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1986-87 Fleer Basketball Cards

By Patrick Mondout

For the first time in 25 years, Fleer produced a set of basketball cards. And for the first time in years, basketball card collectors could buy actual wax packs of new cards from a "real" manufacturer. That didn't stop these from being a failure - at least commercially. These cards did not sell out despite what is now seen as a small print run and they could be had by the case for far less than their retail value well into 1987. 

That all eventually changed quite dramatically. If you had shelled out a $1K on such cases in late 1987, you'd have several hundred thousand dollars worth of cards to show for it now. This is a very desirable and very valuable set. Do be careful regarding counterfeit Jordan's and other high-priced cards in this set - they are out there.

Wax packs contained 11 cards, one of 11 All-Star stickers, and a stick of gum. While it may not be as distinctive as say, the '75 Topps Baseball set, its scarcity and value make it a set that can truly be called a classic and the red, white, and blue border has its appeal. The card backs are also red, white and blue and feature stats but unfortunately no biography. The cards are numbered in alphabetical order with the checklist last.

The Jordan is one of the great rookie cards of all-time - not just because of its great value, but when did any other rookie card so completely convey the excitement and flair the player brought to the sport? The image of that card is as indelible in the memory of a basketball card collector as is a 1985 Topps Mark McGwire, a '79-80 Wayne Gretzky, or a 1984 Dan Marino is to card collectors of other sports.

With so many in the collector community not considering the Star Company issues of 1983-1985 as legitimate issues (since they were printed in small numbers and not distributed in the usual way (wax packs)), this set has an unusually high number of "rookie" cards (including James Worthy, Akeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Charles Barkley, Isiah Thomas, Patrick Ewing, Dominique Wilkins and of course Jordan). In reality they are simply the first cards printed by a major manufacturer, but that hasn't stopped them from attracting lofty prices. "Real" rookie cards include Karl Malone, Charles Oakley, Joe Dumars, and Chris Mullin.

1986-87 Fleer at a Glance
Back Traded Checklist
Akeem Sticker Inserts Isiah
Spud Webb Dumars Rookie Manute Bol

Here's a checklist: 

1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
2 Alvan Adams
3 Mark Aguirre
4 Danny Ainge
5 John Bagley
6 Thurl Bailey
7 Charles Barkley
8 Benoit Benjamin
9 Larry Bird
10 Otis Birdsong
11 Rolando Blackman
12 Manute Bol
13 Sam Bowie
14 Joe Barry Carroll
15 Tom Chambers
16 Maurice Cheeks
17 Michael Cooper
18 Wayne Cooper
19 Pat Cummings
20 Terry Cummings
21 Adrian Dantley
22 Brad Davis
23 Walter Davis
24 Darryl Dawkins
25 Larry Drew
26 Clyde Drexler
27 Joe Dumars
28 Mark Eaton
29 James Edwards
30 Alex English
31 Julius Erving
32 Patrick Ewing
33 Vern Fleming
34 Sleepy Floyd
35 Lloyd Free
36 George Gervin
37 Artis Gilmore
38 Mike Gminski
39 Rickey Green
40 Sidney Green
41 David Greenwood
42 Darrell Griffith
43 Bill Hanzlik
44 Derek Harper
45 Gerald Henderson
46 Roy Hinson
47 Craig Hodges
48 Phil Hubbard
49 Jay Humphries
50 Dennis Johnson
51 Eddie Johnson
52 Frank Johnson
53 Magic Johnson
54 Marques Johnson
55 Steve Johnson
56 Vinnie Johnson
57 Michael Jordan
58 Clark Kellogg
59 Albert King
60 Bernard King
61 Bill Laimbeer
62 Allen Leavell
63 Lafayette Lever
64 Alton Lister
65 Lewis Lloyd
66 Maurice Lucas
67 Jeff Malone
68 Karl Malone
69 Moses Malone
70 Cedric Maxwell
71 Rodney McCray
72 Xavier McDaniel
73 Kevin McHale
74 Mike Mitchell
75 Sidney Moncrief
76 Johnny Moore
77 Chris Mullin
78 Larry Nance
79 Calvin Natt
80 Norm Nixon
81 Charles Oakley
82 Hakeem Olajuwon
83 Louis Orr
84 Robert Parish
85 Jim Paxson
86 Sam Perkins
87 Ricky Pierce
88 Paul Pressey
89 Kurt Rambis
90 Robert Reid
91 Glenn Rivers
92 Alvin Robertson
93 Cliff Robinson
94 Tree Rollins
95 Dan Roundfield
96 Jeff Ruland
97 Ralph Sampson
98 Dan Schayes
99 Byron Scott
100 Purvis Short
101 Jerry Sichting
102 Jack Sikma
103 Derek Smith
104 Larry Smith
105 Rory Sparrow
106 Steve Stipanovich
107 Terry Teagle
108 Reggie Theus
109 Isiah Thomas
110 LaSalle Thompson
111 Mychal Thompson
112 Sedale Threatt
113 Wayman Tisdale
114 Andrew Toney
115 Kelly Tripucka
116 Mel Turpin
117 Kiki Vandeweghe
118 Jay Vincent
119 Bill Walton
120 Spud Webb
121 Dominique Wilkins
122 Gerald Wilkins
123 Buck Williams
124 Gus Williams
125 Herb Williams
126 Kevin Willis
127 Randy Wittman
128 Al Wood
129 Mike Woodson
130 Orlando Woolridge
131 James Worthy
132 Checklist


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Year: 1986

Manufacturer: Fleer

# of Cards: 132

Value/Price: Check eBay (see links below)

Size: 2 x 3

Image courtesy of Fleer

'86 Fleer Sets!
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