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Old 11-04-2022, 11:13 AM
Zach Wheat Zach Wheat is offline
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Default 1991 Topps Desert Shield Production Figures

Ever since the original posts about the set, a lot has happened. Mile High (2018) sold the #1 rated PSA set for $106K with recent pack sales at REA (2022) going for over $1K a pack. However, until recently the actual production figures were never known. Post War Cards has a good blog (www.postwarcards.com):::>

http://postwarcards.com

detailing the actual production figures and congratulating the employees. Topps appeared to have rushed to get the set produced prior to Christmas break. In the letter, Topps execs detailed that 500 cases were produced or 6,818 of each card (500 cases X 20 boxes per case X 36 packs per box X 15 cards per pack = 5,400,000 total cards / 792 players in set or 6,818 cards of each player. The letter was dated Dec. 21, 1990.

This confirms much of what we speculated about the set, but could not confirm until now. The series of posts about the set were interesting. Great job John!
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Last edited by Zach Wheat; 11-04-2022 at 01:29 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 11-04-2022, 12:37 PM
ALR-bishop ALR-bishop is offline
Al Richter
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Zach—is it known if any of the Desert Shield packs had any of the older insert cards or instant winner cards Topps placed in their 40 year anniversary packs ?

Also—have all of the known DS packs been the 15 card type ?

Do we know how the DS cards were sent overseas and through what means ? And how many of those made were actually sent overseas ? And were DS cards sent or created only in pack form or were there factory DS sets ?

And I assume if someone bought what were purported to be DS packs that had not been authenticated as described in the article, the only way to confirm their authenticity is to open them

I have had two DS sets that I bought in the mid 90s. I sold one. When buying one of them the seller included a pack he claimed was a DS pack. It was a throw in for no charge. I did not realize I was getting the pack until the set arrived. I will never know if it is legit. Fortunately both sets were legit

Last edited by ALR-bishop; 11-04-2022 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 11-04-2022, 01:24 PM
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Ben North
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Great info, thanks so much for posting it.

Weirdly I can swear I have seen way more than that many DS Chipper rookies.

and a picture of my favorite DS card.
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Last edited by bnorth; 11-04-2022 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 11-04-2022, 07:26 PM
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Meanwhile, I'm pretty sure they produced 6,818 millions of the Desert Storm series 1 cards.
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Old 11-05-2022, 09:41 AM
Zach Wheat Zach Wheat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALR-bishop View Post
Zach—is it known if any of the Desert Shield packs had any of the older insert cards or instant winner cards Topps placed in their 40 year anniversary packs ?

Also—have all of the known DS packs been the 15 card type ?

Do we know how the DS cards were sent overseas and through what means ? And how many of those made were actually sent overseas ? And were DS cards sent or created only in pack form or were there factory DS sets ?

And I assume if someone bought what were purported to be DS packs that had not been authenticated as described in the article, the only way to confirm their authenticity is to open them

I have had two DS sets that I bought in the mid 90s. I sold one. When buying one of them the seller included a pack he claimed was a DS pack. It was a throw in for no charge. I did not realize I was getting the pack until the set arrived. I will never know if it is legit. Fortunately both sets were legit
Al,

The set appears to be a last minute product that they quickly produced and distributed. I believe they were airlifted overseas out of Myrtle Beach.
The Chicago Tribune ran an article in Feb 1991 stating that troops could pull one of the 300,00 vintage card or redemption certificates out of the packs:

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1...or-certificate

One article noted Topps spokesperson Ken Liss as stating only 5MM were initially shipped. It is unclear what happened to the remainder. Apparently most cases sat in an air force warehouse since Desert Shield ended Jan 17, 1991. Approx. 1.5MM cards were returned to the air force base in Myrtle Beach (Oct. 1992 per the Star News).

I do not think DS will be found in anything other than 15 card packs, but can't be certain. We know it is likely Topps retained some cards for whatever reason and it is possible they made some employee factory sets. My original contact for information on DS which came from the estate of a Topps exec, who said he had been responsible for the creation of this set said they also made various employee cards and other items as a year end employee bonus. That is where I got my 11 Topps DS sheets from as you are aware. If a factory set were produced, I would think it would have surfaced by now.

I have had buyers of the DS packs found on eBay tell me most of the packs they bought were previously opened and resealed. They go for about $300. I have 32 packs remaining, half of which BBCE authenticated and wrapped in a hard protective pack; the others are unauthenticated but I believe are not previously opened or searched. I have the original box they came in. When I inspected the creases at the bottom of the box (which looks exactly like a 1991 Topps box), the creases had particles of sand fall out. The packs I previously opened or gave away were legit. Could be a deceptive seller from 20+ years ago, but won't know until I open the remainder.

Steve Hart told me at that time the only way they could authenticate packs is by opening an unopened box, randomly selecting 4-8 packs and the authenticating the remainder. They no longer authenticate packs. As previously noted in the blog posts above by Keith, when BBCE authenticates a box, of which he noted there were thought to be 9+/- remaining, BBCE would randomly open a similar # of packs, and then replace the opened packs with known, verified DS packs and reseal the box as "Authentic". All BBCE authenticated boxes are therefore "Frankenboxes".

Note - you can sometimes see the backs of the card through the wax paper once a blacklight illuminates the pack. Most (but not all) DS cards are glowbacks as we know. Check to see if you can make out the glowbacks.

Last edited by Zach Wheat; 11-05-2022 at 09:57 AM. Reason: typos, clarification
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Old 11-05-2022, 09:52 AM
Zach Wheat Zach Wheat is offline
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Some of the references mentioned above
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Old 11-05-2022, 10:22 AM
ALR-bishop ALR-bishop is offline
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Thanks Zach. Being a late production maybe none of the prior year cards were inserted in DS pack
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Old 11-05-2022, 11:41 AM
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Any reference to additional print runs aside from the 500 cases in the letter?
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Old 11-05-2022, 04:20 PM
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This is my favorite and only one
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File Type: jpg Desert 001.jpg (155.0 KB, 86 views)
File Type: jpg Desert 002.jpg (64.9 KB, 87 views)
File Type: jpg Desert 003.jpg (168.7 KB, 86 views)
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  #10  
Old 11-06-2022, 12:18 PM
Zach Wheat Zach Wheat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowpopper View Post
Any reference to additional print runs aside from the 500 cases in the letter?
No, it is thought there was only 1 print run. The odd thing is the checklists on the DS sheets I have are uncorrected (factual errors are uncorrected) and there are no known variations (other than print variations). However, quite a few "corrected" cards were printed after the DS set. Seems odd
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Old 11-06-2022, 08:21 PM
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don't think for a second a rogue employee couldn't have run the stamping machine afterwards
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