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  #21  
Old 08-26-2010, 10:18 AM
dabigyankeeman dabigyankeeman is offline
Arnie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug View Post
Here's a video of an interview with two of Mickey's sons talking about their dad's Topps cards. I figured I'd share it in case anyone hasn't seen it before:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUriWlOARlc
That was really interesting, thanks for posting that link.
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  #22  
Old 08-26-2010, 10:49 AM
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Doug C.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dabigyankeeman View Post
That was really interesting, thanks for posting that link.
No problem. I'm always happy to share that kind of stuff when I come across it.
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  #23  
Old 08-28-2010, 01:58 PM
brian1961 brian1961 is offline
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Red face ALR-bishop on 1961 Topps Dice Game

Pardon the late response. I have been busy at work. If you only know of two collectors on this board who own the 1961 Topps Dice Game Mickey Mantle, that only serves to underscore what I am saying---it is a beautiful prototype card that was never fully completed (made into a flexichrome colorized card by Topps), was never issued or sold to the public, even at the favored few Brooklyn candy shops that Topps would use to test-market their products (i.e. 1969 Topps 3-D). As such then, it is unfair and improper to place it on a list of Mickey Mantle cards that would comprise a master set.

Honestly, as I type these words, I can see the validity of including the Dice Game in a "Master Set" listing, on the premise of "then where would you place such a rare Mantle card?" A master listing refers to all Mantle cards, period.

It's a tough call. Prototype cards are more like icing on the cake. Even if you lived in Brooklyn during 1961, and shopped at those candy stores or a toy outlet, the Dice Game would not have been available for sale. That's why I cannot put such cards on the same level as the exotic and esoteric regional--food issues. Those were legitimate cards offered with the sale, or used to promote, a particular product. Sometimes they turned out to be easy, such as the 1954 Red Heart, because there was a well-advertised offer on how to purchase each of the three small sets. Furthermore, the leftovers were retained by the company, whereby interested collectors could purchase them even into the early 1970s. At other occurrences, such as the Stahl-Meyer Franks, trying to get an unblemished clean fresh new card was a very challenging proposition even at the time they were available to the public.

Would I be typing these same words if I owned a Dice Game card? Yes, but I would not say what I am about to. Permit me to get unpopular for a moment. In the final analysis, I do not think that prototype cards are anywhere as important as most collectors believe, nor as valuable. We have a huge cadre of Mantle collectors glamorizing the Dice Game, when in reality what actually exists is an uncut sheet, a very few properly cut and graded specimens (not of Mick, except for one or two of the following), several with Gelman staple holes on them, and a few hand-cut cards. That is why I depict them as a "Pipe Dream". Again, they are still valuable, just not as valuable nor important as some were led to believe.

To me, it is much more impressive to find an uncommon card that was legitimately issued, in very uncommonly high grade condition. That is why Bruce Dorskind makes such a big deal over his "America's Toughest Want List". Bruce and other collectors really dig those cards that are anywhere from reasonably to profoundly difficult to find, and then to find them in top grade respective to the issue. Stay with me, please. During Post Cereal's final year of their major cereal card promotion, 1963, they severely reduced production to 300,000,000 total cards. Of the 200 players, 25 were short-printed in varying degrees. Now, take the time to look at the graded card populations of them. How minuscule they are, compared with the sheer original figure produced, as well as compared to the Topps. For some of them, there is not even one graded Mint example.


There are ample '63 Post or JELL-O examples that were cut within the black border, making them Authentic at best. Still, in the graded card world of today, where the bigger money is placed or invested, if it is not graded, it is not as highly valued. Hey, at least you can handle them, enjoy them up close and personal. There's a lot of enjoyment in that. They just will not achieve a high monetary value. True, a few collectors collect the complete panels, but one, that is no guarantee the cards would grade out at Mint even if they were cut perfectly, and two, the hobbyists who love uncut panels generally want them to remain that way.

From the list of cards and items you personally own, you obviously have a very high regard for the Topps test issues and prototypes. They are most assuredly a definite niche category, and a highly respected one at that. Hey, they are indeed hopelessly rare. I do not know if you are given to such things, but if you enjoy writing, research those babies and put together an article about them for SCD. That would make for a very interesting and exciting contribution to our hobby. If you wish anonymity, since ..., give yourself a pen name like Johannes Mochannes Macheski. Potential crooks would go nuts trying to hunt you down. Loads of laughs.

