After “wood grain” borders in ’62 and splashes of color in ’63, Topps went back to a more traditional look for its 1964 baseball cards. There was a new type of packaging, too.
This week’s edition of Vintage Pack Facts from Vintage Breaks examines the packs that came with something completely different on top.
- Topps went from 576 cards to 587 for its 1964 set, one that boasted a simple design with the team name in large font at the top and the player’s name and position on the bottom.
- A new innovation was the quiz question on the back that had kids rubbing the back of a white panel to get the answer.
- The set was released in seven series but other than a small premium for cards #523-587, there isn’t much difference in cost today from one series to another.
- The era of penny packs was almost over but you could still find them in some places with a stick of gum and single card inside. Traditional wax packs contained five cards and, usually, a metal “coin” inserted on top–one of 164 in the set. The cost of a regular pack remained at a nickel.
- But wait…what’s this? Eagle-eyed kids who were in the right place at the right time found there were special cello packs with a red wrapper that had ten cards and two coins for a dime. Topps wouldn’t regularly use specially marked cello packs all that often until several years later but ’64 was an exception.
- There were also “tray packs” which held six nickel packs and were usually sold for a slight discount in some locations. Topps utilized the tray pack and on off during the 1960s to the early 1980s.
- Wax wrapper variations included a plain version and another that included a promotional message for the coins. had a variety of messages on the side panel including a “sea shell hobby kit” and an “exploding battleship.”
- Vending boxes of 500 cards were produced. A few survived over the years including a pair of sixth and seventh series examples that sold in a Lelands auction back in 2002 for $6,393 and $9,361, respectively. Those prices would be dwarfed if offered today.
You can learn more about participating in vintage pack breaks—or just watch—by visiting VintageBreaks.com.