For those who missed it, Topps issued a hobby-only set to commemorate the company’s 75th anniversary; that’s not to say that there’s been 75 years of Topps trading cards, but I suppose they can’t issue a set of commemorative pieces of gum.
…Speaking of which, where the heck is the gum in these packs? If you’re celebrating 75 years and you started out as a gum company, shouldn’t these packs come with gum?
BAAAAAHH!!! No good, rotten Topps… Mutter mutter mutter…
Gum or no gum, I was at my semi-local card shop and decided to give a pack a try. If nothing else, there’s always a post coming out of it, right?
So I bought the pack, scurried out to the parking lot, got in my car and ripped it open.
The pack, not my car.
The first card I saw was this:
…and right off the bat, I said “What the hell am I looking at?” I honestly had no idea of what this card was; the guy with the helmet looked something like Franz Liebkind from the 1967 version of “The Producers”. Was the back going to feature the lyrics to “Springtime For Hitler”?
Well, let’s take a look…
Oh. “Rat Patrol”. I would’ve preferred Franz Liebkind.
…and the back of the card even mentions “the ubiquitous slab of bubble gum”, but they don’t give us one? Doesn’t sound ubiquitous to me…
Rat Patrol was in syndication when I was a kid, but why would I watch boring war stuff when I could watch Get Smart, Gilligan’s Island, The Addams Family or The Flintstones? C’mon, really…
Not a good start. Let’s see what’s next:
…and again, not a clue.
Turn it over… Oh, it’s Fabian.
Fabian was a teen idol in the late 1950’s. Perhaps in another 75 years, Topps will issue a 150th anniversary set and people in 2089 will be saying “Justin Bieber? Who the heck is Justin Bieber?”
Moving along, we’ve got 1966 Slob Stickers.
…not the pinnacle of 20th Century wit, but at least it’s got Jack Davis artwork. Jack Davis was one of my favorite Mad Magazine artists… Jack Davis and Don Martin. …and Mort Drucker … and Sergio Aragones… Dave Berg… Al Jaffee…
The scan of this next card does not do justice to how amazingly and completely fugly it is…
This is the Rainbow Foil version of the 1953 “Tarzan And The She Devil” card. The original was meant to be viewed through 3-D glasses. You combine the offset 3-D printing with Rainbow Foil and… Yeeeeeeesh. Trust me, it ain’t pretty.
I didn’t know what this next one was when I saw it.
I was thinking “This is the best example they could find of an X-Files card?” …But the cardstock is different on this one, and I realized that it must be a buyback card.
Scully looks about as impressed as I am at this point.
Here’s another one with lame humor but a good artist… This is a 1966 Frankenstein Valentine sticker, with artwork by Norman Saunders…
As I mentioned the other day, Norman Saunders did the 1966 Batman cards, plus he did Mars Attacks and a lot of of other Topps cards & stickers, including Wacky Packages.
Finally! A card I can relate to!
I was still in college when it debuted, but I watched Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. Mock all you want, but when you’ve been hitting the books for hours, there’s nothing like kicking back and watching a little Pee-Wee.
Trivia time: Cowboy Curtis was played by Laurence Fishburne.
1965 Monster Greeting Cards… yet another example of dumb joke, classic artist.
The back of the card says “STAY THERE!”
The artist is R. Crumb.
And that completes our little journey through this pack of Topps 75th. Not exactly what I was hoping for… I would’ve been happy to have gotten Wings or World On Wheels or Rails and Sails, Flags Of the World, U.S. Presidents, Mars Attacks, Beverly Hillbillies, Astronauts, The Beatles, Outer Limits, Gilligan’s Island, Get Smart, Lost In Space, Batman, Batman Laffs, Wacky Packages, Soupy Sales, Laugh In, Planet Of The Apes, Man On The Moon, Mod Squad, Brady Bunch, Partridge Family, Kung Fu, Evel Knievel, Wanted Stickers, Good Times, Star Trek, Happy Days, Welcome Back Kotter, Charlie’s Angels, Star Wars, Jaws 2, Close Encounters, Battlestar Galactica, Superman The Movie, Alien, Incredible Hulk, Raiders Of the Lost Ark, The Simpsons…
But no. I get Fabian and Rat Patrol.
…and I could’ve used the $4 I spent on this pack to buy some of the actual cards instead.
I won’t condemn the whole set based on one pack, but I think that this particular pack needs to be viewed with the utmost of disdain; as the Comic Book Guy might say…