Today's short post is about the 1987 CLASSIC YELLOW WITH GREEN BACK RED SOX. I may touch on other years later on but this particular first series is of interest since I came across a few items of course cleaning up.
One of my favorite late 80's early 90's items , I particularly enjoyed buying a board game series called "Classic Baseball Major League Trivia Board Game". They were produced initially by a company called "Game Time LTD" out of Alabama in 1987 It was considered highly unusual for a toy company to be involved in the sports hobby and the first years offering came thru toy hobby channels as opposed to the sports memorabilia channels. "Supposedly" just 75,000 sets were produced that first year of the green card first production. Little did the hobby know of what was to come. I did a bunch of research and this company never legally existed. I even checked under the business alias file and no such company name ever registered properly. This was not unusual back then and I'd love to have a conversation one day with Ken Goldin on who he dealt with to buy the company.
This business came to the attention of two of the hobbies largest buyers at the time and people I was highly familiar with due to my age being the same as the son-- Paul and Ken Goldin. They decided to purchase the business after seeing the initial 1987 offering blossom into a huge lucrative market and in April of 1988 completed the purchase under his "Score Board Inc" corporate umbrella with a 3rd individual who was a friend of the fathers- Arthur Sherman. Score Board FYI had just started just 2 years prior in 1986 as a business so this was a pretty aggressive move they made. Rather than include all the players the culled out just stars and semi stars with a bunch of hot rookies included. As folks would later see in later additions this was acknowledged in the packaging ( see below)
The 1987 Classic Yellow board game update was very easy to play. You spun a wheel and it gave you choices to choose which trivia level you'd me playing at and would determine either what type of hit you had or whether you scored an immediate run or not. Pics below of the spinner and board. You kept score and it was 9 innings with 3 outs a side- same as regular baseball so even young kids could play easily.
As to be expected with approval from both Major League Baseball's property department people and the MLB Players association the usage of baseball players on the cards created an instant hit within the hobby. Due to the unusual channels of distribution-- that being a supposed toy manufacturer instead of a company like Topps, Donruss, or Fleer = you can imagine the types of issues that would occur in production runs. Even when the Goldin's purchased it several errors cropped up.
One of the first I noticed in 1987 involved the Yellow Travel Update Baseball set. Some of the items showed yellow backs ( correct back) and some showed green backs ( incorrect back). Whether this was by design or a true manufacturing error those collectors who liked chasing different variations of cards of their players enjoyed the
challenge of locating the wrong back. Now this was pre-internet craze folks-- you had to travel to shows in many cases to even know the variations existed- or read a Beckett Magazine Error and Variation column put out by Rich Klein. I remember seeing dozens of people with Beckett's at shows looking for the green backed yellow cards. The big rookies back then were Cory Snyder and Wally Joyner = and they got totally eclipsed by the new sensation Bo Jackson !!!!
I wanted the set for the Boggs and Clemens of course !!
Below is the Classic Green set we are all familiar with seeing. These cards possessed a green front and green back ( big pics in the album as always)
Below is a pic of the travel YELLOW set. These cards all possessed Yellow fronts and yellow backs
Pics of the Clemens and Boggs yellow with Green backs and my Clemens Graded cards from the Yellow series
If I ever come across my slabs again will re-scan them to show the backs. I have always LOVED this Boggs card. As most everyone knows Boggs nickname was the " Chicken Man" as he ate healthy and chicken was his favorite pre-game meal The fact he was nice enough and playful enough to pose with a chicken shows how he really was as opposed to the media version of a guy internally dead
Today's post is going to cover the KING B DISC RED SOX. Was able to locate my 1988 Clemens ,1989 Boggs, and a bunch of other non Red Sox from the very first series. Pick your poison folks they followed the same principles in every years promotions that King B had with a few variations on distribution methods
King B Jerky was established in 1968 in a small slaughterhouse in Idaho Falls, Idaho by a guy named Roger Ball as he wanted King B to be the first modern company to market "steak jerky" Jerky was created when meat would be cut into strips, flavored and then cured. Those who live in rural areas with lots of plains, forests, & mountains and not near a major city would know that weather will cause meat to go bad in a hurry. By curing the meats of various animals, hunters and the average citizen wouldn't have to worry about how long the meat sat ,as it was cured for long term use. Packaged into sealed containers this stuff will last quite a while. I know I used beef jerky on hunting trips and many field exercises when in the Marines in the late 70's early 80's. I saw elk and other jerky's as well but preferred the taste of beef.
