Something about the 1984 Topps set makes it a prominent character in my personal junk wax saga. I’m not sure what it is. It’s not the fact that this is the current year of the first wax packs of cards I ever opened as a kid. It’s not the 40 year old lumberjacks and their mustaches that dominate the set either.
There is something though. Maybe it’s the role the set played in the industry. ’84 Topps were marketed differently than the years prior. We would have to assume as well that the production quantities were higher as a result. Topps has acknowledged this prior in industry publications, but no real data on actual production numbers exists or will be released about those numbers to my knowledge.
I do know this though. There is a junk wax border line drawn between everything up to and including the 1983 Topps, and then everything after starting with the 1984 series. At least for me. The 1984 set just does not have the value of the sets leading up to it.
I personally think there are 2 main factors that make that a reality. First, the fact that it was marketed more as the start of the junk wax era was beginning, and had more cards produced to support that. And second, there’s not a good presence of noticeable cards. The previous few years had some great star and rookie cards and lower production runs.
An unopened wax box of ’84 Topps can get to your door for under $100. I recently bought 2. They were about $80 each with delivery included in that cost. An ’83 Topps wax box is on the higher end of the $200 range (lower numbers and some great rookies) and an ’82 Topps wax box comes in on the lower end of the $200 price range. But generally speaking, either will cost you about 200 bucks.
I see complete, hand collected “nr-mnt” sets being sold for about $35 delivered. The ’83 will get to you for around $50ish, maybe $55. Generally speaking, the ’82 set is priced somewhere in between.
All that being said, the 1984 Topps Baseball set is a pretty decent and affordable set. The presence Don Mattingly’s rookie card is the obvious highlight, but there is also a good amount of other cards worth having. ’84 had some good players early in their careers. These cards are often overlooked, but I really enjoy them.
For instance, the Darryl Strawberry rookie. My personal favorite card of the set. It had its day. It sure did. I was there. The Ryan Sandberg and the Rickey Henderson cards are 2 more examples of cards in this set that I’m partial too, even though they have no real value. Several cards in this set I purchased at a small local comic book shop that sold cards too. Conveniently located between my home and school. Although I no longer have my original cards, I can say they have been more than properly replaced. And this time, I didn’t pay $15.00 for the Strawberry.
In upcoming articles, I’ll get into the specific cards of the set, card values over the years, and other interesting things as they come up for the 1984 Topps Baseball set.
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