(Check out our previous Wow! Wax listings here.)

Is there anything better than sitting down with a box of fresh wax packs with dreams of uncovering your next big baseball card find? It’s the stuff from which collections and lifetime cardboard connections are made!

If you grew up in the 1970s or 1980s (and probably the 1990s) as a baseball card collector, you know the feeling well. You’d wait all week or all month for a chance to pick up a few packs at the grocery store or local card shop and then rush home to dig into your new treasures.

You scoured the pages of Baseball Cards and Sports Collectors Digest waiting for word of any new releases, and then you planned your life around getting your hands on some.

They were golden days full of anticipation and hope, joy and (yes) disappointment when you pulled Tom Brookens instead of Alan Trammell.

As the decades have passed, the value of our baseball cards have ebbed and flowed, but something else has happened … something amazing.

Thanks to the Internet and thanks especially to shopping websites like eBay and Amazon, we can find most of the cards we dreamed about as kids just about any time we want. Just a few keystrokes, and we’re there.

This page is dedicated to reliving those thrills of youth by bringing to light one incredible (in some way) unopened lot of baseball cards each day. Sit back and enjoy the ride, and be sure to check back regularly to see what new goodies we’ve discovered.

(Check out our previous Wow! Wax listings here.)

(Over the next little while, I’m going to be unfurling a set of experimental types of posts to see if they strike any cardboard chords. Let me know what you think, and I’ll adjust as we go. Also, note that these listings contain affiliate links, which means if you click over to eBay or Amazon and buy something, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.)

1978 Topps Baseball Holiday Rack Back with Bert Blyleven on Top … and Upside Down!

1978 Topps Baseball Cards Holiday Rack Pack Bert Blyleven

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Imagine … it’s Christmas morning in 1978, and the living room is littered with wrapping paper and baubles and toys that will be forgotten about before you head back to school in January.

But there’s one package left — a smallish rectangular one that could be a watch or maybe … maybe something better?

The good news is, it’s got your name on it.

As soon as you pick it up, the contents inside slide shift, just a little, and you know what’s inside … a folded up rack pack of baseball cards!

You excitedly tear open the wrapping paper and unfurl your treasure, a 1978 Topps Baseball Holiday Rack Pack.

There in the first panel is Don Money. Not too bad, but not spectacular.

In the third panel is Buddy Schultz. Who?

And in between is Bert Blyleven, who you know as a sort of good pitcher for the faraway Texas Rangers. He’s upside down, too.

So, cool, baseball cards.

Nothing compelling enough to pull you away from your Godzilla action figure, though, so you toss the cards in the pile of Christmas Crap (TM).

Fast forward 40+ years, and someone has uncovered your forgotten treasure and thrown it up on eBay for sale. 

Here in 2019, of course, Bert Blyleven is a  Hall of Famer and these cards are 41 years old. 

Who wouldn’t want them?

Check out the full eBay listing here (affiliate link).

1963 Topps Baseball 1-Cent Unopened Wax Pack

1963 Topps Wax Pack one-cent

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Do you remember the first “old” rookie card to explode in popularity based on what was happening on the field?

I sure do …

It was the 1963 Topps Pete Rose rookie that he shares with Al Weis, Pedro Gonzalez, and Ken McMullen.

That card was already popular among collectors when Pete headed back to the Cincinnati Reds in August 1984 as player-manager, but it was then we all realized he’d be taking aim at Ty Cobb’s all-time hits record on the Riverfront.

Couple that happy occurrence with the general hobby explosion and the nascent rookie card craze, and you had a phenomenon that couldn’t be stopped.

Even now, 35 years later and after enough scandal and strife to choke a horse, Pete’s RC is a hobby staple.

Will you find the Rose rookie here in this one-cent wax pack up for auction on eBay right now? Or maybe the Willie Stargell rookie? Or a mid-career card of a Hall of Famer?

The odds are against you on all those fronts considering there’s just one card in the pack, but it sure is fun to wonder, isn’t it?

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1975 Topps Baseball Cello Pack with Keith Hernandez on Front and Mike Schmidt on Back (PSA 9)

1975 topps unopened cello keith hernandez mike schmidt

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Would you rather have Keith Hernandez or Mike Schmidt on your team?

Looking back at their careers, it’s pretty easy to say that Schmidt will give you more peak value and more long-term value than Mex.

But Hernandez has a stronger Hall of Fame case than you might remember, so you really couldn’t go wrong with either guy.

And what if you could have both?

That would be the bee’s knees, right?

Right.

And that’s why this eBay lot is so jaw-dropping.

In one 1975 Topps cello pack, graded PSA 9, you get both Hernandez and Schmidt.

