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The Holy Grail of Sets: 1986 Fleer Basketball

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Sets are nothing new. In fact, the first basketball set was released in 1910. But it wasn't until 1986 when Fleer produced what is widely considered the Holy Grail of sets: the 1986 Fleer Basketball set. This set changed the game and established Fleer as a force to be reckoned with in the world of sports cards. For collectors, this set is the pinnacle of achievement. Why? Let's take a look at what makes this set so special. 1986 was truly a banner year for Fleer...(continue on to discuss the key cards in the set and why they are valuable)


The 1986 Fleer Basketball set is one of the most highly coveted sets for collectors.​

The 1986 Fleer Basketball set has been coveted by card collectors for decades, since its initial release in 1986. Featuring NBA legends like Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley, the set is renowned for its classic design and iconic cards. Rising in value year after year, the set continues to hold a special place in the hearts of basketball fans and card collectors alike – not just for its monetary value, but also its aesthetic appeal. It's a sought-after item that has truly stood the test of time.

Why is this set so special and why do collectors go crazy over it?​

The 1986 Fleer Basketball Set is one of the most beloved and sought-after collections among basketball card enthusiasts. What sets this set apart from all others is the unique design and variety of cards included in it. The set includes an extensive lineup of 132 stars, rookies, and hall-of-famers from '86, including Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, Isiah Thomas, Jerry West, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. In addition to a phenomenal selection of players to choose from, collector's also love the sharp borderless design of the cards that gives them a classic yet vibrant look that stands out. It truly is no surprise why so many collectors go wild trying to get their hands on this iconic set!

Let's take a look at some of the key cards in the set, including Michael Jordan's rookie card.​

The 1986 Fleer Basketball Set is one of the most memorable and important sets in basketball collecting. Every sports fan remembers the power and excitement of opening a pack and hoping for that key card to complete their set. One of the most sought-after cards from this set is undoubtedly Michael Jordan's rookie card, which carries with it a certain prestige among collectors. But in addition to His Airness, there are also numerous other iconic cards from the set, including Julius Erving, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Karl Malone and Dominique Wilkins. Collectors seek out these legendary players to complete the dream set that can bring their collection up to another level of completeness.

What makes this set so unique and valuable to collectors today?​

The 1986 Fleer Basketball set remains a coveted piece of trading card history. Collectors appreciate the unique roster of iconic players featured in the set, including legends like Michael Jordan and Larry Bird. What's more, although this is an early Fleer production and made with older technology than what we know today, it still features some beautiful full bleed photography of the NBA's best stars. As a result, this set has become a vintage must-have for any basketball fan or collector looking to add something truly iconic and one-of-a-kind to their collection.

If you're lucky enough to own any of these cards, you might just have a small fortune on your hands!​

If you’re the proud owner of a 1986 Fleer basketball set, then count yourself lucky! These rare cards have become increasingly valuable in recent years, with the most coveted examples topping hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Many collectors pride themselves on owning some of these vintage cards, letting their investments skyrocket as they grow in popularity. A complete set of these remarkable cards could easily be quite a small fortune if taken care of properly, making them a worthwhile investment opportunity for any ardent card collector.

Full 132 Card Checklist​

The 1986 Fleer Basketball Set is a nostalgic throwback to the golden years of hoops. Featuring 132 cards, the set includes all of the biggest players and some of the most beloved rookies from that era in trading card form. Although the front pictures feature iconic moments in basketball history, it's on the back where you find out why this set was so sought after at the time: with each card containing snippets of statistics and bios, they quickly became every collector's newfound obsession. With all 132 cards presented here, this checklist is your window to discovering what made the '86 Fleer Basketball Set special - just like stepping into an old timey card shop!

