Saturday, November 18, 2017

A Slew Of Samples

I was inspired today by the recent news that well over 100 1966 Topps Baseball Salesman Sample strips are being offered up on eBay. Intact Salesman Samples, normally found in strips of three with a few variations on the theme, have always been difficult to find so for a hoard of this size to be liquidated the seller must need to be dumping them in a hurry. But I don't have those '66 strips in my sights today but rather thought a look at some strips and remnants outside of baseball would be interesting.

Here's a piece of the King recently offered on eBay:

Amusingly, and I realize it's hand cut, centering was an issue even on the samples! There's no way that left border measures out:

Here is what the complete 3 card sample strip looks like:

I realize 50,000,000 Elvis fans can't be wrong, but neither was $50,000:

After Elvis, the next fad was TV Westerns and Monsters. I can't find my scan of a 1959 You'll Die Laughing sample so it's the former and these two fit together like a puzzle.  The third card must have been excised more cleanly.

The back of this one has a bit of design; Topps was starting to move past basic text on these once the Bowman purchase was out of the way, or so it seems

I can't find an intact 3 card TV Westerns sample, so you have to imagine the last card! I always thought it odd the set had 71 cards but the above titles match the issued set.  Either a series they planned to include didn't work out as the count should probably be either 77 or 88 cards or they had trouble obtaining individual rights to a certain actor or two that screwed up the normal "divisible by 11" set count of the era. Maverick is a notable gap in their offering so maybe it was an inability to get a release from James Garner or even John Kelly that caused the truncation.

I'll close with a really sweet batch of 1963 Football. These are three but perhaps that count is low? Take a look:

The backs look like so:

Either that's a "four" or an alternate back exists.  Sometimes wholesaler's (jobbers) samples left space for an address.  Love the use of the green on the reverse but it should extend to the right a bit more on the third card, along with the text.

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