1949 Topps Play Coins of the World
Friend o'the Archive Bill Christensen has passed along some color variations via scan:
Yellow, blue and green all seem to have lighter toned variants. Whether this was planned or the result of die running low at the end of a "minting" is hard to day but I lean toward the latter. I particualarly like the light blue. Anyone else out there have some color variations they can share?
1962 Topps Hockey
I've shown this before but given recent revelations about the 1962 era aluminum plates, here is one of the color process plates in aluminum for the 1962 Football set, compared to the regular issue card:
The 1962 aluminum hockey proofs have a little bit more of an intriguing story now, thanks to Friend o'the Archive Keith Olbermann, I'll let him explain regarding these:
...[they] include the answer to one of the great riddles of Topps editorial choices. That set has 66 cards of just three NHL teams. There's a coach and at least one goalie depicted for the Bruins and the Black Hawks, but the Rangers have a card of one goalie, no coach -- and a trainer.
The trainer card, Frank Paice, always bothered me. A trainer? Instead of a coach? Well sure enough, on the aluminum and paper proofs, the explanation is presented. Paice had nothing to do with the absence of a coach card. His photo is identified as "MARCEL PAILLE - GOALIE." An understandable photo ID mistake, apparently discovered too late to do anything more about than make the card into one of Paice!"
Here is Paice the Trainer:
The 1962 backs must have been pasted up first then, I'm not sure how many guys have been called a stickboy on a hockey card but it must be in the low single digits:
1962 Topps Hockey Bucks
I find the early Topps Hockey issues fascinating as there were so many little twists and turns, a boatload of inserts and packaging oddities, all for some very short sets. Recently an uncut strip of twelve 1962 Hockey Bucks was rung up on eBay:
If you want to know why there are so many miscut vintage Topps inserts, this is a good indicator. When I was editing the above shot, I realized the top edge was perfectly aligned horizontally. You can see the right-tilting curl very easily in this scan.
1967 Topps Blockheads/1988 Topps Pee Wee's Playhouse
I recently linked some of the activity cards in Pee Wee's Playhouse to some earlier Topps issues and while I didn't include this in the post, I think there is a basis for comparison. Here is one of the most gorgeous artworks from the Blockheads issue, which I have also shown before:
First of all, the idea that such an intricate painting was used to create very short run Hallowe'en issue in 1967 is mind-boggling! Really, look at this thing, it's insane! Now here is a clear derivation, although in rough form, from Pee Wee's Playhouse. Not an exact copy but I suspect the Pee Wee's Playhouse artists were looking at some older Topps archival material, possibly unearthed as the iconic 1989 Guernsey's auction of Topps production material around the same time:
Blockheads, by the way, featured artwork from Wally Wood and Basil Wolverton of EC Comics and Mad Magazine fame, with Norm Saunders doing the finished paintings. Crazy!