Below are the Wow! Wax listings from June 2018. Check out the current Wow! here.

(Over the next little while, I’m going to be unfurling a set of experimental types of posts to see if they strike any cardboard chords. Let me know what you think, and I’ll adjust as we go. Also, note that these listings contain affiliate links, which means if you click over to eBay or Amazon and buy something, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.)

1987 Donruss Rack Packs (12)

1987 Donruss Rack Packs

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Remember those great Donruss rack packs from the 1980s that let you nab up almost 50 cards in a single swoop? The once chock full of Rated Rookies and Diamond King and puzzle pieces and all sorts of Donruss-y goodness?

Well, if you do … you’re one up on me.

I bought plenty of Topps rack packs in my day.

And I remember some Fleer racks from 1986, with their blue borders tempting me to open them in search of a Curt Ford rookie card.

I definitely carried around a few metric tons of 1988 Donruss bubble-pack racks for years after I got them at a closeout sale in the early 1990s.

But regular old rack packs from other Donruss sets?

Nope. They didn’t exist as far as I remembered, until I saw this eBay listing.

Here we have 12 “Value Packs” of 1987 Donruss baseball cards, each pack offering up 45 cards. Among the players on top are Don Mattingly, Pete Rose, Roger Clemens, and Mike Schmidt, a group which seemed like a surefire Hall of Fame foursome when these cards were issued but ultimately landed only Schmitty in Cooperstown.

Anyway, these may say “Value Pack” on the front, but they’re rack packs.

And that makes them noteworthy in my book, seeing as how they didn’t exist before today.

Cool stuff, even if it is “junk wax.”

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1992 Topps Stadium Club 2nd Series Unopened Box

1991 Stadium Club 2nd Series Unopened Box

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By 1991, the baseball card hobby had mostly moved on from grainy photos, bad cardstock, and affordable new packs.

Even so, the 1991 Topps Stadium Club issue took things up another notch with full-bleed photos so sharp they almost hurt to look at, thick Kodak paper you could build a shed with, and a per-pack price that would make Donald Trump blush (OK, not really).

Player selection was pretty solid, too, especially if you liked rookie cards — and who didn’t?

That was especially true of the 2nd series (cards 301-600), where you could find rookies of Wes Chamberlain, Pedro Munoz, Phil Plantier, and Jeff Bagwell among many others.

As you might expect, Bagwell was hot early on, but no one was hotter than Plantier, the Boston Red Sox slugger who was going to hit 100 home runs a year. That didn’t quite pan out, but the young masher and his rookie card brethren helped drive Stadium Club II into the stratosphere that summer 27 years ago.

We know now that there is plenty of Stadium Club to go around, and Bagwell is the lone remaining BIG rookie from the set.

Even so, it’s fun to reminisce, and this eBay lot lets you do that with an unopened box of 1991 Stadium Club 2nd Series card for less than $20.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1985 Topps Baseball Photo Rub-Downs Unopened Packs (14)

1985 Topps Photo Rub-Downs Unopened Packs

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Topps got a bad rap in the 1980s for not changing fast enough, for not making their cards more sophisticated and fancier.

Collectors wanted premium white cardstock, crystal clear photos, and limited print runs — Topps just wasn’t willing to give that to us most of the time.

But they have always been willing to experiment, and that means hobby backlogs are jam-packed with quirky little issues like 1985 Topps Baseball Photo Rub-Downs.

Issued in “sheets” that showcased bits and pieces of three or four players and their teams, rub-downs let you move your heroes around.

How? By placing them facedown on a surface and rubbing the backside with a coin.

You could put them on folders … books … lockers … your kid brother’s forehead.

Cheesy, sure, but also awesome.

The rub-downs came in packs of two sheets each, along with a stick of bubble gum (of course). In all, 112 players are featured in the set.

This eBay lot offers 14 packs of rub-downs for a $3.99 Buy-It-Now price.

Now, you probably don’t carry a Trapper Keeper anymore, but wouldn’t these look great pasted to your iPad or on your annual review at work?

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1981 Fleer Unopened Vending Box (500 cards)

1981 Fleer Unopened Vending Box

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Growing up, I always fantasized about buying a vending case of baseball cards and instantly adding 12,000 perfect cards to my collection — just think of 15 perfect rookie cards each of  Mark McGwire, Eric Davis, Dwight Gooden, and Benny Distefano!

