31 October 2010

1993 Topps / R&N China porcelain baseball cards

     In the very early 1990s, R&N China acquired a license with Topps to produce porcelain versions of many of Topps' iconic cards from the previous 50 years.  These were marketed by The Hamilton Collection, makers of endless "collectible" nick-nacks as "Baseball's Dream Team".

     They ran a prospective enthusiast $19.50 per card (+ $1.50 shipping & handling) each month, and included the nifty wooden wall display.  Today, the most common cards can be picked up on eBay for $10 or less even though many sellers list them for more.  I've yet to see any of the porcelain cards sell for more than $15.

     The original Dream Team collection included reproductions (basically a printed decal of a baseball card image on the "World's Thinnest Porcelain", front & back) of the following:

1952 Topps Mickey Mantle
1952 Topps Jackie Robinson
1952 Topps Willie Mays
1952 Topps Duke Snider
1952 Topps Yogi Berra
1953 Topps Satchel Paige
1953 Topps Whitey Ford
1954 Topps Ernie Banks
1954 Topps Gil Hodges
1957 Topps Brooks Robinson
1958 Topps Roberto Clemente
1959 Topps Casey Stengel

     Once has to assume this offering was at least moderately successful (as was pretty much anything related to baseball cards in 1990), as Hamilton went on to produce a 12-card sets of Nolan Ryan (1993) and Mickey Mantle (1995), and at some point there was also a series of Topps rookie cards of key players, to include this Dave Winfield that I recently pulled the trigger on:


       The above card seems to have been part of the Danbury Mint's "Tomorrow Hall of Famers" collection, which consisted of the following:

1974 Topps Dave Winfield
1976 Topps Dennis Eckersley
1979 Topps Ozzie Smith
1980 Topps Rickey Henderson
1982 Topps Traded Cal Ripken, Jr.
1983 Topps Ryne Sandberg
1985 Topps Kirby Puckett
1985 Topps Roger Clemens
1986 Topps Traded Barry Bonds
1989 Topps Traded Ken Griffey, Jr. 
1990 Topps Frank Thomas
1993 Topps Traded Mike Piazza

      There was another set released as "The Heirloom Collection" that featured the following cards:

1974 Topps Mike Schmidt
1984 Topps Traded Dwight Gooden
1985 Topps Orel Hershiser
1986 Topps Traded Jose Canseco
1986 Topps Traded Bo Jackson
1989 Topps Carlton Fisk

       There were later sets from R&N China that came in wooden cases (Griffey's Donruss, Fleer, Upper Deck and Topps rookie cards, various cards of Harmon Killebrew and Willie Mays, and even a complete run of Nolan Ryan's Topps cards from 1968-1994, as well as the 1990 Topps highlight cards that started the set that year).  The Danbury Mint also distributed sets of Ted Williams (18 cards) and Cal Ripken, Jr. (16 cards).

     According to the 2003 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards, the entire 1993 Topps set was reproduced in porcelain versions with pricing in 2003 listed as commons for $3 and stars at 15x their base set value.  The SCBC had the following to say:
     Each card in Topps' 825-card set for 1993 was reproduced in a porcelain version.  The thin, round-cornered porcelain cards are in the same size as the regular cards and exactly reproduce both front and back.  Each card was sold shrinkwrapped on a 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" cardboard backing with a wooden display stand and numbered certificate of authenticity.  The first five cards in the set, and every card with a number divisible by five, were produced in an edition of 5,000; all other cards were issued in an edition of 1,000.
     I've posted queries here and there trying to ascertain the validity of that entry, and I find my self agreeing with those who have thought it highly doubtful that R&N China actually produced every card.  I can find no evidence of any of the prospect, manager or checklist cards, and precious few commons.  I've decided to compile a checklist here of every card I've actually seen on the web in the hopes that it helps someone track down a card they might not have known about for their player collection.  I'll update this post as I find more.  So far I've found evidence of 102 of 825.