Salute. ----Brian Powell
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  #24  
Old 08-28-2010, 04:58 PM
ALR-bishop ALR-bishop is offline
Al Richter
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Default Topps Unissued test Items

Brian---you won't get any arguments from me. All I meant to point out was that I know a couple of people on the board who have the Dice card. One also has the 63 Mantle Mask, another tough item, even though I assume anybody collecting Topps cards that year could have gotten one.

I do not collect Mantle per se, or test issues per se. I originally did all Topps sets, packs, insert sets and issued test sets. Now I fool with unissued Topps test sets and variations. Some are indeed rare. The Dice are one. The 66 Punch Outs another. The 71 Rookie Artist's Proofs another. The 70 Cloth another. These last 3, in my experience, may be tougher, or at least as tough as the 61 Dice. So too might the 3 unissued 1951 Current All Stars that just sold in Legendary. The 68 Discs and 56 Hocus Focus are tough too. Then there are those 3 1960 proof cards......

By the way, thanks for your insights on these great hobby items
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  #25  
Old 08-28-2010, 06:40 PM
sflayank sflayank is offline
larry s
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Default topps test

al
the 3 1960 issues were at the national
i assume you didnt get the konstant stanky roberts?
as for response to the other issue
Brian?
what would you consider the 67 stand up? it was issued in packs and yet less than 10 of each exist...if you were in the brooklyn candy store you could have bought them...probably the best looking issue ever made? are they valuable you bet ya?
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  #26  
Old 08-30-2010, 06:38 PM
brian1961 brian1961 is offline
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Default RE Topps test issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by ALR-bishop View Post
Brian---you won't get any arguments from me. All I meant to point out was that I know a couple of people on the board who have the Dice card. One also has the 63 Mantle Mask, another tough item, even though I assume anybody collecting Topps cards that year could have gotten one.

I do not collect Mantle per se, or test issues per se. I originally did all Topps sets, packs, insert sets and issued test sets. Now I fool with unissued Topps test sets and variations. Some are indeed rare. The Dice are one. The 66 Punch Outs another. The 71 Rookie Artist's Proofs another. The 70 Cloth another. These last 3, in my experience, may be tougher, or at least as tough as the 61 Dice. So too might the 3 unissued 1951 Current All Stars that just sold in Legendary. The 68 Discs and 56 Hocus Focus are tough too. Then there are those 3 1960 proof cards......

By the way, thanks for your insights on these great hobby items
Dear Al, I apologize if I sounded too argumentative, though as most collectors, we feel strongly about certain things. Honestly Al, it is frustrating that with all of the huge growth in the value of the various assortment of Topps products, the company has not taken the trouble to document their respective histories, while providing some insight, print numbers, where they were distributed/sold and so on. I do believe such a book would sell nicely, even today. It would not make the New York Times bestseller list, but the hobby would welcome it with open arms.

Alas, I don't think it will happen. Bill Haber was only 53 when he passed away in the early 1990s. Besides the huge loss to his family, I think he would have been a prime candidate to write such a book. At this point, I sadly feel Sy Berger is probably too aged to recall such minute details, although sometimes these are the very things older people can recall vivid details of, though perhaps not the exact numbers.

I love the Topps Current All-Stars of Konstanty, Roberts, and Stanky. I do not own them, but feel they most assuredly cannot be whisked under the carpet. They truly are part of the set, looking precisely as the others. I wish I knew the truth behind why Topps did not include them. A very few got out. They are worth a fortune, or at least five figures each.

Now as for the 1966 or 1967 Topps Giant All-Stars, if they were sold at the Brooklyn candy shops, they are a legitimate test issue. Maybe they are not as graphically compelling, as cards go, but they have a nice dramatic aura to them with their black surrounding area. This gives each card a shadow box affect, which enhances their visual appeal. I have never owned one, but I sure acknowledge their rarity, and anyone who owns a specimen of any player can feel justifiably proud of this collecting achievement.

Furthermore, with a giant head against a black background, they would make a terrific visual display in a portfolio of Topps test issues, or a collection of a particular player.

