The Dallas Cowboys were the defending Super Bowl champs. The Pittsburgh Steelers would soon answer with their latest Lombardi Trophy. The two titanic teams of the 70s were well represented in Topps’ lone football card product, including Tony Dorsett and John Stallworth, two future Hall of Famers whose rookie cards were on the checklist.
This edition of Vintage Pack Facts zeroes in on 1978 Topps football.
The price of a Topps pack had risen from 15 cents to 20 cents for baseball, so it was no surprise when football packs did the same. You did get more cards for your pair of dimes, though, with packs now containing 14 cards instead of 10.
There were 36 packs per box with an artist’s touch on the front cover. Cases held 16 boxes. Expect to pay $1,500 or more for an authenticated wax box today.
Ads on the side panel of each pack featured mail-in offers for the ever-present Topps Sports Card Locker or an NFL Action Poster. Another had an ad for Topps’ Smooth ‘n Juicy bubble gum.
You could also purchase a three-pack tray and (usually) save a few cents, if you could find them. Department stores like K-Mart were usually a good place to look. There was a sports card locker ad on the back. Each case held two 24-count boxes.
You could also find wax packs inside ‘Fun Bags’ which also held hockey and non-sports packs and were sold during Halloween candy buying season. Today, those bags sell for several hundred dollars.
Cellos went from 25 cents to 30 cents in 1978, with 18 cards per pack and 24 packs per box. Today, cello boxes typically run $1,800 and up.
Cases have surfaced at auction on occasion, most originating with long-time dealer Fritsch Cards. One case sold on eBay in 2019 for nearly $18,000.
Rack packs held 39 cards and cost 59 cents. Cases, as usual, held three 24-pack boxes.
Football cards weren’t nearly as big as baseball but a select number of dealers still bought vending cases with 24 500-count boxes in each to make sets. Sealed vending cases appear virtually non-existent today.
You can see 1978 Topps football packs and boxes on eBay here.
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.