Back then, those dreams were restricted to Topps cards. I never even knew there was another option.

I mean, somewhere along the line, I must have heard or read that Fleer made vending boxes from 1981-1985, but I don’t ever remember seeing one.

Until now.

This eBay lot (affiliate link) offers up an unopened 500-count vending box of 1981 Fleer cards, with a Packing Order of 1. Apparently, if you were to buy and sort one of each available packing orders (1, 2, 3, 4), you would have been assured of completing three full sets of the 660-card inaugural issue.

If you dig around a bit, you’ll find that the hobby cognoscenti have some advice about what to expect from 1981 Fleer wax and vending boxes.

Fascinating stuff!

At any rate, this box makes a great display piece and is a tangible bit of hobby history that is still “new” 37 years after it was born.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1982 Topps Kmart 20th Anniversary AL & NL MVPs Unopened Sets (10)

1982 Topps Kmart MVPs sets

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One of the really fun things about picking up the hobby here on the Internet in the 21st century is the ability to see — and create, if you have it in you — cards that never were (CTNW, for our purposes).

Every day, on Pinterest and elsewhere, I run into “cards” that don’t really exist but that should, if the universe were a fair and just place.

The first time I saw a CTNW, though, was long before I ever knew what a click was and about the time I was breaking my thumb on my Atari joystick.

One of my friends had come into possession of a 1962 Topps Maury Wills that neither of us could find in any sort of price guide or reference book. That must have meant, we surmised, that it was priceless.

I soon learned this phantom was part of a 44-card issue that Topps made for Kmart’s 20th Anniversary, depicting Topps cards from each AL and NL MVP from 1962 through 1981, plus a checklist and a few highlight cards thrown in.

Card-in-card technology, if you will. Meta, dude.

Topps had to create the Wills card from whole cloth because they didn’t issue him one in 1962.

They also mocked up a 1975 Topps Fred Lynn single card that didn’t exist, because the AL Rookie of the Year and MVP that summer had shared his rookie card with three other gents.

I was lucky enough to acquire a full boxed set of those 1982 Kmart cards, and they were a source of endless fascination and confusion. Was that a real 1962 Topps Mantle?

I wasn’t so sure, honestly, but for the buck or so I paid for the set, the speculation was exquisite cheap fun.

Thanks to a huge print run, this set that paved the way for a billion other boxed sets in the 1980s is still exquisite cheap fun, as evidenced by this eBay lot of 10 full, unopened sets.

If you end up with some of this historic cardboard, just remember that’s not a real 1973 Topps Jeff Burroughs.

I think.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1983 Topps Baseball Foldouts Unopened Box

1983 Topps Baseball Foldouts Unopened Box

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Topps baseball cards didn’t change a whole lot during the early years after Fleer and Donruss broke their monopoly in 1980, but the king of the hill sure did show a willingness to experiment.

Especially when it came to test issues and oddball sets outside of their base releases.

In 1983, for example, they piloted a colored cellophane pack that looked like their normal wax pack but aimed to prevent the problem of unscrupulous types opening the cards, cherrypicking the best ones, then resealing the remainder.

These were the so-called “Michigan” packs.

That same summer, 1983 Topps Baseball Foldouts provided a stunning visual display of the top players in the game. Each foldout consisted of 17 oversized photos of the top (you guessed it) 17 active players in five statistical categories: home runs, stolen bases, batting average, wins, and saves.

This gave new fans like me an instant pulse on not only who the greats were — it wasn’t hard to find that information — but also who some of the solid lesser lights were. Guys like Mike Torrez, Jerry Reuss, Rusty Staub, Darrell Evans, Lonnie Smith, Bake McBride.

This eBay lot is a complete box of unopened packs (the box itself is at least partially opened), each of which contains one foldout. It’s hard to beat these interesting “cards” if you’re looking for a deep snapshot of the game 35 years ago.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1985 Fleer Star Stickers Unopened Box + 12 Unused Albums

1985 Fleer Star Stickers Unopened Box and Albums

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In 1981 and again in 1986, Fleer treated collectors to an extra set of “cards” by issuing their Star Stickers in the standard 2-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ and providing full card backs complete with player statistics. These sets were sold in their own wax packs.

