Sixty years ago, Topps was preparing to ship the fourth edition of its NFL trading cards to wholesalers and retailers across the country. There would be two series and 176 cards issued before the season ended, the largest football card set ever made.
This week’s edition of Vintage Pack Facts is focused on 1959 Topps football.
- Having gold with a red and yellow color scheme for the packaging of its baseball cards in 1959, Topps used a similar color scheme for its NFL trading cards.
- There were two configurations of wax packs: one held a single card and stick of gum for 1 cent. The other held five cards and gum for a nickel. Unopened ’59 Topps football wax packs are very difficult to find today.
- 1-cent boxes held 120 packs while the more common nickel packs contained 24 packs.
- Topps also produced cello boxes that held 36 10-cent packs with 12 cards in each. There have been a few 1959 football cello boxes uncovered over the years including one that sold for $22,800 in April of this year. Another sold for $26,400.
- Vending boxes with 500 cards were produced as well with 500 cards in each. One sold in 2012 for $4,250, a modest price by today’s standards.
- Topps apparently made rack packs as well but we know of only one reference to them–a 2012 auction in which six racks (three 12-card cello packs in an outer wrapper) were sold. Corners of the cardboard headers had been torn away but the packs appeared to be legitimate. It’s believed these were among the first rack packs issued by Topps. The group sold for $6,572.
- A few wrappers, display boxes and a couple of penny packs are currently available on eBay.