The ultra popular 1986-87 Fleer basketball set has some of the greatest players of all time in it, like Larry Bird and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but most collectors are primarily after Michael Jordan’s rookie card. Jordan was famous for his highlight dunks, ten NBA scoring titles, six NBA championships, a couple of Olympic gold medals and even some minor league baseball. It was a season that saw Jordan average a remarkable 37.1 points per game.
Jordan’s rookie card, card #57, is not only a card that many want but is also one that has been counterfeited. Many collectors will look to acquire a graded Jordan rookie card, so they have more assurance that they own the real card.
The set goes in alphabetical order, so Abdul-Jabbar is card #1 and at #131 is James Worthy’s rookie card. Card #132 is the checklist. Fleer would use alphabetical order for their next two NBA sets too, before switching to listing the teams in alphabetical order which would mean Atlanta’s players would be first.
Since this was the first mainstream basketball card set issued since 1981-82, there are ‘rookie cards’ of several current Hall of Famers included, which also makes the set popular.
Beyond MJ: 1986-87 Fleer Basketball Stars
Fans of the 1992 US Olympic Dream Team can also find rookie cards of Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, Chris Mullin, Karl Malone and Clyde Drexler in the 1986-87 Fleer set. Followers of Bad Boys of the Detroit Pistons can collect rookie cards of Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars and Mark Aguirre, although he was a Dallas Maverick at the time. There are rookie cards of famous dunkers like Dominique Wilkins, Larry Nance and Spud Webb.
Complete sets of 1986-87 Fleer basketball are readily available, with and without the Jordan card and the value depends on the grade of the overall set as well as the key cards. Expect to pay $2,500 and up if the Jordan is highly graded and the remainder of the set in nm/mt. To avoid counterfeits, it’s always best to buy a set that includes a graded, authenticated Jordan.
1986-87 Fleer Sticker Set
Collectors always want more cards of the best players, and in 1986-87 Fleer that happened with the insert stickers. While some may have peeled the stickers when the cards were first released, most are still in place and can be considered NBA cards. The backs of the stickers also have a lot of written information about the players, which complements the stats and other player data on the regular cards. Jordan, Bird, Magic and other stars are among the eleven stickers.
Modern Shout Out
As the original 1986-87 Fleer cards have a now famous design, it was used again in later years. The 1996-97 Fleer Decade of Excellence insert set has twenty cards, including card #4 which is Jordan. The cards are similar to the ones from a decade earlier, but have writing on the front to indicate they are from the Decade of Excellence set. A large insert set, of 132 total cards is the Fleer 1986-87 20th Anniversary set issued several years ago. The Fleer logo on the front of the cards is different, as is the player selection. There is a Jordan card, #57, but also cards of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Yao Ming and other players who were in the NBA at that time.
Check out original 1986-87 Fleer basketball sets and single cards for sale on eBay below.