In between, Fleer took the Topps approach to stickers, producing smaller (1-15/16″ by 2-1/2″) stickers on throwaway backs. They also produced an album each year meant to hold the stickers, so collectors would often peel the photos from their backs and affix them to the appropriate page.

While these stickers and albums were never super popular — either the Topps or Fleer variety — they offer a snapshot of the game and the hobby during the middle of the 1980s boom and are interesting display pieces.

This lot consists of an unopened box of 1985 Fleer Star Stickers, along with an opened box of 12 unused albums to hold the stickers.

At 100 packs per box and six stickers per pack, your chances of completing the 126-card set at least once from this lot seem pretty good.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1972 Topps Unopened Cello Pack (Series 1)

1972 Topps Unopened Cello Pack Amos Otis Top

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You know what a cello pack of baseball cards looks like, right?

It’s a block of cards, something like twice the number in a wax pack, wrapped in cellophane printed with some information about what’s inside, including the price of the pack.

You can see most of the card on the top of the pack and most of the card on the bottom of the pack.

Pretty standard stuff.

But things change over the years, and so it is with cello packs.

Take this 1972 Topps Series 1 cello pack being offered on eBay, for instance.

You still get the cellophane wrapper, sure, but that plastic wrap covers an inner blue box rather than contacting the cards directly.

A window on the front of the box reveals about half the top card, Amos Otis, with black, yellow, and white lettering telling you what the pack’s about.

The back of the box is a full cardboard panel featuring a drawing of a pitcher with arms overhead. You can’t see the underlying card at all, just like the other 28 cards that lie beneath Otis.

Overall, this is a great display piece from a time gone by. And, even though you can only see one player, Otis is a pretty good one to see, considering all the glory he racked up with the 1970s Kansas City Royals.

Besides, it’s not all about player selection. I mean, no one would open this thing just to chase Joe Morgan or Willie Mays, right? What if I sweetened the pot with Larry Biittner?

That’s a morality struggle the winner of this lot will have to wage.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1982 Fleer Unopened Wax Box

1982 Fleer Unopened Wax Box

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After muddling through uninspiring first issues from Fleer and Donruss in 1981, collectors were eager to see what sorts of improvements the two newcomers would make to their baseball cards for 1982.

Even with a full year to prepare, though, and even while Donruss took a big leap forward, Fleer managed to produce a set that was somehow even more generic than their first.

Fleer did get a few things right in 1982, though.

First, they cut down on the number of outright errors they made, though the ones that slipped through have become legendary in the hobby — the John Littlefield flipped negative and transforming Al Hrabosky to “All” come to mind.

They also did a pretty great job with their rookies, nabbing all the big ones — Terry Francona, Tim Wallach, Von Hayes, Johnny Ray, Lee Smith, George Bell, Steve Sax, Dave Stewart, Dave Righetti, and some kid named Cal Ripken, Jr.

Looking back, it was a pretty good year for rookie cards, huh?

Fleer also did some color branding based on teams, and some of their photos were solid.

You get a sampling of some of their best photography on the fetching wax box in this lot, and you also get a chance at all those great rookies. The box itself has a bit of wear, but then, what 36-year-old can’t say the same?

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1975 Topps Unopened Wax Pack

1975 Topps Unopened Wax Pack

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Unlike some of the lots we’ve featured in the past, this one is just a straightforward, good old-fashioned wax pack.

But it’s a 1975 Topps wax pack, and that fact lathers the whole shebang in “special.”

As in special rookies that include George Brett, Robin Yount, Fred Lynn, Gary Carter, Jim Rice, and, yes, Manny Trillo.

And a special design that includes two different border colors, top and bottom, on each card and makes the set feel like a box of Chiclets.

And special cardboard treatment for Hank Aaron after he broke Babe Ruth‘s career home run record — Hammerin’ Hank gets both the first card (#1) in the set (a ’74 Highlights card showing him with the Atlanta Braves) and the last card (#660), his final base card (showing him with the Milwaukee Brewers).

And even a special wrapper, one of the classics of all time that will make a great display piece if you open the pack in search of those special cards listed above.

It’s all enough to make a veteran collector giddy, and a little light-headed.

I need to go grab some gum.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1961 Fleer Baseball Greats Unopened Wax Pack

1961 Fleer Baseball Greats Unopened Wax Pack

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The legacy of Fleer within our hobby is one of a justice fighter, the little guy trying to find his niche in a market dominated by a single behemoth for a quarter century.