  1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - Los Angeles Lakers
  2. Alvan Adams - Phoenix Suns
  3. Mark Aguirre - Dallas Mavericks RC
  4. Danny Ainge - Boston Celtics RC
  5. John Bagley - Cleveland Cavaliers RC
  6. Thurl Bailey - Utah Jazz RC
  7. Charles Barkley - Philadelphia 76ers RC
  8. Benoit Benjamin - Los Angeles Clippers RC
  9. Larry Bird - Boston Celtics
  10. Otis Birdsong - New Jersey Nets
  11. Rolando Blackman - Dallas Mavericks RC
  12. Manute Bol - Washington Bullets RC
  13. Sam Bowie - Portland Trail Blazers RC
  14. Joe Barry Carroll - Golden State Warriors
  15. Tom Chambers - Seattle SuperSonics RC
  16. Maurice Cheeks - Philadelphia 76ers
  17. Michael Cooper - Los Angeles Lakers
  18. Wayne Cooper - Denver Nuggets
  19. Pat Cummings - New York Knicks RC
  20. Terry Cummings - Milwaukee Bucks RC
  21. Adrian Dantley - Utah Jazz
  22. Brad Davis - Dallas Mavericks RC
  23. Walter Davis - Phoenix Suns
  24. Darryl Dawkins - New Jersey Nets
  25. Larry Drew - Sacramento Kings RC
  26. Clyde Drexler - Portland Trail Blazers RC
  27. Joe Dumars - Detroit Pistons RC
  28. Mark Eaton - Utah Jazz RC
  29. James Edwards - Phoenix Suns
  30. Alex English - Denver Nuggets
  31. Julius Erving - Philadelphia 76ers
  32. Patrick Ewing - New York Knicks RC
  33. Vern Fleming - Indiana Pacers RC
  34. Sleepy Floyd - Golden State Warriors RC
  35. World B. Free - Cleveland Cavaliers
  36. George Gervin - Chicago Bulls
  37. Artis Gilmore - San Antonio Spurs
  38. Mike Gminski - New Jersey Nets
  39. 39 Rickey Green - Utah Jazz
  40. Sidney Green - Chicago Bulls RC
  41. David Greenwood - San Antonio Spurs
  42. Darrell Griffith - Utah Jazz
  43. Bill Hanzlik - Denver Nuggets
  44. Derek Harper - Dallas Mavericks RC
  45. Gerald Henderson - Seattle SuperSonics
  46. Roy Hinson - Philadelphia 76ers RC
  47. Craig Hodges - Milwaukee Bucks RC
  48. Phil Hubbard - Cleveland Cavaliers
  49. Jay Humphries - Phoenix Suns RC
  50. Dennis Johnson - Boston Celtics
  51. Eddie Johnson - Sacramento Kings RC
  52. Frank Johnson - Washington Bullets RC
  53. Magic Johnson - Los Angeles Lakers
  54. Marques Johnson - Los Angeles Clippers
  55. Steve Johnson - San Antonio Spurs
  56. Vinnie Johnson - Detroit Pistons
  57. Michael Jordan - Chicago Bulls RC
  58. Clark Kellogg - Indiana Pacers RC
  59. Albert King - New Jersey Nets
  60. Bernard King - New York Knicks
  61. Bill Laimbeer - Detroit Pistons
  62. Allen Leavell - Houston Rockets
  63. Lafayette Lever - Denver Nuggets RC
  64. Alton Lister - Seattle SuperSonics RC
  65. Lewis Lloyd - Houston Rockets
  66. Maurice Lucas - Los Angeles Lakers
  67. Jeff Malone - Washington Bullets RC
  68. Karl Malone - Utah Jazz RC
  69. Moses Malone - Washington Bullets
  70. Cedric Maxwell - Los Angeles Clippers
  71. Rodney McCray - Houston Rockets RC
  72. Xavier McDaniel - Seattle SuperSonics RC
  73. Kevin McHale - Boston Celtics
  74. Mike Mitchell - San Antonio Spurs
  75. Sidney Moncrief - Milwaukee Bucks
  76. Johnny Moore - San Antonio Spurs
