo Pie SPs, Royal Castle SPs)
3. Grade level scarcity - high grade cards from a particular set (1963 Fleer Buoniconti, 1957 Topps Bratkowski, 1935 Chicle Nags)

jeff
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