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Thread: Why do collectors shun printing plates?

  1. #31
    Senior Member Therion's Avatar
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    For me, it is the glut of other 1/1 cards in any given set. Marwin Gonzalez had three non-plate 1/1s in 2016 Topps. That's not including the aftermarket online 1/1s. It's too much to chase, so I focus on the non-plates.

    That said, if the price is right, I am happy to add them.


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  2. #32
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    I like plates, but not at the price point of other more true 1 of 1s because they feel incomplete without the full set. I've never achieved a full set to date, 3 is the most I've acquired for any given run. I tend to collect framed plates, either A&G-style or framed with a card stock border adhered directly to the die.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by fordman View Post
    We're going to have to take them for their word that they were used in the actual card making process. The companies arent going to order a set of printing dies just to cut them up, way too expensive for that. The dies are cleaned before they're cut up and inserted into packs. The dies are made of stainless steel, add that to the soy based inks used now vs lead based, there isnt any staining of the plates. I've seen plenty on ebay that have a magenta or yellow hue to them, so that should tell you that they were used, just wasnt cleaned that well before cutting up.

    Fordman
    Thanks for the info, it's neat to hear how the process works. Any idea how much a set of printing dies actually costs to order?
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsmath View Post
    are they really? All the plates I own look too clean to have been used to make the cards we get. I'd expect the plates to have some misc or stray ink stains on them and especially on the reverse from handling. My feeling is that one set of plates are created and cut up to be inserted rather than using the plates to print some cards and then get cut up and packed out.
    I have 2 of 4 of the plates of one 2015 Bowman Chrome Auto card and I can tell you that it's very clear they were used in the process. Edge scratches, back of plate scratches, fingerprints that are stuck on the card... like it's the print workers' layer of skin!

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    Senior Member DeliciousBacon's Avatar
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    Some plates are just ugly. Framed plates look nice, like the A&G Minis, or some of the late 00's Bowman plates. But when they're done wrong, no one in their right mind is going to want them. Add a sticker auto, and bad gets worse, like the infamous Tito Fuentes:


    2005 Topps Retired Signature Edition Autographs Printing Plate Black #TA-TF - Tito Fuentes /1
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    Senior Member vwnut13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fordman View Post
    We're going to have to take them for their word that they were used in the actual card making process. The companies arent going to order a set of printing dies just to cut them up, way too expensive for that. The dies are cleaned before they're cut up and inserted into packs. The dies are made of stainless steel, add that to the soy based inks used now vs lead based, there isnt any staining of the plates. I've seen plenty on ebay that have a magenta or yellow hue to them, so that should tell you that they were used, just wasnt cleaned that well before cutting up.

    Fordman

    Aren't printing plates aluminum?

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    Printing plates are FuGly!

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by fordman View Post
    The companies arent going to order a set of printing dies just to cut them up, way too expensive for that. The dies are cleaned before they're cut up and inserted into packs. The dies are made of stainless steel, add that to the soy based inks used now vs lead based, there isnt any staining of the plates.
    what's the name of the printing process? I should go see if I can find a nearby print shop that uses that process in order to see how things work (or at least find a youtube video of the process).

    I assumed the steel or aluminum plate had a non-stick surface mask added to it to define where the ink sticks and where it doesn't on the plate (and that non-stick surface was color dyed so printers could recognize what color plate they are installing in their printing machine), You are making it sound like in each of my printing plates in my collection, the color comes from the ink touching it rather than being the color of the non-stick surface mask.

  9. #39
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    in 2006 and 2007 i worked in a printing factory that printed this book. it has black ink and i think orange ink on the inside, so there were two plates instead of 4. all the plates got thrown away/recycled. i wish i would have asked to keep one or two theres some cool pictures in there david price in college, verlander as a rookie etc. I did keep a copy of the book and also some untrimmed pages.

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  10. #40
    Senior Member fordman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsmath View Post
    what's the name of the printing process? I should go see if I can find a nearby print shop that uses that process in order to see how things work (or at least find a youtube video of the process).

    I assumed the steel or aluminum plate had a non-stick surface mask added to it to define where the ink sticks and where it doesn't on the plate (and that non-stick surface was color dyed so printers could recognize what color plate they are installing in their printing machine), You are making it sound like in each of my printing plates in my collection, the color comes from the ink touching it rather than being the color of the non-stick surface mask.
    There are several types of printing, here is the most common:

    Flexographic



    Ink sits in a pan. A pump pumps the ink in between a wiper/rubber roll and an anilox roll. The anilox roll is a roll with millions of cavities that hold ink. When the printing plates touch the anilox roll, the raised part of the printing plate touches the anilox roll transfering ink to the printing plate. The printing plate roll them rotates and touches the paper for printing.

    or

    Offset (which is probably what is used to make cards)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Offset_printing

    Same as flexographic but add an additional roll in there to protect the dies from having direct contact with the paper or printing surface.

    Fordman

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    I worked as a sports writer and photographer at a paper while in college and we printed right in-house, so I was involved with the early stages if printing, so for me, I love the plates and grab them when I can.


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  12. #42
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    Kinda funny how after reading all of this i just pulled this:

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  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by gracecollector View Post
    I love them, but I can see others' points that they are less attractive than actual cards. They are a tool used in the printing process, so they often have ink smears or scratches as they aren't made to last forever. I'm still chasing a full set - have got to 3 of 4 on one card.
    I just recently discovered I was at 3 of 4 on a particular card as well... I really hope one day I can get the last plate. I think having a complete set of plates is pretty cool. Here's mine:

    Last edited by corockies; 09-15-2016 at 12:43 AM.

  14. #44
    Senior Member predatorkj's Avatar
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    From what I know about printing, and how easy it is to burn plates for something, unless I'm absolutely sure it's legit, I stay away. I see a lot of unreleased plates for Bagwell on eBay all the time. I say unreleased because they were definitely not released but that doesn't mean they are fakes. But some of those sellers tend to have a lot of plates for sale and they either worked as a printer, knew someone who did, or they have access to make plates.

    They usually recycle plates from what I've seen. They are made from aluminum. But they usually take an image, burn negatives, and then transfer that image onto a plate. So, someone who worked at a shop could theoretically do something like that with a finished product(i.e., take a card and make plates of it). Would they make a ton of money? Probably not. But those plates are huge and would hold a lot of images so if you look at how many could be made, someone somewhere might try it. And those stickers topps makes for the back are really plain Jane so. I much prefer the framed types.
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  15. #45
    Administrator cgilmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bongo870 View Post
    Kinda funny how after reading all of this i just pulled this:

    That one is nice

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