Monday, January 12, 2009

1977 Fleer NFL Team Action Football Cards and Stickers

1977 was the first year for the Fleer NFL Team Action series to be issued as cards instead of stickers, as had been the case in 1976. Unlike the 1976 set however, the 1977 set included helmet and logo stickers (or "Hi-Gloss Patches" as they are called) which would become a trademark of the set for the next 12 years:

The stickers are smaller than a standard card, measuring 2 3/8 x 2 3/4. The backs of the stickers have an illustration showing how to peel the sticker (all backs have the exact same illustration showing a Jets helmet):

Since there are 2 stickers (helmet and logo) for each of the 28 teams in the league at the time, a full set consists of 56 stickers. However, a complete master set consists of 65 stickers as there are 9 stickers that can be found with 2 different borders - either red, yellow or green and blue. The 9 "blue border" variations are the Falcons helmet, Colts helmet, Bears helmet, Rams logo, Patriots helmet, Jets logo, Raiders logo, Eagles helmet, Steelers logo.

A few other teams have a blue border as well, but they are not variations as they do not have a corresponding red/yellow/green border sticker.

The 9 blue border variations listed above are noticeably harder to find. I've never seen a full uncut sheet of these stickers, but I'm guessing these blue bordered variations must be single prints which is what accounts for them being less common.

Here is a look at the complete sticker set, including the border variations:

Notice the Seahawks also have a border variation. This is due to the fact that there is no "logo" sticker for the Seahawks - Fleer simply used the helmet a second time instead of a logo.

This sticker design would be used again in 1978, 1979 and 1980. The way to distinguish the year the sticker was produced is to look at the backs. I'll be covering 1978 - 1980 and the back differences in future posts.

Turning to the cards, Fleer once again (like they did in the 1976 set) produced a set featuring 1 card showcasing each team's offense and another card for their defense. The set also included a recap of all previous Super Bowls, which meant the set grew by 1 card over the previous year from 66 to 67 since the 1977 set now included Super Bowl XI.

Here is the complete set of Team Action cards (see if you can find Joe Namath and 2 Walter Paytons!):

The backs of the cards once again described the action on the front:

Current players are not mentioned on the cards given Fleer did not have an agreement with the NFL Players Association (but coaches are a different story).

Here is a copy of the wrapper:

And here is the box:

Its interesting to note looking at the wrapper and the box that the stickers (or "Hi-Gloss Patches" as they are called) seem to be the main selling point, with the cards seemingly included as the insert as they are listed "Plus...Teams-in-Action Trading Cards".


Scott said...

Another great post. I love the action cards. It was a man's game back then. Nice shot of Joe Willie as well.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking at some 1979 Fleer Football Team stickers and I have the Philadelphia Eagles logo sticker both with a green border and a blue border. Is this considered another variation? This is not the helmet sticker but the logo sticker.

Thanks, Rafael.

Fleerfan said...


Would you be able to send a picture of the green bordered Eagles logo sticker? I've never seen the logo with a green border. Its never been listed as a variation, so I'd definitely like to see it if you could send a picture.

art said...

My sincerest thanks to you for the info,regarding thee 1977 action cards i recently was blessed by a friend who after 25 plus years of collecting called it a day,and sold me his lifes collection.which included Super Bowl lX card 65,card no.41 and card no.60 This sense of sharing knowledge for the sake of elightment or enjoyment is what the Spirit of America is all about,once again Thank You,friend.ARTHUR D. DARKES