The 1987 Topps Kmart baseball card set is a unique and valuable subset of the standard 1987 Topps baseball card release due to its limited print run and distribution exclusively through the Kmart retail chain. The 87 Topps Kmart set contains the same 660 total cards as the flagship 1987 Topps issue but feature red borders and backs instead of the standard gray.

While the standard ‘87 Topps cards can be regularly found in penny boxes and dollar bins at card shows to this day due to their massive print run, the 1987 Topps Kmart cards were only available at Kmart stores from 1987 through early 1988 in packs, boxes and factory sets before being pulled from shelves. This limited availability combined with strong collector demand has resulted in the 87 Topps Kmart set appreciating in value significantly more than the base issue over the past 30+ years.

Some key factors that attribute to the increased rarity and higher values of 1987 Topps Kmart baseball cards compared to the standard release include:

Limited Distribution: The 87 Topps Kmart cards were exclusively distributed through Kmart stores and were not available through hobby shops, newsstands or other retail outlets like the base set. This greatly restricted their availability from the start.


Short Print Window: Kmart only carried the 87 Topps Kmart cards for around a year before discontinuing them. By early 1988 they were pulled completely off shelves compared to the base 87 Topps issue being widely available for years after.

Smaller Print Run: Due to the limited retail distribution through just Kmart, the 1987 Topps Kmart print run is estimated to be around 10% of the standard 87 Topps production figures. Some reports suggest only 1/3 as many boxes were produced.

Scarcity Drives Prices: With far fewer 1987 Topps Kmart cards in existence today than the base issue due to the smaller initial run combined with three decades for natural loss, what remains commands premium prices due to rarity.

Appeal To Set Collectors: Serious vintage set collectors seek out the 1987 Topps Kmart cards to check off in their registries knowing how difficult a complete set can be to acquire. This buyer demand inflates prices.

Of course, when discussing the monetary value of any vintage baseball card issue, condition is paramount. Even among the 1987 Topps Kmart cards, unchecked low grade examples can still be acquired relatively inexpensively while high grade specimens command huge premiums due to their immense scarcity at the true mint state level after 35+ years.


Taking a look at some key individual 1987 Topps Kmart baseball card prices at various grades to demonstrate this condition premium:

A PSA 8 Ryne Sandberg would sell for $50-75 while a PSA 9 of the same card approaches $400-500 due to the rarity of super high grades.

A Nominal PSA 6 Ozzie Smith sells under $50 but a pristine PSA 10 could bring over $1500 at auction for being one of the finest known.

An Ex-Mt Tom Seaver in a PSA 8 would go for around $125 but a true mint PSA 9 could cost a collector well over $1,000.

Conversely, most common players like Bob Horner or Gary Pettis can still be acquired for under $10 even in high grades due to their lack of star power.

When examining 87 Topps Kmart sets as a whole, prices are all over the board based on completeness and condition:


A very low grade sawdust quality set might bring under $100 total while a fair to good but missing key RCs or stars could sell for $300-500.

A mid-grade approximately 90% complete example could command $800-1200 range depending on centering and corners across the pile.

Near-complete PSA/BGS 8+ sets have sold at major auctions upwards of $3,000-5,000 before when found.

The elusive perfect PSA 10 1987 Topps Kmart set has never been assembled publicly with the highest known grade of any in existence a PSA 9. Such an undisputed condition census set could plausibly earn well into the five figures or higher.

As is the case with all vintage sports cards, premium pieces and condition is key when valuing 1987 Topps Kmart baseball cards. While not quite as iconic as flagship issues like ‘52 Topps or ‘69 Topps, the ‘87 Kmart set has developed a definite cult following among collectors due to its exclusive, limited original distribution through Kmart resulting in much lower surviving population levels than standard 87 Topps which accounts for its increased collectible significance and values.

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