Before decades of legal battles with Topps culminated in Fleer’s first full-blown, officially licensed set of baseball card in 1981, they had long been at work carving out that place for themselves.

They signed Ted Williams to an exclusive contract in 1959 and produced an 80-card set dedicated to The Splendid Splinter.

In 1963, they produced a set of active players, issued with cookies, that got slapped down by the courts.

Through the 1960s and 1970s, they issued team stickers and logo cards that collectors pretty much shrugged off.

Wedged in between all those attempts to nibble away at the active-player market, Fleer came up with an idea that came with much fewer wranglings — Baseball Greats.

First issued in 1960, Baseball Greats featured retired players, most of them All-Star-or-above caliber from years past. (Williams was the lone active player among the 80 cards.)

They followed that up with a two-series 1961 Baseball Greats encore, sporting 88 cards in the first run and 66 in the more scarce second group.

It’s not clear from this eBay listing from which of the two series this unopened 1961 Fleer baseball wax pack hails, but what is clear is that it’s gorgeous.

That sweet left-handed swing has to be modeled after Teddy Ballgame, and the cartoon blue sky and green grass make you feel like a kid again.

And isn’t that what baseball cards are all about?

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1983 Fleer Baseball Unopened Wax Box

1983 Fleer Baseball Cards Unopened Wax Box

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After two lackluster and error-filled issues, Fleer finally stepped out of the cardboard dark ages with their 1983 baseball card set.

For the first time ever, they ventured away from staid white borders to a gray-brown that, while not exactly cheery did feel somewhat dignified. And the borders sorta looks like a chocolate Frosty from Wendy’s, so there’s that.

Fleer also turned their card backs sideways, which gave them more real estate for stats and let them do some interesting, Sabermetric-like things in later years.

And then, there was the big innovation — photos on card backs. Sure, they were tiny sepia headshots, but we hadn’t seen card-back photos since 1971 Topps.

Overall, this was a nice, solid offering that did its best to keep pace with a much-improved Donruss set and a spectacular Topps issue.

Fleer had one distinct advantage over its rivals, too — Ron Kittle.

While all three companies featured rookie cards of Wade Boggs, Tony Gwynn, and Ryne Sandberg (none of whom anyone knew at the time), only Fleer let collectors chase a Ron Kittle rookie card during his breakout campaign for the Chicago White Sox.

Does a Kittle lurk inside this unopened 1983 Fleer wax box, waiting to be set free after 35 years? Hard to say for sure, but it seems likely at least one or two of the Big 4 (give Ron some love!) is resting there in the dark.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1989 Bowman Baseball Unopened Wax Packs (44)

1989 Bowman Wax Packs

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Once upon a time, collectors got really excited when Topps announced the return of Bowman baseball, the brand they had vanquished to the commons bin of history in 1956.

And when the cards hit dealer tables, they were great …

Big, clear photos, without much design to clutter things up.

But there were problems, too: oversized dimensions made them hard to store, limited statistics on card backs, same old dingy brown Topps cardstock.

And Upper Deck debuted.

So the new Bowman kind of teetered on the brink of extinction for a couple of years there until Topps reconfigured it at as The Pre-Rookie Set.

These days, that 1989 Bowman baseball set remains a mostly shunned part of hobby history, like a cardboard Edsel.

But those first “new” Bowman cards still look great if you ask me. And their pariah status means you can find pretty ridiculous deals like these 44 unopened 1989 Bowman wax backs with a Buy It Now price of $5.99 (though shipping & handling will boos the per-pack price considerably).

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1985 Topps Baseball Unopened Cello Pack Box

1985 Topps Unopened Cello Pack Box

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In the summer of 1985, a buddy and I decided to set up at a baseball card show together. We were going to sell off some of our doubles and reinvest our earnings into other cards.

We also had a plan to really get the cash machine rolling — we were going to bust a rack pack box of 1985 Topps, sell all the big rookies, buy more unopened boxes of 1985 Topps, and repeat.

It was a virtuous cycle of wealth that might have us in new cars before the show was over.

Things didn’t quite work out that way, but you can’t blame our enthusiasm when you look at all the 1985 Topps cards that were drawing attention back then.

