Saturday, July 22, 2023

Wanted Dread or Alive

Topps was really cranking out sets after their 1966 move to Duryea, PA seemingly freed up their New Product Development folks, with a number of odd and oversized issues, often posters, starting to appear with regularity. Unless they were issued with a sports theme, the posters, much like the card sets of the time, took on a smart-alecky tone in most cases.  A perfect example of this is the 24 subject set from 1967 called Wanted Posters, which measure 10" x 18 1/2" in size.

There are hard to take images of so forgive the wrinkles below.  This is a very typical example and shows how the poster was folded to fit the pack:

Topps wanted the young consumer to immediately (and specifically) deface these, which I assume led to a number of poundings of the younger sibling if the poster was then hung somewhere in the house:

I don't think hanging this one would cause a bully to cease and desist:

I'm pretty sure you could not issue this poster today:

When's the last time you saw a kid with a slingshot?!

I think this one would cause more trouble than it's worth:

Unfortunately, many of these are still with us:

The complete checklist is like so:

Baby Sitter
Big Brother
Candy Store Owner
Class Bully
Garbage Man
Kid Brother
Kid Sister
Next Door Neighbor
School Flirt
Teacher's Pet
T.V. Repairman

The set was reissued twice in later years (1975 and 1980), which I'll get into at some future point as it's unclear if Topps made changes on the later sets. I can tell you the 1975 posters measured 9 7/16" x 18" while 1980's were a whopping 12" x 20'!  1980 is also numbered on the poster, unlike the 1967 and 1975 releases. 1967 used a pulpier, browner stock than the two later releases, although it's a better quality paper than say the 1967 Baseball Posters. 1975 saw an improved, whiter stock and 1980's is even whiter and better still.

A related set of stickers was also tested then released nationally, seemingly in between the 1975 and 1980 sets. Topps got a lot of mileage out of the artwork!


Shlabotnik Report said...

I collected a bunch of the sticker versions of these... I'm going to say it was 1975, maybe 1976. I suspect that it was an attempt to ride the Wacky Pack wave. To fit the bigger poster into a standard sized sticker they dropped some of the bullet points.

On the "Class Bully" sticker someone screwed up and the copyright line 'stepped on' the end of the caution statement, so it read "Will start fight at the drop of a hat. Do not -- repeat, do not ** @1975 TOPPS CHEWING GUM, INC."

John Bateman said...

I know I had a couple of those posters - must of been the 1975 version.

Dave Baumuller said...

So the difference between 1967 issue and 1974 issue (aside from paper quality) are the poster’s dimensions. If so, what are the dimensions of each? I think we are talking a quarter of an inch.

toppcat said...

1967 measures 10" x 18 1/2" and 1975 9 7/16" x 18"

Anonymous said...

Thanks Toppcat! The reason I asked is because I received four of 1975 posters. It was said they were from 1975. I measured them and all four measure 9 7/16 x 8 1/2. Hummmm?

toppcat said...

Some variance is possible I assume. I measured mine personally.