My fifteen cents--as usual. --Brian Powell

Last edited by brian1961; 12-27-2010 at 04:07 PM. Reason: clarification, general editing
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  #27  
Old 08-31-2010, 09:07 AM
ALR-bishop ALR-bishop is offline
Al Richter
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Default Test Issues

I too am disappointed Topps did not create a position for an historian that would have had access to and be commissioned to document and write about all Topps issues over the years, including the test stuff. I agree that it is not likely to happen now. Whatever Woody G knows or remembers, he does not seem to want to talk about it in detail anyway.

I have 20 of the 24 Stand Ups from 1967. There are at least two full sets represented on the Board. They are tough, but the Dice, 70 Cloth, 55 Stamps and 71 Artist's Proofs are, I think, tougher.

I think the 3 rare Current All Stars were pulled due to the ongoing early contract disputes with Bowman. I doubt they ever were actually distributed....so since I have the other 8, I prefer to consider that set complete ....out of desperation....sort of like I hope my 68 Plaq and 67 Punch Out sets are complete because the SCD checklists are wrong

You obviously have a lot of knowledge about old Topps stuff ( I am still collecting Topps to this day and think there are some interesting issues in the 70s and 80s too ), so it is great to make your acquaintance . Another poster here, Dave Hornish ( dsh) is a great resource about such stuff. He would be a great man for the Topps historical job. Have you seen his blog ?

Last edited by ALR-bishop; 08-31-2010 at 09:08 AM.
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  #28  
Old 08-31-2010, 09:42 AM
hcv123 hcv123 is offline
Howard Chasser
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Default top 5

1) 1967 Stand up
2) 1959 Bazooka
3) 1953 Bowman color
4) 1953 Stahl Meyer
5) 1953 Topps
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  #29  
Old 08-31-2010, 04:29 PM
brian1961 brian1961 is offline
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by ALR-bishop View Post
I too am disappointed Topps did not create a position for an historian that would have had access to and be commissioned to document and write about all Topps issues over the years, including the test stuff. I agree that it is not likely to happen now. Whatever Woody G knows or remembers, he does not seem to want to talk about it in detail anyway.

I have 20 of the 24 Stand Ups from 1967. There are at least two full sets represented on the Board. They are tough, but the Dice, 70 Cloth, 55 Stamps and 71 Artist's Proofs are, I think, tougher.

I think the 3 rare Current All Stars were pulled due to the ongoing early contract disputes with Bowman. I doubt they ever were actually distributed....so since I have the other 8, I prefer to consider that set complete ....out of desperation....sort of like I hope my 68 Plaq and 67 Punch Out sets are complete because the SCD checklists are wrong

You obviously have a lot of knowledge about old Topps stuff ( I am still collecting Topps to this day and think there are some interesting issues in the 70s and 80s too ), so it is great to make your acquaintance . Another poster here, Dave Hornish ( dsh) is a great resource about such stuff. He would be a great man for the Topps historical job. Have you seen his blog ?
Congrats on all your amazing rare Topps stuff. No Al, I have not seen Dave's blog. It's probably pretty good.

As for the 3 ultra rare Current All-Stars, you hit the nail on the head---they were never issued. Problem is, they definitely belong. Be that as it may, you should count your set complete. Acquiring any of the three is just icing on the cake.

I did a check on the three players once, but forget what I came up with. Compare who was in the Bowman set, Al, as well as who was in the Topps Red and Blue backs. I thought I remember a surprise finding. I think Bowman had two pay levels, just as Topps did--exclusive and non-exclusive. Now that all three of those guys are dead, we may never know. I recall thinking about that when Robin Roberts died.

Woody Gelman did send out some of those 3 Current All-Stars to very selected friends or traders. As I recall, some were die-cut, and some did not have the cut. Sounds similar to the variations in the Giant Stand-up. Either one is valuable. I like them without the die-cut; this way, they will not come apart. However, the cut produced what the designer intended for in the first place. We collectors would rather just have the card, period, fully intact.

Thanks for the encouragement. It helps our hobby to share info.

Take care and keep cool down there in San Antone. Respectfully, Brian Powell
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  #30  
Old 08-31-2010, 04:46 PM
bcbgcbrcb bcbgcbrcb is offline
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My single favorite is his 1951 Wheaties Test Issue
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