Anyways the company basically stayed put solely in the Idaho area while it developed a local following. In 1974 Mr Ball went to an industry trade show called the '"Taylor Chip Show" in an effort to begin to nationalize the brand. From 1974 thru the early 1980's he began attending various trade shows to get more National interest in the King B jerky brands. One of the more fortuitous meetings probably occurred when they contacted MSA to market their product . The baseball craze really hit in the early 1980's with card stores popping up everywhere and Mr Ball wanted to get kids eating his jerky also. I began hearing about these discs at shows in early 1989 as BA Murry was a long time Beckett contributor and he had written about this series for Beckett magazine. I began searching shows and discovered the first series cards and a sheet.
The 1988 King-B baseball set consisted of 24 players on 2-3/4” diameter discs distributed individually inside King-B Jerky Stuff (beef jerky). Michael Schechter Associates ( MSA) as always teamed with the MLB Player’s Association as usual. You could send in for a sheet as is usually the case in any MSA promotion. The items that were put into the ' Jerky Stuff " will have a darker hue. The ones cut from sheets, the proofs, and any sheet cut squares will show a brighter white. The paper was changed in ensuing years so 1990 and later will show more white than the first 2 years will due to how they became distributed. Many sets from 1990 forward never saw packaging. When buying any 1988 and 1989 King B stuff I prefer a cream color in my items.
Eventually King B Jerky became King B Inc in 2001 and was finally purchased by natural item producer Golden Valley in the late 2010 time frame. I've yet to check into the newer company to see their promotions but I'm sure we haven't ha dteh last of King B discs !!
I can't locate my personal sheets but did locate a bunch of discs along with some saved pics on the distribution methods
First my disc of Roger Clemens from 1988 King B and Wade Boggs from 1989 King B I located are below
I am sure I have dozens of sets and sheets of different years buried in my storage units
The cards came in two types of packages the first couple years- tin cans of jerky stuff like the picture below that were used every year- and in the pictured bag. No other way the first two years.They'd have had to bypass the production lines to do so. I'm sure that occurred but its obvious by a lack of cream coloring which were bypassed.
Many sellers merely shoved the TIN counter displays out there. I am using a football example but the baseball ones I remember were similar in shape and said BASEBALL on the fronts as opposed to football.
Below is an example of the first years sheet - there are sheets for every year as MSA would always produce them as displays in multiple thousands.
And here are some of the loose 1988 KING B's I located around my apartment
Life sized pics as always in my albums
Following in the footsteps of those before them, but instead of actually using adult products, they used SIMILAR packaging of food and gum products to get kids to buy the stuff and be more adult-like. Probably considered quite shifty nowadays, I remember the candy cigarettes they used to sell (no cards with those). The King B Jerky Stuff was an obvious rip off of the smokeless tobacco products sold in similar round cans (Copenhagen, etc) as I remember acting like it was tobacco myself when I ate it and of course, Big League Chew sold in a pouch that looked and was marketed very much like the early pouch tobacco products (Red Man, etc). Still, I would like to see a return of that kind of marketing where cards are featured in a variety of products, maybe just not the adult products like alcohol and tobacco.
It seems that many of these promotions were popular and had to have helped sales, yet they have just about all but vanished. Perhaps it just became too costly to use a MLB logo or player likeness to market low end food products?
Today's post is going to concern the 1986 & 1987 SPORTFLICS PROMO pieces specifically my Red Sox related items from 1986 & 1987
On the back of 1970's Kellogg's cards your going to see that it refers to " Xograph "in the lower left corner of many of the cards. Very, very, very interesting choice of a name wouldn't you think? See below for the back pic of my 1971 Reggie Smith Red Sox card
As the mind tends to wander we sometimes ask ourselves " Why would anyone name their product Xograph"?? Well folks- now that you've wondered wonder no more. The “X” was for parallax, which is found in all forms of photography, while “graph” was short hand for the Latin word " graphicus" which means “to write". Parallax photography is intended to use our eyes own focus methods to visually manipulate light so when seen from different angles items will show different views. Understand now why they called it Xograph ?? Its a form of visually presenting a series of pictures so people can hold any item at different angles and get many views. To be honest its what holds young children's fascination and results in things like astronomy degrees and engineering students.
I'll refrain from further discussion on the lenticular technology used = but lets just say its "eye" bending and will come later in a Kellogg's post.
We began to see more of these Xograph items in the early 1970's-mid 80's Kellogg's cards.
