Skip to main content

Do I care about variations? It varies


One card that I received in a recent card package didn't show up on the blog until now because I don't consider it a need in my collection.

The sender -- Mike -- said that it is a variation, one of those 1991 Topps back differences where the Topps logo superimposed onto the stats is darker than usual.

Like so:


I just can't get myself to consider this a variation.

I believe the collectors who say they are. But it just looks like someone put extra ink on the roller to me. Is that enough to consider something a variation?

This is what I like in my variations:


Now that is a MFing variation. It's on the front, not the back, and it knocks you over with its obvious difference.

This was known as an "error card" back in the day but it's also a variation. (These days we have to differentiate between our variations and errors because so many variations are intentional).

So, like I said here, I like my errors and variations obvious. None of this subtle stuff. There seems to be a lot of subtle variations in early 1990s sets and I can't get interested in it. 1991 Topps is big on subtle variations.


That's just a sampling. It's just a little bit crazy that people thought the absence of a ® was a reason to collect an additional card.

Differences in stats, errors in stats, I understand.


This I understand, too. Pretty cool.

But like I said, a variation needs to knock me over the head with its awesomeness and the difference between a tiny E or an F symbol on the bottom of the card back, I'm just stunned that someone discovered a difference and then thought it was worth noting.

But that's the many flavors of collectors out there. Some of y'all study your cards A LOT.

Just for the heck of it, I looked at the 1991 Topps Dodgers in my binder to see if I had any of the dark Topps logo "variations."

I didn't.

Almost all were like this:


Very light (with a gum stain included).

I did notice what seemed to be a Topps logo halfway between the usual light ones and the one I received from Mike.


What is this? A third variation?

Comments

  1. Supposedly the backs are called "Glow Backs", under a black light (the old kind) long tubes, not the bulbs. The glow backs were also supposed to be what the factory sets were. I have 3 of such sets sitting on my desk, and the latter is not true in the two I opened, maybe a third of the cards were in both boxes. I left #3 alone. Some of those 91 Topps "glowbacks" ring big $ on the bay and comc. I haven't been able to actually check to see if any of mine glow because you can't buy the old fashioned black lights around here. I tried the bulb and no go. I am not a fan of intentional errors or variations. Like your Dodgers, I need my Braves but only if they are actually listed in/on Beckett as a legitimate error/variation whether intentional or not. The glow backs are not listed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. 1989 Score drove me crazy with the uniform number variations. Griffey and Rijo both have variations, but you have to squint to see them. I don't pay attention to the copyright variations or glow backs or slight border variations (like 1990/1991 Donruss).

    I picked up a 1990 Fleer Canadian card several years ago, expecting the OPC treatment of French text, but the only difference was the copyright line. Regular Fleer are printed in USA, Canadian are printed in Canada. I was not happy.

    JT, The Writer's Journey

    ReplyDelete
  3. I care...always. However, if my records show I have a card of that person or subject with that number, then I probably will never notice. When I first joined the Trading Card Database, and started logging my collection, I found almost two dozen errors and variations in my duplicates box. Some were as miniscule as a wrong signing date on the back, to as big as a person's name being spelled incorrectly on the card front and later corrected.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I immediately noticed the variations in the 1991 Topps card backs way back in 1991, but I barely cared about them at all. Now that I'm a full fledged TCDB member, this stuff makes me slightly paranoid, maybe even anxious?

    ReplyDelete
  5. This reminds me of 2006 Bowman Heritage. So difficult to tell the difference between the base and the parallels.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Let's not even get started on what Donruss have done to us...

    ReplyDelete
  7. I can accept the absence of a ® as a variation... but that doesn't necessarily mean I'll chase them. Now lighter ink... I'm in your corner on this one. Unless the lighter ink happens to be one of the "glow" backs mentioned above. The "lol" once again... I can accept it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. For my Red Sox collection no back variations exist, at all. A&G mini back parallels mean nothing to me. As far as I am concerned I have a complete 1911 T205 team set. I don't care what advertisement is on the back of them, the team set is complete and I'm not buying any more. (now if someone gifts one to me well...)

    However for my Virdon collection I do the back variations. White/Grey Back, English/French Back, Blank/Postcard Back, whatever the case may be I chased them all.

    THe difference is probably because there is an infinite amount of Red Sox cards to chase. Why look for more to chase when I could never have them all anyway. However there were only so many Virdons produced so it isn't as big a deal to scoop up all the variations.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think some of these 'ticky tack' variations were a figment of someone's junk wax imagination - after pouring over a couple of boxes of 1991 Topps five or six years ago, I didn't care if I was missing out on some 'gems.'

    ReplyDelete
  10. I don't care a lick about these "variations" either. It's hard enough keeping track of all the different (mostly intentional) variations around these days -- how am I supposed to notice if a card from almost 30 years ago is missing a trademark?

    ReplyDelete
  11. So far in my 1955 Bowman set build I've avoided variations so that I don't have to choose which one to get (I'm definitely not getting both for any of them). For my 1972 Topps set build, I think I've always chosen the cheaper variation.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Now that is a MFing variation. It's on the front, not the back, and it knocks you over with its obvious difference.

    Well said!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Addressing the elephant in the room

A few people have noticed: I changed the way the blog looked with zero fanfare earlier this week.

I've changed my blog appearance, I think, six times now, although one was just a header swap. Just about all of those came with a bit of a warning or explanation.

I didn't think that was necessary this time, mostly because I've been doing this for over a decade, am pretty established, and don't think I need to justify my decisions here.

But also I thought that people were familiar with the general changes in web sites over the last two, three, four years and wouldn't be that affected by it. For the most part that seems to be true -- or, no one cares and they're all looking at pretty instagram pictures.

I've received a couple of questions though and just because I hate the feeling that some readers are lost, I'll explain what I can.

The changes, like many web site changes, are related to mobile phone use.

I've been irked by the way my blog looks on my p…

Mind explosion: a different way to sort

This may have been one of the most tedious blog posts to put together in the history of this blog, but I think it's for a good cause.

The reason I'm not entirely sure is because I didn't have time to carry it out for a few more attempts, got to shovel that 7 inches of heavy wet snow plopped on my estate on Nov. 12th.

Anyway, a couple of days ago, Colbey from Cardboard Collections was sorting his Topps Holiday set by card number and asked a very common question that I've seen come up many times during my blogging career:


 This is always a satisfying question because this is how I organize my sets when I'm organizing by card number. At the top of the post I showed cards from the 2019 Topps flagship set being sorted in that manner -- stacks separated by hundreds first, then you create separate stacks by 10s within each hundreds stack, then finally order each of the 10s by card number.

I've done this since I was a kid and first knew the card numbers on the back me…

Looking at cards with Johnny B.

Over the weekend, I got a chance to express my inner Mike Oz and share some baseball cards with a former major league player.

I'm working on a story for my paper that involves ex-player Johnny Wockenfuss, who is almost a cult figure with fans of a certain age (I am one) and especially fans of the Detroit Tigers during the '70s and '80s.

I won't go into much detail -- at least not now -- because I'm still in the middle of working on it, have more gathering to go, and I get very protective of my stories while I'm in the middle of the process. Got to retain that exclusive, you know.

But I will say that I was able to sit in the home of Wockenfuss, give him the cards that I have of him in my collection, and ask his opinion on them.

Yeah, cool. Way cool.

I have 17 cards of Wockenfuss ("you have a lot of them," my wife said, and I thought "if that's a lot, what is my Hideo Nomo collection?"). Wockenfuss remembered the cards -- "every bit …