Saturday, July 6, 2024

The Big And The Bad

Topps released all sorts of button sets over the years, starting with 1956's Baseball Buttons. They then began issuing humorous pin sets, most of them metallic, on a semi-regular basis in 1960 with Funny Buttons although there were points they became sporadic.  1975 saw a test set called Big Bad Buttons and it's safe to say they are difficult to find today. 

The year prior had seen a full retail release of Batty Buttons, which for my ten cents is the best of the non-sports bunch. So the fact the Big Bad Buttons test was a clear failure in '75 must have been a surprise to Topps.  This is how they arrived at the test stores (thanks to Friend o'the Archive Rob Lifson for these two images):

Topps handily provided a checklist on the back of the test envelope:

I was lucky enough to snag a BBB recently and have to say while it's a sharp looking set, it seems to lack the snappy verbiage offered by Batty Buttons

Big Bad Buttons measure 2 7/32" in diameter and are a little larger than the 1974 Batty Buttons, so I guess this was truth in advertising. Here is my type example:

The artwork is well-executed and the reverse features a fairly thick protective layer of cardboard within which the pin resides:

I don't think there's anything under there but I didn't want to remove the cardboard (which is quite smoothly finished) as it seems like it would crease if I did so.

Here' a scan of another button, courtesy of Marc Simon:

Again, not at all that pithy of a comment. These really are hard to find and I had seen only a handful of images prior to my recent acquisition. Some Topps test issues are scarcer than others and the Seventies offer a good share of difficult ones.

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