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Nov. 17, 2021

Collectible Chocolate?

Collectible Chocolate?

I've got a thing for the 1989 Pacific Ken Griffey Jr. candy bar...but it's not just because I'm a fiend for chocolate.

 

In 1978 I was six years old, a fan of the Yankees and Mr.October Reggie Jackson, Reggie was the Mayor of New York...well he could've been if he wanted to be. The Reggie bar hit the scene, it contained two things I really liked chocolate and Reggie, if I had to give one of those two things up at the time...Well sorry Reggie, Chocolate won my heart. I consumed many a Reggie bars and had the cavities to substantiate that fact, special shout out to my grandma and grandfather for aiding and abetting that addiction. It was the first baseball star candy bar but I was just glad it was made with chocolate and not another flavor I liked less, I wasn't collecting cards yet..that would happen just a year later, thankfully so, otherwise I'd probably have a hundred or so Reggie wrappers strategically placed around my room competing for space against my Olivia Newton-John poster.

 

Fast forward to 1989, now 17 I am well versed in the sports card space especially baseball, I was a former card store employee and already have double digit shows and flea markets setup experience. I don't know it yet but I'm 3 years away from opening an LCS.

 

Ken Griffey Jr. was one of the best and most talked about baseball prospects in a while and as a card dealer and senior varsity baseball player I was in on him earlier than most, I was also big into buying and selling minor league sets during this time so I was keeping tabs on what prospects were dazzling and which were fizzling out.

 

In 1989 during the chase for Griffey, card manufacturer Pacific Trading Cards did something not done since my beloved Reggie bar, produced a candy bar of a baseball player, they chose one especially beloved to the Northwest area of the US where Pacific was headquartered, they chose young phenom Griffey Jr, they produced them in blue and yellow wrappers...the Mariners official team colors, neither one rarer than the other. I remember fans and collectors alike debating whether he was "chocolate ready", while he was labeled can't miss and his early performance was solid like the bar itself many felt an athlete should be "bonafide" first before getting the chocolate immortalization. For me a young entrepreneur there wasn't a show or flea market in 1989 and 1990 that I didn't have a box of candy bars out for individual sale, let's just say a made quite a few bucks on that confectionary production.I grew a fondness for the bar, and not just the financial aspect of it. It took me back to 1978 and the Reggie bar, except this time I consumed way way less.The other thing I took note of was the year of production....1989, like his produced rookie cards. I kept two in my "PC box" and forgot about them.

 

Flash forward to around 2013, reorganizing some stuff...a box falls over and two candy bars fall out, a yellow wrapper and a blue wrappered one. I had completely forgot about them. 24 years old but still very intact. What are these going for? Can you still get them? A quick check of ebay revealed way more wrappers than full bars, many wrappers had been graded and\/or encased. However there were full bars ranging from $7-$10 each.

 

Around 2016 I revisited the secondary market and I noticed a lot less fully intact bars available, many of these were obviously eaten, many were probably thrown away intentionally or accidentally, I decided I would start buying these to see how many I could acquire...Could I be the "Stale Chocolate King" of the Northeast? Slowly I added 1 or 2 bars at a clip, every once in a while I had to ask for a refund when I received wrappers and not the complete bars. The secondary market availability went down as a small price increases occured simultaneously.

 

It's 2021...do I still buy these bars intact. The answer is yes...When will I stop?? Global warming might have the final say before my wallet does.

 

Before you ask, I ate my last Griffey Jr. bar sometime in 1990