Fast forward now to the mid 1980's. After a lull of several years when Kellogg's stopped including the cards in boxes of cereal= along comes Sportflics
These items were produced by a company called "Optigraphics" that was an off shoot of early 1960's adventures in "lenticular" printing methods. Optigraphics was a marketer of products designed specifically around the lenticular printing processes. Sportflics was the chosen name of an Optigraphics adventure that took the "lenticular" process and perfected it to the point where 3 photos were visible when viewing the items. One showed a head shot and the others action poses.They were referred to as a "Triple Action Magic Motion" cards and Optigraphics trademarked the idea on March 22, 1976. At the time Ann Flavin was running Optigraphics. Optigraphics had already been involved in the sports hobby area for numerous years-- you'd recognize them in early 1980's Cracker Jack prizes but most of all in the Seven-Eleven 1980's coins !!! But to be blunt the same methods were used years earlier in the Kellogg's series. On those coins I'll do a post alter as well ( sorry lots of tie ins folks have to keep stuff in order)
In 1986 and 1987 Optigraphics decided to produce a set of items for the baseball masses called "Sportflics". I remember people screaming bloody murder at the cost. They came in sturdy foil packaging but where other cards cost 25-30 cents a pack these were 45 cents. I remember no less than Keith Olberman hammering them about cost .The set itself had a bunch of Clemens cards that I collected but what really interested me was the promotional "gimmicky" pieces I noticed. I decided to go out and look and discovered a bunch of items of players/teams I had interest in and purchased them.
The first are very familiar. The 4 in 1 panels we all know about and the Jumbo discs. The discs were produced late in 1986 but were distributed in 1987 mainly.
The last set below isn't readily seen and would only interest team collectors but they are called " Team Logo Panels". You'll find them scattered about on eBay and elsewhere. Frankly it amazes me that a promo piece can be hard to find but the Team Logos aren't readily seen and the ones I see are insanely cheap. Oh well- its the type of thing where years later people wonder why they can't locate stuff. 3 of the 4 panels had Red Sox logos so I kept the whole set.
Of note to those of you who do " cameos" of your player- I'd suggest you READ the backs of the Team Logo panels- little hint. I happen to also know other sportflic sets that have these little "cameo" mentions most player collectors gloss over. Go into my album as always for full sized.
Pics below of each version for the masses.
FOUR IN ONE DEALER PANEL- Mattingly (1) / Clemens (10) / Schmidt (30) / Raines (34)
Today's post is a continuation of the prior post and of one discovery I made involving my 1970 Kellogg's Red Sox items. The reason it took so long is as a writer and researcher you don't want to feel naked when writing about a subject matter that your supposed to be know something about but want to have a reader learn new things either from a personal or professional perspective. While I knew plenty about Kellogg's items having been there and seen them from development forward, I didn't have the proper backup I really wanted to explain the subject matter in the depth I wanted to. So I went and purchased said subject matter so I could show actual pics of it. Hence the month wait until my next post ( being sick hasn't helped matters).
The story of that Reggie Smith Kellogg " XoGraph " item noted above starts in the early 1950's. While I thought I knew most of it- research led me to believe I had gone down Alice's " rabbit hole" as I apparently knew only about my own little world- nothing more.
A photographer by the name of Arthur Rothstein was looking to bring a form of photography he loved called " auto-stereoscopic" photography to others, but to do it cheaply. Up until then it was prohibitively expensive to produce images that used the 3D "auto-stereoscopic" technology. At the same time he was looking someone came looking for him- a man called Marvin Whatmore who was the general manager of LOOK magazine. If your young this is before your "Time" ( sorry- old person joke there) but LOOK was a very famous magazine that circulated and brought photo images to the masses- sort of the words first "photography" kings. Numerous LOOK magazines showed baseball stars over the years as the magazines main focus was photos and not articles.While the magazines contained articles they were know for their photography.
Anyways Mr Rothstein was hired by Mr Whatmore to be his technical director and thus began a relationship that eventually resulted in the production in 1964 in LOOK magazine of one of the worlds first mass produced "3D" photos. For such a great invention you'd think they'd place it front and center- say in the middle. Yet if you can locate an original LOOK magazine it will be inside the February 25, 1964 issue between pages 102 and 103- the near end of the magazine. This is why it took me so long to write this next article. I didn't have this issue available to me ( buried as usual) so I went and purchased a new copy so I'd have it and be able to use the images from it to show people.
If you research the subject matter you'll need to get a degree in photography and printing while your at it because it gets highly technical. Condensing it down - the importance of the LOOK item is it was the first time a mass produced 3D " parallax panoramagram" was cheaply available to the general public. This was a type of 3D photography that others had been working on but no one had yet licked the fact that mass production was just prohibitively expensive to engage in any form of commercial success. While other companies did produce such items-- theirs was the first on such a massive scale that was done cheaply. Upwards of 8 million items were produced for this issue - and 100 million items over a 4 year period from 1964-1968.
Long story shortened-- it took 13 years of research to perfect, used a 3D camera that had just 2 in existence at the time, and used the technical skills and expertise of Eastman Kodak Company and its subsidiaries to mass produce this 3D item cheaply. The folks involved worked hard to say the least.