Rookies like Roger Clemens, Dwight Gooden, Eric Davis, Kirby Puckett, Alvin Davis, and plenty more.

Stars like Pete Rose, Don Mattingly, Darryl Strawberry, Willie McGee, Wade Boggs, and a bevy of other surefire future Hall of Famers.

And then there was that funky Olympic team set with all sorts of guys we didn’t know but who must be good (right?). Guys like Mike Dunne, Mark McGwire, Shane Mack, and Cory Snyder.

So, while we didn’t make our fortunes, it sure was fun tying.

The same might be said of 1985 Topps unopened material today, like this cello box on eBay.

At 28 cards per pack and 24 packs per box, this puppy gives you 672 chances at the card you want, plus 28 chances to resist 30+-year-old bubble gum.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1951 Topps Blue Backs Baseball Cards Unopened Wax Pack

1951 Topps Blue Backs Unopened Wax Pack

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The 1952 Topps set has become so legendary within the hobby and even in mainstream media that some folks still assume it’s the first baseball card issue from the Brooklyn gum maker.

But veteran collectors know Topps was right there beside Bowman on selected store shelves in 1951, too, testing the waters with a quintet of issues:

  • 1951 Topps Blue Backs
  • 1951 Topps Red Backs
  • 1951 Topps Connie Mack All-Stars
  • 1951 Topps Major League All-Stars
  • 1951 Topps Teams

The latter three were distributed in funky ways and are worth a separate discussion someday, but the Blue Backs and Red Backs each had their own wax packs and boxes, and each consisted of 52 cards to form a “deck” of playing cards featuring Big Leaguers.

Of the two, the Blue Backs are more scarce, so it’s an ear-perking moment when an unopened pack shows up on eBay.

Player select is not as strong for the Blue Backs as for the Red Backs, but if you bought this two-card penny pack and *gasp* opened it, you’d be chasing Hall of Famers Richie Ashburn, Red Schoendienst, Enos Slaughter, Bobby Doerr, and Johnny Mize.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1982 Topps Baseball Unopened Grocery Rack Packs (4)

1982 Topps Baseball Unopened Grocery Rack Packs

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I’m sure I’ve said something like this before, probably multiple times, but …

If you were a kid collecting baseball cards in the early-to-mid 1980s, nothing will get your nostalgic heart pumping like the sight of a vintage grocery rack pack or four.

These things were like regular rack packs, except the three panels of cards were covered by colorful comic baseball artwork instead of out there in the open.

Of course, you could still see who was back there if you looked hard and moved stuff around a little, but the flavor of the packaging was so enticing. Even to non-baseball kids like me.

And the packs were strategically placed right there with all the other toys, so there was always a choice to make — baseball cards or fake Nerf tank gun?

You can probably still find the latter on eBay if you look around a bit.

You can definitely find Topps grocery rack packs, like this lot of four of them from 1982.

So you get to have stomach butterflies and the chance to chase a Cal Ripken, Jr., rookie card? And Tom Brunansky? And Steve Sax? And Shooty Babitt?

Oh, boy, Mom! Can I have them, please?

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1984 Donruss Baseball Champions Unopened Pack Showing Cecil Cooper

1984 Donruss Baseball Champions Unopened Pack - Cecil Cooper

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Unopened baseball cards, and baseball cards in general, don’t always have to carry heavyweight price tags to make you go, “Wow!”.

In fact, if you’ve been in this hobby for a while, you know that just catching a glimpse of your collecting past can be tres exciting (in case there are any Montreal Expos fans reading this). That’s one of the reasons we pick up the cardboard in the first place, or at least why we picked it up again as adults — to remember.

Those sweet memories came flooding back in full force when I saw this listing for an unopened pack of 1984 Donruss Baseball Champions with Cecil Cooper on the front, let me tell you.

In 1984, Donruss cards hit the big time thanks to a perceived limited print run and Don Mattingly‘s breakout for the New York Yankees. That put us all on high alert for any other Donruss products, which, as it turned out, included a return of Action All-Stars and these Baseball Champions.

Both were oversized, but the Champions put legends like Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby right there in a pack with active, um, legends like Dave Kingman and Jeff Burroughs.

And Cecil Cooper, of course.

And now I can buy back in to all this for 99 cents?

Wow!

