Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Follow The Flying Ball

One of the promotions Topps came up with in the early 1950's to get rid of some excess card inventory involved sticking a leftover 1952 Wings card -- and what I have to hope was a fresh stick of gum -- into a sneaker giveaway pack in 1955.  Red Ball Jets were a popular brand of sneaker sold from 1951 until 1971 and Topps took advantage with this promotion.  They also stuck a premium offer on the wrapper offering 15 additional cards for a dime:

Interestingly, the mail away address seems to match that of Red Ball's parent company's HQ so I suspect Topps managed to offload a truckload of cards on the unsuspecting sneaker manufacturer!

While Topps Chewing Gum is not identified per se the indicia does trumpet the pink stuff was manufactured by the "Makers of World Famous 'Bazooka" Bubble Gum". These packs are often though to contain the smaller, black & white 1956 Photo Album Jets (to use their full title) cards, but they do not and you can clearly see the Red Ball packs came out a year before Jets.

Wings indeed featured cards from all countries of the world.  Here's a French plane to cite just one example:

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