1986 Topps Football Cards
By Patrick MondoutThe
1986 McDonalds Football cards were distributed one at a time (usually -
wink, wink) at "participating" restaurants. Collectors went nuts
for them and they were far more collectable for a time than any of the
Awesome80s Topps sets.
The cards were available for all 28 teams but only in the local area
for that team. In other words, you could get the Dallas Cowboys cards in
Texas, but not in Philadelphia where you'd happily receive Eagles cards
instead. Restaurants in areas without a team received the national set of
At the bottom of each oversized card was a tab, which could be
scratched for a possible prize. Each week for four weeks the tabs changed
colors. The blue colored tabs were released the first week and the are
usually the scarcest thought for some teams it is black. Cards with the
tabs removed or scratched have greatly diminished value.
The backs of the cards include statistics, career highlights and a
section featuring 1985 highlights.
When you add up all the cards in each set, plus each tab variation,
there are over 2,800 different cards in the set! That easily made them the
largest set of cards for a single season ever produced. The bubble burst
on these cards after a few years and most are less expensive now than in
late '86, though one wonders why McDonalds didn't try again in 1987.