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Zach Wheat
06-03-2013, 03:22 PM
Does anyone on here collect '85 Topps mini's? Has anyone ever completed a set? Are there any known scarcities?

Thanks in advance.

Z Wheat

gopherfan
06-03-2013, 04:04 PM
Here is a complete set with pictures.

http://www.psacard.com/PSASetRegistry/alltimeset.aspx?s=62904

Here is a discussion of them on the CU forums.

http://forums.collectors.com/messageview.cfm?catid=11&threadid=556622

Zach Wheat
06-03-2013, 08:59 PM
In the discussion on CU, there are 132 cards in a set, but there are 2 checklists, including 1 from 133-264. I imagine this was due to Topps printing only 1 sheet of cards for this "test set" and the sheet happened to have the 1st & 2nd checklists on it.

Interesting. Thanks Rob.

Gmrson
06-03-2013, 10:30 PM
The mini's were actually printed in Canada. These as well as the '88 Cloth sticker showed up in the Detroit area from a Canadian dealer who did many shows here. I believe both "debuted" at the Dearborn St. Martha's show put on by Bob Wimmer. I have a Mike Boddicker, whom I knew and collected at the time.

4reals
06-04-2013, 10:30 AM
Here's the thread of a discussion we had on the subject last summer:

http://www.net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=153606&highlight=1985+topps+mini+cream

I'm sure AL (the OP on the thread) would've provided the link for you but he's navigating the world so I'll do it in his absence.

Note in the thread that aside from the completed stat back's there were also proofs for this test release. There were cream/white blank backs, brown/tan blank backs and Al has some stat backs with red ink but no green.

Print numbers that I have heard thrown around are that the complete stat backs are numbered at or around 100. Ebay seller gotjacollectibles (who I rec'd my blank backs from and still has some for sale) numbers the white/cream backs at 10 and the brown/tan backs at 5. Al's red ink only back is probably numbered at no more than 5 and is more than likely a one of a kind piece. I believe gotja is also the Allan fellow mentioned in the CU thread.

ALR-bishop
06-04-2013, 02:57 PM
Zach---do not have access to them in Ireland, but have this set in both regular back and blank back. The blank back are tougher and can be found in both tan and white backs. I also have the set half done in red only backs. Not sure if it can be completed that way. One of the toughest 80s sets to do, along with 82 Blackless and 88 Cloth and 84 Encased ( Head in Box)

Zach Wheat
06-05-2013, 01:15 PM
Zach---do not have access to them in Ireland, but have this set in both regular back and blank back. The blank back are tougher and can be found in both tan and white backs. I also have the set half done in red only backs. Not sure if it can be completed that way. One of the toughest 80s sets to do, along with 82 Blackless and 88 Cloth and 84 Encased ( Head in Box)

Al,

I hate to tell you this, but I think your search for an entire set of one color red backs has not ended.

I saw some '85 Topps mini's on eBay. I emailed the seller and he indicated he has known people at O-Pee-Chee for 40 years and knows quite a bit about the set. He apparently even knew the O-Pee-Chee "archive administrator". He said they produced 90 sheets of '85 Mini's as a test set. The 90 sheets - which included 30 sheets with full color backs (each sheet containing 132 cards), 30 sheets were blank backs and 30 sheets were one color red backs. He indicated he has a full sheet of '85 mini's and this is the only full sheet as it was in their archives and used for reference purposes (presumably).

He also said the remainder of the cards all came from the original 90 sheets which were all individually cut from these sheets. He seemed to know what he was talking about.

ZWheat

4reals
06-06-2013, 09:44 AM
I'm not saying those sheet numbers are inaccurate but they are surprising to hear considering the few number of blank backs that have hit the market compared to the full color stat backs. For every blank back it seems I run into 3-4 stat backs. Similarly, it's shocking for me to hear there are just as many sheets of the "red ink only" backs as the other variations. I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around that since Al's are the only one's I've ever seen. Perhaps someone has them all and is sitting on them? Of course, it all comes down to timing and accessibility, so just because my search results have been what they are doesn't mean they haven't been made available somewhere I am not exposed to. Did your contact happen to mention how many of the 30 blank back sheets were divided between tan and white card stock colors? Perhaps ask him if there were any blank back variations without naming the colors to test his credibility?