In particular, the Hernandez rookie card, which he shares with Phil Garner, Bob Sheldon, and Tom Veryzer is on the front of the pack.

And that’s Schmitty there on the back, but facing out.

Gorgeous!

And, sure, the Buy-It-Now price is set at $1100, but when was the last time you saw one of these?

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

=========================

Older entries — below are some awesome unopened lots from years gone by. These auctions are over, but the listings are still fun to peruse.

Let me know if you enjoy this sort of post so I know whether I should continue with new updates.

1979 Topps Baseball Rack Pack with Ralph the Doorman on Top

1979 Topps Baseball Rack Pack

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The headline for this 1979 Topps baseball rack pack says, “GO 4 OZZIE SMITH RC.”

To which I say … poopoo.

To be sure, the 1979 Topps set does indeed does hold the Ozzie Smith rookie card, but this pack is perfect as it is.

On the front, you have Dave Goltz, who was a pretty good pitcher for awhile and also played Ralph the Doorman on The Jeffersons.

Then you have Gorman Thomas, whose whole demeanor screamed “beer league” but who slugged like Dave Kingman for the Milwaukee Brewers, including the 1982 Harvey’s Wallbangers team.

And then, there’s Wayne Gross, who hit a lot of home runs for the post-Dynasty Oakland A’s and always looked very 70s-y.

On the back, you have the small-man All-Stars.

Freddie Patek was the size of an average Dachsund but was an All-Star shortstop for the Kansas City Royals and somehow hit 41 homers in the Major Leagues.

Jose Cruz was actually six feet tall but felt Patek-ish because he crouched like a tiger. Also, a better Hall of Fame candidate than Jack Morris.

And, finally, Rob Picciolo wasn’t small at all, but his name is really close to “piccolo,” which is like a small flute. And he hit like he was using a piccolo for a bat.

So there’s that.

And all that argues that this pack should be kept intact, just the way it is, forever.

Ozzie be darned.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1981 Fleer Baseball Wax Boxes (2)

1981 Fleer Baseball Star Stickers

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When Fleer finally won the right to produce baseball cards in 1980 after decades of struggle, they wanted to make sure collectors knew they were here to stay.

So, not only did they issue a 1981 base set that was fairly OK plus showcased one of the greatest error cards of all time (C. Nettles), they also blessed us with their first Star Stickers set.

Measuring standard card size and packaged with gum for 25 cents, Star Stickers were like another whole parallel (125 cards) … but one that you could stick on stuff.

This eBay lot gives you 72 chances — two full wax boxes — for you to let 1981 Fleer Star Stickers get stuck on you.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1987 Donruss Baseball Wax Boxes (4)

1987 Donruss Wax Boxes

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There were three kinds of collectors in the early spring of 1987 — those who had access to 1987 Fleer baseball cards, those who had access to 1987 Donruss baseball cards, and (mostly) those who had access to neither 1987 Fleer nor 1987 Donruss baseball cards.

Somehow, my little corner of the world was blessed with a goodly supply of 1987 Donruss, and my keen 15-year-old wax-sniffing nose sussed them out at every turn.

Even more luckily, I convinced my parents to float me a loan for all the burnt orange packs I could find. The math is still burned into my brain, too — 36 packs per box at 40 cents a pack is $14.40 per box.

It was a bargain when you consider that most of the country couldn’t even glimpse Donruss and that boxes were going for $20 or more by Spring Training.

So, yeah, lots like this one — four unopened boxes of 1987 Donruss wax packs — make my old man heart go pitter-patter and leaves me with drool pooled at my feet.

I know that we all know now that 1987 Donruss is not rare, but it’s still awesome to me.

And, can you believe the opening bid is only $10 a box. Why, that’s not anywhere close to $14.40!

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1987 Fleer Baseball Cello Packs (8) — Barry Bonds on Top (2)

1987 Fleer Baseball Cello Packs

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Finding a lot like this in 1987 — especially early in the year — would have made you feel like you uncovered a hidden gold mine in your back yard.

I mean, the 1987 Topps woodies were everywhere … 1987 Donruss was scarce but seemed to exist in pockets.

But 1987 Fleer baseball was about as plentiful as summer days in Pittsburgh without a Barry Bonds scowl.

Speaking of Bonds, his rookie card appears on two of these eight cello packs.

And so does the Will Clark rookie card, one of the iconic images of the decade.

Kevin Mitchell makes one appearance, as do Nolan Ryan, John Kruk, and Jose Canseco.

As a side note, 1987 was the year of Mitchell’s mini-breakout, two seasons before his monster MVP campaign in 1989.

