Saturday, April 27, 2024

One and Done

A quite interesting (and supremely rare) Topps salesman's sample recently came across my transom, courtesy of Friend o'the Archive Larry Sarver.  While most samples are related to Topps Baseball cards, and ran through 1967, with the occasional Football piece mixed in, non-sports samples are almost never seen.  In this case, Topps was hawking one of the best sets they ever produced: 1955's Rails & Sails!

True salesman's samples had only just premiered with the 1952 Baseball set, so this is an early one indeed and Topps was still tweaking the formula here:

Isn't that a thing of beauty?! The reverse is just as intriguing, with a pitch clearly aimed at the father's of the time:

Two cards numbers are obscured by the sticker (which I will get to in a second), they are, from the top #37 and #73. However, the blurb drawing attention to the first four color backs for a Topps set really caught my eye.  Topps was constantly trying to improve and sharpen the look of their cards at this time as they were attempting to outpace Bowman with everything they issued. Bowman never really managed to make their card backs all that exciting, whereas Topps began using all sorts of little illustrations and clever graphics on their reverses in earnest starting with Wings in 1952, although their use of color was limited originally, gradually improving as 1955 rolled around.

Here's the thing though-shortly after this set came out, Topps ended up buying Bowman and pulled back to a limited use of color on the card backs!  I'm trying to ID the next set with four color backs put out by Topps and am really coming up blank.


Nick Vossbrink said...

Whoa. I'd think the next 4-color backs would be puzzle backs of some sort. Which isn't quite the same thing as those Rails and Sails backs.

Nick Vossbrink said...

1966 Topps Batman Blue Bat puzzle backs perhaps?

toppcat said...

Hmmm, could be. I'd say a puzzle back counts!