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Go Back   Net54baseball.com Forums > Net54baseball Postwar Sportscard Forums > Modern Baseball Cards Forum (1980-Present)

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  #1  
Old 03-27-2023, 10:48 PM
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Tim Odeen
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Default Did Topps Tiffany Commonly Get Into Kids Hands?

A question was asked on Twitter if Tiffany sets ever were given to kids. The overwhelming response was no - it was an adult set and monetarily out of the reach of young collectors. But it feels speculative. I'm not sure any of my Twitter peers are old enough to have thoroughly known the hobby when Tiffany was released in 1983. I know Tiffany sets from mid-90s Beckett price guides.

So, for you elder statesmen of the hobby who can remember 1983 / 1984 / 1985....in how many of these early years were Tiffany sets seen as a gimmick and given to young collectors?

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  #2  
Old 03-27-2023, 10:54 PM
MR RAREBACK MR RAREBACK is offline
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I think each card shop could only get 1 case of six sets
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  #3  
Old 03-28-2023, 01:00 AM
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I LOL at “elder statesmen of the hobby who can remember 1983 / 1984 / 1985.” Please, someone tell me this cannot be an accurate representation of “elder statesman” ….
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Old 03-28-2023, 06:27 AM
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first Tiffany issue was actually 1984
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  #5  
Old 03-28-2023, 08:52 AM
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Never seen any full sets but lots of singles for young player collectors back in the 80s.
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  #6  
Old 03-28-2023, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mungo Hungo View Post
I LOL at “elder statesmen of the hobby who can remember 1983 / 1984 / 1985.” Please, someone tell me this cannot be an accurate representation of “elder statesman” ….
I'm 37 years old. I was 5 when I started buying 1991 Topps. But I never saw Tiffany at a store; I still only see it on ebay. Someone who would be 50 this year would have been 9yo when 1984 Tiffany was released. So an elder statesman would have to be at least 60 yo to be in a position to have obtained these sets, or even older if they owned a card shop business in the early 80s and were able to order a case.

I knew about Tiffany in the mid-90s when I was 10yo because of Beckett Magazine Hot 20. Chipper Jones and KGJ Tiffany cards were usually on those lists.
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  #7  
Old 03-28-2023, 12:40 PM
raulus raulus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by todeen View Post
I'm 37 years old. I was 5 when I started buying 1991 Topps. But I never saw Tiffany at a store; I still only see it on ebay. Someone who would be 50 this year would have been 9yo when 1984 Tiffany was released. So an elder statesman would have to be at least 60 yo to be in a position to have obtained these sets, or even older if they owned a card shop business in the early 80s and were able to order a case.

I knew about Tiffany in the mid-90s when I was 10yo because of Beckett Magazine Hot 20. Chipper Jones and KGJ Tiffany cards were usually on those lists.
I've got almost a decade on you, Tim, although probably still not enough to qualify for the elder statesman title. I remember riding my bike down to Safeway to buy packs from the 1987 set.

And my friends and I were definitely aware of the Topps Tiffany product. If memory serves, you could buy individual Tiffany items from the local card shop "Mike's Dugout". My recollection from the time is that while I thought they looked cool, I was more interested in buying the less expensive regular Topps pieces.

As a completely random and unrelated aside, going down to Mike's Dugout (also on my bike), I still remember separating out my purchases to reduce my sales tax burden. If you purchased an item at 7 cents and above, you paid at least a penny of sales tax. At 6 cents and below, zero sales tax. I remember strategically spacing my purchases. Buy an item for 6 cents, pay for it. Look around a bit more. Buy another item for 6 cents, pay for it. Look around some more. Either Mike was wise to what I was doing, or he thought I was just a kid who couldn't make up his mind.
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  #8  
Old 03-28-2023, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raulus View Post
I've got almost a decade on you, Tim, although probably still not enough to qualify for the elder statesman title. I remember riding my bike down to Safeway to buy packs from the 1987 set.



And my friends and I were definitely aware of the Topps Tiffany product. If memory serves, you could buy individual Tiffany items from the local card shop "Mike's Dugout". My recollection from the time is that while I thought they looked cool, I was more interested in buying the less expensive regular Topps pieces.



As a completely random and unrelated aside, going down to Mike's Dugout (also on my bike), I still remember separating out my purchases to reduce my sales tax burden. If you purchased an item at 7 cents and above, you paid at least a penny of sales tax. At 6 cents and below, zero sales tax. I remember strategically spacing my purchases. Buy an item for 6 cents, pay for it. Look around a bit more. Buy another item for 6 cents, pay for it. Look around some more. Either Mike was wise to what I was doing, or he thought I was just a kid who couldn't make up his mind.
I bought my packs at Buttrey's Grocery in Montana (eventually bought by Albertsons). I didn't even know card shops existed for 3-4 more years! At 5, I was aware enough when my mom said she was getting groceries that I would ask to tag along in order to get another pack.