Another funny thing … in 1987, not everyone was sure Ryan would make the Hall of Fame despite all the strikeouts. Too one-dimensional and completely over the hill.

We were pretty sure, though, that all these young hitters would end up in Cooperstown.

See how smart we were?

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1984 Fun Foods Baseball Buttons Unopened Box

1984 Fun Foods Unopened Box

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You’ve heard of wearing your heart on your sleeve, right? That can be good or bad, depending on the blackness or redness of said organ, and on the context.

But what about wearing your favorite baseball player on your chest? That has to be good … right?

That’s what Fun Foods was counting on when they issued their set of 133 Major League buttons in 1984. These really are more pins than buttons, but that’s OK because it’s the “pin” bit that allows you to stick the enameled, round hunks of metal to — or through — things.

There were several hobby retailers who sold complete sets, but you could also buy them in individual paper packages containing three buttons each.

And that’s where this eBay lot comes in — a 36-count box of those three-packs.

The box and packs are nice display pieces in themselves, and they showcase three of the set’s All-Star/Hall of Fame denizens in Jim Rice, George Brett, and Fernando Valenzuela.

Of course, you could only answer the big question by opening the packs — is there a Bob Dernier pin lurking within?

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1980 Topps Baseball Mrs. Butterworth’s Unopened Pack

1980 Topps Mrs. Butterworth Front

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You ever had a batch of dry, hard pancakes and thought to yourself, “Self, these pancakes taste like cardboard!”?

Maybe the folks at Topps had the same experience sometime around 1980. Or maybe it was the folks at Mrs. Butterworth’s.

Whichever … something inspired someone to marry the two — Topps and Mrs. Butterworth’s, that is.

Because that year, if you bought specially marked containers of Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup, you also got three 1980 Topps baseball cards “PLUS ALL TIME RECORDS” all packed in a handy cellophane package.

This eBay lot brings you two of those three-card packs, one with Dave LaRoche on top,  one with Scott McGregor on top.

So, in one fell swoop, you get moisture for your cakes, vintage cardboard, and coverage for the front of your rotation and the back of your bullpen.

Yum! Score!

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1984 Topps Rack Pack with Don Mattingly Rookie Card on Top

1984 Topps Rack Pack with Don Mattingly Rookie Card on Top

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You can tick off the movers and shakers of this hobby in your sleep — T206 Honus Wagner, 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle, 1968 Topps Nolan Ryan, 1984 Donruss Don Mattingly, 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr.

But there is a second tier of cards that helped drive the hobby to new heights, even if in a more supporting role.

The 1984 Topps Don Mattingly rookie card fits that bill perfectly — it wasn’t the main attraction when Donnie Baseball was making his name during that fabled summer of 1984, but it became a hobby favorite in a flash and has maintained that status for nearly 35 years.

So, while this 1984 Topps rack pack with a Mattingly rookie on top doesn’t hold quite the hobby sway that a Donruss version would, it’s still an awesome artifact from one of the great runs in hobby history.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1984 Donruss Rack Pack with Yaz & Bench on Front

1984 Donruss Rack Pack Bench Yaz

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Collecting baseball cards in 1984 was a pretty heady experience.

We were just coming off a year (1983) in which Topps issued one of their all-time classic sets and when Donruss, and especially Fleer, started to get their acts together after two years of misfires.

We expected more and better in 1984, and, for the most part, the major manufacturers delivered.

Topps tried out another version of their picture-in-picture design — not on par with 1983 but not terrible.

Fleer cleaned things up even more and put out a really nice, solid set.

And Donruss … whew!

Donruss went to the Topps archives and basically dusted off the 1957 design, updated it with some wavy lines for the 1980s, added a Don Mattingly rookie card that would blow up the hobby as we knew it, reduced print runs, and called it a day.

Oh … not before they also issued a combo career tribute card for Carl Yastrzemski and Johnny Bench (and one for Gaylord Perry and Rollie Fingers).

It’s a humdinger of a card that was popular right off the bat and still rings collector bells today.

That Yaz/Bench beauty is also the centerpiece of this eBay lot, an unopened 1984 Donruss Rack Pack with the Living Legends right there on top, in the middle.

And if it’s been awhile since your last Benny Ayala fix, this one has you covered there, too.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1981 Topps Baseball Scratch-Off Wax Box

1981 Topps Baseball Scratch-Off Wax Box

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If you’ve been around the hobby for awhile, you’ve undoubtedly run across 1981 Topps Scratch-Offs.

They’re those funky looking red and green cards, laid out horizontally and featuring a player headshot on one end with the rest of the front covered in scratch-off dots that allow you to play a game.

Oh, and they have fuzzy perforated edges.

