Saturday, May 6, 2023

Shipping Out

Last week we saw some interesting Topps Baseball shipping cases, taken from the depths of the Fritsch Cards warehouse and auctioned by Collect Auctions. There were other sports represented as well and once again, it's a fascinating peek into how and when Topps got their products out of their warehouse and on to Fritsch's.

Unlike Super Baseball, which was issued in both 1971 and 1971, Super Football was "one and done" after a 1970 release.  Poor sales and/or the impending consolidation of costs in preparing for their March 1972 IPO were certainly to blame.  The shipping case for the set is a colorful one:

Using the "Cummins method" we know Topps packed this case on September 16, 1970, which is a rock solid date for a football issue to my mind. 

Next, here is a 1972-73 Basketball wax case:

Easily dated to November 21, 1972, but what intrigues me here are the logos of the Player's Associations for the NBA and ABA, printed right on the shipping case:

While it's possible something predates these, this seems to be the first instance of such "outside' sports-related logos appearing on a Topps case and I have no idea why.  Perhaps it was a requirement laid down by both associations but it's pretty neat.

We can't forget about hockey, can we? Here's a 1973-74 Topps Hockey shipping case:

December 11, 1973 is when this vending case was packed.  I really dislike that Stepford Kid Topps used on these cartons!


Bo said...

Nice looking boxes. I could see these being fun to collect if you had the money and the space.

John Bateman said...

On the back of the Topps 72-73 cards

NBA players - 1968 NBPA (reads as National Basketball Players Association - which is what the Union is called today)'

However the box reads National Basketball Association, Players. - Not sure if that was an official union logo?

From 1970-71 to 1981-82 - The NBPA and ABAPA (until defunct) appeared on the back of Topps cards.

I think the NFL started in 1980 on the back of the cards - NFLPA

NHLPA showed up on the back of cards in 1980-1981

Interesting that in 1981, there was no union designation on the back of Topps for Major League Baseball, though they went on strike that year.