Saturday, September 9, 2023

A Perfect Album

Over the years Topps has inserted various contest ad and premium cards and ephemera into their retail packs. Contest cards from the late 50's and premium offers (think Lucky Penny) from around 1957-60 are examples of these and for the most part are readily found.  However a handful of these were issued on paper (I suspect to ride along with penny packs, although they could have been in any configuration used by Topps) and can be a bit harder to find. One such example is the circa 1960 premium offer hawking a Baseball Card Album:

You can even see the little production rip at the top, which was an artifact of the packing and wrapping process, using what was probably the first piece of machinery ever bought by Topps, dating to 1938. These are the same size as the cards they came with.

Before plastic sheets you either used photo corners or paper with slits in it, which the back of this little sucker shows quite clearly:

These albums were also offered on the "wings" of wax packs from the era.

That pack ad makes me wonder of the paper inserts date to 1959 and the ad just continued the sales push.

They were really generic albums:

I've shown the album previously. A Trading Card Guild version may exist as well (although I am having trouble finding a scan) and I believe these albums were also offered in Canada. 

The potential Trading Card Guild version stems from some 1956 cello pack "wing" ads like on this Elvis Presley cello pack:


Those would seem to be a sibling of the bespoke Jets album from 1956: 

All of these share an ancestor with the 1949 Pixie (X-Ray Roundup) and Hocus Focus (Magic Photo) albums:

Both sides always on show, eh?  Yup!

Magic Photo did not have the album cutouts, just slits to receive the corners of each card:

There are other albums out there as well, some big, some small but I've never seen any for the 1949 Flags,  License Plates or Varsity issues. All of those were smaller issues of 100 subjects, which may or may not indicate they were not thought necessary. These albums are a scenic byway in the Topps landscape and generally, compared to the cards they were designed to hold, many magnitudes of order harder to find. 

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