Ten years after it made baseball card history with its 407-card oversize debut set, Topps had settled into a regular pattern as the sole provider of bubble gum packs that kept kids busy collecting, trading and flipping from early spring through the last gasp from the final series that arrived in the fall.
This week’s edition of Vintage Pack Facts takes us back to the “wood grain” season of 1962.
- Once again, Topps produced both 1-cent and 5-cent wax packs during its seven series run. Each penny pack included gum and a single card; the nickel packs held five cards along with the pink slab with 24 packs per box. A couple of different designs can be found: one touting the ‘Baseball Stamps’ set that Topps included as an insert and another without the ad.
- Wrapper side panels included a few different ads on the size, including one for the company’s Bazooka gum and another for the booklet that was created to house the stamp set. Wrappers are generally inexpensive today with several available on eBay for under $75. Display boxes can generally be had for under $200.
More Pack Facts after the gallery…
- Topps created three-pack trays in 1962. The trio of nickel packs could usually be purchased for a penny or two cheaper than buying them individually. There were 36 trays per case at a cost of $3.42 through distributors. We can’t recall seeing a surviving unopened tray pack.
- Penny packs and wrappers are very rare today. One pack sold this year through Robert Edward Auctions for over $5,700.
- Topps sold cello packs as well, with 12 cards per pack along with the stamps. There were 36 packs per cello box. In 2017, a first series cello box sold for $113,924 via Lelands. Needless to say, they’re scarce. In 2016, a single pack sold for over $1,000 via Robert Edward Auctions while another pack featuring a badly off-center card of Sandy Koufax on the front netted $2,400 through Heritage Auctions in 2018.
- Topps also produced what we can only surmise is a very limited number of rack packs. In fact, it seems as if only one is known to exist. Collector Dave Klepple showed off a pack he found at a show that was later authenticated by BBCE. Klepple also says he has the Topps marketing sales sheet that shows a rack pack option. He believes racks may have only been available in parts of New York.
- Vending boxes with 500 cards were also created but again, they’re non-existent today.
You can participate in a pack, box, or set break anytime at VintageBreaks.com which offers a variety of options across all years and sports.