And they usually turn up one or two or ten at a time, often in terrible shape and frequently separated from their brethren. You can buy them for pennies or less under circumstances like this.

They don’t fit well with other cards from a size perspective, they’re not beautiful, and you hardly ever hear anyone clamoring for them.

Still, it’s pretty cool to see an unopened box of these things, like this lot offers up — 37 years old and as fresh as the day they drove off the showroom floor.

Yep, pretty cool.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

Nearly 100 Unopened Packs from the 1970s through 2013

1980s Unopened Packs

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If you’re reading this, chances are pretty good you spent at least part of your childhood — as I did — ripping open (or carefully unflapping) wax packs of baseball cards.

And if that’s true, I’ll bet dollars to Dave Dravecky cards your collecting career overlapped with the period of 1976-1993, at least to some extent.

All of which is to say that this eBay lot will take you back to those rollicking wax-ripping days of your childhood, thusly broadly defined.

Herein, you’ll find 94 unopened packs in total, ranging from four 1976 Fleer Football Action Team Sticker wax packs to six 1993 Bowman Football Jumbo packs, with a few 2013 football packs tacked onto the end.

But these cards aren’t all football, and they don’t tilt toward the later Junk Wax years of the run, at least not by much.

In the in-between are goodies like six 1985 Topps baseball wax packs, three 1982 Donruss wax packs, two 1981 Topps baseball cello packs, and three 1989 Upper Deck baseball packs.

If you’re doing the math, that leaves about 75 other packs, and they all fall sorta in the same general vicinity of cardboard space-time as those I’ve already mentioned.

Someone is gonna have a lot of fun, in other words, and maybe feel just a little younger in the process.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1974 Topps Deckle Edge Test Issue Unopened Pack

1974 Topps Deckle Edge Unopened Pack

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Man, is there anything better than a Topps test issue? Especially one from the 1970s?

Especially especially when the PSA Population Report shows ups that fewer than 50 of any particular card from said test issue has ever been submitted for grading?

Like, say, some 1974 Topps Deckle Edge cards.

Have you seen these things, Daddio?

I mean, they’re black-and-white, sure, but big. And, well, deckled.

It’s the new scene, cat. It’s where it’s at!

And this eBay lot? A completely far-out unopened pack of these sweet squares (rectangles)!

In a word … groovy.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1985 Donruss Rack Packs with Pete Rose (Montreal Expos) on Top (2)

1985 Donruss Rack Packs with Pete Rose on Front (2)

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Look … I’ve already told you how I feel about Pete Rose in a Montreal Expos uniform.

And in case you’ve forgotten or don’t want to read my original post on the subject, let me clarify: it’s an unholy sight to which no Cincinnati Reds fan — hell, no Philadelphia Phillies fan — should have ever been subjected.

And the baseball cards that commemorated the occasion … pure and utter cardboard blasphemy.

But …

Even I, as jaded and homerish as I am, can admit the 1985 Donruss Pete Rose Expos card doesn’t look all that bad from an aesthetic point of view. The photo is colorful and sharp, and the Montreal colors look good inside the love-it-or-hate-it black border.

Plus, this card is 33 years old now and automatically better than new stuff just because it’s old and I’m old.

Plus plus, the Expos are gone now and Pete is banished, so it’s sorta like the whole thing never happened. It’s all fiction. The card is nothing but a comic.

And besides, this eBay lot offers up two of the Pete Rose cards on the front of 1985 Donruss rack packs. Super cool, right?

That’s a great bonus, too, because you can take two of these abominations out of circulation at once. And they look great.

Ugh. I’m so conflicted.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1978 Topps Football Unopened Wax Box

1978 Topps Football Unopened Wax Pack Box

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So … seasons change.

We’re deep into the NFL preseason schedule, the first Indiana high school football games went down Friday, and the gridiron is starting to tug at the heartstrings once again.

Even though baseball is entering the stretch run, then, there’s no way I can ignore tantalizing football product when it pops up … right?

And, at this moment, what could be more tantalizing than and unopened wax pack box of 1978 Topps football cards?

You know, with its Tony Dorsett rookie card and its lineup of Hall of Famers like Walter Payton, John Riggins, Roger Staubach, Terry Bradshaw, and all the rest.

That’s what this lot gives you.

And if it’s a bit rich for your blood, with its Buy-It-Now of nearly $700, you could opt for the companion lot offering four unopened wax packs from the same set (affiliate link).

Hut! Hut!

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1986 Topps Mini League Leaders Unopened Wax Box

1986 Topps Minis Major League Leaders

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The Cloud is all the rage these days, and anybody who’s anybody has at least one something running there, or aspires to.

