Fleer 1986-1987 Trading Card Performance Over The Decades

During the release of the 1986-87 basketball cards by Fleer, the product’s cases were extremely inexpensive. Steve Hart, the owner of Baseball Card Exchange (BBCE) and an experienced card dealer, recalled that cases were selling for around $80 to $120 in the 1980s. Surprisingly, even at such low prices, there was minimal interest in the product. As the value of the cases gradually increased from a few thousand dollars to $10,000 and then $100,000, people began selling them for a profit.

The reason behind the skyrocketing prices was the presence of top rookies from that era in the 1986-87 Fleer set. The most sought-after card in the collection is the Michael Jordan rookie card, which is considered the crown jewel. Additionally, the set featured rookie cards of renowned players like Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Clyde Drexler, Dominique Wilkins, Isiah Thomas, Hakeem Olajuwon, Chris Mullin, and Joe Dumars.

In 1999, the last known case of 1986-87 Fleer Basketball was auctioned off for $100,000. Today, individual boxes of the product are being sold for nearly the same price. The appearance of another case of the product had been a subject of speculation among collectors and hobby veterans. The doubts were put to rest when a case emerged from Larry Fritsch Cards, a reputable card shop owned by the Fritsch family in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. To capitalize on the current booming market, Jeremy Fritsch, the shop owner, decided to auction the case through Collect Auctions in Waupaca, Wisconsin.

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The auction took place in August and concluded with the case being sold for a staggering $1,789,717. This price exceeded expectations and thrilled Steven Bloedow, the owner of Collect Auctions. Initially, they anticipated a range of $1.2 to $1.5 million for the case, but the final bid surpassed their predictions by $300,000.

The case was acquired by Blowout Cards, a collector and card dealer, on behalf of a private buyer who wishes to remain anonymous. The purchaser intends to keep the case unopened, preserving its sealed condition.

The Fritsch family has a long history in the card collecting business, starting with Larry Fritsch opening their shop in 1970. After Larry’s passing in 2007, his son Jeff took over, and following Jeff’s death in 2017, Jeremy assumed control of Larry Fritsch Cards.

The discovery of this case has generated significant buzz in the hobby community and is expected to attract national attention. The authenticity and provenance of the case were confirmed when Jeremy Fritsch and Steven Bloedow visited BBCE in Indiana to have the case authenticated and shrink-wrapped by Steve Hart, an expert in unopened materials. The case was found to be in remarkable condition, with intact tape and only minor surface scuffs.

Hart, with his expertise in unopened products, estimates that the case could be worth around $2.25 million. However, the value would depend on the condition and centering of the cards inside. If the cards were perfectly centered, their worth could reach millions of dollars. Considering the set’s composition, each box in the case contains an average of 3.27 Michael Jordan rookie cards, and there are also 432 stickers, with the potential for additional Jordan rookie stickers.

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Despite the excitement surrounding this discovery, it remains uncertain whether this is the last remaining case or if others might still exist. Hart speculates that there could be cases hidden in abandoned inventory, such as a widow selling off the stock from her and her late husband’s candy wholesale business, where cases of 1986-87 Fleer might be mixed with cases from 1987 Fleer, Topps, and Donruss

I have been collecting memorabilia for half of my life. I started very small with a few trading cards and since then I am more and more interested in the subject. I read a lot in Facebook groups, collect especially Jordan memorabilia. I'm happy if you like my content.

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