1970 Topps Baseball Wax Box Variations

The following is an excerpt from the upcoming e-book “The Ultimate Collector’s Guide to 1970 Baseball Cards”, set for release later this month via Sports Collectors Daily.  The downloadable book includes information on the cards, the sets, the packs, the boxes, the sidebar sets, the test issues, the OPC set and more.

There are three different types of 1970 Topps wax boxes.  Each of them contained a unique series and each had a different sales incentive for kids to encourage them to buy the new packs.

The wax boxes for the earliest 1970 series offered the Denny McLain poster on the right side of the front panel.  Each pack came with an “All-Star poster” and the box had a Topps production code of 1-401-37-01-0.

Pack of 1970 Topps baseballThe 1970 wax box for the middle series offered a “Scratch-off card in each pack”.  The Topps production code for this box was 1-403-37-01-0.

The final Topps wax box sold packs for the last of the 1970 baseball card series.  This offered a “Story Booklet” in each pack and advertised it with an image of Pete Rose.  The Topps production code on this box was 1-405-37-01-0 ( (Note: For the Canadian collectors, a 4th image is included showing the 1970 OPC wax box with an “extra insert in each pack”).

Reflecting back on the 1970 Topps set, it probably had the best card backs of any Topps set prior to the 1990’s.  They used a vibrant yellow, with navy blue and white to make the back of the card very easy to read.  Flipping through the set again, it is interesting to think of what a kid saw in the card vs what was actually occurring.  Take card # 551 (Dock Ellis) for example, who knew at the time he liked to trip on LSD and per his autobiography, who also knew that later in the year, he would throw a no-hitter while tripping? Look at card #197 (Nolan Ryan Playoff) and wonder how many more playoffs the Mets might have played in if they never traded Nolan Ryan and a few years later, Tom Seaver.  The 1970 set captures the youth (and the birth) of the Big Red Machine that would dominate during the 1970’s (# 580 Pete Rose, # 660 Johnny Bench, etc).

So… as the baseball season came to an end with the Cincinnati Reds making their last out for the 1970 World Series, the whole process would soon start again as Topps would begin their production of 1971 baseball cards.

Today, collectors are enamored with not only 1970 Topps wax boxes, but the cello boxes, rack packs and other products issued by the company as a new decade dawned.

There are currently over 29,000 listings for 1970 Topps baseball on eBay.