The white borders were gone. In their place was a rainbow of colors. Ten cent wax packs were gone, too, replaced by a 15 cent price tag. 1975 had brought changes to the world of bubble gum cards but Topps kept the presses rolling and there was plenty of unopened material to be had, even decades after the set that brought us a multitude of Hall of Fame rookie cards.
This week’s Vintage Pack Facts from VintageBreaks.com takes us back to the era of the Big Red Machine, Hank back in Milwaukee and the Angels’ flame throwing strikeout machine.
- The 1975 Topps set was once again 660 cards, distributed all in one series as became the norm in 1974. Highlights today include the rookie cards of George Brett, Robin Yount, Gary Carter, Jim Rice, Keith Hernandez and Fred Lynn. The set’s first seven cards were “Highlight” cards from the previous season, which included Hank Aaron’s 715th homer and Nolan Ryan fanning 300 or more for the third year in a row.
- Topps produced cards in wax packs, three-pack trays, cello packs, rack packs and the usual vending boxes that were sold to dealers and distributors who stocked the machines. In a very limited area, primarily Michigan, Topps also offered its “mini” cards, which were just smaller versions of the 660-card set.
- Wax packs again came 36 to a box with a stick of gum inside and again, no inserts. The price of a Topps pack had jumped from 10 to 15 cents when the company’s 1974 football cards hit the market so unless you were strictly a baseball collector, the 15-cent price tag on 1975 baseball wax wasn’t that much of a shock. Cello packs contained 18 cards and sold for a quarter while 42-card rack packs had jumped a dime from the year before, now priced at 49 cents, which was still the best deal of all. The price on the trio of packs inside the “tray” overwrap sold mostly at department stores was up to the retailer but typically sold for 39-43 cents each.
- Prices for vintage unopened material have skyrocketed and wax boxes, rack packs and cello packs have become much more difficult to locate. Vending and cello boxes have sold this year in the $6,000-$7,000 range. Mini wax boxes and packs, thanks to a large hoard released to the hobby over many years, remain the least expensive unopened box of 1975 product.
You can learn more about participating in vintage pack breaks—or just watch—by visiting VintageBreaks.com.