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# 1986-87 Fleer Basketball pack question

sportscardstop
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**526**✭✭✭
I am thinking of picking up a pack of 1986-87 Fleer basketball to take a chance at hitting a Jordan. I am going to buy a graded PSA 8 or 9 pack to make sure it was not tampered with. I was wondering if the card on the top of the pack is visible or not? If it is visible, is there a sequence to the cards in Fleer that year? I just don't want to buy one if there is a good chance that the seller has cherry picked the packs by checking the player on top.

Thanks for any responses in advance.

Thanks for any responses in advance.

0

## Comments

18,220✭✭Doug

Liquidating my collection for the 3rd and final time. Time for others to enjoy what I have enjoyed over the last several decades. Money could be put to better use.

1,515526✭✭✭http://www.ebay.com/itm/1986-Fleer-Basketball-Wax-Pack-PSA-8-Michael-Jordan-Rookie-Sticker-Back-/280807778511?pt=US_Basketball&hash=item416172a8cf

1,515526✭✭✭1,5151,515<< <i>Sorry was I not supposed to post the link? I can delete it. >>

No, it's fine, just use the http button on the top of the reply screen. Otherwise, I only said that because I just bid on it and will likely try and win at least one now althought they seem to go rather high.

3,479The seller specifically states there are 4-6 Jordan rookies per box. Their grading order shows 36 packs and their photos only show 32 packs.

I kind of figure anyone who shows they spent $12,000 on a box probably has a contact or two that would be able to tell them sequencing.

6,057✭✭A couple other things, there are only 2-3 Jordan's per box, not 5 or 6 as stated.

I have a PSA 9 pack for sale on this BST board that came from a completely graded box purchased from BBCE. You have every shot at a Jordan. Additionally, it has Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sticker on the back which sells for about $425 in PSA 9 and $100 in PSA 8, so your well on your way to recouping your money should you not hit a Jordan.

I've built three of these sets graded, and ripped packs, including two packs at this years National.

If I can answer any other questions, please let me know.

6,057✭✭8,948✭✭✭✭<< <i>I have a PSA 9 pack for sale on this BST board that came from a completely graded box purchased from BBCE. You have every shot at a Jordan. Additionally, it has Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sticker on the back which sells for about $425 in PSA 9 and $100 in PSA 8, so your well on your way to recouping your money should you not hit a Jordan. >>

If I was in the market for a 1986-87 Fleer pack, I would buy Matt's. Matt's a good dude and it's a great pack for the price!

264✭✭✭<< <i>There are two sequences inside an 86-87 Fleer pack. The sequences go in opposite directions of one another. So for instance, if the top card, Abdul Jabbar Is #1 your third card will be card #2 Alvin Adams. Now the second card will be random and will go in descending order. For instance#57 will then be #56 and so on, so 6 cards in each direction.

A couple other things, there are only 2-3 Jordan's per box, not 5 or 6 as stated. >>

A complete, unsearched box yields 3 or 4 Jordans, no more, no less. For that matter, it yields 3 or 4 of every card, no more, no less. Fleer's collation was excellent during the 80s basketball years.

36 packs per box x 12 cards per pack = 432 cards per box

432 cards per box divided by 132 cards per set = 3.27 sets per box

So in addition to getting three sets per box, there's a 27% chance of finding a fourth Jordan, Barkley, Ewing, etc. This math holds true for the stickers as well. Since the mid 70s when Topps went to a single series printing through the 90s when short prints were introduced back into the hobby, it has been all about the math. You simply cannot average a Rickey Henderson rookie per 1980 Topps wax box; the math does not support it. You can't average a Griffey rookie per 1989 Upper Deck wax box (low or high); the math does not support it, no matter how bad the collation is.

Mike's description of the sequence is sort of correct. The cards fall in two parallel reverse alphabetical order sequence, alternating cards, 66 cards apart. Not counting the sticker (which is randomly paired with the 12 cards, but still follows the same mathematical insertion rate), starting from the top card (face up, next to the gum), a pack may look like this:

#58 Clark Kellogg

#123 Buck Williams

#57 Michael Jordan

#122 Gerald Wilkins

#56 Vinnie Johnson

#121 Dominique Wilkins

#55 Steve Johnson

#120 Spud Webb

#54 Marques Johnson

#119 Bill Walton

#53 Magic Johnson

#118 Jay Vincent

When you see what an uncut sheet looks like, you can see why the cards are collated this way.

1986/87 Fleer Basketball Uncut Sheet

I absolutely love the 1986/87 Fleer Basketball Set. Specializing in this set helped pay for college. I've seen hundreds of packs opened in my lifetime as far back as the late 80s. I opened my first pack in 1991 when I was 17 ($125/pack; I almost dropped it because I was so nervous, got the Drexler/Dumars sequence), and have opened a total of 11 packs in my lifetime (pulling a Jordan finally in my 11th pack.) For the grand opening of my store in 1997, I bought from Mark Murphy the best centered box I've ever seen. Every pack was sold and opened in 16 days, and each card was recorded as it came out of the pack in order. Yes, the sequence does "flip" randomly, but the collation as described above did not vary one bit.

