Friday, May 10, 2013


One of the strangest Topps lots I have ever seen recently closed on eBay.  I got real excited when this cache of 89 1948 Topps Tatoo wrappers popped up until I realized they were all of the same subject!  Yes 89 examples of Atlas, all looking pretty ex-minty:

The eagle eyed among you will note the lack of the telltale Topps production rip at the top, as documented here.  While all 89 wrappers are not visible, it sure looks like none of these were ever wrapped around a piece of gum. Atlas is also a subject that constantly shows up on eBay (along with a dinosaur) and sure enough when I checked my collection of unripped Tatoo wrappers (one from each year of issue: '48, '49 and 53) I had an Atlas. A normal wrapper looks like this of course:

So this leads to an interesting question, namely, why would there be 89 examples of one specimen in such nice shape?  BFF o'the Archive, Jeff Shepherd, thought they may have been salesman's samples, intended for stapling to letters sent out by the sales team at Topps and I suspect he may be right.  It makes me wonder if most unripped Tatoo wrappers, no matter what the year, were intended as samples.

It also makes me wonder how these were produced.  Most  Topps tatoo (and similar) issues through the late 1960's  were printed as rolls with alternating subjects.  While this was the first Topps novelty product, I have to doubt they were so inept as to group so may subjects together and admit I am a bit stumped as to the process that would result in such a hoard.

Will a similar hoard of dinosaurs be next?  Hard to say since Atlas examples outnumber them from what I have observed.

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