Last week I received an email from Joe over at The Priceless Pursuit who offered to send some classic unopened material to me. I said sure, and a package arrived today. Here is what was inside.
What do we have? 1990 Fleer, 1985 Topps Baseball Photo Rub-Downs, 1986 Topps 3-D Baseball Stars, 1986 Topps Baseball Tattoos.
Tattoos? Rub-Downs? 3-D (as in triple-D)? This seems a little bit… um… unsavory, like a piercing parlor or lonely women at a truck stop. Just in case, I should probably be clear – Joe, I’m a happily married man. OK, with the formalities out of the way, on to the cards!
I got out of collecting new cards around 1983. I always wanted to like Fleer, but their cards were always lousy. Here are a couple examples. Jim Abbott in a beautifully over-exposed, washed out photograph. (As a right-back-at-you, I couldn’t get the Abbott to hold still on my scanner bed.) With Abbott is the back of Kirby Puckett’s card. Here’s a guy with four straight years of over 200 hits and a .300+ average. All that Fleer can do is leave about half of the back of the card empty. Not even a nickname! Fleer! At least try a little.
Fleer loves stickers (who doesn’t?), and the 1990 Fleer stickers were part of the “Action Series”. Four stickers on the front, and some trivial questions on the back. In a rare instance of paying attention to detail, the teams on the stickers match the questions on the back.
1985 Topps Baseball Photo Rub-Downs
These are pretty cool. I wouldn’t collect them, but I do like them. If Topps did this kind of thing with their Star Wars cards in the 70s, they would have been all the rage. One interesting note, these things are printed in Italy. Everything Euro is cooler. (The blue lines showing through are from the backing paper I use for contrast when I scan cards.)
1986 Baseball Tattoos
Whoo-hoo! I’m gonna get some ink. Let’s see… Bob Grich on my ankle. Pedro Guerrero on by bicep. Lou Whitaker on my shoulder. These tats are nice!
1986 Topps 3-D Baseball Stars
What is this mammoth thing? It feels like there is a license plate in the pack – lots of raised areas. Open it up and… JACK-freakin-POT. Peter Edward Rose. If I had a man cave, this remarkable artifact from the 80s would surely decorate the walls. This 3-D card really does have some high relief areas. I would guess that it’s 1/4″ raised in parts. It was hard to get a square scan because it kept on shifting when the cover was closed.
This was some nutty stuff. Thank you Joe! The 1990 Fleer cards are obviously a serious attempt at baseball cards. Other than that, no serious collector would go within 100 feet of this stuff. Oh ho, but that is exactly the point. These were marketed to kids. Imagine that, baseball cards and related products marketed to kids.