junk wax

A whole box of 1992-93 Fleer Ultra.

When stacked it looks like this….


img_2044Each one of those piles is 100 cards. So in total almost 2000 cards. I took out the 100 or so I needed for my “Not Actively Collecting” Collection. There was almost a complete series 1. Some one had left multiples (anywhere between 5 and 35) of each card up to #250 with the exception of Patrick Roy who was no where to be found.

I refuse to buy any missing cards on my NAC collection and hope to get them organically at some point in another lot.

It’s a pity though. The 92-93 Fleer Ultra set is actually quite nice. Clear good photos. I like the back (although I hate one year stats lines). If these had been produced in a normal year in a normal quantity I could see them holding some value. Unfortunately they came out during the junk wax era. Nice try Ultra.



2017 has started and with I my first miscellaneous mystery box(es) pick up.

It looks like this to start..img_2020

All that wonderful goodness hidden in those boxes. Basically I bought it because it had a few hundred OPC Hockey cards I was interested in. Everything else was just extra stuff that I can go to to add to my “Not Actively Collecting”, “Traders” or “Dead” lists.

I think most people have a “Not Actively Collecting” section. These are cards that you wouldn’t necessarily purchase, you’re not really trying to complete the set but you keep adding to it it by osmosis. I keep a list of these card sets, but I don’t pursue them. If i add a few as collateral to a purchase then I’m happy.

So what was in this pile of loveliness? Well I’m going to take my time and do one box/binder at a time so I don’t race through. This will keep me (haha) from spending more and buying more until this pile is processed.

This weekend past was box 1

A box of true junk was made up almost exclusively of Upper Deck 1991-92 . Now these are definitely on my NAC list. There were a total of 1866 cards. I’m missing about 10 for the set, so I thought my odds were good to get them. However, the entire lot was cards from 500-600. Including multiple copies (and I mean multiple!!) of each card in that range. Here pictured are 16 Peter Douris cards. Who needs that many Peter Douris? I mean his mom doesn’t need that many Peter Douris cards. This was only some of them. All told there were 56!!

So cards added to my collection 0, cards added to NAC 0, cards added to traders 0, cards added to dead pile 1866.



*The answer to the question in the title? Douris retired in 2002, in 11 NHL seasons he scored 54 goals and 67 assists for 121 points in 321 games, picking up 80 penalty minutes. Now, as a retired player, he is head coach of Vojens IK. (Thanks Wikipedia)


Would you pay $400 or more for a 1990-91 Pro Set Hockey card? One of the most overproduced, vilified, junkiest of junk wax sets there has ever been or possibly ever would be?

Specifically for this card? Paul Gillis ERR 246A


I mean come on, its listed in Beckett for that amount.


The complete set books at $25 HI but this card, yes the error, books at $400.

And people are trying to get that on Ebay. Yes I know listed price and what they actually sell at are not the same. But listing it at $250-$350 seems absurd.


For just a bit of blood showing on the error card?

. IMG_1015

Thinking of that gives me a nosebleed.

PS       If anyone really wants to pay for this card, I’ll let it go for just $200. That’s a steal of a deal at 50% off

PPS Just kidding, but I am willing to trade it for some stuff from my want list.

My good friend has been the source of many cards in my collection. He had a roommate who moved out and stuck him with unpaid rent and a bunch of old boxes, one of which was filled with early 80’s Hockey cards.

He went to help his dad clean out the attic and found some 70’s OPC Hockey cards that his older brother had collected.

He found the stack of cards in a box that included the “Stryker” card I wrote about a few weeks back. And now this…

Riding the subway in Toronto he looks over a sees a stack of cards on an empty seat, in an otherwise empty car.


Now granted the cards are not worth more than a token on the TTC, but seriously..when was the last time you FOUND cards? As a kid in the 70’s sure, but now?

And who puts them in an elastic band anymore?


Sorry no pictures today. Just an explanation/apology/rant.

Buying on Kijiji sometimes leads me to come up against people who have very unrealistic expectations of the value of their cards. It’s almost sad to tell someone that the collection they have is almost worthless.  Some people take it with humour and realism. I like these people. We usually email back and forth once or twice and then I take their junk wax off their hands, spend hours (or days sometimes) sifting through and come up with the handful or cards that actually were worth keeping. It’s always amazing what people have in top loaders. Cards that are worth 25 cents get the plastic treatment because it says “Rookie Card”

Unfortunately , others get down right upset or angry and accuse me of “low balling” them and that “they know it’s worth a lot more than I suggest”. Trust me, it probably isn’t

This is normally because they bought during the junk wax era, or the cards were given to them by someone who bought during that era. They are living in a time warp and still think it is 1992 and that a Ken Griffey UD rookie card or Eric Lindros Oshawa Generals card is going to be their ticket to retirement.

Let’s be real. If your ad has been up for a few weeks (and I love the ones that keep reposting the same ad every few days) and the best offer you have had is $40. Then your collection is probably worth a lot closer to $40 than the $500 you have it listed at.

If no one is jumping at it then lower your price. If you listed good cards at a good price they would not stay up for long. It’s the way supply and demand works, you dont exist in your own bubble of economic stasis. Don’t expect someone who knows the value of the product you have to say. “Gee you’re right. You’ve had these cards since 1991 and never cared about them until now when you want to sell them, That MUST mean that you know the true price/worth of a partial set of 1991 Donruss baseball.”

I can usually tell when a person has an unrealistic expectation before I even send the email. If their ad has no pictures AT ALL. It’s a bad sign.
If there ad is showing Donruss 91 baseball, ANYTHING Pro-set, or Score Hockey or is loaded with shots of binder pages in no describable order then it’s not a good sign either.

It’s mostly the unsuspecting Junk Wax holderse I feel for though. To have a collection of anything and be told it’s not worth what you though can be hard to hear.

But here’s my question.

If you only collected from 89-93 why did you stop? If you had kept going you’d get back into some good years. If they made you happy back then, why don’t you keep collecting? If they were only for an investment, then think of it like buying Bre-x or Nortel stock. The bubble burst.

So lets define Junk Wax once and for all. Cuz if you have it, then you should know.

Friends don’t let friends buy Junk Wax (unless there is something of value in the pile)

1987 – 1993 was almost exclusively JUNK. All Sports. Even Non sports. If it is not from Topps, OPC, or Upper Deck then it is almost certainly junk no matter what is says. (Just saying collectors edition is enough for it NOT to be a collectors edition) It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s garbage and NOBODY likes it or collects it, just that it was produce in such mass quantities that to this day it’s still readily valuable, thus destroying any hope of it someday ever becoming valuable. If it is Topps (Baseball), OPC (Hockey) or Upper Deck (Either) then there may be a few gems in the rough, but they are few and far between.

The card collecting/producing/selling industry was booming then, so the card companies did everything possible to keep up with demand instead of keeping things reasonable. Remember you could buy cards EVERYWHERE and EVERYONE was an expert. There were multiple magazines, some newspapers had columns about it in their sports sections, cards shows every week, radio shows and TV shows.

That’s not to say that there wasn’t junk put out before and after that date range. And it’s not to say that there are not cards in that era that still cost $$ or are hard to find. It’s just that you’ll have to wade through a lot of dreck to find the gems.

And telling people they have almost exclusively dreck is sometimes hard to do.