Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Hurt Lockers

Over the years, Topps offered a few versions of a sports card locker premium to the young 'uns, particularly in the hazy, crazy 1970's.  Friend o'the Archive Mark Hoyle has helpfully sent along a brace of pictures that show off different varieties of this early collector's organizing system.

The earliest ones were made out of cardboard:

A handy instruction sheet guided the builder through construction of the "file":

Thanks to a team name insert that came with it, we can date this one.  You could pick your sport with this variety, although I have seen some with "Football: across the top:

The sticker stock is exactly that-stock:

The top row has been excised and the full array is 26 x 4. In column three you will see Capital Bullets sticker. That particular appellation applied in only one year: 1973-74.  There is also a sticker for The Kansas City-Omaha Kings in the same column.  That moniker was used in 1972-73 through 1974-75; ABA teams are also included asTopps included them in their basketball sets of the era. In addition, take a look at the font used for the San Diego Padres compared to the examples above and below.  It's a rush job based upon the thickness of the font and inexpertly erased lines between the letters in "Padres" and I have to think the sheet was intended to have the name of the team after they would have moved to DC, except that never happened:

None of the other entries on the sheet look like that, so did that sticker originally say "Washington, Nat'l League"? I feel quite comfortable dating this to 1974 based upon the above and these side panels on 1974 wax packs:

This is a little easier to read:

Notice how the baseball version mentions room for 24 teams while the Football panel makes it 26.  I don't have an interior shot but there must be 26 cubbies within.Two bucks was pretty good scratch back then for a young collector.

By 1978 Topps has moved to a vinyl locker and dubbed it "super":

I get 30 slots.  You can see a sticker sheet was included as well with the Super Sports Locker.  1978 Wax wrappers had side panel ads for these:

Topps really pushed the envelope with a $4.75 premium-yikes!

Now when I was a kid, I had a locker as well but it was a third party production:

That one actually had the team names permanently embossed inside if I recall correctly.  There was a green version as well.  Definitely not Topps as it was made by Lakeside Toys, but full of cards when I was a wee one. Lakeside made all sorts of cool things back in the day and while not quite the exciting, carefree and semi-dangerous products produced by Wham-o, they were awesome nonetheless.


GCA said...

I still have two of the vinyl Topps lockers holding 80's football sets.
I also have more than a dozen of the Tara Toy Co.'s blue fold top lockers and one triple row model. They hold the bulk of my Redskins collection. The 30 slots make it easy to seperate companies for the different years.

Mark Hoyle said...

Yes the cardboard locker has 26 compartments as does the plastic one

Cardman99 said...

I had the vinyl version of the Topps locker, I purchased it at a Kay Bee toys in the early 1980's. It came with a selection of 1980-81 Topps hockey cards.

CaptKirk42 said...

I had one of those third party lockers like that red baseball one shown. My brother had one also we had a red one and a blue one I forget who had which. In recent internet searches I haven't seen them anywhere except for this post. thank you.