Player Collectors opinions on 1993 Topps/R&N China?

DaClyde

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I was browsing through a copy of the 2006 Standard Catalog last night and caught the listing for the 1993 Topps/R&N China porcelain cards. I'd seen some of these on eBay before, but never really looked into them since Beckett doesn't catalog them. According to SCD, in 1993, R&N China licensed with Topps to create a complete set of these porcelain baseball cards. That's over 800 cards for a complete 1993 Topps set. According to the listing, most cards were procuded in quantities of 1000, but the milestone cards (possibly just the multiples of 50, y'know, how Topps reserves the big round numbers for superstars; I don't have the book in front of me) were issued in quantities of 5000.

Basically, after reading that, I realized I now have one more card to pursue for my collections of Winfield, Hendu, Bam Bam and Roberto Kelly.

After reading the entry, I perused eBay and found a random scattering of these cards, but one seller also had a handful of porcelain magnets.

Here are examples of each from juangone.com:

regular porcelain card:
http://www.juangone.com/pictures.php?cardid=4487

porcelain magnet:
http://www.juangone.com/pictures.php?cardid=4488

I have no idea how many of the magnets were produced. Is anyone chasing these? I rarely see any of the commons show up on eBay.

Here's a great article about the R&N China products over at Collecting the Cubs:

Porcelain Topps Cards made by R&N China
 
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mrmopar

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I would question if all the cards were produced. Wh would anyone make common cards in anything other than cardboard (gold leaf, china, metal, etc). The sales of commons would almost have to be non-existent! Smart money is on stars only for that kind of stuff, unless they are small sets.
 

rynofan23

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The only porcelain card of Sandberg I had seen prior to your post was his 83 RC. I do have the porcelain magnet. Coincidentally, I had someone email me yesterday with the porcelain rc for sale. It has been removed from the package, but at the right price I would pick it up.
 

DaClyde

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I would question if all the cards were produced. Wh would anyone make common cards in anything other than cardboard (gold leaf, china, metal, etc). The sales of commons would almost have to be non-existent! Smart money is on stars only for that kind of stuff, unless they are small sets.
I've seen lots of the 1993 commons, Dave Hollins, Doug Dascenzo, Dave Henderson, Spike Owen, Mike Harkey, Mickey Morandini, John Kruk, etc.

As far as the companies producing cards went back then, there was no such thing as a "bad idea". At least until they went out of business.
 

brewerfan34

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I've got a Nolan Ryan from that set, non magnetic, it is buried away somewhere. Not real clear on how I got it, that was 17 years ago! I think either my parents or grandparents got it for me as a present, which means they probably bought it through a catalog or maybe a Hallmark type store not a traditional sports card seller.

Thanks,
Frank
 

mindbinge

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if they would have produced every card, you can bet there would have been at least 10 to 100 complete sets for sale at some crazy high price...so that makes me think almost for certain that they didn't make every card.
 

DaClyde

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I'm thinking they just weren't well known. In the Baseball Digest archives, I see the ads for the Nolan Ryan series, the Mickey Mantle series and the "dream team" series of old rookie cards, but I'm not seeing anything for the later sets. Topps had someone licensed to make porcelain cards through at least 1998, though usually just superstars.

I'll pose a question about them to the guy who writes the Topps Archive blog.

And maybe they just did certain teams as sets. Otherwise why aren't we seeing a bunch of the Jeter rookies on eBay? According to SCD, 1000 were produced.
 

mrmopar

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I am guessing production was halted following poor sales. I bought a 94 Frank Thomas back in the day and remember seeing Maddux, Griffey, Juan Gonzalez, Ryan and other big stars of the time. I have not stumbled upon any commons, but then again I am not looking either. I seem to remember only stars. Maybe in some more popular markets, team sets were released. I still think you'd see more if they were all made.

I know of several plates and statues out there that were not produced in the advertised quantity. Some probably due to lack of interest, others perhaps due to insolvency of the companies.

I would have to argue that there WERE bad ideas. Unfortunately, many were executed as well!
 

bigslimdog

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I had a handfull of these that I found buried in some old boxes about 2 years ago. I traded away the big names like Ryan, McGwire, and a few others to some of the player collectors on here.

No idea how I got them but I've had them since they were released.
 

DaClyde

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I've posted about the porcelain cards on my blog. I'm going to attempt to reconstruct a checklist of all confirmed reproductions of the 1993 Topps set and 1993 magnet set.
 

DaClyde

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So far, I've found examples of 32 cards in the set. However, I think a couple of them may be from independently produced sets for specific players, like Ripken and Ryan, who had full runs of their Topps issues re-issued in porcelain. Also, the Jeter card I saw on worthpoint doesn't seem to have the right production quantity to fit in the set, so I suspect it wasn't actually part of the set, but was produced a few years later.
 

ffman

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I have the '52 Mantle and a Clemente (not certain on the year for him). I received them as Christmas gifts in 1994; both came in a white/blue "pinstripe" box with a certificate and wooden stand. The stand is shaped like home plate.

I'm not certain on any values, but they are neat items. I also have a Ken Griffey Jr. and Frank Thomas, but they were released later in the 90s.
 

DaClyde

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It has been ages since I posted here, so for anyone who was interested and doesn't frequent any other sites, in the 9 years since my last update about this, I have now identified 145 different porcelain cards from the 1993 Topps/R&N China set. General consensus is still that the entire set does not exist, and I haven't seen enough to disagree, but every couple of months another card, or another lot of cards surfaces. Who knows, I might find that porcelain Hensley Meulens card, yet!

I update the post on my blog whenever new cards are added:

https://clydes-stalecards.blogspot.com/2010/10/1993-topps-r-china-porcelain-baseball.html
 

mrmopar

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Nice decade old bump! Interesting set, but I still don't believe the entire 93 Topps set was made in porcelain. The only way that happened in my mind would have been a select few full sets, maybe by special order only, but even then you'd expect someone to have busted one up by now if anyone ever owned a full set. Maybe we'll see more updates by the next decade anniversary.
 

anglinomics

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I first heard of the porcelain cards from being a Topps Stadium Club member. I bought the Mantle set for $100.00 through the club. Within a few years I bought the Ryan for $20 from a newspaper ad, I think that was from RN China. I sold those in the 2007 neighborhood when I sold all of my cards. What a mistake that was. I would much rather have the 50,000 cards with 5000 vintage. I might have got $2000 as I sold them on ebay over a 5 year period. Much of it one at a time. Keep your cards, you won't get anything out of them.
 

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