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  #9  
Old 03-28-2023, 09:12 AM
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As a kid collector in the 80’s, my friends and I had no clue Tiffany existed


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  #10  
Old 03-28-2023, 09:19 AM
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Default 1987 Topps tiffany sets

A collector buddy bought two 87 sets with updates at a recent card show. I think for around $1,500--he thinks they are good investment's, I'm skeptical.

Last edited by Directly; 03-28-2023 at 09:21 AM.
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  #11  
Old 03-28-2023, 10:35 AM
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I have the sets 84-91 and associated Updates still in sealed boxes. They may be all stuck together by now. Have not followed prices. Later picked up the 2001 and 2002 Limited sets, which I think may be similar. One sealed, and one opened and ok

Last edited by ALR-bishop; 03-28-2023 at 03:31 PM.
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  #12  
Old 03-28-2023, 11:01 AM
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I collected HEAVILY when I was a little guy. I mean every set: Upper Deck, Topps, Pacific, Pinnacle, Flair, Donruss, Leaf, everything I could get my hands on.

I never heard of Topps Tiffany until I was an adult.
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  #13  
Old 03-28-2023, 12:45 PM
Zach Wheat Zach Wheat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALR-bishop View Post
I have the sets 84-91 and associated Updates still in sealed boxes. They maybe all stuck together by now. Have not followed prices. Later picked up the 2001 and 2002 Limited sets, which I think may be similar. On sealed, and one opened and ok
Remember Justin's freezer trick for unsticking cards from this era.

I have most Tiffany sets and updates. I remember them being sold in card shops, but not being able to buy a whole set. The card shop I frequented, used to sell a bunch of singles for set builders. I presume the shop owner kept most of the star cards and sold off the singles.
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  #14  
Old 03-28-2023, 05:38 PM
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Any individual cards that were sold were from set breaks. Sets were only available by the (6) case. You had to have a Topps dealer account just to be able to buy a case.
My memory is that if you wanted to order, there was an allocation based on the dealers regular issues (not just baseball) order amount, with a limit on quantity. (say, $50K+, you could buy 50 cases. $20K, 15 cases). They then would fulfill orders and worked their way down to lower level accounts. Us local hotel and mall schleppers would pool together and get an order from someone who had extra slots.

I believe that later they offered me an allotment as incentive for ordering a certain amount of product (Football! Basketball! Hockey!, lol), but that may have been something else.
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  #15  
Old 03-30-2023, 09:47 AM
RayBShotz RayBShotz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALR-bishop View Post
I have the sets 84-91 and associated Updates still in sealed boxes. They may be all stuck together by now. Have not followed prices. Later picked up the 2001 and 2002 Limited sets, which I think may be similar. One sealed, and one opened and ok
Al - I broke a seal and busted an 86 Topps Tiffany set recently and the cards showed no signs of sticking at all. They were prisitine and slid out of the box nicely.
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To answer the original question; I would have to think that there were a few "hobby aware" parents that might have given the set to their kids as a birthday or Christmas gift back in the day. So lets just say yes; a small percentage got in the hands of kids. Anecdotal of course.
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  #16  
Old 03-31-2023, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayBShotz View Post
Al - I broke a seal and busted an 86 Topps Tiffany set recently and the cards showed no signs of sticking at all. They were pristine and slid out of the box nicely.
I have honestly not seen too much issue with bricking on Tiffany, the ugly yellowing for sure, but bricking has not been an issue. I wish I could solve the yellowing issues but my solution has been just to not buy any already changing, try to keep out of direct sun, and keep my fingers crossed so far.

I do admit I am very selective about where I buy sealed glossy from and have had fairly good luck. I believe wholeheartedly that bricking is from poor storage conditions. High heat and humidity are the absolute worst for gloss. It causes the gloss to subtly melt and gain a mild viscosity. Then as the cards come back to temp, that gloss rehardens and forms the "glue" sticking these together. This is why I adopted the method mentioned earlier of freezing the cards at least overnight prior to opening as the frozen gloss is far easier to separate.

As to my purchases, I avoid areas that have a likelihood of high heat or humid storage in a non-temp controlled environment. Places like storage units, attics, or garages. No buys in southern climates, I try to buy northern. While this is certainly not foolproof in any way as who knows the travels of those cards in 40 years plus, it has given me better luck.

