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The Post War Cards Newsletter #21
🤗 Hey! Welcome to the 21st issue of The Post War Cards Newsletter which celebrates #TheHobby - It’s a special one.
🗓️ That’s because what used to be an every-other-week release is now a weekly digest of unique information about vintage sports cards, hobby & sports history, and industry happenings.
🆘 So, I’d love to hear what you want to see more of, less of, or if you have any questions you’d like me to answer - hit me up via e-mail.
😎 And if this is your first time reading, feed your hobby soul with issues sent directly to your inbox:
📦 Recent Unopened Market Movements
As a passionate fan of the unopened hobby niche and the curator of the Unopened Archive, I keep a close eye on unopened market trends and happenings. The market has been blazing hot recently, and some really cool items have popped up for sale, so I figured it was time for a quick rundown.
🏈 1959 Topps Football 1st Series Vending Box
Heritage Auctions sold this 1959 Topps Football 1st Series Vending Box for $117k on January 27th, 2023. The box got a lot of press for its age, price, and the atypical 7-card bundles inside it.
I have a dedicated article about the box coming out on the blog on February 13th, 2023, where I compare the Heritage Auctions box to some Series Two 1959 Topps Football Vending Boxes that have been auctioned in the past, share other vending boxes from the era, and take a closer look at vending machines from that time to see what we can learn about Topps' packaging, production, and distribution in its early years.
⚾️ 1989 Topps Test Issue Mets Yankees Doubleheaders Case
In the same auction as the 1959 Topps Football Vending Box discussed above, Heritage sold a really unique 1989 Topps Test Issue Mets/Yankees Doubleheaders Case for $6600.
I recently included the obscure test issue in an article about The Toughest Topps Baseball Sets from the 1980s. This may be the only sealed case of the product. The consigner got it from Topps’ northeast representative, who was probably the only wholesaler to have the product since the Mets/Yankees Doubleheaders were a regional test product.
Heritage sold two BBCE-wrapped boxes in September and November 2022 for $510 and $540. Another sold on eBay recently for $600.
Each 24-pack box has a complete set of cards.
⚾️ 1952 Topps Baseball Unopened Brick of 8 Factory Sealed 5 Cent Wax Packs
Considering Robert Edward Auctions sold a PSA 7 graded 1952 Topps Baseball Wax Pack for $99k on December 4th, 2022 - a brick of 8 packs for $873k doesn’t seem so outrageous.
Hobby experts doubt the packs came from Topps in bricks like this, but the individual packs are legitimate. That said, I have a few other questions that I’ll be researching.
First, I’ve seen some message board chatter that this is the same brick the Baseball Card Exchange had for sale for $575k at their booth at the 2019 National in Chicago. That pack was later sold from their store. However, the pack on top of Morphy’s brick and the pack on top of the BBCE National brick don’t have the same centering.
And I don’t think it’s a matter of one of the stacks being upside down either, as the Morphy Brick has two packs flipped (and we have photos of both tops/bottoms). I feel like that old cellophane would crumble if the packs were removed. Am I missing something?
Next, some folks have questioned whether the Morphy brick originated from a 1991 Seattle find and claim the Morphy pack came from Mark Murphy’s Seattle find in 1996. I have to do a little more diligence about this and report my findings in a future blog article. But, I have a photo from a collector who shared what he said was an advertisement from a 1992 issue of Sports Collectors Digest from M.D. Sports Cards, offering a brick of 8 1952 Topps Wax Packs for $18,900. The ad claimed that only two of these 8-pack bricks were known to exist in the collecting community. Mark Murphy’s Seattle find was definitely from 1996 and was of 84 1952 Topps baseball wax packs. The pictures I have from that purchase clearly show three 8-pack bricks (there could have been more). Some collectors recall Murphy selling individual packs from that find (and out of bricks) at the National in Anaheim.
More to come!
⚾️ 1960 Topps Baseball Series 2/3 Vending Box
Recently, I saw this 1960 Topps Baseball Series 2/3 Vending Box listed on a Facebook group for $260k. It was then put up on eBay for $299k, then discounted a bit, but it seems to have disappeared; perhaps it sold privately again?
It’s a very cool item that potentially houses a lot of star power. The key second series cards include Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Kart, Frank Howard, and the Rival All-Stars card featuring Mickey Mantle. And the third series features Willie Mays, Stan Musial, Robin Roberts, and Casey Stengel.
I’ve tried to piece together the history of this box, and this is what I have come up with. First, the Facebook seller mentioned that the box came out of an opened case with two boxes (apparently in the Fristch Vault); the owner opened one, and the other was left intact. Apparently, it was wrapped before Steve Hart changed his policy only to authenticate vending boxes taken directly from sealed cases, but word is the pattern in the box looked original.
Going back a few years, in April 2016, Steve Hart’s Baseball Card Exchange listed the box on its website for $20k. That month, a group of collectors on the Collectors Forums tried to organize a 100-slot, 5-card group break of the box where each slot would be $200. Simultaneously, on the Blowout Cards Forum, they opened a potential break as a card number/player break; 170 or so spots at $120 each. The Blowout break filled most of the slots before someone purchased the box.
Goldin Auctions then sold the box for $19,200 in December 2016. Then OPCBaseball shared it on their Facebook group in August 2018 and again in September 2019.
🥈 A Few Honorable Mentions:
Robert Edward Auction’s December catalog (12/4/2022 ) had a few incredible pieces. I already mentioned the 1952 Topps PSA 7 wax pack, but they also sold a 1961 Fleer Football 2nd Series Wax Box for $87k and a 1970-71 Topps Hockey Wax Box for $66k. A few weeks later, Memory Lane Inc sold one of the two known 1962 Topps Mars Attacks 5 Cent Packs for $65k. And Morphy Auctions, in the same auction as the 1952 Topps Pack Brick, sold a 1970-71 Topps Basketball 1st Series Box for $116k and an ultra-rare 1973-74 OPC Hockey 2nd Series Box for $45k.
Unopened product prices continue to “rip”; they aren’t making any more of it. But with this kind of money, be careful of more homemade fakes showing up for sale.
✍️ Great Hobby Writing
Collecting Canadian Football: Loss ... and Renewal
The Collector: 100 Greatest Non-Hall of Famers: #120-101
My Sports Obsession: Oversized Orioles
Night Owl Cards: Wearing Red
The Topps Archives: Wintry Mix
A Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts: These two were not created equal