Zach Wheat
06-06-2013, 04:39 PM
I'm not saying those sheet numbers are inaccurate but they are surprising to hear considering the few number of blank backs that have hit the market compared to the full color stat backs. For every blank back it seems I run into 3-4 stat backs. Similarly, it's shocking for me to hear there are just as many sheets of the "red ink only" backs as the other variations. I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around that since Al's are the only one's I've ever seen. Perhaps someone has them all and is sitting on them? Of course, it all comes down to timing and accessibility, so just because my search results have been what they are doesn't mean they haven't been made available somewhere I am not exposed to. Did your contact happen to mention how many of the 30 blank back sheets were divided between tan and white card stock colors? Perhaps ask him if there were any blank back variations without naming the colors to test his credibility?

Joe,

I actually asked him in the same email if the printing quantities were the same for all 3 of the printing variations. I told him that I was surpised at his original contention that they were printed in equal numbers. He reiterated that they were indeed printed in the same quantities.

I can reach out to him again.

Z Wheat

Zach Wheat
06-06-2013, 04:51 PM
Joe,
I just sent him another follow up message with your specific questions as well as others. I will post his response.

Z Wheat

Zach Wheat
06-07-2013, 06:18 PM
Joe,

I got a reply but did not get much other information. He was silent on knowledge of using different paper stock for blank backs but did reaffirm that the red backs were originally produced in equal numbers - 30 sheets.

I am not sure how much more information I am going to get.

Z Wheat

ALR-bishop
06-08-2013, 02:49 AM
Interesting Zach. My experience is what Joe said, the blank backs tougher and the reds a rarity, but maybe the sheets are sitting somewhere. Most of my mini buys were from Canadian sellers. There are definitely two different blank back stocks...tan and white

From Scotland :-)

Zach Wheat
06-08-2013, 10:43 AM
I have re-phrased the question again and he quickly responded stating that he was informed there was only 1 print run for the '85 mini's and 1 type paper stock. He suggested that one of the 2 types of card stock is not legit. Can anyone check their card stock for uniformity with the other types of backs - and compare it to the printing on the fronts for legitimacy?

I know this same issues has occurred with other issues - most notably ESCO Exhibits and I have been duped prior to understanding the differences on the front of the card. Now ESCO Exhibit collectors automatically look for the 2nd type of card stock as a dead give away.

In addition, he mentioned he still has contacts at OPC and would talk to them again about this set. Send me your questions I will compile them and see if we can get some firm answers - as I am sure there are other questions of which I am not aware. Unfortunately he won't be seeing his contacts again until late summer...

ZWheat

4reals
06-08-2013, 07:10 PM
Here is a scan of some of mine.

http://i773.photobucket.com/albums/yy19/joeoneone/cards%20blog/85toppsminisback_zps8633bebc.jpeg


Here is a scan taken from a post of one of Al's cards from a previous thread.

http://i773.photobucket.com/albums/yy19/joeoneone/cards%20blog/85ToppsMinired-inkonlyback_zpsa6324598.jpg

Assuming your source is correct, and only one type of card stock was used, it would make make logical sense to assume the white card stock is counterfeit since the vanilla bean/tan card stock is used on the complete stat backs and the red ink only stat backs. I will pull the white backs out and look at them under my 10x magnifier to see if I notice any irregularities from the others.

Zach Wheat
06-08-2013, 08:34 PM
Joe,

I would really like to see some high res scans on the front before going that route. Do you know what other OPC card stock from this era looks like? Does anyone have any other scans of the backs of cards in another OPC set so we can check card stock? Just curious.

Thanks.

HasselhoffsCheeseburger
06-08-2013, 11:06 PM
Here's a regular issue 1985 OPC back.

http://i1078.photobucket.com/albums/w491/AFRICH1941/85OPC_zpsf9e968f7.jpg

Rich Klein
06-09-2013, 12:06 PM
Who had a good amount of those 1985 minis. They always looked legit to me

Rich

4reals
06-09-2013, 03:31 PM
I'm with Rich on this one, I don't think they're counterfeited. Nobody has ever had enough of them, and they aren't worth enough to take the time to do. I took a look at them side by side under my magnifier and could see no areas of concern. The rosette pattern is the same and there is solid color everywhere there should be. Another question then would be, were they possibly photocopied? Again my answer would be no. I have two team sets of the white back proofs and each one has the registration off, most noticeably the red plate which is up and to the left. This was not found on the tan backs or the stat backs. By no means am I a professional but it is my humble opinion that the white backs are legit. I, however, will let you draw your own conclusion. I'm providing scans of all variations side by side and a high res of a Pedro Guerrero white blank back per your request. Have fun! ;)

By the way, since I do have an expendable copy of each Dodgers white back I would be willing to trade straight up for a red ink only back of any Dodger since I don't have those variations. I also need a tan back Yeager. Thanks!

http://i773.photobucket.com/albums/yy19/joeoneone/cards%20blog/85Toppsfront_zpsee0a50f9.jpg
http://i773.photobucket.com/albums/yy19/joeoneone/cards%20blog/85Toppsback_zps943d762e.jpg
http://i773.photobucket.com/albums/yy19/joeoneone/cards%20blog/85Toppsminiguerrero_zps9718a767.jpeg

Zach Wheat
06-10-2013, 09:10 PM
I suspect you guys are right. I will let you know when I get more info. Tks guys.