  77. Chris Mullin - Golden State Warriors RC
  78. Larry Nance - Phoenix Suns RC
  79. Calvin Natt - Denver Nuggets
  80. Norm Nixon - Los Angeles Clippers
  81. Charles Oakley - Chicago Bulls RC
  82. Akeem Olajuwon - Houston Rockets RC
  83. Louis Orr - New York Knicks
  84. Robert Parish - Boston Celtics
  85. Jim Paxson - Portland Trail Blazers
  86. Sam Perkins - Dallas Mavericks RC
  87. Ricky Pierce - Milwaukee Bucks
  88. Paul Pressey - Milwaukee Bucks RC
  89. Kurt Rambis - Los Angeles Lakers RC
  90. Robert Reid - Houston Rockets
  91. Doc Rivers - Atlanta Hawks RC
  92. Alvin Robertson - San Antonio Spurs RC
  93. Cliff Robinson - Philadelphia 76ers
  94. Tree Rollins - Atlanta Hawks
  95. Dan Roundfield - Washington Bullets
  96. Jeff Ruland - Philadelphia 76ers
  97. Ralph Sampson - Houston Rockets RC
  98. Danny Schayes - Denver Nuggets RC
  99. Byron Scott - Los Angeles Lakers RC
  100. Purvis Short - Golden State Warriors
  101. Jerry Sichting - Boston Celtics
  102. Jack Sikma - Milwaukee Bucks RC
  103. Derek Smith - Los Angeles Clippers
  104. Larry Smith - Golden State Warriors RC
  105. Rory Sparrow - New York Knicks RC
  106. Steve Stipanovich - Indiana Pacers RC
  107. Terry Teagle - Golden State Warriors
  108. Reggie Theus - Sacramento Kings RC
  109. Isiah Thomas - Detroit Pistons RC
  110. LaSalle Thompson - Sacramento Kings
  111. Mychal Thompson - Portland Trail Blazers RC
  112. Sedale Threatt - Philadelphia 76ers RC
  113. Wayman Tisdale - Indiana Pacers
  114. Andrew Toney - Philadelphia 76ers RC
  115. Kelly Tripucka - Detroit Pistons RC
  116. Mel Turpin - Cleveland Cavaliers RC
  117. Kiki Vandeweghe - Portland Trail Blazers RC
  118. Jay Vincent - Dallas Mavericks
  119. Bill Walton - Boston Celtics RC
  120. Spud Webb - Atlanta Hawks RC
  121. Dominique Wilkins - Atlanta Hawks RC
  122. Gerald Wilkins - New York Knicks RC
  123. Buck Williams - New Jersey Nets
  124. Gus Williams - Washington Bullets RC
  125. Herb Williams - Indiana Pacers RC
  126. Kevin Willis - Atlanta Hawks RC
  127. Randy Wittman - Atlanta Hawks
  128. Al Wood - Seattle SuperSonics
  129. Mike Woodson - Sacramento Kings RC
  130. Orlando Woolridge - Chicago Bulls RC
  131. James Worthy - Los Angeles Lakers
  132. Checklist

Stickers Checklist
  1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - Lakers
  2. Larry Bird - Celtics
  3. Adrian Dantley - Jazz
  4. Alex English - Nuggets
  5. Julius Erving - 76ers
  6. Patrick Ewing - Knicks
  7. Magic Johnson - Lakers
  8. Michael Jordan - Bulls
  9. Akeem Olajuwon - Rockets
  10. Isiah Thomas - Pistons
  11. Dominique Wilkins - Hawks

The 1986 Fleer Basketball set is one of the most highly coveted sets for collectors. Why is this set so special and why do collectors go crazy over it? The answer lies in the quality of the cards, the rarity of some of the cards, and of course, the popularity of basketball superstar Michael Jordan. If you're lucky enough to own any of these cards, you might just have a small fortune on your hands!

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