How To Series: Tell if an 86/87 Fleer Basketball Box is Legit

1986/87 Fleer Basketball is one of the most well known products of all time in the card community. Much of this is due to card #57 in the set, the famous Michael Jordan RC. Along with MJ’s rookie, the set contains rookies of Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Clyde Drexler, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, Dominique Wilkins, Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, James Worthy, and Chris Mullin. That is an incredible list of NBA stars. What a great list of nicknames as well that includes Sir Charles (or the Round Mound of Rebound), The Mailman, Clyde The Glide, Hakeem the Dream, The Beast, The Human Highlight Reel, Big Game James, and Zeke.

Michael Jordan RC

Michael Jordan RC

Anyways…lets discuss how you can tell if a 1986/87 Fleer Basketball Wax Box is clean and unsearched. With this being such a rare box with a high dollar value, it is especially important to ensure that the box is untampered with. Below are the steps that our experts follow:

1986/87 Fleer Basketball Box

1986/87 Fleer Basketball Box

1. Inspect the overall condition of each pack, ensuring the seals are intact, no presence of suspicious wear on the corners and folds of the wrapper, and confirm the gum slides within the pack and is not stuck to the top card in the pack.

2. Count the number of Jordan stickers on the back of the packs. The sticker card is always back side up at the sealed end of the pack, and can be identified through the translucent wax paper. Look to find three to four Jordan stickers, which is consistent with a clean and unshuffled box. Every wax box has at least three stickers of each player (11 players in all), and a fourth sticker for three of the players.

3. Identify the specific cards on the top of the pack through the translucent wax paper. Possessing the proprietary information regarding the sequencing of cards within a pack/box, verify all the cards that should be present in a box are there. The 1986/87 Fleer basketball set has only 132 cards, so a full box makes three complete sets, with a few cards left over to start a fourth.

We have specialized in 1986/87 Fleer basketball products throughout our company history. Our team of experts has handled tens of thousands of singles, hundreds of sets, dozens of wax boxes, a couple of sealed cases, and even an uncut sheet.

These tips come from our team of experts, and are what we go through to make sure the boxes we inspect receive our stamp of approval.

Anyone out there ever opened any boxes of packs of 86/87 Fleer Basketball?

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13 Responses to How To Series: Tell if an 86/87 Fleer Basketball Box is Legit

  1. sports August 5, 2008 at 11:14 am #

    Fleer originally developed a bubblegum formulation called Blibber-Blubber in 1906. Unfortunately, while this gum was capable of being blown into bubbles, in other respects it was vastly inferior to regular chewing gum, and Blibber-Blubber was never marketed to the public. In 1928, Fleer employee Walter Diemer improved the Blibber-Blubber formulation to produce the first commercially successful bubblegum, Dubble Bubble. Its pink color set a tradition for nearly all bubble gums to follow.

  2. mark February 11, 2009 at 2:52 am #

    has there ever been counterfeit problems with the sticker set? how can you tell original ones from the fakes?

  3. michael April 16, 2009 at 9:34 am #

    is the gum edible? i want to buy a pack and chew the gum

  4. David January 14, 2010 at 8:44 pm #

    Just traded for a Jordan rookie and heard about counterfits… can I tell if mine is real?

  5. Ben January 29, 2010 at 2:15 am #

    Nice blog post, very informative. I am curious as to the comment about the gum being stuck to the top card rather than sliding. I bought 2 packs of 1987 Fleer (not 1986), and the gum was plastered on to the top sticker card (Dominique), however I got a PSA10 Jordan out of it.

    As for 1986 Fleer, I bought one pack off eBay a few months ago, and didn’t get the Jordan. I just bought two more that have not arrived yet. Is it worth continuing to try these on eBay, or is it too easy to search? Does the top card indicate the complete contents of the pack, or give any hints as to the rest of the contents?

  6. James February 14, 2010 at 11:05 pm #

    To Ben:

    Yes the sellers on ebay can tell what is in every pack because they run in sequence. You can tell what is in every pack on ebay. There may be some sellers who do not know this, but I am sure if they are smart enough to sell them on ebay they have looked it up before posting. The graded GAI packs and maybe PSA will usually say on the lable if their is a Jordan sticker in the pack. Do not know if they do that for the Jordan RC #57. Anyway, chances of hitting a Jordan out of the random packs on ebay are slim and none. You would be better off buying one outright since most packs sell for over 150 or so roughly.

  7. Ben February 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm #

    Thanks for the reply. So is there anywhere that you can buy a pack that is fresh from a box that is guaranteed not to be searched?

  8. donald July 31, 2010 at 7:29 am #

    So let me get this correct.
    The gum is in the middle of the pack or on the top card.
    Because I have a box in which some packs is in the top card and some in the middle of the pack.
    Which one is correct?
    Now i am worried about the box i bought.

  9. Kyle January 6, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    Is it me or are the Dave Greenwood and Steve Johnson cards showing the same guy? Who is who?

  10. Aaron January 17, 2012 at 1:31 am #

    Great article, everyone should read before buying vintage packs. I’ve seen way too many collector’s duped into buying searched product.


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