Reed Kasaoka

Buyer, Baseball Card Exchange

cell: (808) 372-1974

email: ReedBBCE@gmail.com

website: www.bbce.com

eBay stores: bbcexchange, bbcexchange2, bbcexchange3, bbcexchange4

2,036✭✭✭<< <i>

<< <i>There are two sequences inside an 86-87 Fleer pack. The sequences go in opposite directions of one another. So for instance, if the top card, Abdul Jabbar Is #1 your third card will be card #2 Alvin Adams. Now the second card will be random and will go in descending order. For instance#57 will then be #56 and so on, so 6 cards in each direction.

A couple other things, there are only 2-3 Jordan's per box, not 5 or 6 as stated. >>

A complete, unsearched box yields 3 or 4 Jordans, no more, no less. For that matter, it yields 3 or 4 of every card, no more, no less. Fleer's collation was excellent during the 80s basketball years.

36 packs per box x 12 cards per pack = 432 cards per box

432 cards per box divided by 132 cards per set = 3.27 sets per box

So in addition to getting three sets per box, there's a 27% chance of finding a fourth Jordan, Barkley, Ewing, etc. This math holds true for the stickers as well. Since the mid 70s when Topps went to a single series printing through the 90s when short prints were introduced back into the hobby, it has been all about the math. You simply cannot average a Rickey Henderson rookie per 1980 Topps wax box; the math does not support it. You can't average a Griffey rookie per 1989 Upper Deck wax box (low or high); the math does not support it, no matter how bad the collation is.

Mike's description of the sequence is sort of correct. The cards fall in two parallel reverse alphabetical order sequence, alternating cards, 66 cards apart. Not counting the sticker (which is randomly paired with the 12 cards, but still follows the same mathematical insertion rate), starting from the top card (face up, next to the gum), a pack may look like this:

#58 Clark Kellogg

#123 Buck Williams

#57 Michael Jordan

#122 Gerald Wilkins

#56 Vinnie Johnson

#121 Dominique Wilkins

#55 Steve Johnson

#120 Spud Webb

#54 Marques Johnson

#119 Bill Walton

#53 Magic Johnson

#118 Jay Vincent

When you see what an uncut sheet looks like, you can see why the cards are collated this way.

1986/87 Fleer Basketball Uncut Sheet

I absolutely love the 1986/87 Fleer Basketball Set. Specializing in this set helped pay for college. I've seen hundreds of packs opened in my lifetime as far back as the late 80s. I opened my first pack in 1991 when I was 17 ($125/pack; I almost dropped it because I was so nervous, got the Drexler/Dumars sequence), and have opened a total of 11 packs in my lifetime (pulling a Jordan finally in my 11th pack.) For the grand opening of my store in 1997, I bought from Mark Murphy the best centered box I've ever seen. Every pack was sold and opened in 16 days, and each card was recorded as it came out of the pack in order. Yes, the sequence does "flip" randomly, but the collation as described above did not vary one bit. >>

Reed, thanks so much for this information. I have opened about ten packs as well and never knew about the 66 cards apart. Again, I was just busting to pull an MJ(did it twice both from BBCK).

3,499✭✭✭✭✭3,115✭✭✭<< <i>Not counting the sticker (which is randomly paired with the 12 cards, but still follows the same mathematical insertion rate), starting from the top card (face up, next to the gum), a pack may look like this:

#58 Clark Kellogg

#123 Buck Williams

#57 Michael Jordan

#122 Gerald Wilkins

#56 Vinnie Johnson

#121 Dominique Wilkins

#55 Steve Johnson

#120 Spud Webb

#54 Marques Johnson

#119 Bill Walton

#53 Magic Johnson

#118 Jay Vincent

>>

So, if #121 Dominique Wilkins was showing on top, would that mean the next cards would be #55, #120, and #54, and thus no Jordan is in the pack?

264✭✭✭<< <i>

<< <i>Not counting the sticker (which is randomly paired with the 12 cards, but still follows the same mathematical insertion rate), starting from the top card (face up, next to the gum), a pack may look like this:

#58 Clark Kellogg

#123 Buck Williams

#57 Michael Jordan

#122 Gerald Wilkins

#56 Vinnie Johnson

#121 Dominique Wilkins

#55 Steve Johnson

#120 Spud Webb

#54 Marques Johnson

#119 Bill Walton

#53 Magic Johnson

#118 Jay Vincent

>>

So, if #121 Dominique Wilkins was showing on top, would that mean the next cards would be #55, #120, and #54, and thus no Jordan is in the pack? >>

Yes, unless the pattern suddenly "flips" as discussed earlier.

The downside of knowing the pattern is that it takes all the fun out of opening packs. While people were busting packs at our booth during the last National, I tried to stay away from the action, for fear my facial expression of seeing the top card would give it away. Still, even if you know what's in the pack, you can still hold out for a Gem Mint Johnny Moore or Kareem sticker!

