Well a new year brings a look back at an old one. Yes, it's 1949 all over again and I have to confess it is becoming my favorite year of study when it comes to Topps. Actually, there is a wee bit of 1948 involved too I think.
Friend o'the Archive Al Richter has sent a few photocopies along detailing the five cent Magic Photos Pack and it's contents. We've already seen the panel of six magic photos that came in the pack but I've never had color scans of the packaging and contents, so here goes.
The front of the wrapper essentially replicates the penny pack graphics:
As we know, the term "color" referred to the gum and not the cards! The back is all kinds of wonderful:
You have an ad for the album, a nice Bubbles Inc. reference showing a scarce Manhattan mailing address on a Topps product (not unheard of but unusual and short-lived, especially this one) and a nice 1948 Copyright. Magic Photos were, as all of us Archivists here know, the subject of a November 1948 Topps price list and while a product's copyright date can precede the actual issuance of same by a year, or sometimes two, I think, with about 90% certainty) we are looking at a 1948 date for the first series of Magic Photos, which could mean they were indeed the first Topps cards.
The instruction card reveals what could be considered an alternate name for the set, Quiz Cards:
the back is standard gray cardboard:
The Mystery Paper looks more like a slab of gum but it's the final step in the developing process so it ain't chewable bub:
I am truly sorry I cannot show the different colored slabs of gum, perhaps some day......