Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Varying Variations

Over on TCDB during this year, there have been a few changes to some sets and how they are listed due to small variation difference. I entered these sets back when these variations weren't listed and have been waiting to try and get through a few of them at the same time.

Well, that time is now.

1991-92 Upper Deck Hockey

The variation documented on this set is one with regards to the hologram on the back, something Upper Deck has put on their cards for years. There are however two variations of the hologram - one with the words Upper Deck, and one with the Upper Deck logo.

My purpose for going through the cards today is to separate into the two sets as they are, for variation purposes, different.

Depending on how the numbers fall out, I may or may not care to go after completing one variation set over the other.

One problem I thought I couldn't fix - I have the last two hundred cards in a sealed box and had no idea of which set it is, but luckily it seems the last 200 cards were only printed with the hologram so luckily, crisis averted.

Just going through my Leafs dupes - there were only a couple with the hologram. The problem is, that's the base set I have everything listed under, so took some time to transfer everything else to the right set.

Actually not a huge project for this set as I have maybe half the set and most of it is with the text hologram, still, about an hour of my life in separating it out.

Examples you say....

Just reflective enough, you can see the difference in the holograms.

1987 Donruss Baseball

Oh Donruss, how sneaky you were...small differences between the factory sets and wax pack cards that (I think) started here, but don't quote me on it. I don't really go out looking for the differences, but when they come up, I note them to deal with them (like here).

Apparently 1987 Donruss difference was simply the orientation of the back of the card. Definitely won't matter to me for completion of the set, but I would make note of which ones are factory set cards versus not.

The Upper Deck hockey above seemed more to be about timing and that Upper Deck changed how they did the holograms mid-year whereas the Donruss baseball issue is just how they printed one set versus the other.

I apparently have about 125 cards of the set (not including Jays dupes I keep). Out of all those I have...1 factory card. Would expect there to be not many as I assume most people don't split up factory sets.

So if you flip the card over (left to right, not up and down), the two backs are simply:

             (factory set)                                               (wax pack)

At least it was easy to mark that one set off now...oh wait....Jays....ah, one there as well. For the team cards, I will definitely treat the two separately, so at least I have a factory set Ernie WHitt that I didn't realize I had.

1988 Donruss Baseball

This is a tricky one. There is a border design difference with the factory set. Do I care? I don't think so. I care to keep the cards tracked properly, but am I going to care how I complete this one for my personal set - I don't think so. For the team collecting, yes, so I delved through the 1988 Donruss I have to see what factory set cards I have, if any, to pull out and list separately.

As it turns out - only 4 factory set cards, all ones that are the only I own, so I can't really show the difference, and as I say - not feeling I need to replace them in the set.

1989 Donruss Baseball

*sigh* - okay, this gets kinda pointless...there are 4 variations of most of the base cards. The difference - whether there is a period behind INC on the back and whether there is one or two asterisks where "Denotes led league" is on the back.

Again, this is one I don't care about as far as the base set is concerned. Heck, I am not even going to go through the base set or the dupes I have to note what they are. That said - for my Jays collection, absolutely necessary!

Pretty clear the small difference, once you know what you are looking for.

1990 Donruss Baseball

The red border. So, the factory set has a different pain splatter red border, than the wax pack cards. Yeah - another case of, small difference which won't impact my care for collecting the set, but will need to document with my Jays cards. Here are a couple examples of the different borders.

I have a couple of each versions - and side by side, the difference can be spotted, but man, talk about a small difference.

I am not even going to go through my set that is boxed and away for this one.

1991 Donruss Baseball

The easy of this set is that, I have a sealed factory set, so I just need to migrate that to the appropriate variation at TCDB. I will worry about the variations only for the Jays, but it does make me wonder - for my error and variation binders, I probably need to make a guideline along the lines of not collecting minor printing variations like the dot behind INC on the back, or the retail versus hobby variations.

So I need to go through my error cards, Jays team set, Diamond King dupe set, etc.

An example of the border difference? Here are a couple cards showing the big difference of a dot.

Wow - well, there's a full post dedicated to OCD!


  1. Gee, I never really knew about these--have to get my Jays in order--1990 Donruss also has the Gruber error and corrected

  2. Many of those are so minute that I don't even bother looking for them for my collection. As to cataloging them into my TCDB collection, someday I will have to tackle that mess for my PC cards. The splattered dots 1990 Donruss set I am amazed was even a consistent variant. I usually look to those sort of things as being random sort of like with the burlap pattern on the 1968 Topps Baseball cards.

    1. From a collecting standpoint, I don't really care about having each variant, but I do care about tracking what I do have, correctly.

  3. I'm still undecided if I want to go through the hassle of updating my TCDB collection. For my personal collecting preferences, I don't care. However, if someone is looking to trade for a specific variation, it'll be useful.

    Oh and I don't know if it was intentional - but your "side by side, the difference can be spotted" ended up being a good pun!

    1. Yeah, the for trade was more my drive, I don't want to "false advertise" if I can help it. As for the pun, subtle and intentional.

  4. I knew about the 1987 Donruss factory vs. wax pack variation... but didn't know about any of the others. Any idea how the two different hologram pucks in the 1991-92 UD Hockey were distributed?

    1. Not sure on the distribution difference still. Would have thought maybe retail versus set, but just a guess...