Collection of three rare items related to the 1948 Topps “Magic Photos” series. These items represent three of the earliest advertising pieces related to the promotion of Topps trade cards. There is no doubt these three items originated directly from the files of Topps years ago. 1)
Sale sheet sent to wholesalers to promote Topps’ new product. The sheet features an image of a complete unopened five-cent wax box of the 1948 Topps “Magic Photos” cards, plus a summary of the new series and pricing details. The date of January 1949 is printed at the top and it has three punch holes on the left side to be filed in a binder. The blank reverse has four glue stains in each corner from being mounted in a binder. Dimensions: 8.5 x 11 inches. 2)
Trade magazine advertisement proof features an image of a complete unopened one-cent wax box of 1948 Topps “Magic Photos” cards. The blank reverse has tape remnants from being mounted in a binder. Dimensions: 8.5 x 11 inches. 3)
This extremely rare colorful retail window display poster (13 x 6-3/4 inches) promoting the 1948 Topps “Magic Photos” series features images of thirteen cards including Johnny Lujack. This is the one of the rarest and earliest of all Topps card advertising displays. The poster has three natural vertical fold lines (as issued) and still has the original strips of clear glue along the vertical sides which the candy store owner was supposed to wet, so as to attach the poster to the store window. Technically in Fair condition due to a couple edge chips on the right side, light creasing, glue stains (from being mounted in a binder), and two tears on the lower center fold line, all of which do not detract from the extraordinary display value of this great rarity.
Most assume that the first Topps card issues were in 1951. In fact, the very first Topps card issue was the unusual "Magic Photos" set of 1948. This was also Topps' first baseball-card set. Among the nineteen subsets comprising the set of 252 subjects are nineteen baseball players including Ruth, Cobb, Wagner, Mathewson, and Young. Other subjects represented include boxers (Dempsey, Tunney, Jeffries, Willard, Johnson, Louis, etc.), and various nonsport topics, including famous movie stars, buildings, famous personalities, cowboys, championship dogs, etc. These "self-developing" cards (7/8 x 1-7/16 inches) were called "Magic Photos" because when issued they had blank fronts, and the sepia photos on the fronts could be developed by youngsters by exposing them to the sun. This set has always been very popular among nonsport collectors, but its great significance as Topps' first baseball card set has never fully been appreciated by baseball-card collectors. This is a superb trio of very rare Topps advertising pieces, which represent some of the earliest known promotional items related to Topps trade cards, and would make outstanding companion pieces to any complete 1948 Topps “Magic Photos” set or additions to any world-class advertising collection. Total: 3 items. Reserve $300. Estimate (open).
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