Most Collectible Magic Johnson Cards

Magic Johnson is one of the best basketball players of all time and one of the most recognizable athletes of the 20th century. All types of Magic Johnson basketball cards and memorabilia are widely popular among both avid and casual sports fans.

The recent surge in the sports card market has only enhanced the already significant value and popularity that his cards generate on the open market. Below are the 12 most collectible Magic Johnson basketball cards as well as a few extra non-card memorabilia items.

12. 1988-1989 Fleer, Card #67

Approximate PSA 10 Value – $500

Approximate PSA 9 Value – $40

1988 Fleer #67 Magic Johnson

Fleer is the king of late 80s and early 90s basketball cards. And their #67 1988-1989 Magic Johnson card is a good addition to any memorabilia collection. Although not nearly as valuable as the other cards on the list. Its attractive design and colorful background make it a desirable card for both casual and hard-core collectors.

It features Magic Johnson coming off his 2nd consecutive title with the Lakers during the 1987-1988 season, defeating the Detroit Pistons in a hard-fought 7-game series.

It marked his 5 and final championship with the Lakers, although he would make 2 more trips to the finals during the 1988-1989 and 1990-1991 seasons. 

11. 1995-1996 Topps Finest (Refractor), Card #252

Approximate PSA 10 Value – $1500

Approximate PSA 9 Value – $200

1995 Topps Finest Refractor #252

It simply wouldn’t be a top sports card list without another Topps Finest Refractor card with the 1995-1996 #252 version featuring Magic Johnson in a beautiful golden hologram background.

This card commemorates Johnson’s return to the NBA during the 1995-1996 season after a four-year absence due to his HIV diagnosis.

Although often overlooked by most basketball fans, Johnson had a successful run with the Lakers during his brief comeback, averaging 14.6 PPG, 6.9 APG, and 5.7 RPG in 32 regular season games with the team. 

10. 1987-1988 Fleer, Card #56

Approximate PSA 10 Value – $2,000

Approximate PSA 9 Value – $150

1987 Fleer #56

Another addition to the long lineup of Magic Johnson Fleer cards, the 1987-1988 #56 presents a relatively drab look compared to many of the other card designs Fleer implemented during that era.

The card itself features gray and white borders with a picture of Johnson backing down a defender on offense. Despite its shortcomings in appearance, it still has a lot of value since it is just the 2nd year Johnson was featured by Fleer. He was coming off his best season as a pro in an already legendary career, averaging a career-high 23.9 PPG, while also leading the league in assists.

His incredibly high level of play that season earned him his first regular season MVP award. 

9. 1981-1982 Topps Super Action, Card #109

Approximate PSA 10 Value – $4,500

Approximate PSA 9 Value – $250

1981 Topps Super Action #109

The 1981-1982 series would end up being the last Topps produced for the NBA for a decade as it opted to not renew its licensing agreement with the league.

Topps would include a special Super Action series apart from the base selection of players, featuring prominent stars from around the league. The #109 Magic Johnson Super Action card features a great photo of Johnson driving for a layup against the Washington Bullets, with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar watching in the background.

Instead of showing regular season stats, like the base card, the Super Action card listed Johnson’s playoff stats from his first 2 seasons in the NBA, along with his Michigan State collegiate stats. 

8. 1986-1987 Fleer, Card #53

Approximate PSA 10 Value – $5,000

Approximate PSA 9 Value – $425

1986 Fleer #53

The inaugural 1986-1987 Fleer basketball set is probably the most famous in history. Although it is known for featuring several prominent rookie cards, including Michael Jordan, many of the star veteran players in this set are also very desirable to collectors.

The #53 Magic Johnson card is a beautiful display of art, showcasing a brilliantly colored picture of Magic Johnson driving for a layout against Kevin McHale and the Boston Celtics. Enhancing the presentability of the card is the beautiful red, white, and blue border, the hallmark of the 1986-1987 Fleer series. 

7. 1993-1994 Skybox NBA Hoops Magic & Bird Autograph, Card #MB1

Approximate PSA 10 Value – $5,000

Approximate PSA 9 Value – $600

1993 NBA Hoops #MB1

One of the most underrated and undervalued Magic Johnson cards is the Skybox NBA Hoops Magic & Bird double autograph card.

The card features two separate pictures of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird fighting for a rebound, all displayed in a wooden-colored background. One of the pictures contains Johnson’s autograph and the other picture contains Bird’s autograph. Despite its beautiful design and high-quality pictures, the price of the card itself is lower than other autographed cards by Johnson.

This card probably has the potential to skyrocket in value, and collectors should look to purchase it asap. 

