Saturday, December 6, 2014


I have posted many times about the practice of Topps to take jobber-returned or unsold card inventory and rewrap it in any of umpteen formats to resell at some point past the original issue's shelf life.  Recently a very strange Rack Pack showed up in an article in the latest issue of The Wrapper, the Les Davis helmed non-sport magazine (hi Les!), that shows just how far Topps was willing to take the concept.

In issue #287 John Juka writes of some odd rack packs that were found in an old store in Kentucky that contained a variety of Bowman non-sports cards. One was just sold in a Roxanne Toser Auction and thankfully it contained a color scan:

There are three 15 card cello packs within and as you can see Power for Peace (1954), Frontier Days (1953) and U.S. Navy Victories (1954) cello's are in this rack.  Others have been described as containing Television & Radio Stars of the National Broadcasting Company (a 1953 set). There could be others as multiple racks were found and the header card indicates as much. The article states that Juka's research revealed these were packs issued by Topps following their takeover of Bowman in early 1956.

The Television & Radio Stars of the National Broadcasting Company cards were also sold in a rack pack, which was a Bowman rewrap:

(from The Non-Sports Archive by Adam Tucker & Marc Simon)

You can see the "Collect 'Em Trade 'Em" motto is on both headers and the Card Collectors Club branding but it's a completely different configuration.  Topps had their own collectors club at the time (Trading Card Guild) so deleting that reference would make sense on the racks discussed by Juka.

I'm pretty sure all the Topps racks used returns or unsold stock from this type of original retail box; it's possible the Bowman rack also did so:

Centering was clearly an issue!

Another writer for The Wrapper, friend o'the archive Bill Christenesen, recalls buying 1953 Bowman Baseball cello's that had been reissued around 1956 so they could have come from either Topps or Bowman depending upon the exact date. They could even have been deconstructed from the "Juka" rack and sold individually by an enterprising merchant.

Does anyone out there have other Bowman racks they can show?

No comments: