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Shine like it does

It's another day and another set complete. Another fairly easy one, too.

I've wanted to complete the 1983 Topps Glossy Send-Ins set for a long time, probably ever since I discovered from an advertisement inside a pack of 1983 Topps that you could send away for some totally new cards from Topps that were ... glossy!!!

Glossy was the original shine in cards, I've discussed this before. Long before the '90s came up with foil and dufex and chrome, shiny cards were glossy cards.

They were definitely appealing to youngsters of the time, like me. Why else would I bide my time accumulating enough scratch-off "loser contest cards" to send in for five cards at a time? (The glossy cards were kind of a consolation for not winning one of the big prizes from the scratch-off game, like I wanted any of those big prizes anyway).

If my math and memory is right I gathered enough cards to go through the process four separate times. These are the cards I've had since 1983:

And these are cards that I've accumulated since, whether through repacks or trades or maybe a sportlots purchase here and there:

But that's still not all of them. There are 40 all-stars in the set and after telling myself to do this over and over -- for years -- I finally searched out a complete set, realized these things haven't exactly rocketed in price -- and bought it.

These were the final cards I needed:

Sorry it's crooked. I'm a little too excited about them.

I've had these cards so memorized in my mind for decades that the nine missing cards seem like gleaming new prizes and shiny as all heck, even though the sheen on these cards has long worn off.
They're still classy cards.
This was the original of the glossy send-in sets. Topps continued the practice throughout the 1980s. I've got some of those later cards here and there, but they don't mean as much as these ones do. Interestingly, I'm usually not a fan of yellow on cards but the yellow borders seem like they belong on glossy cards and when I see the later versions that have green or red or orange borders, it just doesn't look as cool to me.
But the Send-In cards also had a feeling of exclusiveness to them. You actually had to play the game. Buy the packs, scratch off the contest cards, accumulate enough cards, send in those cards and wait, wait, wait for the return.
Later Topps inserted glossy All-Star cards in rack packs and such. They're cool, too, but the challenge wasn't there like the send-ins.
I now have the complete original 1983 set. Voila:

Ooooh!!!! Aaaaah!!!! Very nice.

1983 was the last year that I officially collected cards in a traditional sense until 1989. I bought mostly Topps flagship and a little bit of Fleer and maybe two packs of Donruss in '83. But as a high school senior, my interest was waning. 1984 and 1985 were years of buying the complete set so I wouldn't have the hassle of regular drug store trips. 1986-88 I pretty much ignored cards.

So '83 is important and the Send-In set is proof that I still had what it takes to be a diligent collector.

Of course, the shininess was added incentive.


Old Cards said…
Congrats on completion of the set. Didn't want to 'gloss over' your achievement!
bryan was here said…
Congrats on completing that set. My dad bought me that set for Christmas that year when he couldn't find what he really wanted to get me, a Dave Parker rookie card (which was a hot property back in the fall of '83).

I got the Bill Madlock card autographed at a card show back in '85. That's when I learned that players charge for the privilege of signing your cards.
John Bateman said…
Never realized it but those 83 send aways were really prelude to 1989-90-91 Bowman.
Jamie Meyers said…
Cool cards! It's always satisfying to finish a set like that. Glad you linked to the InXS song at the end. I knew your title was riffing on an 80's song but I couldn't remember which one. Been awhile since I've listened to that album.
1984 Tigers said…
I got the big glossy cards from the scratch offs in the 1981 Topps set. 3 sets of 5 star guys, larger cards. I actually won a book on baseball card collecting which was kind of neat.

By 1983, I still collected cards but didn't seem to care to take the time while off in college to bother for those sets. Now I wish I did. They continued this tradition of accumulating points from one-per-pack inserts into at least the late 1980s.
Matt said…
I've always like those glossy sets, although I don't think I ever sent away for them at the time...
Fuji said…
Congratulations on completing the set. I totally remember the Bonus Runs insert card. Don't think I ever cashed in my runs, but I'm tempted to buy a complete set of these. In fact, I think it'd be really cool to own a complete run of all of these Glossy Send In sets and house them in a binder.
Jafronius said…
Congrats on the completed set!