Saturday, August 29, 2009

Matchbox Catalogs

As faithful readers will recall. Matchbox produced a catalog each year of their line of cars and accessories. As a child, my mom would pick up a catalog at the store and tell me to pick out some cars that maybe “Santa” would bring me on Christmas morning.

The firs t Matchbox catalog was issued in 1957, a fold out catalog. Here is the 1959 catalog.

Here is the 1960 catalog.

There was not too much imagination on the covers of the 1961, 1962 and 1963 catalogs.

At least the insides were a little different. The top picture is from the 1961 catalog, the bottom one from 1963.

The 1964 and 1965 catalogs at least had different covers.

But their insides were similar!

The catalogs were issued not only in England and the USA, but in many different foreign countries. Here are the 1973 catalogs from the USA and the United Kingdom.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

1963 Fleer Baseball Cards

When I was a kid growing up and collecting baseball cards, the only company making cards was Topps. Now , so many different companies make cards you can’t keep up with them.

However, prior to their current run of cards from 1981, Fleer made some baseball card sets, primarily during the 1960’s.

In 1959, they produced an 80 card set on Ted Williams. In 1960 and 1961, they produced sets of cards featuring retired players. Here is card #21 of Howard Ehmke from the 1961 set.

In 1963, Fleer issued a set of 67 cards of current baseball players. The cards were issued with a cherry cookie! This resulted in damages to many cards. Here is the wrapper the cards came in.

Here is the card of Willie Mays, #5 in the set.

The big coup for Fleer was they had the first card issued of Maury Wills. Wills was not considered a top prospect by Topps in the late 1950s so they did nit sign him to a contract. When Wills made it to the majors, he snubbed them but did sign with Fleer. It didn't hurt that he was the National League's Most Valuable Player in 1962. Here is his card, #43 in the set.

As the set was released, Fleer wanted to include a checklist card. The cards were printed in sheets of 66, so, in the final print run, card #46, Joe Adcock was replaced by a checklist card. I love this short printed checklist card. Here is the one from my collection.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

1964 Topps Giants

In 1964, Topps issued additional baseball card sets apart from their regular baseball card set. One such set was the "Giants" baseball card set. These cards were larger than the regular sized card. They were postcard size.

This 60 card set is beautifully photographed. The backs of each card is a highlight of the player's career shown as a newspaper article. A few cards were short printed and are more difficult to find.

Here is the card of #4, Sandy Koufax.

Here is the back of his card.

I love this card of #15, Jim Gentile. A great picture!

Here is the back of his card.

Here is the front and back of Mickey Mantle, #25 in the set.

The complete set of 60 currently sell for $150-$200.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Matchbox Service Station (Part 3)

In 1968, Matchbox produced its third service station.

This station was one story and came with B.P. markings. Here is the station.

The cars shown are from left to right are #53 (B) Mercedes Benz 220 SE issued in 1963, #39 (B) Pontiac Convertible issued in 1962, #29(B) Austin A55 Cambridge Sedan issued in 1961, #49(B) Sports Boat & Trailer issued in 1961, #30(A) Stake Truck issued in 1956, #65(B) Jaguar 3.4 Litre Saloon issued in 1962, #31(C) Lincoln Continental issued in 1964, #24(B) Weatherill Hydraulic Excavator issued in 1959 and the #40(B) Leyland Royal Tiger Coach issued in 1961.

Here is the box it came in.