Saturday, December 16, 2023

Whoa, These Chains Of Love

I ran across a neat proof sheet the other day of sixty percent of the 1964 Topps Beatles Plaks set. You may or may not know about these as they were an obscure issue from day one. 

It looks like the cards would get a true wavy edge cut, like a handful of other Topps issues of this ilk had (including a smallish-sized set or two made of actual wood) but there was something even more detrimental involved.

Easily the toughest of all the Fab Four sets disgorged by Topps in 1964 and 1965, these somewhat sturdy cards had an interesting feature that allowed them to be connected one-to-another in order to form a chain of sorts. You can get the gist of things pretty quickly; check out the scored areas top and bottom:

So right away you can see wear to the little score lines at the bottom.  Well, it actually gets worse-check out the instructions:

Yes, Topps wanted you to destroy the top portion of the card, so there's at least three things working against these condition-wise: size (a normal 2 1/2" on the short end but 4 11/16" on the long), scoring, and tearing! They also appear to have been limited release, so you've really got a fantabulous nexus of things going on here.

The retail box gives you an idea of the "post-mohel" scenario: 

Wrappers are tough to come by, even given the relatively tough cards:

I find the cards to be the nicest of the five Beatles issues put out by Topps.  They also licensed, but ultimately did not produce a set, for Yellow Submarine.  Given the array of underground artists illustrating for them when the movie came out in 1968, that could have been a mod psychedelic wonder!

1 comment:

John Bateman said...

This was sort of the equivalent of the Topps Now cards today - In 1964/1965 sell anything with The Beatles on it.

Which now begs the question were they known in 1964/1965 as "The Beatles" or just "Beatles"