1993 Topps/R&N China

1 Robin Yount
3 Ryne Sandberg
4 Roger Clemens
5 Tony Gwynn
10 Will Clark
11 Eric Karros
17 Dave Hollins
18 Terry Steinbach
32 Don Mattingly
40 Ozzie Smith
41 Alex Fernandez
47 Bob Scanlan
52 Bobby Bonilla
58 Jose Melendez
66 John Burkett
76 Kevin Appier
80 Cecil Fielder
87 Kevin Reimer
93 Sandy Alomar, Jr.
98 Derek Jeter #1 Draft Pick
100 Mark McGwire
116 Mark Lemke
138 Joe Oliver
140 Gary Sheffield
150 Frank Thomas
154 Wes Chamberlain
156 Sammy Sosa
163 Tim Wakefield
168 Kevin Maas
170 David Justice
178 Jeff Fassero
179 Ken Griffey, Jr.
180 Darren Daulton
183 Greg Maddux
200 Kirby Puckett
211 Doug Dascenzo
220 Benny Santiago
227 Jeff Bagwell
230 Carlton Fisk
237 Jose Vizcaino
265 Andre Dawson
275 Andy Van Slyke
281 Butch Henry
291 Tommy Greene
300 Cal Ripken, Jr.
304 Melido Perez
311 Jay Howell
319 Paul Assenmacher
322 Pat Borders
340 John Kruk
344 Jack McDowell
350 Joe Carter
362 Luis Gonzalez
371 Mariano Duncan
392 Travis Fryman
393 Ron Gant
397 George Brett
399 Daryl Boston
400 Bo Jackson
404 Barry Larkin / Travis Fryman AS
406 Larry Walker / Kirby Puckett AS
407 Barry Bonds / Joe Carter AS
412 Jamie McAndrew
421 Curt Schilling
426 Nigel Wilson
439 Bryan Harvey
440 Ruben Sierra
447 Keith Shepherd
461 Steve Reed
463 Scott Aldred
473 Dave Henderson
478 Jessie Hollins
480 Pat Listach
486 Eric Wedge
500 Jose Canseco
522 Shane Reynolds
530 Sterling Hitchcock
565 Jerald Clark
572 Trevor Hoffman
591 Alex Cole
595 Shawon Dunston
606 J Owens
615 Steve Avery
630 Mark Grace
635 Albert Belle
640 Doc Gooden
652 Dave West
676 Rudy Seanez
680 Craig Biggio
691 Jim Tatum
700 Nolan Ryan
719 Butch Henry
721 Rick Wilkins
722 Chuck Carr
740 Len Dykstra
741 Mike Devereaux
750 Rickey Henderson
759 Charlie Hayes
760 Luis Polonia
789 Jeff Conine
794 Andy Ashby
795 Deion Sanders

1993 Topps Traded/R&N China
1T Barry Bonds
24T Mike Piazza
31T Andres Galarraga
44T Benny Santiago
48T Paul Molitor
54T Greg Maddux

     There were also porcelain magnets produced, in a smaller size and square configuration.
So far, I've seen these:

1993 Topps/R&N China Magnets

2 Barry Bonds
26 Skeeter Barnes
30 Fred McGriff
34 Juan Gonzalez
35 John Smoltz
40 Ozzie Smith
75 Juan Guzman
107 John Kiely
135 Mickey Tettleton
154 Wes Chamberlain
179 Ken Griffey Jr.
240 John Olerud
280 Tom Glavine
298 Scott Livingston
300 Cal Ripken, Jr.
306 Damon Berryhill
333 Otis Nixon
353 Buddy Groom
392 Travis Fryman
700 Nolan Ryan
795 Deion Sanders

Other magnets I've seen include (but are not limited to):

1978 Topps Dale Murphy
1980 Topps Rickey Henderson
1983 Topps Ryne Sandberg
1984 Topps Traded Darryl Strawberry
1984 Topps Traded Dwight Gooden
1986 Topps Traded Bo Jackson
1989 Topps Mark Grace
1989 Topps Nolan Ryan

This ebay seller has a lot of both the cards and the magnets: http://myworld.ebay.com/1crybaby/.  His listing for a 1998 Topps Chan Ho Park is the most recent porcelain card I've found evidence of so far.

A few other collectors are also chasing down the porcelain cards of their interests:

Rickey Henderson Collectibles
Porcelain 1980 Topps Rookie Card

Collecting The Cubs
Porcelain Topps Cards made by R&N China

23 comments:

  1. I don't see Alan Trammell on your list. I have a porcelain Topps card of him. Can you tell me if it has value, or are you saying these are basically worthless. This one has a signature

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not saying they are worthless, just that there is very little demand. As far as the 1993 cards (is your Trammell from the 1993 set?) almost no one even knows they exist, hence even less potential demand to drive up prices. Autographed, it would probably be worth whatever the going rate is for a Trammel auto.

