Beckett OPG By the Numbers: 2011-12 Fleer Retro


By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

The auctions have ended, the numbers have been crunched. The ranges have been tabulated and the OPG has been posted.

The 2011-12 Fleer Retro basketball card set from Upper Deck has arrived on with the favorites, autographs and memories in tow. Let’s take a look inside the numbers crunched by Beckett Basketball Senior Market Analyst Rob Springs — and see even more — after the jump.

Did you miss the recent Box Busters episode? Catch it right here.

Total value: $55,158

Average price: $73.54

Highest card: Precious Metal Gems Blue #1 Michael Jordan $6,000-$10,000 … even higher for a uniform-number match.

Other notable cards:
— Precious Metal Gems Red #1 Michael Jordan $1,800-$3,000
— Precious Metal Gems Blue #4 LeBron James $2,000-$3,000
— Jambalaya #1 Michael Jordan $1,000-$1,600

Springs Says: Fleer Retro was one of the most anticipated releases in basketball in a while and it doesn’t disappoint.  Yes, the box and pack prices are high — but so are the reported sales and book values on the product.  It’s funny, I can’t remember the last product where the autographs were just the “additional hits” while the insert package stole the show across the board.  Some other notable twists – Upper Deck did five background variations for each player in the 1961-62 insert set and it looks like there are some silver and gold autograph variants in the base autograph set.  We are still working on getting information from Upper Deck on that one and will add it to the database as soon as possible.

Olds’ Opinion: We all knew that the Precious Metal Gems would generate plenty of attention … but this? It’s a bit crazy. The prices being paid for relatively attainable inserts — non-auto/mem — are crazy but because it’s a product with a high-end price tag, that will help bolster those numbers. The nostalgia from the recent past — the 1980s and the 1990s — has been slowly tapped into by the major card companies of late but a product like this just might open the floodgates for more like it to come. How many other slam dunks can there be? We’ll only know when they try …

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Basketball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


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  1. dante 23 September, 2012 at 09:34

    i need that bismack! lol. i was waiting all year for this product. i went to my lcs and they were out, even though i asked him to order a case just for me.. he tried to get more but the distributors are holding boxes..or are at least saying they are sold out.. i hate that part of the hobby. collectors like me, who dont care about ebay sales or value, get the shaft. now i would have to pay twice as much if i can find any. i was soooo excited about this product, and now all i can do is watch others open boxes. while they flip thtough the packs looking for money and not appreciating what they have. i even hear people complain about the stickers and college uniforms. but they still bought a box that i could have had, just to sell the hits on ebay. i can only hope the price will drop so i can get my hands on one. being a kid in the 80’s and 90’s, i love this product! just wish i could buy some and still pay my mortgage. good job by upperdeck! this product, college uniforms or not, is a slam dunk! i would love to stop hearing collectors complain about college uniforms. its the player, not the team uniform. if no one likes college uniforms, then why is this product so popular? things that make you go hmmm.

  2. Joshua (jpleazme805) 23 September, 2012 at 13:34

    Love the product, but can not afford any boxes/packs… I’m an average collector… I thought about pre-ordering a box or two, but didn’t have the funds…

    Waited for the release, only to be told that most vendors/dealers were sold out… three days later, the price per box was doubled… Sounds like the dealers knew that they can double their money on this product…

    sucks that the average collectors are losing out on all the awesome cards!!

    don’t like the college uniforms, but what can we do, since Panini has a monopoly on NBA cards…

  3. scott kashner 23 September, 2012 at 18:49

    hello chris, been collecting cards since 1982 and have put together most of the past basketball sets and inserts. off all the 90`s basketball inserts i think fleer by far had the coolest inserts out there. i still have a jambal set that today goes for crazy money and have 27 diff emerald gems from boxes that were busted back then. i would love to get a box of these it would be like going back in time to the height of sportcards. the college theme is something that i allways loved and collected. i still have all the starpicks and wild card stuff that are worthless but are fun to look at. thanks for reading. :)

