Saturday, March 18, 2023

Vend For Yourself

We've got a bit of a conundrum to work through today kids.  A couple of  months ago Heritage Auctions offered a 1959 vending box of Topps Football cards:

Exciting news, right?  Well, there was a definite twist:

Yup, those are bindles of cards, seven per batch and I really don't think that they came that way from Topps. The Trading Card Guild box is 100% correct as that's how Topps branded their cards not sold with gum at the time (and through about 1966) but this was likely the work of a third party repackager. I'm not sure these were bindled for vending machines as it seems superfluous since those devices were designed to dispense cards in pre-measured quantities.  The other thing against them to my mind is Topps would not put in a lot of extra work on resale items.

Two bindles were exposed for the auction and the centering is pretty typical of late 50's Topps cards:

A Topps vending box should have the cards packed neatly, and in a zebra stripe pattern, like this one from 1987:

So color me skeptical that 1959 box left the factory that way.  Anything's possible I guess but I'd need a lot more evidence to be convinced. As part of the web surfing research I did for this post, I found that Topps still makes vending boxes of a sort, although I guarantee these will never see the inside of any kind of dispensing machinery. I think these were only resurrected in 2022:

A breaker on the Jabs Family You Tube channel broke a 2022 vending box and I tried to grab some stills.  The advertised inserts rest on top of the regular issue cards:

There's no real zebra stripe pattern but things are done a lot differently these days.  Topps stopped making the traditional vending boxes in the mid-1990's from what I can tell but I'm not sure of the exact year that happened.

You can watch the whole break here if you like:  

1 comment:

John Bateman said...

I wonder what technology (or wrapping machine) could have been used to put the cards in that way.

I wonder it this could have been done in the 1980s or 1990s by someone.