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The Post War Cards Newsletter #25
🎇 Wow, the 25th Post War Cards Newsletter! These have been a blast to write.
🥂 Cheers to all of you subscribers!
🙏 I’d appreciate it if you’d share the Newsletter with anyone else who enjoys vintage sports cards and the hobby.
📦 An Original 1962 Topps Baseball Unopened Wax Box
Heritage Auctions announced another big unopened consignment a few days ago; the first completely original 1962 Topps wax box they’ve ever seen. It was discovered by a family who owned a general store in the 1940s-60s.
A consignment director at Heritage shared the photo of the box pictured above. He mentioned that the box is off with Steve Hart of the Baseball Card Exchange for his opinion, but they had another box from this find pass BBCE scrutiny, so they are confident in its authenticity. It will be in their May 2023 catalog.
The sharing of this box kicked off a pair of other offers online. First, a big-time pack collector offered one of his 1962 Topps baseball wax packs (graded PSA 8) for sale at $5k. Robert Edward Auctions sold a 1962 Topps five-cent wax pack (Graded PSA 7) for $4200 in the fall of 2020, so while I think $5k would be an all-time high for a nickel pack, it wouldn’t be totally unreasonable or surprising to see it go for that much.
And another collector offered a nice empty wax box, a 5-cent wax wrapper, and an insanely scarce merchant promo sheet (the only one I’ve ever seen) for an asking price of $1500. The promo sheet is blank-backed, FYI.
Now, back to the full 24-count box, a lot of folks are starting to guess how much it might sell for. Given the $5k asking price for the PSA 8 pack, 24 would be 120k. Add a 50% premium for a complete and unique original box, and $180k seems about right. But, if you get two serious unopened collectors with deep pockets bidding against each other for a rare item, higher prices aren’t out of the question.
If you’re interested in all the other unopened products Topps made in 1962 (wax/cello/rack packs, wrappers, boxes, cases, and sell sheets), check out the set on the Unopened Archive.
✍️ Great Hobby Writing
SABR’s Baseball Cards Research Committee: TCMA - A Vintage History
The Topps Archives: The Edge of Nineteen
Sports Collectors Daily: Recalling When Pinnacle Resurrected Bee Hive Hockey
SABR’s Baseball Cards Research Committee: Polar Plunge: The Christopher Torres Interview
The Baseball Card Blog: How Upper Deck Won the War and Still Fell on their Sword
Night Owl Cards: Less Temperamental
Baseball Card Breakdown: Refracting the Past: 1951 Topps Monte Irvin
Crocodile Sports Cards: Box Set Special - 1988 Woolworth Baseball Highlights
When Topps Had Balls: Expanded League Leaders: 1979 N.L. Batting
3⃣ The Three-Way 1966 Venezuela Topps Test
In January, I wrote an article about identifying Venezuela Topps baseball cards. When I got to the 1966 Venezuela Topps cards, I wrote:
It can be tricky to identify without an American example nearby, but the biggest thing to notice about the 1966 Venezuelan Topps cards is that the back’s color is orange while the American cards are more pinkish. The Venezuelan cards can also be found cut slightly smaller.
However, it turns out that occasionally, when you only have a single card in front of you, the color tone difference can appear pretty subtle, and collectors may think they have a Venezuela Topps card rather than an American one.
Well, kudos to @VenezuelaTopps on Twitter for this 1966 Topps tip called the Three-Way Test.
He wrote that doing a three-way “triangle test” is helpful instead of comparing a pair of cards side by side. That way, you can really see if “one of these is not like the other.”
In the example pictured above, the top and bottom cards are US Topps, but the bottom one is a little darker than the top one, so you might think 1:1, it could be a Venezuelan. But the true Venezuelans really stand out and make themselves known (the middle one).
📂 Non-Sport On The Unopened Archive
I’ve started to include Non-Sport sets on the Unopened Archive. It’s been a great way to learn about some pretty obscure sets; a few of my favorites are 1962 Mars Attacks, 1977 Donruss Saturday Night Fever, 1981 Topps Raiders of the Lost Ark, and 1966 Topps Superman (wax box pictured below). Sport American released a few price guides for non-sports cards in the late 80s/early 90s that have been really helpful in discovering all the unopened products manufacturers used to distribute sets.