Reed Kasaoka

Buyer, Baseball Card Exchange

cell: (808) 372-1974

email: ReedBBCE@gmail.com

website: www.bbce.com

eBay stores: bbcexchange, bbcexchange2, bbcexchange3, bbcexchange4

1,308<< <i>

<< <i>

<< <i>Not counting the sticker (which is randomly paired with the 12 cards, but still follows the same mathematical insertion rate), starting from the top card (face up, next to the gum), a pack may look like this:

#58 Clark Kellogg

#123 Buck Williams

#57 Michael Jordan

#122 Gerald Wilkins

#56 Vinnie Johnson

#121 Dominique Wilkins

#55 Steve Johnson

#120 Spud Webb

#54 Marques Johnson

#119 Bill Walton

#53 Magic Johnson

#118 Jay Vincent

>>

So, if #121 Dominique Wilkins was showing on top, would that mean the next cards would be #55, #120, and #54, and thus no Jordan is in the pack? >>

Yes, unless the pattern suddenly "flips" as discussed earlier.

The downside of knowing the pattern is that it takes all the fun out of opening packs. While people were busting packs at our booth during the last National, I tried to stay away from the action, for fear my facial expression of seeing the top card would give it away. Still, even if you know what's in the pack, you can still hold out for a Gem Mint Johnny Moore or Kareem sticker! >>

Thank you for all of this information. It was well presented and very informative. Truly a class act all around at BBCE.

Meatloaf

736✭✭✭I found this old thread very interesting, in that sequences and collations are seldom revealed, much less talked about. Are we approaching the threshold where unopened packs/cellos/racks can be priced based on sequences of who might be in the pack, but not showing; or are we stuck with the stars showing valuations. There are '86 fleer packs on e-bay with no chance of a Jordan (o.k. .002% because of flipping), but valued as if Jordan could be inside. '86 fleer is a great barometer for sequence pricing, IMO, because it's a well known sequence, and repeatable. Yet, most of the packs are priced relatively closely, or based on box divided by # of packs pricing structure. This devalues the packs Jordan is in (98% sure), but is not showing.

Curious as to what others think about this for '86, and other years/sports

Collecting Unopened from '72-'83; mostly BBCE certified boxes/cases/racks.

Prefer to buy in bulk.

30✭The whole collation of that set make me not want any wax. Sure it is possible for a mid pack collation flip but who would bank on that? I am pretty sure every seller on eBay knows the sequencing.

Just to add my personal opinion about the card..and the set In general

A. I seriously don't think 86 Fleer is worthy of the price. Sure it is much more limited than other sports from 87 but there is still a fair amount out there.

B. The Jordan rookie isn't rare at all. There are 16,000 graded examples by PSA with more than 10,000 being and 8, 9, or 10 in grade. Not to mention 8,400 BGS graded examples. Not to mention graded examples by the tons of other grading companies. Not to mention all the raw upgraded examples. Not to mention all the unopened high grade still available. I just don't see the value in it. There are tons of high grade specimens. Some people say the demand is high and that is true.....but if demand weakens in the least it could cause a tanking.

I believe Jordan is the greatest....I believe this is a fine set of cards

But based on the sequencing , I truly believe buying a pack on ebay is a waste of cash.

2,104✭✭✭✭With reasonable confidence the collation of 86 Fleer BKB is known and can be determined depending on how well you are able to make out a card on either the top or bottom of the wrapper.

A similar statement can be made for early 1970s Topps products. For example, the 1970 Topps BB cellos are supposed to contain 3 groups of 11 cards each. 1 group is from one of the half-sheets. a second group is from the other one of the half-sheets. The final group is a mix (every other card) from both half-sheets. A high percentage of the time this is what the cellos actually do conatain, and based upon the card you see at the top and the card you can see at the bottom there is a strong chance to know which group is on top and which group is on bottom. Once can then apply the known collation sequences and usually get pretty accurate results regarding what to expect from opening the cello.

So to answer the question asked above; YES, we are getting to a point where someone who is known to be knowledgeable about the collation sequences could legitimately price one unopened pack differently than another one from the same year (and series, if applicable) because a star was significantly more likely to appear in one versus the other.

For what it's worth, all of the 1970 Topps BB cellos I bought from Fritsch on eBay were always analyzed for content in this manner. Thankfully Fritsch doesn't seem to know the collation sequence well enough to vary the pricing. I've opened a few of these and been very pleased with the results.

However, nothing in this world is absolute. Not all packs fully conform to the standard patterns, so I think it is unlikely that anyone could be "perfect".

Dave

2,991✭✭✭✭✭Great thread and insights provided. If I were buying a pack of 86/87 Fleer today I would buy only from a box that was fresh and just opened. Since the sequence and collation is known a smart collector... would just rip a box, figure the sequence, take out the 3-4 packs with Jordan, and then sub the rest to PSA to be graded. They could then sell the packs as graded with the buyer having no clue that there is almost no chance for a Jordan rookie card. Kind of like when someone is selling loose packs of 89 UD baseball and they are selling 35 packs rather than a full box - mainly because they hit the Griffey rookie early and figure the other packs are empty so go ahead and sell them.

KC

23,255✭✭✭✭✭I wonder if he found it?🤔