Thursday, December 10, 2009

Fleer Oddballs

Looking back at the 1980's, it's interesting to note how many oddball sets Fleer produced. It's interesting that collectors during the 1990's & 2000's commonly complained about the manufacturers putting too many products on the market but during the 1980's this was rarely brought up.

Shown below is what Fleer Oddball releases I have in my collection. As I acquire more, I'll add them to this post.

1981 Fleer Star Sticker #1 (front)

This is a concept that I liked alot as a kid (stickers the size of trading cards). Through the years, Fleer strayed from it a bit as they stopped using photos from their base set as well as shrinked the size of the set in future releases.

1981 Fleer Star Sticker #1 (back)

Except for the Card #, the back is exactly the same as 1981 Fleer.

1983 Fleer Stamps (front)

They were made available on panels. The other ones they produced I don't have in my collection yet. Note: I also don't have any of the Fleer Stickers that are the same size as Topps' 1980's stickers.

1986 Fleer League Leaders # 15 (front)

This card came out of one the slew of box sets that Fleer produced exclusively for big box, drug, toy and/or grocery stores in the mid-late 1980's.

1986 Fleer League Leaders # 15 (back)

1986 Fleer Mini #67 (front)

This image is similar to the one Fleer used for Steve's 1987 Fleer base card.

During the Hobby's growth years of the 1980's, 1975 Topps Mini's were going through a renaissance because of the perceived scarcity, cool design and high number of desirable rookie cards in the set. As a result, Fleer and Topps released Mini Sets (starting in 1986).

Unfortunately, neither company completely got the concept down perfectly. Here are what I see as their flaws, Fleer: the image wasn't the same as the base set card, they weren't available in packs and the set size was too small. Topps: The design and image weren't the same as the base set; the size of the set was way too small.

1986 Fleer Mini #67 (back)

1986 Fleer Star Sticker #43 (front)

In retrospect, it interesting how Fleer's base set designs were rather conservation in the 1980's (at least until 1988), yet the Fleer Star Sticker designs had a little more flair (sic).

1986 Fleer Star Sticker #43 (back)

1986 Fleer Star Sticker Box Bottom #S-3 (front)

Donruss started a trend with their 1985 product when they included cards on their box bottoms (I believe that Dwight Gooden was one of the cards). By 1986, all the manufacturers were including cards on the bottom of their boxes. This lasted for a few years.

1986 Fleer Star Sticker Box Bottom #S-3 (back)

These were somewhat difficult to find in good condition because the front would often get scuffed.

1987 Fleer Limited Edition #16 (front)

Another box set Fleer produced for a retailer.

1987 Fleer Limited Edition #16 (back)

1987 Fleer Mini #43 (front)

The front of the 1987 Fleer Mini contained the finish that was used on the 1987 Fleer Glossy sets.

1987 Fleer Mini #43 (back)

1987 Fleer Star Sticker #46 (front)

I'm not a big fan of this design or green border.

1987 Fleer Star Sticker #46 (back)

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