Shortly after finishing up my post on the huge lot of early Fleer cards I recently purchased, I kind of accidentally won an auction for another 1800 cards from 1981 Fleer. I got them for a song- well below a penny per card, so the accident worked out just fine for me! Plus, the seller tossed in a 1988 Topps rack pack and two 1995 Topps Series 2 wax packs! 1981 is my birth year, so I decided to focus and grab this one on the cheap. I intend to get every set from 1981 that I can by hand-collating it myself. Sure, You can buy a complete set for chump change, but where’s the fun in that? Here’s the breakdown of the cards added to my fledgling early Fleer set collection:
1829 total cards
591 unique cards (90% of the 660 card set; 32% of cards recieved)
1238 doubles (68% of cards received)
I am infinitely more pleased with this lot than the last one I received. While the last batch provided a ton of unique 1985s, the other 4 years in the lot left much to be desired in the variety department. Give that this was a lot of one year, I did expect more variety and I’m glad my hopes were not dashed. I am also much more pleased with the condition of these cards. The auction noted what the seller described as “age discoloration” on the edges and, while that did’t bother me much, I was indeed surprised to see some weird spots along some corners and edges (see Don “70s Hair” Sutton above)- almost like little tiny bits of water damage. But, for the most part, I was able to avoid these and there are still hundreds of cards in this lot that look like they’re straight from a vending box.
While I was impressed with the quality and variety in this lot, that still doesn’t change the fact that these cards are just plain terrible. Poor registration, awful color reproduction, centering issues, dull-blade edges and mind-bogglingly bad photo selection (see Roy “Double Phallic” Howell above) plague this set. Plus there are the almost legendary number of errors and variations. And, of course, the design leaves something to be desired.
At this point, I’m right around 60 cards away from one complete set and I have some decisions to make. First of all, how to complete the set at this point. I’m too close to complete to buy wax or vending (and those sell for way more than the $.01/card I’ve been paying thusfar- complete sets are only selling for $20 shipped so it would be hard to justify). Secondly, do I track down all the errors and variations? I can’t even find a complete list anywhere (help me out, BasebcallCardPedia!). AND Star Stickers?! As the latter aren’t part of the regular issue, I don’t feel too obligated to get them (luckily, Fleer wasn’t including team stickers in packs yet), but since 1981 is my birth year, I had intended on going whole hog completist for all three major manufacturers. Does anyone have any advice on pulling together some of these semi-vintage sets? Or, better yet, does anyone have some cards to trade?! I’ll have my want list up very shortly, so start digging through your junk boxes!