24 Facts About Fleer


Fleer Corporation, founded by Frank H Fleer in 1885, was the first company to successfully manufacture bubble gum; it remained a family-owned enterprise until 1989.

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Fleer originally developed a bubble gum formulation called Blibber-Blubber in 1906.

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Fleer became known as a maker of sports cards, starting in 1923 with the production of baseball cards.

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Fleer released American football and basketball card sets through its history.

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In 1995, Fleer acquired the trading card company SkyBox International and, over Thanksgiving vacation shuttered its Philadelphia plant .

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In late May 2005, news circulated that Fleer was suspending its trading card operations immediately.

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Just one year earlier, Upper Deck tendered an offer of $25 million, which was rejected by Fleer based on the hope that the sports card market would turn in a direction more favorable to their licenses and target collector demographic.

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Fleer company was started by Frank H Fleer in Philadelphia, 1885, as a confectionery business.

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Well established as a gum and candy company, Fleer predated many of its competitors into the business of issuing sports cards with its 1923 release of baseball cards in its "Bobs and Fruit Hearts" candy product.

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Fleer was unable to include other players because rival company Topps had signed most active baseball players to exclusive contracts.

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Fleer continued to produce baseball cards by featuring Williams with other mostly retired players in a Baseball Greats series.

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Fleer did not produce new cards the next year, but continued selling the 1961 set while it focused on signing enough players to produce a set featuring active players in 1963.

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Meanwhile, Fleer took advantage of the emergence of the American Football League in 1960 to begin producing football cards.

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Fleer produced a set for the AFL while Topps cards covered the established National Football League.

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Fleer now turned its efforts to supporting an administrative complaint filed against Topps by the Federal Trade Commission.

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In 1968, Fleer was approached by the Major League Baseball Players Association, a recently organized players' union, about obtaining a group license to produce cards.

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Fleer returned to the union in September 1974 with a proposal to sell 5-by-7-inch satin patches of players, somewhat larger than normal baseball cards.

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Topps refused, and Fleer then sued both Topps and the MLBPA to break the Topps monopoly.

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Fleer subsequently rushed to correct the error, and in its haste, released versions in which the text was scrawled over with a marker, whited out with correction fluid, and airbrushed.

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In 1984, Fleer was the only major trading card manufacturer to release a Roger Clemens card; they included the then-Boston Red Sox prospect in their 1984 Fleer Baseball Update Set.

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Fleer acquired a license deal from WWE to produce and distribute WWE trading cards from 2001 to 2004.

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Fleer was pushing into retail-chains like Rite Aid, which brought the ire of the hobby dealers in the early 1990s.

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Fleer was directly hurt by the 1994 Major League Baseball strike and prolonged lockouts in the NBA.

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In early 2005, Fleer announced that it would cease all productions of trading cards and file an Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors, which is a State Court liquidation, similar to Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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