  4. Travis 24 September, 2012 at 14:28

    Hey Guys, I just got into collecting the past few years and never had that nostalgia feeling about the retro look, but this set seemed to change my mind a bit, I started looking up older stuff and learning more about the hobby from the 90’s and earlier. I would love to be able to bust a pack or two myself, but like most people, the price is sky high! Take it easy,

  5. ddizzal 24 September, 2012 at 17:34

    if you pre-ordered when they were cheaper then you made out but if play the waiting game then thats at your own risk. I bought some at 210 because I preordered two cases. Those same cases were worth way more by the time the product came out. I made out and my dealer didnt try to screw me over like most.

  6. Janine 24 September, 2012 at 20:55

    My husband collected cards when he was younger and has most of the 80’s fleer basketball sets. In the past few years he has gotten back into collecting. Last year our 9 year old daughter started playing basketball so the two of them were putting together the Hoops set. I always see him watching you guys open cards on the computer. I saw him watching this video tonight and would love to surprise him with that box. Thanks for keeping him entertained.

  7. Tom Lindow 24 September, 2012 at 22:33


    I believe that this Fleer Retro set gives us collectors/hobbiests a shot of youth. How awesome is it to see cards you remember opening years, even decades back? I don’t know about you guys, but it looked like you were enjoying yourselves. I believe it sparked something inside of you; a memory of players from the past, new players and rookies getting the “retro” look on their card…I mean c’mon, there is a crad in the shape of an oval. Giving the legends a new look, and the future an old look….PERFECT COMBINATION!!! I am incredibly pumped for this set. I think the thoughts and ideas behind this set werse spot on. We are all big kids who look to savor the life memories we hold dear, and there is nothing better than being reminded of your childhood. That’s what this set does, and that’s why I love it.

    Oh yeah, it doesn’t hurt that the prices make it a “must-have”, especially for the collectors. I don’t exactly have the means to drop $$$ on a high end box, however I do make dumb decisions sometimes, and this might be a dumd decision i will have to make. Unless of course I somehow WOW’d you guys and I get lucky. Regardless of what happens, I’m all about this set, and I hope everyone is with me! GO RETRO BABY!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks guys,


  8. Lee Vue 25 September, 2012 at 01:55

    Interesting set to say the least. It’s as if when the Fleer products were first produced there wasn’t much interest since Topps was the more established brand. Then the hobby moved on to Upper Deck taking the card collecting crown keeping Fleer in the background. I think probably due to Michael Jordan being an Upper Deck guy at the time which made UD the brand favored by most collectors back then, but Fleer seemed to have a style the even UD couldn’t compete with until they went the game-used route. I was one of those who preferred Fleer over UD since they were mostly more affordable back then. The Metal brand and Flair brand was probably the coolest since they introduced a print style not really seen in cards of that time period.

    Very nice set. A bit of nostalgia.

  9. Kyle 25 September, 2012 at 12:49

    I might be a little late to win but this Fleer Retro is crazy cool. I love all the different inserts you can get and it has been long awaited. I was going to get me a inner box, however they are going crazy on ebay so that idea went out the window. lol Hitting a Jordan jambalaya card would be the best hit I have ever gotten.

  10. Carl Shafer 25 September, 2012 at 22:50

    These cards definetly bring me back to middle school and high school breaking boxes at the local card shop. (There was no EBay). I relied on my monthly Beckett magazine to see all the amazing inserts that people were pulling. The boxes were all more affordable and the inserts were just as exciting to find! Watching you guys open the mini packs gets me excited again, and will definetly try to find a box. I agree, that the mini box keeps these high end boxes a little bit more in reach for people like me. Over the years I have always dreamed of pulling that Jordan Autogragh, (I’m sure that I am the only one) and sets like this always get me excited for the opportunity to pull a truly unique example. Thanks for the box breaking videos, my wife will never understand why I watch them!

    Carl Shafer

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