6. 1983-1984 Star Company, Card #13

Approximate PSA 10 Value – $5,000

Approximate PSA 9 Value – $750

1983 Star #13 Magic Johnson

Nearly forgotten in history, Star Company was the only sports card company to produce NBA basketball cards in the mid-1980s.

Star Company filled the void left by the departure of Topps after their 1981-1982 set and before Fleer entered the market with their 1986-1987 set. The 1983-1984 #13 Magic Johnson card was the first time he was featured by Star Company. With a great action shot of Johnson quickly dribbling the ball up the court on a fast break.

Star Company produced cards in limited quantities. So finding this card of Johnson, especially one in PSA 9 or 10 condition, is very difficult. 

5. 1987-1988 Fleer (Sticker), Card #1 of 11

Approximate PSA 10 Value – $5,500

Approximate PSA 9 Value – $225

1987 Fleer sticker #1 of 11

In addition to its cards, Fleer would often include a limited number of stickers featuring different stars from around the league.

The stickers were set on a piece of cardboard paper, just like the material for regular cards. And were designed to be peeled off. The stickers themselves are highly collectible and often exceed the normal card in value.

The 1987-1988 Magic Johnson Fleer sticker card features him defending Celtic center Bill Walton. With the back of the card listing a long, detailed summary of many of Johnson’s accomplishments in the NBA up to that point. 

4. 1986-1987 Fleer (Sticker), Card #7

Approximate PSA 10 Value – $10,000

Approximate PSA 9 Value – $350

1986 Fleer sticker card #7

The 1986-1987 Fleer sticker card of Magic Johnson is a highly desirable piece of memorabilia. It features a great picture of Magic Johnson dribbling the ball up the court with Laker forward Kurt Rambis in the background.

The card has a white border, with a colorful yellow insert border on the left side of the card listing Johnson’s name and team information in a highly dignified and fancy font style. Like the 1987-1988 Fleer sticker version, the back of the card lists a summary of Johnson’s accomplishments, though not as detailed. 

3. 1981-1982 Topps, Card #21

Approximate PSA 10 Value – $15,000

Approximate PSA 9 Value – $600

1981 Topps #21 Magic Johnson

The #21 1981-1982 Topps Magic Johnson card is the first basketball card where Johnson alone is featured. Causing many sports collectors to view this as Johnson’s first true, stand-alone rookie card.

It is the 2nd most valuable base card featuring Johnson. And like many other of his cards, features him driving to the basket against several defenders.

The 1980-1981 season was one of Johnson’s most disappointing as a pro, as he missed over half the season with an injury, leading to chemistry issues with the Lakers who would be upset in the first round of the playoffs. 

2. Upper Deck Exquisite Limited Logos (Series), Card(s) #LL-MA

Approximate PSA 10 Value – $30,000+

Approximate PSA 9 Value – $7,500+

Upper deck Exquisite Limited Logos

The Upper Deck Exquisite Limited Logos series ruled the high-end basketball card market from 2003-2004 to 2009-2010.

This series specialized in producing cards containing both game-worn jerseys and autographs, making the cards extremely valuable. This series produced many different Magic Johnson cards. Including versions for the 2004-2005 and 2006-2007 seasons that are very rare and valuable.

These cards are extremely difficult to find, and often can only be purchased through an auction. 

1. 1980-1981 Topps Rookie Card, Card #139, (#174, #34)

Approximate PSA 10 Value – $725,000

Approximate PSA 9 Value – $19,000

1980 Topps Rookie #139 Magic Johnson

The 1980-1981 Topps set featured 3-in-1 cards featuring 3 different players that could be separated into separate mini-cards.

Rookie Magic Johnson is featured along with fellow rookie Larry Bird and Julius Erving on a single card. A pairing that has made it one of the most valuable basketball cards in memorabilia history. The Johnson card is #139, Erving is #174 and Larry Bird is #34.

While this card possesses tremendous value in even lower PSA levels. A PSA 10 graded card at an auction in the right environment can probably generate close to a million dollars. 

Bonus Memorabilia Items

Magic Johnson also has a nearly endless amount of non-card memorabilia featuring him available on several different sites.

Currently, on eBay, a basketball signed by Johnson and Larry Bird is available. This would be an excellent prize for any collector.

Magic Johnson signed basketball

Another site, sportsmemorabilia.com also has some great items. Including a ticket stub from the 1992 NBA All-Star Game where Johnson made a brief, 1-game dramatic comeback.

Another top memorabilia item is a signed NBA All-Star photograph featuring Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy.

Rob Miller
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