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1983 Topps Baseball Unopened Wax Packs (Michigan Wrapper) — Lot of 5 — May 31, 2018

1983 Topps Baseball Unopened Wax Packs (Michigan Packs)

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It’s surprising to look back sometimes and realize just how innovative and creative Topps was in the 1980s and before. While often criticized (then) by collectors for being concrete-bound sticks-in-the-mud, little details in their baseball cards made life better for collectors whether we realized it or not (the player position icons on the front of 1976 Topps, for example).

In 1983, while Topps was busy reviving and revamping their classic 1963 design, they also had time to try out a few things. One of those was a “Michigan” test issue that consisted of wrapping their cards in plastic/Mylar instead of wax paper (in truth, these were available a bit more widely, such as here in Indiana).

I wasn’t a huge fan of these wrappers in 1983, but Topps was apparently already looking forward to a time when the hobby was much bigger and the concerns about wax being opened, searched, and resealed much more serious.

No one wants to buy a box with no chance of pulling that Wade Boggs, Ryne Sandberg, or Tony Gwynn rookie card you covet, after all.

The experiment lasted one year, but you could argue the Michigan packs were the prototype for the “innovations” to come from Sportflics, Score, and Upper Deck later in the decade.

This eBay lot gives you not only a chance to snag one of the Hall of Fame trio (Boggs, Sandberg, Gwynn) but also a glimpse into the crinkly test-card world of the 1983 hobby. Pretty cool stuff.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1985 Donruss Leaf Baseball Unopened Wax Packs (57) — May 30, 2018

1987 Donruss Leaf Wax Packs

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If you had to pick a turning point that marked the beginning of the modern hobby, the “boom” years, when would it be? For my money, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more suitable milepost than the summer of 1984.

That’s when Don Mattingly won a batting title and made his 1984 Donruss rookie an instant chase card, when Tony Gwynn and Ryne Sandberg led their teams to the playoffs and pulled their 1983 rookie cards out of the commons bins, and when Pete Rose returned to the Cincinnati Reds to make his run at Ty Cobb‘s all-time hit record.

By the time the 1985 baseball cards hit store shelves the next spring, we were frothing at the mouths for any scrap of diamond-related cardboard we could find. Donruss obliged, not only with their base set, but also with a Canadian Leaf version that checked in at just 264 cards but included key rookies like Kirby Puckett, Dwight Gooden, Roger Clemens, and Orel Hershiser.

This eBay lot offers up 57 unopened 1985 Leaf wax packs, each containing 12 cards, for a total of 684 black-bordered beauties. If you bought these and cracked them, odds are pretty good you’d pull at least one choice rookie and possibly multiples of each considering the seller bills them as “unsearched an unopened” (sic).

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1987 Fleer Baseball Unopened Wax Box — May 29, 2018

1987 Fleer Baseball Unopened Wax Box

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For the first few months of 1987, the new baseball card issues of both Fleer and Donruss were scarce, especially on a regional basis. Here in Indiana, for instance, we could find decent quantities of Donruss at certain local stores, but no Fleer whatsoever.

Predictably, prices rose quickly from $14.40 per box (40 cents for each of 36 packs MSRP) to $25, $30, and more. As the summer wore on, supply of both sets seemed to loosen up a bit, but they both remained harder to come by than their Topps counterparts. That seemed to be especially true for Fleer.

Fleer might have escalated in value even quicker if not for a few problems with player selection, particularly on the rookie card front. The company had already issued a Jose Canseco rookie (1986), and they were the only one of the Big Three to not include Mark McGwire in their 1987 set. Still, this issue does contain classic RCs of Barry Larkin, Will Clark, and Bo Jackson, and, like other sets of the era, is loaded with now-Hall-of-Famers.

Even though we know now these cards aren’t scarce, it’s still a thrill to see an unopened box of 1987 Fleer wax packs for sale, like this lot on eBay. It’s the white whale, finally come home to roost (or, what, tread water?).

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1989 Fleer Baseball Unopened Cello Packs (Lot of 19) — May 28, 2018

1989 Fleer Cello Packs

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If there is one card from the heart of the junk wax era (other than the 1990 Fleer Jose Uribe) that continues to fascinate collectors, it’s the 1989 Fleer Billy Ripken “F-Face” obscenity bat. There are so many variations of the card that some hobbyists spend considerable time cataloging and tracking down each one.

