1971 was the last year Topps put true inserts (i.e. not team checklist cards) into their baseball and football packs for almost a decade. 1971 football cards and their well-and-jointly-designed inserts are the focus here today.
Much like the '71 baseball series, that year's football cards had full bleed borders, only in red or blue (or in some cases, both) instead of black. I always thought the 71's were nicely designed, with their red-for-AFC, blue-for-NFC colors:
And in what muct have been the inspiration for 1975 Topps baseball cards, All Pro players in '71 got both, a nice touch:
As you can see from the wrapper, you got a game card and a poster inside the wax packs:
The Game Cards look to have been patterned after a crazy mix of the '68 Baseball Game Inserts and a deck of playing cards:
Topps designers must have had fun with the backs:
If only they had owned a team, those helmets are great! There are 52 players in the set and the cards measure at the ubiquitous Topps rounded-corners-insert-size of 2 1/4" x 3 1/4".
Also in the packs were a set of posters, 32 in number:
Pink looks odd on a football poster and the border colors trended toward bright in this set with, shall we say, "unmanly" blues, yellows, greens and purples augmented here and there with more traditional color schemes. These measure at 4 7/8" x 6 7/8".
The fun part is on the backs:
To help you out, Topps also included a handy marker insert card:
The back was helpful too:
If you do the math on the Game Card inserts, there should be 66 cards on an uncut sheet. Six players are double printed, which leaves 8 slots on the sheet for the markers to occupy. I remember getting a lot of markers buying these packs back in 1971 and playing a few games of football as well. Both sets are quite reasonable in price these days, so if you wanted to play a game, you could do so with ease.