I would advise any junk wax hoarders in areas like this to make sure their stash is in a ventilated and air conditioned area of your home. If you live in the north and have a basement with no water issues, it is a great place too. I find it a perfect place and have never had bricking. Sadly, my second divorce left a good pile of items in a garage over a summer due to no other option and I had issues with those cards. I was more upset about the junk wax than the wife, lol.
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  #17  
Old 03-29-2023, 08:32 AM
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I only knew of Tiffany from SCD and the like. And they were always mad expensive

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Old 03-29-2023, 09:00 AM
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I remember seeing the sets in shops, I didn't hear anyone call them Tiffany until years later. They were very expensive and not sold in packs, I wasn't interested at all back then.
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Old 03-29-2023, 03:08 PM
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I remember seeing the sets in shops, I didn't hear anyone call them Tiffany until years later. They were very expensive and not sold in packs, I wasn't interested at all back then.
I think they might have been called "collector's edition"?
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Old 03-29-2023, 04:00 PM
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I remember seeing the sets in shops, I didn't hear anyone call them Tiffany until years later. They were very expensive and not sold in packs, I wasn't interested at all back then.
I feel like the term was just added at some time in the late 80's by collectors. Seems like like it happened rather quickly. I wish I still had some old guides around, but most were tossed during moves as it would be interesting to see when the Beckett or SCD books started calling them that.

Topps would have never been able to call them Tiffany without being sued to high heaven without a licensing agreement.
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Old 03-29-2023, 09:08 AM
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The main shop I went to carried them in 84 and after, I think they got them direct from Topps, but I'm not positive.

They mostly sold them as complete sets, and sold out pretty quickly.

I've had a few here and there, and at one point had an 88 set that had all the stars pulled out. That was typical for a while the stars sold for more than the set, but the commons just didn't sell well at all. I sold that batch after a few years. It was simpler and cheaper to buy a sealed set, and mine wasnot well centered anyway.
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Old 03-29-2023, 09:14 AM
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I am kind of proud that I became an elder stateman at 50, lol. (Just messing with you Tim. )

I remember Tiffany launching quite well. Not much so in 84', but by the 85' release it had entrenched itself as a holy grail item far outside my price range. I had no neighborhood friends that had examples, but did see them for sale in the larger card shop at the time on 28th street in Grand Rapids Mi and at the ubiquitous every other month card shows at the local mall in any sizeable city of the 80's.

The firm hammer for the card world and establishment of Tiffany would come a few years later because of the 1985 Topps USA Team Mark McGwire Athletics #401 during Big Mac's 15 minutes. Any card shop worth their salt had an astronomically priced one in the case for the ooh's and aah's for onlookers.

That card was the lynchpin of Tiffany's place in Topps history.

As for "given" to kids...no way. Tiffany was far out of a kid's financial reach. I will say that I did get my first examples due to the success of that Mcgwire. The draw of that card caused set breaks and I was able to add some Tigers to my collection from those breaks as singles were now available under a fiver for semi stars and a buck or two for commons.
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  #23  
Old 03-29-2023, 11:38 AM
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1991 Tiffany sets are the lowest print run of any of them at least in my opinion. So the odds of them being in stores that year are very minimal
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Old 03-29-2023, 04:20 PM
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I only bought singles at shows. I did find out years later that one was not a Tiffany. As a kid you just bought and trusted.


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Old 03-30-2023, 09:51 AM
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As a couple posters pointed out above, I believe the only way young 'uns got their hands on Tiffany cards was through set breaks. I've got a few singles from various years and a complete 1987 regular and Traded set, but that's about it.
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  #26  
Old 03-31-2023, 06:17 AM
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As this thread shows most kids at the time, including myself, never heard of Tiffany cards. Beckett was the preferred go to for kids at the time and Tiffany cards were left out of the price guide until the mid to late , 90s well after the last printed Tiffany set of 1991.

Even those kids that did hear about them through their LCS, the price was well out of their reach.
Sure, there may have been some kids somewhere that bought them or received them as a gift (most likely 1987-1989 as these had much higher print runs), but not enough to have any significant impact. A much more likely impact would be sets purchased by adult collects at the time who passed away or threw their collections away as the era became known as junk wax.

Up until recently, I had been tracking down as many sets numbers as I could. You can find the list of found sets on my website www.tiffanycards.com
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Old 03-31-2023, 08:04 AM
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Welcome to the board. Neat web site. I have a sealed set of the 52 Reprints but was unaware they are considered Tiffany cards. Do they differ from the 53 and 54 Reprint sets ?. I have the Tiffany sets from 84 to 91 but only the 2001 and 2002 Limited sets. Good to know about the other years they were issued
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Old 04-01-2023, 11:28 AM
TiffanyCards TiffanyCards is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALR-bishop View Post
Welcome to the board. Neat web site. I have a sealed set of the 52 Reprints but was unaware they are considered Tiffany cards. Do they differ from the 53 and 54 Reprint sets ?. I have the Tiffany sets from 84 to 91 but only the 2001 and 2002 Limited sets. Good to know about the other years they were issued

I included the 52 reprint as a Tiffany set bc it has the same box design and card quality of all the other Tiffany sets.


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