Saturday, September 24, 2016

Wise Guys

One of the hobby backroads less traveled that's ripe for further investigation leads to buttons and pins, especially those produced in the 1960's and early 70's. This applies not only to Topps but the other producers of the day, although my interest certainly is with the former.

About a month ago I picked up what I thought was a 1965 Topps Wise Guy Button:

When it arrived I noticed it was much larger than a traditional Wise Guy, measuring 3 3/8" in diameter vs. the standard 2" for the issue.  I also noticed the back was pretty chunky:

It's a two piece button, although the safety pin replaces the original clasp, which I found a likely scan of over at Terapeak:

I can't find any information on the larger pin.  Like the 2 inch version it only has a small "JAPAN" printed on the rim. The late wrapper king John Neuner has a listing for the set from 1961 but I think that's wrong for the big button and he just whiffed on the 1965 set. Here's the 1965 issue from an old Legendary auction:

Friend o'the Archive Bill Christensen thinks the larger buttons came after the smaller ones due to the two piece back.  I think it's possible as the small ones have an edge on the underside of the rolled rim that is very sharp and which is eliminated on the two piece design:

So just when did the larger version come out and how did Topps market it? My master list of Topps issues does not have anything on it resembling the larger pin and I have not had any luck over at Net54 or looking through NS guides.  

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