Back in 1986, though, clouds had much more limited applicability …

Providing shade in the summer.

Warning us of ensuing storms.

Maybe inspiring the imagination with their funky shapes.

And, of course, providing a nice, pillowy picture frame for the 1986 Topps Minis League Leaders set.

If you like your baseball cards dreamy, man, this is the issue for you!

Why, every superstar is encased in his own little bit of cloud on premium white cardstock with a “Super Glossy” finish.

Miniaturized, no less!

And, among the 66 luminous luminaries who were Major League Leaders, you’ll find high-luminosity guys like Mike Smithson, Walt Terrell (Hoosier!), Danny Cox, and Gary Pettis.

(Not sure why I didn’t make the set because I once tied for the Major League lead among all fans for fewest games attended in person.)

Anyway, this eBay lot gives you a pretty good shot at all these guys and plenty more — it’s a complete unopened box.

Prime-time Tom Browning awaits!

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1982 Fleer Baseball Cello Box

1982 Fleer Baseball Cello Box

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You know how, when you see a stack of 1982 Fleer baseball cards, they look all dingy and old?

They have dark photos, an elementary-school-kid design, and plenty of errors.

They often have fuzzy corners and creases, and, somehow, about a third of the 1982 Fleers I’ve ever encountered have marker marks on them.

Like someone fought them with his Sharpie light saber or tried to force them into being Topps or Donruss cards through creative will.

Overall, though — dark and dingy.

That’s not really the case with this eBay lot — a cello box full of (wouldn’t you know it?) unopened 1982 Fleer cello packs.

Sure, the cards inside are the same old cardboard you’ve always spruced up with your markers (you’re the one!), but they look somehow brighter sitting there under plastic, all new and stuff.

And the box itself is a great display piece.

And and, you can see Jim Rice and Dale Murphy right there on top of two of the top packs, ready to flash some slugging 1980s lumber.

Can Dave Kingman be far behind?

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

Junk Wax Cornucopia

junk wax cornucopia

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The late 1980s and early 1990s were fun but times in the hobby.

We still hadn’t come to grips with the idea that baseball cards didn’t always go up in value or that there actually could be too many baseball cards — too many sets, too many cards/sets/boxes in a print run, too many choices, too many everything.

Sure, we had a sneaking suspicion when the 1991 Anaheim National Convention became nothing but a promo fest and when we could still buy truckloads of 1989 Bowman for pennies a pack by 1993.

All we really cared about was the more.

And that’s what this eBay lot is about … more Junk Wax product than just about any other listing out there.

How much is more in this case?

Try 104 packs across 52 different products, spanning baseball, basketball, and football from 1988-99, with all but one falling before 1996.

It’s a great cross-section of a spiraling hobby that could have lost its soul but looks pretty good all these years later.

And, you know, busting all these packs would make you feel like a Kardboard King even if the cards aren’t worth the (thick) paper they’re printed on.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

Oddball Heaven

Oddball Baseball Cards

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If you love oddball baseball cards, the 1980s were the decade for you. And, like with just about everything else surrounding the hobby, Topps was the king of 1980s oddball issues.

From big heads to real 3-D cards to just plain old big cards, Topps had it all.

And this lot offers up a bunch of that all in one convenient package.

In particular, what you’d be bidding on — if you bade — (or BINned):

1980 Topps Baseball Superstars – 1 box, 36 cards, all opened
1984 Topps Super Baseball – 1 box, 20 unopened packs, 16 opened packs + wrappers
1985 Topps 3-D Baseball – 1 box, 22 unopened packs, 4 opened packs
1990 Topps Doubleheaders – 1 box, 36 unopened packs
1990 Topps Heads Up Baseball – 2 boxes (1 box with 24 unopened packs, 1 box with 21 unopened packs)

Drink it all in.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1981 Topps Baseball Stickers Unopened Box

1981 Topps Baseball Stickers Unopened Box

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If you made it through the lean hobby years of the Topps monopoly, man, were you rewarded in 1981!

Not only did you get a new Fleer set and a new Donruss set, both with enough errors to keep your English teacher in haughty bliss all the way through high school, but you got extras.

Fleer Star Stickers.

Topps Traded.

Topps scratch-off thingies.

And, yes, Topps stickers.

For just 15 cents a pop, you could buy paper packets of these babies all day long. Then, if you manged to tear open the pack without ripping the stickers themselves, you could affix them to the appropriate page in the accompanying sticker album.

Or to your locker.

Or your TV, if you were feeling lucky in dealing with your dad.

It was great.

And this eBay lot lets you relive all that with an unopened box of 100 packs of 1981 Topps stickers.

