Saturday, June 8, 2019

Let's Get Ready For Adventure

No, not the 1956 Gum Products set that often gets attributed to Topps (it's actually from the same manufacturer that issued the 1941 Double Play cards) but rather this rather bizarre repackaging of Ben Solomon and Woody Gelman's Triple Nickel Books, previously covered here and here.

I stumbled across an eBay listing with these quite by accident but it adds yet another layer to the rich, dense cake that was Card Collectors Company, namely the Teen-Age Adventure Library (remember, Arthur Benwood is an anagram of Ben & Woody, while Arthur may have been a nod to Arthur Shorin):

I'm not sure if these are missing covers but I don't think so. Here's how they originally looked when issued in the 50's:

And here's the indicia from the inside front cover of the original book:

Here are the backs of the Teen-Age Adventure Series pamphlets, with indicia all included, indicating they came without a true cover:

Here's a better look:

I can't swear I've seen entries in the Card Collectors Company catalogs for anything like this-they may have just advertised them in Boys Life and maybe some comic books.  I doubt many have survived given how fragile these look.

The eBay listing from seller fieryfb states:

These are another series with no connection to the Mel Lyle books. This earlier Power Boys series involves Ted and Steve Power, who are boy reporters on their fathers small town newspaper who become involved in mysteries similar to the Hardy Boys. Some of these (such as the two listed for auction) were published by The Card Collectors Company as fairly plain pamphlet like books, while some were printed by Triple Nickel Books with higher quality paper and full color covers. As far as I can tell, a total of 5 Power Boy books were actually published - the other 3 being  Riddle of the Sunken Ship, Castle of Curious Creatures, and Mystery of the Marble. There are also 2 "phantom" titles; the Mystery of the Aztec Archer and The Secret of Canyon Creek.

The Mel Lyle books referred to featured a different set of Power Boys who headlined a handful of books in the mid 60's. I'm not sure of the assertion that some of the Power Boy Titles from Triple Nickel Books were phantoms, more research is needed.

This is one of those neat little byways in the history of Topps and Woody Gelman.

No comments: