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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

i can tell from the pixels and by having seen quite a few shops in my time

I think the Jay Bruce and Kosuke Fukudome inverted cards on eBay are bunk (Update: or at least not an error) and here's why:

First here are the two Bruces that have popped up so far:

first one:
second one:

Ok look closely at the foil on the inverted ones.

Now here's a Jay Bruce highlights card I pulled from a pack today:

Notice that the foil on my scan is dark and flat. Same with the right side up Bruce in the top scan. The other two have a more silvery look to them like actual foil. I've seen this effect before, in the Topps Sell Sheets:

There's two from a sell sheet and the second Bruce. Notice how the gradation makes it look sort of shiny? Like real foil? The official Topps sell sheet images are a little more slick, but the Bruce seems to use the same principle. But while it looks good on a sell sheet, foil doesn't scan like that. It scans flat and black. Even in a photo, it usually shows up black unless there is a light source directly hitting the foil and even then it can end up looking like this:

The two inverted Bruces don't look like photos anyway, they're too flat. The other thing I find strange is how both the cards seem to have the same highlights on the foil. Look closely at the darkest part of the foil: The shading is darkest in the RU of Bruce, at the very top of the T in Topps and the lower left corner of that T. If you ask me, the second Bruce is simply a copy of the image from the first auction.

Until I see a photo or a video of one of these buggers, I'm calling it a hoax. I'm not saying Topps wouldn't do a gimmick like this as they quite clearly have in the past, but the fact that the foil doesn't look right combined with the sheer goofiness of the error (seriously, having a reverse negative slip by is a common mistake, but inverted?? that only happens with stamps) makes me think Topps is in the clear on this one. I will likely be proven wrong (Hell, they might be printing a mess of 'em now to cash in!) but I say these aren't real.

UPDATE: Two more of 'em, same image, same gradation pattern, RU is darker than the rest of the letters, bunk bunk bunk.


I don't understand how all four cards could have that same 'shine' pattern unless it's a hoax.

Possible non-hoax reasons for the sake of argument:
  • By sheer coincidence the first guy to pull one is the only seller with a scanner or camera of any kind and the rest just used his image.
  • There is no foil on the card and the name and logo are printed on the card that way in ink.
  • I have turned into a conspiricy theorist lunatic.

Until I see an image of the card that doesn't look exactly like all the rest I say bunk. Bunk! BUUUUNK!

Another Update:

Two Kosukes, both with the same gradation (darkest on the Ks), one scanned, one appears to be a photo. One, two.

Now, if the card have no foil and the name is printed on with silver in, then yeah, the cards are legit. Topps has inserted cards into the base set at the last minute without foil before, I seem to remember a Boston Red Sox World Series victory base card from a few years ago that had no foil. HOWEVER - if that's the case than these are NOT error cards and are instead bullshit gimmick cards. Why would a corrected error originally be printed with ink instead of foil when the rest of the base set has foil for the names? Basically what I'm saying is:

The name and the logo on the inverted cards do not appear to be in foil on any of these auctions.
If the cards were not printed with foil stamping, that means they are either fakes or Topps had no time to add the foil to the cards so they used ink instead.
The more cards that show up on the market (I've seen 4 so far) makes the likelyhood of a fake inverted card conspiracy much more unikely.
If they are real and have no foil, then that means Topps inserted them as a gimmick and they are not in any way an error.

In other news there is a variation in the David Cone Ring of Honor card as well:

David Cone

David Con

This I think is a legit error. Or at least plausible enough to be a legit error.

Yet another Update: It just keeps getting weirder...

Note again the foil. The Topps logo looks like all the others. Topps got cute and inserted these at the last minute. You'd think they could at least do some long-term gimmick planning up there. Another hat tip to Holy Hitter, who's been tracking these auctions down all day.


Anonymous said...

I am suspicious just like you and I tend to agree.... Holy Hitter

Anonymous said...