Lots of chances to perfect your no-tears tearing.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1986 Topps Baseball Cello Packs with Pete Rose on Front (2)

1986 Topps Pete Rose Cello Packs

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The 1986 Topps baseball card set was not the greatest in the company’s history.

The design was just so-so, for one thing. The rookie card class was pretty weak, for another (thought Cecil Fielder beefed it up when he came back from Japan in 1990).

But one thing 1986 Topps did have going for it was Pete Rose — like, all over the place.

Rose slashed his way past Ty Cobb and his 4191 hits on September 11, 1985, and the hobby loved him for it — before, at that moment, and afterward.

In his run-up to the record, all of Rose’s cards jumped up in demand and value, and he was arguably the hottest of all non-rookie players all across the land.

Topps capitalized on that popularity the next year by issuing a whopping nine Rose cards in their base set — the normal Rose at #1, a Record Breaker at #206, a manager/Cincinnati Reds team card at #741, and six retrospective cards (#2-7) that showed miniature versions of Pete’s previous 24 base Topps cards.

It’s those latter multi-card cars that make a cameo in this eBay lot (affiliate link) and its sister lot (affiliate link) — four Rose cards showing sixteen Rose cards on the top of four 1986 Topps cello packs.

Very meta, and very cool, even if not extremely valuable.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1983 Topps Baseball Cello Pack with Don Sutton on Front

1983 Topps Baseball Cello Pack Don Sutton

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The early 1980s were a pretty dismal time for baseball cards or, more precisely, baseball card designs.

Because, even though Fleer managed to finally break the Topps monopoly and pulled Donruss into the market with them, the onslaught of new cards did little to excite the senses or capture the poetry of the game.

Dark and dingy photos, half-hearted designs, lousy cardstock, errors all over the place — things were pretty messy in 1981 and 1982.

In 1983, though Donruss and Fleer started to figure things out and issued their best sets to date.

Too bad for them Topps stepped on the gas an issued one of the greatest, sunniest sets of all time.

You can relive the thrill of discovering those gorgeous cards all those many springs ago with this pristine cello pack featuring Hall of Famer on the front and Pedro Guerrero — always in the discussion about best players in the game back in those days — on the back.

Could the in-between hold a Wade Boggs, Tony Gwynn, or Ryne Sandberg rookie card? Only the gum stick knows for sure.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1984 Topps Super Unopened Boxes (3)

1984 Topps Super Unopened Boxes

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You ever create something that’s just so good, so unbelievably groundbreaking that all you want to do is find a way to broadcast it to the world? Blow it up to the size of a skyscraper and shine a light on it for all the world to see?

Apparently, that’s how Topps felt in 1984.

On the heels of their gorgeous 1983 set, Topps decided that the best thing to do was tweak the thing a bit. You know, make the inset headshot square instead of round, fill it in with a garish color, add big block letters down the left-hand side.

Fuzzy up the photos just a bit because the sharpness of the 1983s was too much for the human eye to withstand.

You know, that sort of thing.

And when they were all done, Topps darn near fell into the pond and drowned while looking at their own reflection in the neighborhood cardboard pond. Their creation was almost too beautiful for words!

But not quite, and they wanted to spread that word.

So they took 30 of their favorite 1984 cards, blew them up to 5″ x 7″, plopped them into plastic “wax” packs and called them super.

And, really, what else could you call a near life-size rendering of the great Al Holland?

This eBay lot lets you capture all that Super kitsch with three unopened boxes of 1984 Topps Supers, minus one pack.

And, if you don’t like the cards, at least the listing gives you a new euphemism for … well … something.

As in, that lot is one pack shy of three boxes.

It’s going to be big.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1987 Topps Vending Case

1987 Topps Vending Case

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For the first several years I collected, I harbored this dream about world domination … and it all hinged on Topps vending cases.

See, a single vending case contained 24 vending boxes, each with 500 brand new, perfect cards (probably not perfect, but that’s how it seemed).

12,000 cards all in one shot.

Depending on the year, that would have like quadrupled, tripled, or at least double my collection.

And it would have yielded 15.15 repeating copies of every card in whichever set was involved.

That’s where the magic would happen.

I’d get a vending case, pull all the Mark McGwire rookies or Vince Coleman rookies or Bill Doran rookies or first Padres Steve Garvey cards, and then sell the excess for beaucoup bucks.

Then I’d reinvest, maybe in another full vending case if I made enough the first time around, and do the whole thing again.

And again and again and again until I had retired at age 15.

It was going to be great.

Except … I always got distracted by Donruss and Fleer and Topps Stickers and Action All-Stars and Fun Foods. It’s hard to be happy with 15.15 repeating of a bunch of things when you have to have one of everything.