There is no indication as to exactly when in 1988-89 the cards offered in this eBay lot were printed and sold, and so no way to know whether they might contain F-Face, Scratchout, Black Box, White-out or any Ripken at all. But these 19 unopened cello packs definitely offer up 684 cards and 57 logo stickers, as well as Jose Canseco (twice), Darryl Strawberry, Wade Boggs — all of those are showing on front.

And, of course, you have a chance at some version of B. Ripken, not to mention a Ken Griffey, Jr., rookie card.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1974 O-Pee-Chee Baseball Unopened Wax Box — May 27, 2018

1974 O-Pee-Chee Baseball Cards Unopened Wax Box

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In 1974, Topps moved to issuing all of their cards at one time, instead of in series, for the first time ever. The success of that experiment was hard to gauge right away, however, thanks to the debacle of the“Washington, Nat’l League” cards brought about by the stilted attempt of the San Diego Padres to move to our nation’s capital.

Not affected by this gaffe were Topps’ Canadian counterparts, O-Pee-Chee. As in 1973, the OPC set was identical in size (660 cards), checklist, and appearance to the Topps version, with the exception of a brighter cardstock, splashes of French, and the “Made in Canada” tagline on card backs.

Oh, and the set seems to have been produced in fairly tight quantities, as well. One indication of this is the PSA Population report, which lists about 3600 O-Pee-Chee cards from 1974 among its ranks as opposed to well over 100,000 Topps pasteboards from the same year.

You can chalk some of that up to the overall popularity of the two sets, but regardless, OPC still sports the rookie cards of Dave Winfield, Dave Parker, Bill Madlock, Steve Rogers, Ken Griffey (Sr.), Frank White, and others.

Including Dick Pole. Heh heh.

How fun would it be to tear into an unopened box of this stuff? This eBay listing would let find out … if you’re willing to pony up a small mint.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1983 Donruss Action All-Stars Unopened Box — May 26, 2018

1983-Donruss-Action-All-Stars-Unopened-Box.jpg

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By 1983, Donruss had dusted off most of the sludge that dragged down their initial set in 1981 and had set about making a hobby name for themselves in earnest. Their base set in 1983 helped a lot, featuring a clean baseball-themed design and improved photos that seemed brighter than in years before.

Donruss was also ready to branch out into specialty standalone sets that summer, and their –ahem — biggest move in that direction was their Action All Stars set. Each card was huge by standard standards, measuring 5″ x 3 1/2″, and featured two images on the front — and action shot and a head shot.

There were 60 cards in all, including 59 players and a checklist, and the cards were sold in 36-pack cello boxes. That’s what’s up for grabs in this lot, with the box top making a very old-school sales pitch:

Mr. Retailer

This carton contains 2 FREE packs for 60¢ extra profit.

Funny thing is, the Buy It Now price on this lot as of writing comes in well below that MSRP.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1982 Topps Baseball Cards Unopened Wax Box — May 25, 2018

1982 Topps Baseball Cards Unopened Wax Pack Box

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Topps seemed to be struggling with their card design in 1982 — hockey sticks on a baseball card? It took folks (me, I guess) a while to warm up to the Old Gum Company’s second offering after their monopoly was busted, but there is plenty to like in this set.

Action cards, All-Star cards, cheesy facsimile autographs, green backs … and rookie cards.

Thanks to the presence of the first Cal Ripken, Jr., card, this issue had collector interest right from the start.

And with RCs of Lee Smith, Steve Sax, Chili Davis, Dave Stewart, Kent Hrbek, and others, it remains a popular early-junk-era buy.

Imagine the fun this unopened wax box would be — 36 chances to pull Ripken or one of his 1982 RC cohorts. Or would you just let them sit for another 36 years?

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1985 Topps Baseball Stickers Unopened Box — May 24, 2018

1985 Topps Baseball Stickers Unopened Box

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If you grew up collecting baseball cards in the 1980s, you’re all too familiar with the double-edge sword presented by Topps in the form of their baseball “yearbook” stickers every season.

They were baseball “cards” (sort of) issued by a major manufacturer, so you felt like you had to collect them. There just weren’t that many sets available on the market back then, even as Donruss and Fleer ramped up their own production. You needed everything you could get your hands on.

The stickers were accompanied by an album, too, and it was colorful and offered up an unusual way to enhance your collection.