      Delete
    2. I AM SO VERY NEW TO THIS. My father has this baseball collection and I have no idea the values or what to do with it, so I am trying to learn, lol.
      As for the card, I have the original box that says 1992 MLBPA on the front of the box. The card on the front is signed, and on the back of the card it says limited edition card #45/79. So I am going to say that it must be part of the series you were discussing. And on the front left bottom side it does say R&N China Co. "Sports Nostalgia" Carrollton, Ohio.

      Delete
    3. I have the Bo Jackson plate in box with cirt. Is it worth anything?

      Delete
    4. Unless you can find a rabid Bo Jackson collector, you're probably not looking at anything more than $20-25. Most of the plates listed on eBay just don't sell, but then a lot of times, certain plates show up very rarely and can bring a decent price. If you were to list it on eBay, I'd probably but a Buy-It-Now of $30 or Best Offer and see what bites you get.

      Delete
  2. I actually have the complete set from Danbury Mint called "Tomorrow's Hall of Famer's" including: A titled wall plaque which has a specific place for each player of the set. All 12 of the R & N China porcelain Topps rookie baseball player cards. And Certificate of Authenticity with the personalized serial number for the cards in this individual set.

    The cards in this set did not come as a group. You were given the option of which players you wanted to order. Accordingly, it is rare to find complete sets of the "Tomorrow's Hall of Famers" porcelain cards because most people only order the more common players and being a limited production set at the time, there just aren't that many complete collections. I just so happened to order all of the player cards to complete this set.

    ReplyDelete
  3. does anyone want to buy my set? My Dad paid $495 for Future Hall of Fame Set with Box in 1995? will sell for same price. I have other jems from thios company as well

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a complete set as well in the wooden box...all of my cards are numbered XXX of 1000, so basically if you were to sell one card, your whole set is screwed....My receipt is still in the box and I paid $515.00 for it.
      Based on comments and if these cards are selling for $15.00 on ebay, I would put a value of each card at $30.00 each, but once you factor in the cards being of the same number for the set, they could worth as much as $40.00 per card....

      Delete
    2. "selling on eBay" would probably be more correctly stated as "listed on eBay". The individual cards typically sell fur under $10, based on the cards sold in the last couple of months.

      Delete
  4. Hello, I have a 1993 porcelain card of Sid Bream. I did not see that one on your list.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have a whole set of the Nolan Ryan cards from 1993 with wooden baseball diamond for display
    not really wanting to sell . Just are they worth leaving to my one of my grandchildren. T. B.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They won't be putting any of the grandkids through college or anything, but the do make a nice conversation piece. The career sets of Ryan, Mantle, Mays and Ripken are probably the most common of those sets to find outside the original Dream Team set.

      Delete
  6. I HAVE SOME NOLAN RYAN PORCELAIN BLIMITED EDITION CARDS AND CERTIFICATES OF AUTHENTICITY, DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY CAME IN SET OR WHAT THEY ARE WORTH?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Several players had sets of porcelain cards issued for all the years they played. So Nolan Ryan has a card for every year base Topps card from 1968-1994. They are probably worth less now than their original order price. A couple of lots of the first 12 cards in the series recently sold on eBay for less than $30. Individual cards have sold for anywhere from $0.99 to $18. Most individual cards seem to got for less than $7.

      Delete
  7. I have the #482 Ricky Henderson card

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have the Ted Williams porcelain baseball card collection -- 18 cards the Danbury Mint collection and would like an estimate of this collection

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since February 2015, one complete Ted Williams porcelain card set sold for just about $100, and two others have sold for under $75

      As with almost all of these types of sets, they sell for far less than they originally retailed for unless you have any of the cards that were autographed.

      Delete
    2. All three of those sales were on eBay. Meant to say that in my response.

      Delete
  9. Quite a few more magnets are up on ebay right now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm planning to start a new series of posts to break this one up and go more in-depth. I'd mainly only been tracking the 1993 Topps reprint set, but so many people on various trading card message boards seem to associate me with porcelain cards that I'm just going to go with it and cover as much as I can.

      Delete
  10. Jason -- I just got a 1979 Paul Molitor porcelain card in a blind trade that Brian from the Highly Subjective & Completely Arbitrary blog sent my way. I can send you scans if you'd like. Just e-mail me (off dot hiatus dot baseball at gmail) and let me know if you'd like it, since, as you said a couple of weeks ago, you're now "Mr. Porcelain God."

    Not that one. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I just bought a commerative 21 card porcelain of Ted Williams with wooden box. Cannot find anything about them. Have a paper with set authenticity from Collectors Resources, Inc. Would like to know value. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If there are no autographed cards in the set, then it is probably worth about what you paid for it.

      Delete