junk wax era question?

Hawaiian BamBam

New member
133
4.80 star(s)
hey guys, this is a two part question. first, what years is generally accepted as the junk wax era? and also, since those cards were so mass produced they are basically worthless is what i read. since stories got out that they weren't worth the cardboard they were printed on im sure thousands and thousands of collectors just threw out all of their junk wax! so, would it be safe to say that since so much was thrown out that the cards that do remain avail might be worth something someday? thanks
 

Beachbum

New member
423
5.00 star(s)
I would be interested in what others think about part 1 of your question. I always thought junk era started in 1987 with Topps, Donruss and Fleer followed suit in 1988 and it went to around 1994, but this is just my opinion. I think Donruss and Fleer in 1987 were not "junk" but others could easily argue otherwise.

I don't think that any considerable amount of these cards were thrown out and thus I don't think they will be "valuable" some day. Maybe some incremental book increases for inflation purposes, but nothing considerable.
 

Jeffo65

Moderator
1,541
5.00 star(s)
Here is a great Blog post about the Junk Wax Era.

Junk Wax Era Blog post

I figured that 1984 started the Junk Wax Era due to the large increase in the quantity of cards being produced.
 

budd2222

Active member
424
5.00 star(s)
About 6 years ago I went to a warehouse action. One lot was 4 pallets of junk wax sports cards, they did not even get a one dollar bid.
 

steve1972

Active member
1,052
5.00 star(s)
I would be interested in what others think about part 1 of your question. I always thought junk era started in 1987 with Topps, Donruss and Fleer followed suit in 1988 and it went to around 1994, but this is just my opinion. I think Donruss and Fleer in 1987 were not "junk" but others could easily argue otherwise.

I don't think that any considerable amount of these cards were thrown out and thus I don't think they will be "valuable" some day. Maybe some incremental book increases for inflation purposes, but nothing considerable.




in my opinion, 1984 and 1985 still have some value to them for them to be junk wax era, 1987 may have started the overproduction but even those have a bit of value. I would have to say 1988 started the junk wax era, over production plus another new company, the end, maybe 1994 when the strike happened.

I still see too many of the 88-92 in mass quantities to say they will be worth more than they are now but to be worthless is a collectors opinion. I like to have a card, sometimes no matter of condition or value, just to have one.
 

budd2222

Active member
424
5.00 star(s)
WOW, even I would have bid a $1.00 on 4 pallets of cards?!?!?
Think about it. You would have had 6 hrs to move them. If you do not own a large truck you would have to rent one. Hand loading 4 pallets is a lot of work. To rent the warehouse forklift and driver $100 min. Then what do you do with them? Market for them is dead, any place to store them? Know anybody that will let you store old cardboard that may or may not be infested with insects or mice? All those cards may look good to some people but one you look at it to much money and work for no upside in your or your kids life time.
 

Beachbum

New member
423
5.00 star(s)
About 6 years ago I went to a warehouse action. One lot was 4 pallets of junk wax sports cards, they did not even get a one dollar bid.
Thats not an asset, that's what I call a liability unless you are going to use it as kindling.
 

David K.

Active member
10,730
5.00 star(s)
This would be a great questions for store owners.....My local hobby store...gets about 8 to 10 call per day. Best regards, David
 

Yankeeswin

New member
622
5.00 star(s)
I would say 1988-1992 is definitely the height of the junk wax era. I have a lot of old hobby magazines and the speculation was ridiculous. There is someone out there that has 1600 1989 Jim Abbott's...that they paid $4,000 for. Keep in mind not only was there overproduction but there are only about 20% of the collectors there were back then. Everyone who wants these cards has got them.
 

SymphonicMetal

Active member
134
5.00 star(s)
Very interesting questions and comments.

I break down the junk era by sports. For baseball it seems to really start with 1987 Topps and go through 1992. There does seem to have been a large influx of baseball card collectors entering the hobby in 1984 but I don't come across anywhere near the amount of 1984-1986 baseball cards as I do the ones from 1987-1992. I begin finding a little less each year from 1993 on.

For football the junk wax era started in 1989 with Pro Set and peaked in 1991. Sure there are a lot of football cards from 1992 to present but their availability seems to really lessen after 1991 (which incidentally when you seem to find a lot less Pro Set product). While not rare by any means I don't come across mass quantities of 1987 or 1988 Topps football.

Basketball really got started in 1989-90 with Hoops and the David Robinson craze. But I think the real junk wax started the nest year (1990-91) and peaked in 1992-93 with the Shaq RC furor. I do seem to come across a lot less 92-93s then I do of 90-91 and 91-92 which really are the junk basketball sets. And things get a little bit more scarce in basketball in 1993-94 and dwindles from there on a yearly basis.

And I can't see any of the actual junk cards ever being worth anything down the road. I still put together junk wax sets when the opportunity arises but that is just for fun. If you are going to throw away these junk cards make sure you don't throw out any issues that were not mass produced in that era. Not everything from the late 80s-early 90s was mass produced.
 

t.rooster

Active member
581
4.90 star(s)
I agree that '87--'92 baseball would be considered junk wax, but does that mean that the '87 Topps rookie cards of McGwire and Bonds have fallen below their $5.00 mark?
 

SymphonicMetal

Active member
134
5.00 star(s)
I agree that '87--'92 baseball would be considered junk wax, but does that mean that the '87 Topps rookie cards of McGwire and Bonds have fallen below their $5.00 mark?
Yes and no on the Bonds and McGwire. According to my December 2014 Beckett's Plus Bonds is $8 and McGwire is $4. I'd assume they are still the same value 6 months later.

One thing I forgot on overproduction was the advent of factory sets. I think this started in 1982 or 1983 with Donruss and was followed by Fleer not long after. The factory sets were pretty much a minor factor until 1987 when Donruss and Fleer produced a ton of them making their somewhat hard to find product (especially Fleer) quite common and easy to find. I know you could find 1987 Topps boxes everywhere at first and 1987 Fleer and Donruss were kind of scarce. After a few months boxes of Donruss were more commonplace but boxes of Fleer were not readily found. Had Donruss and especially Fleer not overproduced their factory sets, those cards would be quite a bit more valuable and harder to find. While I would not call those two sets "junk" they are not too far from it in terms of availability.
 

budd2222

Active member
424
5.00 star(s)
Yes and no on the Bonds and McGwire. According to my December 2014 Beckett's Plus Bonds is $8 and McGwire is $4. I'd assume they are still the same value 6 months later.

One thing I forgot on overproduction was the advent of factory sets. I think this started in 1982 or 1983 with Donruss and was followed by Fleer not long after. The factory sets were pretty much a minor factor until 1987 when Donruss and Fleer produced a ton of them making their somewhat hard to find product (especially Fleer) quite common and easy to find. I know you could find 1987 Topps boxes everywhere at first and 1987 Fleer and Donruss were kind of scarce. After a few months boxes of Donruss were more commonplace but boxes of Fleer were not readily found. Had Donruss and especially Fleer not overproduced their factory sets, those cards would be quite a bit more valuable and harder to find. While I would not call those two sets "junk" they are not too far from it in terms of availability.
I was just at my LCS talking about the junk era. For him the only thing that will sell are the factory and box sets. New set collectors will buy them just to have the set worthless or not. Topps and Score sets are the most asked for. Not big sellers maybe one a month but it keeps people happy. For that era that would be the way to go.
 

Sponsors

Top