Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Devil Made Them Do It

I am a few months early (or late, depending on your perspective) but have had some really nice color scans sitting on my hard drive for a bit from a 1965 Topps Hallowe'en marketing brochure forever and figured today was the day.  I think these were provided by BBF O'the Archive (that's Best Bubblegum Friend) Jeff Shepherd but I usually tag his stuff and the scans are decidedly untagged.

Page one shows your typical, idealized Topps Topps consumer, the latest in a lengthy string of freckle-faced kids that went back to the 40's:

He;'s got quite the haul there!  The Bozo gumballs are interesting to me as I think they had just re-entered the US product line at this time, having been exiled to Canada for a bit (I could be wrong about that though, perhaps they were still sold in the US since their introduction in 1949).

Page 2 brings us Bazooka, Bazooka and more Bazooka:

I don't know why there were such minute differences in the counts.  20 pieces of bubble gum vs. 25 or 100 vs. 110 in the larger size seems like like splitting hairs.

More hair splitting but these are Hallowe'en themed packages now. I guess Topps just had a price point for every conceivable market; they had just eliminated penny packs earlier in the year after 17 years years of faithful service carving out market share vs. profit.

I can't quite make out the logo on the gumball pack at top left but it may be generic. Ten party bags included, woo-hoo!  Those Fun Packs look familiar and could have held any number of goodies.  I think the 1965-ish Flash Gordon cards were dated based upon this catalog since they came in these style packs but Topps may have used the design for a couple of years hence.  We have Bazooka and Bozo at the bottom:

I believe this is page five but I could be wrong.  This was either a folding brochure or I am missing a couple of pages.  Smoke 'em if ya got 'em, I guess:

Sweet displays; I suspect not too many of these survived:

The highly professional look of this brochure was typical for Topps.  They would send these to their jobbers (wholesalers) and direct retail accounts (larger chains like Woolworth's and Rexall Drugs) and there were probably five or six such brochures produced every year, in additional to all the salesman samples, promotional items and the like.  

It was all good business despite the obvious expense.  In 1961, the last year I can find a documented record for, Topps had total sales of $13,500,000 and Bazooka accounted for over half of that at $7,700,000.  Topps also sold $3,475,000 worth of baseball cards in '61 and they were actually down slightly from 1960 thanks to Fleer ramping up their card production.  That means everything else they sold, which would primarily have been Football, a little bit of Hockey, some Non Sports cards and whatever else they had their fingers into, amounted to $2,325,000. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No exorcism is necessary here;thanks for this wicked post!

Note: An additional 'comment' on Topps' 1965 Halloween season can be found in my cover article in the latest issue of THE WRAPPER...