But, man, these things had their drawbacks, too.

For starters, they were flimsy, and so were their paper packages. How many times did you tear the stickers while trying to open the pack? Once is too many, and I’m willing to bet the number was higher than that.

Some of the stickers were shape-formed to basically silhouette the player in some way, which made peeling them off their backing tricky and often led to, again, torn stickers.

And then there was the whole moral dilemma of whether you should peel or not … just what was the right way to collect these thing? Personally, I vacillated between neatly affixing the stickers to their rightful place in the Topps album and storing them like “normal” cards — in boxes, sleeves, and unopened packs.

Well, today’s Wow! Wax listing lets you relive all that inner turmoil by taking you right back to the middle of the 1980s.

If you’re the winning bidder, you can take home a “directly from a case” unopened box of 1985 Topps stickers and figure out for yourself what is truly the best way to handle these pretties.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1981 Topps Baseball Unopened Grocery Rack Pack — May 23, 2018

1981 Topps Baseball Unopened Grocery Rack Pack

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My first-ever baseball cards came from the toy aisle of our local grocery store in 1981. They hung from a hole on end of their three-sectioned packages nestled there among the plastic army men, cap guns, and magic erasable drawing pads that were likely made with lead.

I didn’t care any more for the cards than I did the tiny shouting platoon leader with plastic chads on his feet to help him stand. Probably less.

But over time, I grew to anticipate seeing those packages of baseball cards (and football cards in the fall) appear once again among the other baubles. By 1983, the advent of new cards was a magical occasion.

All of which is to say that being able to log in to eBay and finding those very same first cards of mine, in their original blue grocery rack packs, for sale at palatable prices is like manna from cardboard heaven.

None of the 1981 sets is gorgeous or chocked full of high-profile rookie cards, but they’re all crammed to the gills with memories if you were a collector back then.

Ain’t the modern hobby great?

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1986 Fleer Star Stickers Wax Box – May 22, 2018

1986 Fleer Star Stickers Unopened Wax Box

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Back in 1986, collectors had “only” three card companies to choose from, so we ate up everything they pushed out. That included the small, flimsy Topps stickers that were sold in paper packages and designed to be affixed to pages of the magazine-like album you could buy to accompany the issue.

So, when the 1986 Fleer Star Stickers set was released, we were just about frothing at the mouth to get our hands on some — here were full card-sized stickers on thick card stock. Heck Fleer acknowledged that these were really just more cards by not even producing an album.

This 1986 revival of the 1981 Fleer Star Stickers issue was a popular addition to the collecting landscape and was sold in wax packs that contained 5 player stickers and one of Fleer’s ubiquitous team logo stickers. (The whole sticker-insert-in-a-pack-of-stickers thing was sorta like Goofy walking Pluto, but we got over that.)

Considering that there were 132 cards in the set and 36 packs in a wax box — 180 cards total — you had a pretty decent chance to complete a set (with plenty of duplicates) from each box.

Thirty-two years later, this listing gives you that chance for under $10.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1968 Fleer Baseball Iron-Ons Unopened Wax Packs – May 21, 2018

1968 Fleer Iron-Ons Wax Packs

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You might think Fleer didn’t enter the baseball card scene until 1981, but they were bouncing around the market at least a couple decades before that.

For one, they issued a somewhat iconic set in 1963 that featured then-current players including the rookie card of speedster Maury Wills and came packaged with cookies. Topps quickly took them to task in the courts for that little move, and Fleer’s current-player operation was shut down — temporarily. In truth, it was that initial foray that eventually led to the death of Topps’ monopoly, but other stuff happened in the intervening 18 years.

One of those “stuff” was the 1968 Fleer Baseball Iron-Ons set. These were team logos that you could, as the name implies, iron-on to your t-shirts (or your hand, if your ironing skills are on par with mine).

The lack of player images has dampened demand for these over the years, but it’s amazing you can still buy these 50-year-old “cards” in their original unopened state for relatively cheap prices.

In fact, you can find plenty of them for sale on eBay or Amazon (affiliate links) with a little searching.

In this particular case, the seller is offering two unopened wax packs for about 20 bucks.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

Check out the current Wow! Wax listings here.

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1971 - 1981 Topps Baseball cards Johnny Bench lot of 4 Vg/Ex

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1981 Topps Baseball Cards 20 Card Lot

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