The spotlight was definitely on the 1986-87 Fleer Basketball unopened wax case in Collect Auctions’ recent sale, which closed on August 6. The case didn’t disappoint and finished at $1.789 million, which translates to roughly $150,000 per box. The case, which is thought to be the only full surviving case of Fleer’s first basketball product, arrived from the Larry Fritsch Cards vault and was wrapped and authenticated by Steve Hart of BBCE.
Collect Auctions (collectauctions.net) had the first four years of Fleer Basketball in unopened case formats, with the 1987-88 case finishing at $157,000, the 1988-89 case finishing at $58,000 and the 1989-90 case closing at $5,100. These were all part of arguably the best lineup of unopened products the industry has ever seen in auction.
Other highlights in the unopened lineup included: 1973 Topps Baseball cello box sold for $31,861; 1980-81 Topps Basketball wax box sold for $22,909; 1972-73 Topps Basketball wax box sold for $17,210; 1982 Topps Baseball wax box case sold for $17,210; 1975 Topps Baseball cello box sold for $15,646; 1976 Topps Baseball cello box sold for $15,646; 1979 Topps Football rack box unopened case sold for $15,646; 1976 Topps Football wax box sold for $14,222; 1977 Topps Baseball Cloth Stickers case sold for $12,929; 1971-72 Topps Basketball vending box sold for $11,753; 1987-88 Fleer Basketball wax box sold for $10,666; and an empty case of 1986-87 Fleer Basketball, which including all 12 empty wax box and all the empty wrappers, sold for $10,058.
The auction, which topped more than $3 million, included much more than unopened products though and set record prices across the board. Leading the way was a 1969-70 Topps Basketball complete PSA 8 set, which ranked 20th on the PSA Set Registry. The set of 99 cards sold for $37,405. There was also what is believed to be the only set of 1970 Topps Winners, which sold for $35,579.
Other highlights included: 1921 E121 American Caramel Babe Ruth “Series of 80” PSA 2, which sold for $20,060, which is a new record; 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle No. 311 PSA 1 sold for $14,153; 1952 Topps Baseball Low-Number Set sold for $9,343; 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth No. 144 PSA 3 sold for $9,125 (record price); 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth No. 149 PSA 3 sold for $9,125 (record price); 1909-11 Ty Cobb Green Background PSA 3 sold for $8,294; 2003-04 Topps LeBron James RC No. 221 PSA 10 sold for $7,122 (new record); Pete Maravich Signed 1970-71 Topps RC with the signature graded PSA/DNA 8 sold for $6,853; and a 1959 Fleer Ted Williams complete PSA-graded set, which ranked No. 15 on the PSA Set Registry, sold for $6,436.
Collect Auctions next sale starts on Nov. 2 and ends Nov. 19, with a consignment deadline of Sept. 21. Call 888-463-3063 to consign your vintage baseball cards (sets and singles); graded singles and sets; vintage unopened wax, cello and rack packs and boxes; sports autographs; historical, presidential and entertainment autographs; Star Co. basketball cards; game-used items; Babe Ruth items; Michael Jordan items; tobacco cards; trophies and rings; programs; tickets; memorabilia and more.