Peel Here #79, the only variation on baseball where the managers don’t threaten the umpires, because they’re probably vampires!

By Shawn Robare

So how is everyone digging this years Halloween blogfest across the internets?  I know I sure am.  Seems like I’m bending the space/time continuum to do it, but I’m finding the time to both post and read a good bit of everyone else’s posts as well.  Here’s to keeping up that pace (and since I’m playing with astrophysics, I’m going to take a crack at that sticky time travel issue that everyone seems to think is improbable…)

For today’s countdown post I’m going to do my last Halloween themed Peel Here column for the foreseeable future (as I’m running out of sticker fodder to post in general, and haven’t found all that much in the Halloween-y vein to begin with.)  It will be a beaut though as it’s a huge set of Donruss baseball/monster-themed sticker cards from 1988 called Awesome! All*Stars…

The copy of the set that I procured is actually from the Canadian subsidiary of Donruss, Leaf (which I hated while collecting Baseball Cards growing up since they seemed like counterfeit cards, no offense to my brethren from the great white north intended.)  The set consists of 98 different sticker cards and 1 checklist card, which one of the biggest sticker card sets I’ve seen (much more in line with the other Donruss sets, the CHiPs and Zero Heroes sticker cards I talked about awhile ago.)  For one thing, the whole set is made up of stickers instead of just having a smaller subset, but it’s still over twice as large as anything that Topps has issued since the early 70s (even Garbage Pail Kids sets typically only contain 40 or so unique stickers.) 

Not only that but I have a theory that these are also all drawn/painted by the same artist, and I think I’ve even pin pointed his name, B.K. Taylor.  Actually it was sort of a bit of kismet figuring this out as I have another separate item that I’m going to take about this month, a Monster joke book published in the late 80s that contains illustrations eerily similar to the work in this set (as well as having some baseball themed monsters that are pretty damn close to one of the characters in the set.)  When I was researching him online I also stumbled upon a set of cards I’m positive he did called Odd Rods (in another odd coincidental bit of kismet, a reader of Branded asked me to help him identify this sticker card set this past month!)  You can see more of Mr. Taylor’s artwork here.  I’m a pretty big fan of this style of goofy monster, a descendant of Big Daddy Ed Roth’s Rat Fink

I was kind of excited while flipping through this set for the first time.  These are set up in that G.P.K.-esque tradition of taking a name and combining it with an attribute to give the characters a little more personality, and for the first time that I can remember there was not only a “Shawn” card, but it was spelled like my name (and not like apparently every other Sean or Shaun out there.) Of course, this rare Shawn, is also Shawn the Sissy, a nail biting girly monster in a tutu (as you can see in the upper left below.)  You can probably imagine my football-pulled-out-from-under-Charlie Brown-like scream of “AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHH” when I came upon it.  Sheesh.

The card backs were split two ways, with half of the set getting short little punny bios, and the other containing puzzle pieces to make a giant poster…

Seriously, this set has a pretty big card back poster (at 28 cards, four rows of seven cards), though it’s not quite as big as the CHiPs card back poster (which contained 66 card backs.)

I was surprised that with a set this big there wasn’t a ton of repeated jokes, though there was one instance that was pretty glaring in terms of repeating the funny…

All in all I’m in love with these stickers and I kind of lament that I was “out of” sticker collecting by that point or I’d probably have been introduced to it decades earlier.

So the rough plan for this month is to only post on weekdays, but I’m still toying with the idea of doing some spooky movie commentary on the weekends.  We’ll see how that goes, or in what form it might take…

  • Shawn Robare

    Justin – Cool! Yeah, with all the variants these card sets can get huge. I’ve had the same issue with buying Garbage Pail Kids. that damn gum and sealing wax is so annoying. Granted, most of these cards weren’t made to last, especially not in the package, but it’s still annoying when trying to pick up packs in the hopes of filling holes in sets. Such a crap shoot. It also reminds me that Topps/Donruss/Leaf was all about selling gum, first and foremost, back in the day and the stickers/cards were just a bonus…