It would have been great, though.

Those memories are part of what draws me to lots like this one, a full 1987 Topps vending case. It’s sad, because the Buy-It-Now price is only $79 and these cards were supposed to be gold by now.

It’s also sad because the case itself is so beat up. It’s probably seen a hard life, or it’s just aged, like I have.

But it’s happy because the blue boxes themselves are shining through a crack in the case cardboard, and they look pretty gorgeous still.

Mostly, though, it’s happy because there are 12,000 Topps baseball cards inside. Can you feel those old dreams stirring?

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1989 Ken Griffey Jr. Milk Chocolate Bar

Ken Griffey Jr Candy Bar

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It used to be that you had to do something pretty special, like hit three home runs in one World Series game, before you could have your own baseball-themed candy bar.

And then along came the 1980s, with its baseball card boom and the incessant hyping of every rookie from Paul Assenmacher to Paul Zuvella.

So, when the Seattle Mariners Ken Griffey Jr. with the first pick of the 1987 draft, the results were predictable …

Comparisons to his father …

Comparisons to Willie Mays

Predictions of greatness …

The first-ever Upper Deck baseball card (Non-Salesman Sample Division) …

And his own candy bar.

Yep, before The Kid ever took the Kingdome field, Mike Cramer and the Pacific Trading Card Company treated the hobby to the *drumroll* Ken Griffey Jr. Milk Chocolate Bar.

It was Junior.

It was Milk Chocolate.

It looked like a baseball card.

It came in a Griffey-laden wrapper.

It was spectacular.

You can buy one — right now — on eBay. Better grab your Tums.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1983 Fleer Baseball Rack Packs (3)

1983 Fleer Rack Packs

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After an underwhelming debut in 1981 and a maybe even more underwhelming sophomore effort in 1982, Fleer needed to do something big in 1983 if they wanted to keep up with Donruss (ha!) and Topps.

Mission accomplished. Almost.

If it weren’t for an all-time great Topps issue that spring, the 1983 Fleer set would have been at the top of the heap — upgraded brown-gray borders, Super Star Specials, copious stats on card backs, and oooooooooo photos on card backs.

Throw in big-time rookie cards of Ryne Sandberg, Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, Ron Kittle, Frank Viola, and, um, George Wright, and you had a combination that was hard to beat (even though Topps did).

This eBay lot of three 1983 Fleer rack packs gives you all of that awesomeness right in your face, and it doesn’t even make you guess too much about what you’ll get.

I mean, right there on the front panels are sparkling cards of Lee Lacy, Gary Lavelle, and Randy Moffitt. Oh, and Reggie Jackson, Robin Yount, Gwynn, and Boggs.

And if you can resist any Champ Summers baseball card, you’re a stronger man than I.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1984 Ralston Purina Baseball Cards Unopened Packs (4)

1984 Ralston Purina Baseball Cards Unopened Packs

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How much would you pay to complete your baseball card collection?

I mean, sure you’d give up hard-earned money for your cardboard fix … but would you chuck down box after box of gut-churning, cavity-inducing powdered, compressed, malted, generally blech wheat products?

Let me tell you … you would if you were 12 years old in 1984 and had the chance to add another set to your burgeoning collection via several thousand calories worth of Cookie Crisp.

That is, if you were serious about this thing.

I didn’t matter that the cereal tasted like Yoda’s refrigerator or that it coated your insides like blown-in insulation or that it caked in your teeth like Dog Chow in a German shepherd.

It didn’t even matter that the cards weren’t all that great.

Or that you could buy them on the cheap more than 30 years later.

Like in this eBay lot (affiliate link), which features four packs of the 1984 Ralston-Purina baseball cards, or this companion lot (affiliate link) that offers another four packs.

And these packs won’t even send you to the dentist.

Sorry, Doc.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1986 Fleer Baseball Unopened Cello Packs (15)

1986 Fleer Cello Packs

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By 1986, the hobby was fully engulfed in the flames of rookie card mania thanks to the exploits of young phenoms like Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Eric Davis, Don Mattingly, and that summer of ’86, Jose Canseco and Wally Joyner.

At the same time, Fleer and Donruss had overcome their early growing pains to leapfrog over Topps in terms of card quality and values. The perception, at least, was that Fleer and Donruss cards were printed on superior cardstock and existed in much fewer quantities than their Topps counterparts.

In 1986, Donruss was the hottest brand going thanks to the presence of a Jose Canseco Rated Rookie card, but Fleer wasn’t far behind thanks to rookie cards of Canseco, Cory Snyder, Lenny Dykstra, Benito Santiago, Cecil Fielder, and many others.

