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1981 Topps PSA Magic Johnson and Larry Bird prices

Another couple of cards that have received a boost since The Last Dance are the second year/1981-82 Topps cards if Johnson and Bird. PSA 9s were selling for $50-60 for a long time but are now upwards of $300+ now. I've always felt that these were underrated and undervalued but are now getting their due. (Interestingly the 3 part documentary about the '80s Lakers-Celtics rivalry didn't have much effect on them but The Last Dance apparently has. Go figure.)

Comments

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 4,620 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've always thought they were undervalued as well, considering they are the first cards that feature them not together. (Excluding the sportscaster cards)

    Hello, I'm a Joe Louis card addict.

  • ReggieClevelandReggieCleveland Posts: 3,370 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wow, hadn't noticed.

    Both Magic and Bird actually have a base RC in 1980 Topps outside of the Bird/Dr. J/Magic card. Bird is coupled with Cartright and John Drew and Jan Van Breda Kolff takes the place of Bird with Dr. J/Magic following. It's a sneaky loophole that allows people to get a Bird or Magic rookie in high grade without paying the iconic premium. The pops on both of those cards are still really low but getting a PSA 10 Larry Bird rookie for $1,300 beats the hell out of $100,000.

    These are my '81s. I waited and waited a long time to find a Bird I liked. The '81 set is plagued with centering and tilt issues. It's so difficult to find a copy with zero tilt. I was very happy when I found this Bird and even paid a premium (I think it was $65) but it was well worth it to me. The Magic is centered just a hair too high but I'm still very pleased with the L/R centering and, especially, the zero tilt.


    Arthur

  • hamilton989hamilton989 Posts: 83 ✭✭✭
    edited May 23, 2020 7:36AM

    Those are beautiful. That said, the 80 Bird/Magic card is still completely undervalued in my opinion. This PSA 8 cost me $2200 via BIN, and I think it was a total bargain. That said your 81s are far more attractive

  • ReggieClevelandReggieCleveland Posts: 3,370 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That's one of the most iconic sportscards there are. You can't go wrong with it. Yours looks beautiful.

    I just remember going through VCP and seeing that Bird's other base card was, like, $1,000 in PSA 10 and thinking "I can get a Larry Bird rookie in PSA 10 for a thousand dollars?" I'm a Celtics fan so this sort of blew my mind.

    After I picked it up I thought "I have to get the Magic rookie to couple it with. I can't have Bird and not Magic." So, now I have PSA 10 Bird and Magic rookies and I'm over the moon with them. The Magic is actually pretty tough. I think there are less PSA 10 Van Breda Kolff Magic rookies than there are Bird Magic rookies.

    Arthur

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 4,620 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 23, 2020 8:57AM

    Ah yes, ReggieCleveland is right, I forgot about the 1980 Topps where they are featured with seperate from eachother. Good call Arthur. I've always loved the look of their 1981 cards.

    Hello, I'm a Joe Louis card addict.

  • thehallmarkthehallmark Posts: 1,045 ✭✭✭

    I've been very bullish on those two cards for a long time, mostly due to my disdain for multi player RCs. I'm sort of bummed that people have caught on.

    That set is very condition sensitive, and there are a TON of highly flawed 8s and 9s out there. Be careful - buy the card and so on.

  • RedHeart54RedHeart54 Posts: 2,173 ✭✭✭

    I regret not getting a PSA 9 Bird to go with my PSA 9 Magic when prices were so cheap but I guess you can never tell when certain cards get "discovered" despite being available for decades. (I do, however, have a signed '81 Bill Robinzine. He died in September 1982 so it might be one of the only ones he ever signed.)

  • steel75steel75 Posts: 1,356 ✭✭✭
    edited May 24, 2020 7:07AM

    1st "full size" cards of two of the greats, plus the RC's are so expensive. Look at the 87 Fleer Jordan and how it blew up.

    1970's Steelers, Vintage Indians
  • rtimmerrtimmer Posts: 1,107 ✭✭✭

    I’ve always loved that card signed.

    .

    But my favorite And rarest Magic and Bird rookies are these:

    Join the Rookie stars on top PSA registry today:
    1980-1989 Cello Packs - Rookies
  • rtimmerrtimmer Posts: 1,107 ✭✭✭

    Some nice rookies in that 81set too

    Join the Rookie stars on top PSA registry today:
    1980-1989 Cello Packs - Rookies
  • ReggieClevelandReggieCleveland Posts: 3,370 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Dang. You've been punishing that set for a while now, huh?

    Arthur

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