Thursday, January 29, 2009

1979 Fleer NFL Team Action Sticker Puzzle Uncut Sheet

To show what the 1979 puzzle on the back of the Fleer Team Action stickers looks like, its hard to beat an uncut sheet:


(Thanks to Fleer Sticker Project contributor Steve for this picture as well as the next one that follows)

Here is a look at the other side with the stickers:


As this uncut puzzle sheet occasionally comes up for auction, I have seen it with other stickers on the back as well:



I'm not sure how many of these puzzles would constitute a full uncut sheet. Given that these 3 partial sheets comprise 49 out of the 65 possible stickers, I'm guessing that there would be one more partial sheet with the remaining 16 stickers, so perhaps a full uncut sheet consisted of 4 complete puzzles.

In taking a look at the 16 remaining stickers that are not represented in the pictures above, a pattern appears. 9 of the remaining stickers have yellow borders (Colts Helmet, Browns Helmet, Broncos Helmet, Rams Helmet, Vikings Helmet, Saints Helmet, Giants Helmet, Raiders Helmet, and Seahawks Helmet) and 6 have green borders (Bengals Helmet, Eagles Helmet, Steelers Helmet, Chargers Helmet, 49ers Helmet, Buccaneers Helmet). This pattern matches the sheet directly above with the first 3 columns having 9 yellow and 6 green bordered stickers which then repeat themselves as you go across the sheet.

The one sticker unaccounted for is the blue bordered Falcons Helmet. Perhaps the sheet that I have not yet found a picture of has one column that has 2 blue bordered stickers, one of which is the Falcons, and another which is simply an extra printing of one of the other blue bordered stickers.

One of the interesting things about looking at these sheets is that they help explain why there are the 9 less common blue border variations. 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.

As you can see in the first sheet, the blue bordered Jets, Rams, Raiders and Steelers only appear once while the other stickers on the sheet appear 2 or 3 times. The same is true on the next sheet, where the Colts, Eagles, Bears, and Patriots only appear once.

I've always wondered why those blue border variations were harder to track down, and now its clear why.

The other thing that this helps explain is why most stickers can be found with a couple of different puzzle back variations. Since most of the stickers are repeated 2 or 3 times times on these sheets, we can see why a given sticker may have 2 or 3 different puzzle back variations.

Just like we saw with the 1979 Fleer Grand Slam Baseball Sticker Uncut Puzzle

it appears that Fleer either made these available at some point (since they show up for auction from time to time and are both from 1979), or some one from Fleer or the company that did the printing for Fleer had some of these puzzles cut from the sheets and over time they have made their way into the hobby.

Regardless of how they've come about, its nice to have uncut versions of these 1979 puzzles. Now if I could only find some 1978 uncut puzzles....

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