ALR-bishop
06-11-2013, 05:06 AM
Do not have current access to my Minis ( In Iceland), but I have blank backs of both types displayed by Joe, and in my view they are not fakes. And if there are equal number of red only back sheets, someone is hording them currently

Zach Wheat
06-11-2013, 09:17 PM
Well I have yet to acquire an 85 mini....and I am sure you would be able to tell Al. It is somewhat disappointing to know you don't carry your database of baseball images and other related information with you in your worldly travels. :).

Zach Wheat
06-15-2013, 09:02 PM
Is it possible or even likely that some of these cards are proofs? Maybe my source was correct but they also printed a few sheets for reference on different card stock. This doesn't fit the story entirely but does explain some of the differences.

I was reading about some of the older Topps proofs and apparently they printed limited quantities on different card stock for reference. It just seemed odd that the 85 minis only had 1 sheet printed almost as if they were experimenting. And then when I read they printed some of the earlier proofs in one color, some blank back and some on different card stock it seemed to fit.

There are a lot of similarities to some of the stories regarding earlier proofs prior to switching to doing these digitally in the late 80s.

Just curious.

Zach Wheat
06-20-2013, 09:10 PM
I was not content with the extent of the info received and have been in contact with other Canadian collectors about this set. I eventually got to one collector that reaffirmed there were indeed 90 original sheets printed but that there were other sheets as well.

He indicated there were additionally 10 blank back vanilla cards as well as 5 proof sheets in tan color. The remainder of the sheets...approximately 100 were thrown away as being not acceptable to Topps (who had originally commissioned OPC to produce). Most of the sheets were salvaged but had water damage and were cut up. He was not clear on how many red back sheets were originally printed.

He indicated he acquired most of the discarded stock in 1988 and was subsequently sued by Topps.

Does the tan card look like a proof? This info seems to be generally consistent, but doesn't explain the red backs.

ALR-bishop
06-21-2013, 01:09 AM
This is more consistent with what I had heard from the several Canadian and one US seller I bought most of my cards from. I am still in contact with the US seller, who sent me info on them back in the early 90s. I will retrieve it when I get back in the states. I have never heard the origin of the red backs, but will ask what he knows about them too on return. I have maybe half of the set that way. I also have a couple of swoosh backs ( colors all mixed up and swirled) and can post an example of those on return as well.I

In Norway now. England, Scotland, Ireland and Iceland down, with Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia and Russia to go

Zach Wheat
06-21-2013, 05:50 AM
Clarification on red backs....

He sent a follow up email saying the sheets were originally sold at a show in Mississagua, Canada in 1985 and he was able to acquire 60 sheets sometime after....probably in 1988. He indicated that there were 5 red back sheets in the mix. All cards came from the uncut sheets.

This seems to foot with what all of you have been suggesting. I am still not clear what the difference is between tan and vanilla. I will probably have to send him a scan of the cards above and have him explain.

Z Wheat

Zach Wheat
09-11-2013, 07:43 PM
No more updates with additional info., but I did manage to acquire an '85 Rose Proof, and 2 '85 Mini white & gray back. All cards look genuine and each card has a different card stock. I guess that is not surprising since the mini's were printed in Canada.

The gray back of Rose looks like it is on significantly darker card stock. The card stock is definitely darker, but not as dark as the scan makes it appear.

I've been looking for red backs without luck.


Z Wheat

ALR-bishop
09-11-2013, 08:03 PM
Good update Zach. Since Topps did the Minis as a full set in 1975, wonder what made them decide to scuttle the 85 set

Zach Wheat
09-12-2013, 01:39 AM
One of the reasons the '75 set was designed in its current form (ie 20% smaller) was so it could be printed on 5 sheets saving printing cost (5 X 132 = 660) instead of 6 sheets. I don't think that was as significant of an issue in '85 but not sure.

Z Wheat