Saturday, September 3, 2016

Blankest Year

One of the lines I straddle as a type collector of Topps cards and certain ephemera is the one dividing third party premiums from first party Topps product. It's easy in some respects-I don't go after Bazooka premiums such as the infamous Exploding Battleship:

But what to do about something like this poster:

The premium poster actually integrates with the regular issue cards and vice versa! If you were a kid in 1974 you opened up a pack of football cards and mostly got this:

Then every couple of packs or so a team checklist card (almost) like the one above popped up:

We'll come back to the premium offer momentarily.

The back of the team checklists had all the rules for the game on the card backs:

Topps also worked 50 cards into a Milton Bradley game called Pro Draft that year, so they were very focused on breaking out of their normal marketing routines. Now about that premium offer for even more team checklists:

Now you can clearly see two different Football Action Posters were available. The first matches our Oilers team checklist above while the second was like so:

This is a little strange-Topps could have advertised the premium posters on the team checklists inserted into the packs but instead used the wrapper flaps:

I'll point out they seem to be mixing up their posters on the ad flap!  No matter, it's still pretty neat how everything was working together.

Now, about those team checklist sheets.  Did you notice the dotted lines around most of the Chargers card?  That's because you had to cut them apart!  And not only that but we get a pretty scarce variant in that the mail in cards were blank backed:

Pretty convoluted, I'd say.  I would love to show some pictures of the two posters and accessories but don't have any scans.  Anyone out there with them?

More to come on mail-in premiums, stay tuned....


Eric C. Loy said...

Also, the checklists that came in the packs each have one and two asterisk variations.

1973 has the same asterisk variations in team checklists. as well as in the checklist for cards 1-132.

toppcat said...

It's worth noting that the * and ** variations were created to allow Topps executives in Brooklyn to know which part of the full uncut sheet the cards came from when doing their final proofing and review. This occurred sometime after the 1966 move to Duryea I believe.