Of course now there are (5) of the Bruce upside down cards on ebay....and there are (3) of the Fukudome upside down cards.....hmmm....still not sure. Holy Hitter

Chris Harris said...

If these really are bunk, how did they get the "Rookie Card" logo and the facsimile autograph right?

I'm beginning to think these are stealth variations.

handcollated said...

I hate to say it, but I think they are real.

Look at the top of the upside down version (the bottom?). The grass and dirt progression looks very natural on the Bruce. The crowd on the Fuku looks pretty natural, too. Sure it could be photoshopped, but why bother? If you wanted an easy gimmick, it'd be easier to reverse the picture instead.

dayf said...

The more of these that show up, the less the likelyhood that they are a hoax. When there were two of them, it was plausible that there was one guy trying to pull a fast one and another guy deciding to copycat him for a scam. Now that there are four, it's a lot less likely.

However, I am positive that the names on these cards are not in foil. If that is the case, they are a gimmick all the way and Chris boycotts Topps well into the new year.

Chris said...

Ok, Topps "errors" were cute at first, but this is getting old. I'll never pay the going rate for the "error" cards in the Heritage set this year...and now if they are going to introduce fake errors in every set what's the point of bothering to collect Topps at all?

Wax Heaven said...

Am I the only one who doesn't give a shit? I think it's interesting but no way I pay extra for these gimmicks.

dayf said...

You're not the only one, gimmicks have become old hat by now. We've hit a point where a gimmick is expected in a Topps product. Now it's gotten to be sort of like watching a train wreck, or the McCain campaign.

Anonymous said...

I am starting to smell some B.S.....or Topps is really, really being stupid....but I think B.S. Holy Hitter

madding said...

Obviously, the next logical step is to produce an all-gimmicks set where the only anomalies are normal, decent looking cards.

Anonymous said...

As someone who fakes/makes cards as a hobby, I wish they were fakes/hoaxes... Unfortunately, I am pretty sure it is just topps being topps. The autograph would be the toughest to photoshop and hardly worth the effort. A big waste of time...

Hmmm, sounds like something fun to do at work today!!!

Look for the inverted Chipper in your inbox soon!

I would have been/ will be sooooo pissed if they make a Tony Gwynn short printed gimmick.


Anonymous said...

The cards do not have foil. They are printed in silver ink. I pulled the Evan Longoria tonight (10/23/08). I got the card out of an unopened hobby box. The picture in the card also does not look as clear as the regular card.

WOW said...

OK folks,

I understand this post is older than dirt so I doubt any of you care or will even check at this point but these cards are "real" in the sense that they exist. They are obvious plants as the 3 with errors are numbered 1, 10 and 100.

I pulled the #1 Kosuke Fukudome and wanted to post in case you were still curious, the topps logo and name do not include any foil. They are both just plain old silver which is why they scan the way you mentioned.


dayf said...

Cool, thanks. I'm guessing they didn't use foil since they stuck 'em in at the last minute.

The Beams said...

My son opened a Topps 2008 Updates and Highlights jumbo pack tonight in front of me and it contained an Evan Longoria Rookie Card with an inverted image. There is no foil stamp like the other cards, the name and Topps are printed in silver, and the inverted image is pixelized. I was searching online to see if there were others out there, after reading this Blog it looks like there are a few of them out there. Any idea what it may be worth?

justjennie71 said...

I'm a new collector, just started a few months ago. I bought a pack of the U&H's at Fred Meyer and one of the upside down Jay Bruce Rookie Cards (UH100) was in the pack. How do you know what the value is on one of these?

robbyt said...

I realize this is old news at this point, but I just bought a blaster that had one of the upside down Fukudome cards and a google search led me to this blog. I've been opening a lot of this product lately (check out my blog to see my adventures with these, 1100 cards and counting and still don't have a complete set....) and I've pulled two of the Sarah Palin Prom Queen cards and these do not have the foil either. Was an official explanation ever provided for the errors?