If you, like me, are of a certain age, then you remember the rip-roaring adventures of Daniel Boone, broadcast every week by NBC. If you, like me, are obsessed with Topps test issues and minutiae, then you will find this brief anecdote fascinating.
As regular readers here know, Topps produced unrelated series' of black & white cards of mid 60's TV Shows and old movies in the mid 60's. Some of these represent retail issues but a few are somewhat mysterious. One of these is Daniel Boone, which immortalized the TV show (starring that coonskin cap model, Fess Parker) and which was briefly touched upon a while back on this very blog (scroll halfway down to see in the link).
The Topps Daniel Boone set is legendary for its difficulty. 55 cards were printed and both blank backed and text/graphics back runs are known , the latter being exceptionally difficult. Here is a front and unrelated back:
(From the Non Sports Bible by Chris Watson)
Uncut sheets have also been seen; these may have been cut up after the fact and could be the source of the blank backed cards.
Given the mid three figure price range for single examples ("lower" end of the range for blank backs, higher--perhaps even double-- for finished cards), any mention of distribution intrigues me and just such a mention is contained within The Wrapper magazine, the non-sport periodical ably published by Les Davis:
One of the readers comments in this issue was quite illuminating:
No wrappers have ever been seen for the issue, so an alternate method of distribution is very much possible. Could it be then, that these were cards designed as contest giveaways by NBC and printed by Topps in 1964?
I wonder if this would apply as well to the scarce Bewitched issue, which also began a long run on TV in 1964, albeit on ABC. and also started out in black and white. Daniel Boone was B&W only for 1964-65 while Bewitched had an additional season sans color. I think this means we can pinpoint Daniel Boone as a 1964 issue while the jury is still out on Bewitched. I hope to find out more on all of these semi-inter-related b&w issues as we move five (!) decades away from these shows.
Also, here is a great TV Western site I found while researching this post, well worth wasting some time on.