  • Justin

    I just busted 4 hobby boxes of 1988 Leaf Awesome All Stars (*Huge Childhood memories)and thought I’d leave the specifics of the set. Cards 1-72 are the base set (with checklist) and cards 73-99 are poster backs that are numbered on the front of the card. (Thus 1-99 set) There is also a 28 card variant poster set from the first 72 cards (alternate backs). They are #14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, & 53 This makes the true master set a total of 127 cards. There are also 3 different wrappers (blue, red, & yellow) ***Warning*** If you decide to open a box of these cards then expect to throw the top card away (the buble gum absorbs moisture and renders the card worthless). Also the bottom card will have wax residue from the pack sealing process. Those cards may or maynot be usable. Basically for my set, out of a 5 card pack, I threw out the top and bottom card. I’m glad to be getting back into the 80’s sticker sets!!!!!!

  • Shawn Robare

    Steve – Yup, there’s even a second series that’s also about 90 or so cards. I love that B.K. Taylor was so productive on these sets since his art is so great…

  • Steve Wittington

    Wow, no idea there were so many… I have 20 or so laying around here somewhere from the 70’s

  • Shawn Robare

    M – Yeah, the logo is botched on all the packaging as well as the cardback poster. It is supposed to read ALLstars, but the middle “l” is lowercase for some weird reason…

  • M

    . . . it appears the cards are called Awesome “Ail”Stars as per the packaging, contrary to what is written in articles and on Wikipedia.

  • KrazyKards

    I am looking to complete my set….. anyone have Extra’s????!! B. Kacz 216 288-7597

  • Julie Bond

    Thanks Shawn! I appreciate your help : ) I’m going to put them up on ebay and see what happens. Thanks again!

  • Shawn Robare

    Hey Julie – My guess is that these might be a Canadian variation of the set, but I’m not positive. Though they’re probably a bit rarer than their counterparts, these sticker sets never got enough exposure to be in high demand. I’m guessing they’re probably worth about $15-20 for a set (the variation you have), but you’d probably have to seek out someone specifically interested in the variation. Hope that helps!

  • Julie Bond

    I have a bunch of these monster baseball stickers but their name and description “Shecky the Shortstop” is on the back not the front. Any idea what they are worth? I couldn’t find any on Ebay to compare. THX!

  • Belle Dee

    Those are cool. How ’bout that Ugly Ursula? Woo-wee!

  • John Rozum

    I had a set of very similar looking card stickers from the 70s. I keep wondering if that style of art will ever really come back in favor.

  • Devlin Thompson

    Yes, those are B.K.Taylor art, and they’re reprints of the ones Mr.Rozum recalls from the ’70s.

  • Todd

    Cool, I have a card in there – Todd the Tooth. Some of my favs are Handy Harold, Shane the Shortstop, Evil Eye Eric and of course Ugly Ursula!

  • Anne

    do you know how many remakes of these cards there are because i have 88 cards but they don’t have the same names as the ones on your site?

  • John Manley

    I have a cimplete set and enough to make poster are there or will there ever be any value other than sentimental

  • Michael Stearns

    I’m so excited to see a gallery of these online! I had quite a few when I was a kid, though I never collected near all of them. Thanks so much for putting them up!

  • Jeamby

    Increible, el tipo de ilustraci

  • Robert Tmn

    Agree with you….I remember those when I was a very young kid the names were on the back….Great, Great memories, finally I found this page….!!! :)

  • Bra Ro Di

    Was going thru cards and ran across “Randy the Reader” & “Harry the Hypnotist” along with an original garbage pail kids – “SMELLIN’ HELEN” all mixed in with my others . Hoping I find more as I go thru the rest.
    What kind of value do these cards have ?

    • Nice finds! Honestly, as individual cards these aren’t worth much. Even complete sets of the Awesome All Stars only command about $10. All the same, they’re cool finds. Hope you find some more in those cards…