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The story & history of 1982 topps/ kmart set

BBCgalaxee

Active member
Sep 9, 2011
6,381
This set may only be worth a few bucks today, but it has an interesting place in this hobby.

It celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the store featuring previous league mvp winners.

It also was the first ever time that topps had made a set exclusively to be sold for a retail store (instead of a promotion).

The cards featured reproductions of that year's mvp's card (ex: mantle won in '62 so a 62 topps mantle was shown) and interestingly, the card of fred lynn was "custom made" for this set because he had shared his 1975 card with three others.

Being the first of its kind in a hobby which was just picking up some steam, there was a lot of speculation about this product being limited.

Despite being labeled "limited edition" on the box, there were parts of the country were these sets were everywhere, and others were no one saw them. In a time without internet or large collecting base, these would seem either mass produced or super rare.

That lead to crazy swings in prices.

Original srp was about $2, but ads could be seen selling them for nearly three times that.

But as the year went on, it was clear that their sheer abundance would doom this set because the prices tanked, both in the hobby where collectors & dealers hoarded them, and in the k mart stores which couldn't stop ordering them due to the initial huge sales.

By the start of 1983, despite being a loaded mega star studded product, some k mart stores were seen selling them for a dime per set of 44 cards!

It wouldn't be for another 4 years that the hobby saw the influx of store exclusive 33 & 44 card sets produced by both fleer & topps.

This was the product which started it all.

From info ive collected over the years, each of the 2,000 stores initially got 1,152 or 576 sets ea.
 

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Brewer Andy

Active member
Aug 10, 2008
9,614
Nice. I really liked the Fleer boxed sets as a kid. Thanks for sharing and keep reading and posting those old articles
 

BBCgalaxee

Active member
Sep 9, 2011
6,381
Nice. I really liked the Fleer boxed sets as a kid. Thanks for sharing and keep reading and posting those old articles
I remember the first time I saw the 1986 "sluggers vs. pitchers" set in a card store.

It was so loaded, had the first ever cards of joyner & clark. And then, a canseco & the usual usual stars.

I was so excited, I ran out to the car & asked my parents for money as I didn't have enough for the set.
 

Mozzie22

Active member
Aug 7, 2008
1,621
I remember the first time I saw the 1986 "sluggers vs. pitchers" set in a card store.

It was so loaded, had the first ever cards of joyner & clark. And then, a canseco & the usual usual stars.

I was so excited, I ran out to the car & asked my parents for money as I didn't have enough for the set.
For a brief time period that Joyner card was absolutely huge. Didn't last too long but an interesting snapshot in the history of card collecting.
 

BenG76

Active member
May 15, 2013
1,817
Fancy Gap, VA
I remember those sets. I also remember getting the Revco sets back then to when we went to the drug store. Those little Fleer sets were pretty cool back then as well.
 

RStadlerASU22

Active member
Jan 2, 2013
8,873
That was a good look back. Wish they still marketed in stores like Walgreens, CVS, etc in ways like they one did. Bunch of stars, not a lot of money = great ways for kids to collect.

Ryan
 

gt2590

Super Moderator
Aug 17, 2008
32,725
Near Philly, PA
I remember getting this set back then as it was the only way I could get any cards of vintage Superstars.

Also, which players/years were the cards (33 and 44) were the ones you said were produced by both Fleer and Topps working together?
 

Will Style 13

New member
Feb 9, 2012
929
York, PA
Cool story. I really remember Kmarts 1990 set most. It was the second year I collected and my Grandma bought it for me because I behaved on our shopping trip. That was a good incentive for an 7 year old who just had to go clothes shopping with his Grandmother for like 3 hours. Haha.
 

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