Sunday, March 11, 2012

Rak 'Em Up

After a four year run utilizing essentially the same header cards for their rak paks in all sports, Topps changed things in 1974.  Partially driven by rising costs and partially driven by a new business model where baseball and other sports cards would no longer be sold series-by-series, a redesign was undertaken as this baseball rak shows:

Ch-ch-changes from 1970-73:
1) Blue header, no more yellow.
2) "New" wording has been retired.
3) "All 660 Cards" wording added (and then some, since this pack contains cards from the bonus "Traded" series.
4) A dozen cards have been excised from the pack.

Even more changes would happen by the time the football raks came out as the header turned red, wording was removed  and the card count fell by another eight compared to baseball:

Basketball seems to have been completely changed over without any Raks being offered.  Instead, Topps started to use the "wax tray" concept, where a number of wax packs would be overwrapped. Such trays will be covered in a future series of posts.

The same fate appears to have struck the hockey cards as well. I'm not sure why these changes occurred but it is entirely possible basketball and hockey were not selling enough units to warrant rak paks.  Also, basketball and hockey weighed in at a mere 264 cards while baseball was 660+ and football was a muscular 528 in number.

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