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Thread: Sports Card Collectors Pay $2,000 Per Pack For 1986 Fleer Basketball ; 3 Land Michael Jordan Rookies

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  1. #1 Sports Card Collectors Pay $2,000 Per Pack For 1986 Fleer Basketball ; 3 Land Michael Jordan Rookies 
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    Collectors land three rare Michael Jordan cards in pack opening
    Darren Rovell
    ESPN
    9/26/17

    On Wednesday night in Somerset, New Jersey, well-heeled collectors got a chance to go back to the past and take a shot at opening packs of 1986 Fleer basketball cards.

    Neglected by collectors at the time for baseball cards, the 1986 Fleer set became one of the hottest sets in the hobby as the value of a Michael Jordan rookie card skyrocketed over the past 10 years. Jordan's 1986 card is considered his rookie card, as no major brand produced basketball cards in his first two seasons in the league.

    "Back then, there was so little interest that you could buy packs of those cards for 25 cents for a couple years," said Leighton Sheldon, who bought a 1986 Fleer set for $75,000 in July.

    Sheldon sold the 36 packs in the set for $2,000 apiece, then opened each of them live on his website Wednesday night.

    Opening the box was as intense as expected, especially because there wasn't a Jordan pulled for the first half of the box.

    "I was doing my best to stay to calm," Sheldon said. "I wanted a Jordan in the worst way."

    That came in Pack 19, which was bought by a collector named Brian Dwyer. The card was nearly perfect -- a possible gem mint 10, which could be worth $20,000.

    "Seeing it come out of the pack on camera was incredible," Dwyer said. "I'm babbling now just talking about it."

    Dwyer is a baseball card collector who didn't own a single basketball card before tonight.

    "I thought the concept of opening packs on a bigger scale was a good one," Dwyer said. "It was good to be a part of."

    Two other Jordans came out of the box in packs 29 and 35, but none as centered as Dwyer's.

    Sheldon is the owner of Vintage Breaks, which buys pieces of boxes and cases of old, unopened cards and sells them fractionally, allowing collectors to invest by the unopened pack or even down to the card.

    He bought the 1986 Fleer box, which typically contain three to four rookie Jordans, at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago in July and offered collectors a piece of the action for $2,000 a pack.

    The buyers of the packs, which come from as far away as Hawaii, were declared before the packs were opened at the headquarters of Sheldon's vintage card business, Just Collect.
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    Super Moderator Betallsports's Avatar
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    Nice ... of course I screwed up big time back in the 80's and early 90's with cards

    I was on a run buying up boxes of packs, all Brands and was going to hold them until I go...
    But in the late 90's I sold them all, 45 Boxes, everything from Fleer, Upper Deck, Topps, etc..

    so who knows what was in them...

    Oh well
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  3. #3  
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    I bought 2 boxes of them when they first started getting hot for $.50 a pack at our local grocery store from the back room. Got 5 Jordan's out of the boxes and sold them each for $100 each and thought I made so much on them.

    A few years later I found out the stickers were worth something too but I had peeled them and put them on a poster, etc. Still made like a grand overall but would of/should of...
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    Nice find.

    I'm confused by the prices. It says Sheldon purchased the set for $75k in July but as far as I know sets do not include 36 packs, that would be an unopened box. So either the 75k set is a separate deal or he lost 3k on breaking up the box to sell for 2k x 36 packs.
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  5. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by LEYKIS101 View Post
    Nice find.

    I'm confused by the prices. It says Sheldon purchased the set for $75k in July but as far as I know sets do not include 36 packs, that would be an unopened box. So either the 75k set is a separate deal or he lost 3k on breaking up the box to sell for 2k x 36 packs.
    Yeah it had to be the hobby box and not a complete set. The complete set would not be worth the $75000 but the hobby box would be. There were a lot of great rookies in that year and set besides Jordan, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Isiah Thomas, Patrick Ewing, Hakeem Olajuwon, Chris Mullin, Joe Dumars, Clyde Drexler, James Worthy, Dominique Wilkins and a few lesser known names. I would love to open a box of that to get a Jordan pack fresh rookie.
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    i follow the card collecting closely and watched this break live last night even though i am not a collector, the box came from steve hart BBCE (baseball card exchange) the most trusted name in the industry in a 7 box partial case that was recently found and put aside. there are no full cases of 1986 fleer cases thought to be left in existence, he brought the boxes to the national and that 1 was purchased for the group break but didnt sell out. a legit fleer box that hasnt been tampered with yields 2 jordans and some have 3 bc the packs run sequentially and it was a short numbered print.

    honestly its a massive loss to break that box and open the packs bc even though its loaded with great stars and rookies it just doesnt come close to the value of the box sealed by BBCE. its more of a gambling crapshoot. even a couple Jordan PSA 10 rookie wouldnt come close to the value of what they paid for the box and noway your pulling 2 jordan 10's from a box. your much better off just buying them or any other card you like directly off ebay or a dealer and keep the box sealed, there arent a lot of boxes left in existence relative to all the cards pulled from boxes and graded already
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    on a side note it was 1987 when i was 10 that i started collecting in earnest and i vividly remember buying the 1987 fleer packs for 50cents or so and now even though its all their 2nd year cards, those freaking 1987's were actually a shorter print run then 1986 and they are worth a ton for a sealed box, makes me sick, even the graded stars like jordan etc sell for ridiculous amounts if in PSA10 condition.
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    Good luck getting a psa 10 rating or even harder a bgs 10 pristine! Rookie is worth only 1500-3500 in the 8-9 range in rating. 36 packs at 2k each that buyer is a fool and lost his shirt. Most unopened wax packs come with a psa 8 rating.
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    Quote Originally Posted by phdinsports View Post
    Good luck getting a psa 10 rating or even harder a bgs 10 pristine! Rookie is worth only 1500-3500 in the 8-9 range in rating. 36 packs at 2k each that buyer is a fool and lost his shirt. Most unopened wax packs come with a psa 8 rating.


