Tuesday, August 31, 2010

1982 Post Cereal Team Cards & Contest

While the Mini Pennant set that I previously reviewed may or may not have been released by Post Cereal back in the early 1960s, there is no doubt that these 1982 Team Cards were part of a promotion done by Post:

The team cards fold out and have the team's history on the back of the team logo card

as well as an attached contest form:

It appears the contest was to collect character stamps from different Post Cereals (like Super Bear from Sugar Crisp, Fred Flintstone from Fruity Pebbles, etc) and place them on a game board that was on back of the cereal boxes.

If you were able to get all the players shown on the box, you could send in the pieces and receive a T-shirt (which was considered 3rd Prize). There was also a Grand Prize as well as Second Prizes, but the cards don't mention what those prizes were. Here is a view of the inside of the entire unfolded card:

The flip side of the contest card had all the legal terms and conditions as well as the form to claim your T-shirt:

I've only got a few of these, so I'm afraid I can't show the entire set. These are from the boxes of cereal that I ate back in '82. I'm glad I saved the cards, but I wish I'd gotten a few more boxes!

And here are a few I've seen for sale on ebay:

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

1963 Post Cereal Baseball Mini Pennant Stickers

Today's post covers a sticker set that may have been released by Post Cereal in the early 1960's, but I have not been able to confirm since I haven't found much information about the set other than one auction listing.

Here is a look at the pennants from the set that I have been able to find:

As you can see I've got the Orioles pennant in a top loader, so this should give an idea as to the size of these pennants.

Most of the pennants use the team's official logo, but in some cases the logos are a bit different, as is the case with the Dodgers pennant:

Here is an interesting variation of the Mets logo without the word Mets

and a similar situation with the Yankees logo:

The Giants also have a logo variation without the name Giants on the baseball logo:

In addition to the teams, there were pennants for the leagues as well:

I haven't been able to find an American League pennant yet.

Since we have the expansion teams from 1962 and the Braves pennant indicates they were in Milwaukee, that narrows the dates that these could have been issued to between 1962 to 1965, since the Braves moved to Atlanta for the 1966 season.

I have been able to locate (or at least find pictures of) 19 of the 20 teams that were in the league from 1962 - 1965 with one exception - Houston. I'm not sure if there is a pennant for the Houston team, and if so, whether it is the Colt 45s or the Astros since I'm not 100% sure of the year(s) these were issued. Perhaps this is yet another Astros oddity where they were left out of a set, or maybe I just haven't come across one yet (as I haven't found the AL pennant either).

The backs of the pennants have instructions on how to attach the stickers, and indicate that they can be reused.

Unfortunately, there is no information on the back regarding the year they were made or who issued them, which is why they remain somewhat of a mystery. If these had been a Post Cereal promotion, I would think that they would have included their name on the back, which is why I'm a bit uncertain whether or not these were truly issued by Post Cereal.

I mentioned that I have seen these listed as being from 1963 and issued by Post Cereal. Here is the only place I've seen these identified as such:

This was a listing in an Auctions Collect.com auction catalog from 2009:

Unfortunately I haven't been able to find a Post Cereal box or ad mentioning these pennants. This example of a Post Cereal box with the 1963 Post Cereal cards does not mention any promotion where pennants could be found in cereal boxes nor is there any type of mail in offer:

Perhaps the pennants were a different promotion and not tied into the card promotion and were included on different boxes, but at this point given there is nothing on the pennant mentioning Post, and the 1963 cereal box example doesn't mention them even though the box includes baseball cards, I'm going to say that they "may" have been issued by Post, but so far we don't have much in terms of confirmation.

UPDATE: 2/2012

Thanks to Greg, we now have confirmation that these were in fact available in boxes of Post Cereal in 1963:

The front of this box of Post Rice Krinkles indicates there is a miniature Major League pennant inside the box, and the back shows the Red Sox pennant along with 4 cards:

The box indicates there are 19 team pennants, which confirms that there was no pennant made for the Houston Colt .45s. In fact the box even says "Except Houston" right under the information about the stickers and just above Tom Cheney's card. For some reason, it looks like the National League pennant was issued in its place (which brings the set to 20 pennants). That would explain why there appears to be no corresponding AL pennant.

The Post Cereal cards have stats from the 1962 season, so this confirms that this would have been a 1963 release.

I'd like to say thanks to Greg for this fantastic find! This box answers all of the questions I had not been able to previously answer.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

1961 Topps Football Original Negatives - Fantastic Action Shots

I came across a number of original negatives that Topps is auctioning off through the Topps Vault this week which contain some excellent action photography that was shot during the 1960 season, and used for "Highlight" cards in the 1961 Topps Football set. I'm not that familiar with the 1961 set, so I didn't realize there were a number of action shots in the set until investigating these negatives.

Just take a look at this great shot of Johnny Unitas:

This was the photo used for card # 57:

I really like this picture as it shows so much of the action from the play as opposed to a tightly cropped shot of just one player. Even though you can't see the receiver that Unitas is throwing to, you can see the pressure on him to get the pass off in a hurry. You also get 3 refs in one shot which is something you don't see too often.

And how about a shot of Jim Brown running against the Giants:

This picture appeared on card # 77 (where Topps refers to him as Jimmy):

Here is Paul Hornung against the Eagles at Franklin Field

which was used for card # 38:

This picture of Eddie LeBaron

was used on card # 19 denoting the 1960 inaugural season of the Dallas Cowboys:

Here is Charley Conerly of the Giants against the Steelers back when the Steelers wore numbers on their helmets

which appeared on card # 94

Speaking of the Steelers, here is Bobby Layne

which was used for card # 113

Here is Milt Plum of the Browns in what appears to be a night game

which was used on card # 132

These photos and the 1961 cards show that Topps had the ability to produce cards with excellent action shots by the early 1960s. They continued featuring action shots on their 1962 Football cards with B&W action shots beside a color portrait:

But after that, action shots virtually disappeared. Why didn't Topps feature action shots in either baseball or football sets on a regular basis (other than the occasional action shot on a World Series card) until almost a decade later, when they started including action shots in the 1971 baseball set

and in 1972 for their Football set:

Taking a look at the 1972 "In Action" cards, I'd have to say the 1961 cards look much better in terms of the action they portray. The airbrushing just kills any kind of sense of action that the picture conveys because it doesn't look real. Speaking of the 1972 action shots not looking real, what is going on in this picture?

Apparently the ball has some kind of force field around it which causes everything around it to become blurry. Since you can see the feet of the players below the blur, I'm guessing Topps must not have had the rights to someone on the bench so it looks like they tried to make them disappear.

After seeing these negatives and finding the 1961 cards that were produced using those pictures, it really seems a shame that Topps didn't include any action photography in their football sets for 10 years, and instead put out cards that looked like this:

Just think how much better these sets could have been had they included some action shots. After seeing what Topps was able to do in 1961, there is no reason why they could not have had at least a few game photographs in their sets each year.

It wasn't until 1976 when Fleer issued their first Team Action set that we saw cards that depicted NFL action in a similar fashion to those 1961 cards since Fleer didn't have to airbrush the logos:

It seems like in some ways those 1961 "Highlight" cards were ahead of their time with their use of game action photographs since it would be quite awhile until collectors would once again find these types of action shots included in their sets.