Add in the Future Hall of Famers and All-Stars inserts, and you had a solid set that verged on scorching at various times.

The 1986 Fleer issue may not be en fuego more than 30 years later, but it sure would be fun to crack open the 15 cello packs in this eBay lot to see if you can find your own Joe Orsulak RC prize.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1990 Topps Heads Up! Baseball Stars Unopened Box (24 Packs)

1990 Topps Heads Up Baseball Stars Unopened Box

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It may be time to head back to school, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it.

And what better way to have some fun than busting open a box of one of those funky Topps test issues risen from the nadir of the Junk Wax Era.

In this case (no, just a box, actually), we a box — 24 full packs — of 1990 Topps! Heads Up Baseball Stars.

Cowabunga!  (That’s a very early-1990s thing to say — look it up.)

Anyway, how cool would it be to have a big ol’ cutout of Ken Griffey Jr.’s head suction-cupped inside your locker? Very cool, that’s how cool, and this could be your lucky day.

Heck, you might get really lucky and pull a Craig Worthington noggin. And there is nobody — NOBODY — starrier than Craig Worthington and his .230 lifetime batting average.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1984 Donruss Unopened Wax Box

1984 Donruss Unopened Wax Box

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This is the one that changed everything … the one that made Donruss a real baseball card company … the one that cemented our forever fascination with rookie cards.

In the summer of 1984, Don Mattingly came out of nowhere to win the American League batting title, snatching it away from New York Yankees teammate Dave Winfield.

At the same time, collectors were having trouble filling their one-of-everything desires because 1984 Donruss was downright scarce — and it was a really nice looking set for a change.

And, as luck would have it, Mattingly had a rookie card in that Donruss issue.

Uh-oh.

Mattingly+rookie+can’t-find-these-cards-anywhere+New York Hype = explosion

The hobby was never the same, for better or for worse.

This eBay lot gives you all that history in a box — a 1984 Donruss wax box full of thirty-six 1984 Donruss wax packs.

Yum! Even if there is no gum.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1985 Topps Rack Packs (20) … with Stars!

1985 Topps Rack Packs

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There’s not much to say about today’s Wow! Wax entry other than …

This good, take-you-to-your-roots, old-school cardboard right here, even if the Buy-It-Now price ($229.95) may sting a bit — you always have the option to “Make Offer.”

And, oh yeah — if you don’t like the stars showing on this lot, the seller has two other 1985 Topps Rack Pack lots to choose from … here and here  (affiliate links).

Can’t you just hear the crinkles?

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1983 Donruss Baseball Unopened Rack Pack

1983 Donruss Baseball Unopened Rack Pack

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It’s an age-old problem in this hobby — you find a pile of unopened baseball card packs and you want to buy one and tear into it in the hopes that you’ll find something great like a Greg Gross rookie or Glenn Hubbard’s snake.

But …

What if someone came before you and searched through the packs to get the good stuff?

Easy enough to cherrypick rack and cello packs, and even wax packs had their problems — ever hear of resealing?

Now, of course, Upper Deck “solved” this conundrum in 1989 by encasing their cards in MRE Wrap, but did you know that Donruss actually beat them to it?

I mean, look at this 1983 Donruss rack pack up for sale right now on eBay …

Three wax packs inside of a cellophane rack pack.

It’s gorgeous! It’s amazing! It’s freaking genius!

So don’t worry about having lost out to some jerk from 35 years ago. If Donruss put Manny Trillo inside one of these sections, you can bet your sweet bippy Manny is still there waiting for you.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1982 Donruss Baseball Wax Pack

1982 Donruss Baseball Cards Unopened Wax Pack

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It must have been a relief — or at least a surprise — when collectors found these beautiful (yes they are!) red and yellow Donruss wax packs on store shelves in the spring of 1982.

After all, 1981 had been a rough year for the first-time cardmaker, from losing their right to sell gum with their cards to, well, the cards themselves. Thin cardstock, terrible photography, more errors than a Dick Stuart highlight reel, slightly self-indulgent card backs.

The hobby had no guarantee there would even be a 1982 Donruss baseball card set.

But there the packs were, with a god-awful Babe Ruth drawing but tremendous waxy promise.

Inside the packs were goodies like the Cal Ripken Jr. rookie card, the Steve Sax rookie card, the Shooty Babitt rookie card.

Quite a rally from the brink of obscurity!

So it’s always fun and nostalgic when a 1982 Donruss wax pack makes an appearance, as in this eBay lot.

I mean, who knows how close we came to never having the chance to pull the San Diego Chicken card that might lie inside?

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

(Check out our previous Wow! Wax listings here.)