    Yeah I thought that much per pack was too high
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    Quote Originally Posted by Betallsports View Post
    Nice ... of course I screwed up big time back in the 80's and early 90's with cards

    I was on a run buying up boxes of packs, all Brands and was going to hold them until I go...
    But in the late 90's I sold them all, 45 Boxes, everything from Fleer, Upper Deck, Topps, etc..

    so who knows what was in them...

    Oh well


    Would be fun or financially interesting if you still had them...
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  11. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Betallsports View Post
    Nice ... of course I screwed up big time back in the 80's and early 90's with cards

    I was on a run buying up boxes of packs, all Brands and was going to hold them until I go...
    But in the late 90's I sold them all, 45 Boxes, everything from Fleer, Upper Deck, Topps, etc..

    so who knows what was in them...

    Oh well
    We were dumb kids. The ol hindsight 20/20 deal. Had rookie Alberto Clemente 55 rookie card. Had several from football and baseball that would bring $$ now. We used cards as spoke flappers on our bicycles Also had some number #1 comic books and Sold it in 1982 for $15. Thought that was a great deal cause we were able to get couple cases Falstaff beer and a pack of smokes
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    Quote Originally Posted by Betallsports View Post
    Nice ... of course I screwed up big time back in the 80's and early 90's with cards

    I was on a run buying up boxes of packs, all Brands and was going to hold them until I go...
    But in the late 90's I sold them all, 45 Boxes, everything from Fleer, Upper Deck, Topps, etc..

    so who knows what was in them...

    Oh well
    I had 3 huge boxes of playboy dating from 70's early 90's. I was 17, helped a friend of friend clean out his house after his wife died. They have them to me and a buddy. We didn't know what to do with them, and sold them for $300. The guy that bought them hope karma got him, ripping off kids. Lol
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  13. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by StevieRay View Post
    We were dumb kids. The ol hindsight 20/20 deal. Had rookie Alberto Clemente 55 rookie card. Had several from football and baseball that would bring $$ now. We used cards as spoke flappers on our bicycles Also had some number #1 comic books and Sold it in 1982 for $15. Thought that was a great deal cause we were able to get couple cases Falstaff beer and a pack of smokes
    I can CLEARLY Remember putting a Nolan Ryan Rookie card in my spokes and riding the shit out of it.

    sick...
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  14. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbet1234 View Post
    I had 3 huge boxes of playboy dating from 70's early 90's. I was 17, helped a friend of friend clean out his house after his wife died. They have them to me and a buddy. We didn't know what to do with them, and sold them for $300. The guy that bought them hope karma got him, ripping off kids. Lol
    crazy shit .. but who knew
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  15. #15  
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    Yup, breaking boxes is straight up gambling with you losing about 80% of the time. Good to see some card collectors here on the forum though.
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  16. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Betallsports View Post
    I can CLEARLY Remember putting a Nolan Ryan Rookie card in my spokes and riding the shit out of it.

    sick...

    Don't feel so bad. That card is very difficult to find centered. You would probably only have a PSA 6 at best, which sells around 600 to 800 range.
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  17. #17  
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    still holding onto my 90s cards and now starting to collect sealed boxes
    this 2017 nba draft class is going to be huge imo
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  18. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by phdinsports View Post
    Don't feel so bad. That card is very difficult to find centered. You would probably only have a PSA 6 at best, which sells around 600 to 800 range.
    Yes, you are 100% correct, I really do remember them being Cut weird and not centered at all
    at least the ones I had.

    Guess between the ones we used in our spokes, and the others that we Flipped for, probably lost about $20K ...
    well not really, who knows what would have been done along the lines.
    I also remember my Mom throwing some out...

    Still have a ton of cards left, and haven't looked at them in years
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  19. #19  
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    Overproduction eventually got me to the point where I only had interest in collecting the autographed & game-worn memorabilia randomly inserted in packs.

    Also some very limited rookie cards.

    Haven't collected in years but still get the fever now & then when I see a show set up or boxes/packs somewhere..
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  20. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by halekulani View Post
    still holding onto my 90s cards and now starting to collect sealed boxes
    this 2017 nba draft class is going to be huge imo


    Which 90's cards? What companies?
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  21. #21  
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    topps finest, skybox, ex
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  22. #22  
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    I have a shitload of Barry Bonds rookie Topps Traded Tiffany cards... worthless now and they are graded. I started collecting in 1986 and up. Stopped in 1992 and still have them in boxes in closet. I need to pull collection out and see if anybody is worth money since 1986... I think Ken Griffey rookie upper deck card is worth something but will have to look.
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  23. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daigo23 View Post
    I have a shitload of Barry Bonds rookie Topps Traded Tiffany cards... worthless now and they are graded. I started collecting in 1986 and up. Stopped in 1992 and still have them in boxes in closet. I need to pull collection out and see if anybody is worth money since 1986... I think Ken Griffey rookie upper deck card is worth something but will have to look.
    Topps Traded Tiffany Bonds Rookie is one of the most valuable card of the 80's!! You have them graded, a psa 10, easy 1500 bucks!!
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  24. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by phdinsports View Post
    Topps Traded Tiffany Bonds Rookie is one of the most valuable card of the 80's!! You have them graded, a psa 10, easy 1500 bucks!!
    Seriously?? I don't have a perfect psa 10 but have 4 psa 9.5 and 3 psa 9 and 1 psa 8.5 of him. I checked 3-4 years ago and wasn't worth 20 dollars each.
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  25. #25  
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    Diago, =). You should do okay buddy - if you want, PM Me may be interested in making a deal.
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