A breakdown of the companies involved in producing what became our 1970-80's Kellogg,s items shows that this involved contributions from many places. While Whatmore & Rothstein get the credit for the introduction of the actual item to the masses, to me important work was done by the companies who helped them bring their dreams to fruition. These companies and their employees rightfully deserve as much respect and acknowledgment as the people whose work wouldn't have come to fruition without their help.
Crowles Communications - employer of Marvin Whatmore and Arthur Rothstein. Rothstein was the technical director of the project as he had an advanced interest in commercially bringing 3D photography to people and Whatmore's LOOK magazine was just the place to get in on the advance photography front. Without Crowles Communications coordinating the entire project it wouldn't have happened.
Eastman Kodak Company / subsidiary Eastman Chemical - developed the 3D technology needed to take the photos and plastics and make them adhere in such a way the photos and plastic maintained their properties when handled in a high speed manufacturing process for low cost.
Harris-Interype Corp- creators of the 3D printing press used to produce the 3D items. Without their work with Eastman Kodak's engineers and developers none of the next generation of color items would happen as the advanced printing techniques required a press to be built from scratch and without them the work of the two companies above wouldn't have happened either. Again- equally deserving of our recognition.
Visual Panographics - the employers of Whatmore and Rothstein created a printing arm specifically separate from Crowles Communication in order to be able to offer the developed technology to others. Visual owned and operate the single 3D press that Harris Intertype had created. We in our baseball card world wouldn't ever have been able to enjoy Kellogg's cards without them. They also had a relationship I believe with another company that will be explained below that I believe played a role in these items as
well. Located on Madison Ave in New York City this company later moved to the Dallas-Ft Worth area.
Below is the LOOK magazine issue that was produced which showed what to we in the baseball world would consider the first " 3D" type item. Its the February 25,1964 issue of Look. As you can see I'm showing the actual mag and a close up of the upper right corner. Seems rather unusual to promote such an invention but low key was the norm for the day ( drawing attention to ones self was "classless" in that day)
A closeup of the cover reveals the magazine did consider the introduction important - it just didn't scream it out
When you open the magazine to pages 102 and 103 you'll see some background on page 102 and this pic below on page 103. I have taken closeups of the actual image so people can see it much better
Rather underwhelming wasn't it. The black and white photo to me was rather surprising-- I'd imagined a color extravaganza. Compared to future productions of the Kellogg's cards that was an understatement. It shows 5 of Thomas Edison's inventions and was combined with a story about Edison and the LOOK picture above. I was underwhelmed by it but realized beings spoiled by future iterations of any item will make you think the first one that existed was rather primitive. Which it generally is- until others perfect and work on it to make it better.
A mere 4 months later and some better quality items came to market. The April 7, 1964 LOOK magazine contained a 2nd photo and other photos began to appear. Notice this one for Kodel, which was a product Eastman Chemical used for clothing. The woman's dress is actually Kodel fabric made for the photo shoot itself. Eastman was pimping its success in helping develop the technology
Later on LOOK magazine began another publishing venture thru Crowles Communication called VENTURE. In each travel magazine they included on of the photos produced specifically for VENTURE. With a circulation approaching 4 million plus in Venture each issue surely helped promote the products to the general public. The pic shown below promotes the magazines look at San Francisco's trolley system ( which had the Presidio, California St and Market St trolleys) and while you'd need the card in front of you to make out the names , the dragon is self evident and promotes San Francisco's Chinatown. I'd say a very effective way for a reader to remember a place they'd surely want to visit.
Fast forward 4 years from the above photos and lo and behold the 1968 TOPPS 3-D set appeared. While seemingly not connected to Kellogg's folks that's exactly what they are to me- connected. By strands that are interwoven thru various companies involved that further research may untangle.
For years it was know that the distribution of the 1968 Topps 3D set occurred in a very limited area of Brooklyn by the Topps Company. While researching this stuff I came across an interesting article from Keith Olbermann 10 years ago. One of nice benefits to having been in this hobby so long is knowing when a party has knowledge about a subject matter that may prove useful. Olberman was known to me as a teenager as he was my age and competed in the same arenas around New York City and New England. In those days--and of course today - he also always had more money than me so I generally lost out on many an item I wanted to his wallet. He chased rare stuff even back then. His interest in this set and its prototypes is well known.
Olberman speculated that Topps had decided the set was too cost prohibitive to produce and opted out of choosing to produce the 3D items for general distribution. Like many researchers he based his conclusions on the fact that the photos of Jim Maloney in the 1968 Topps 3-D set and the 1970 Kellogg’s 3-D set are identical. Since it was known "Xographics" name was involved in both sets it was surmised that Topps at the least had their hands in the pie started by Visual Panographics. On the back of several Topps 3D proof items was the warning “This is an experimental XOGRAPH ® card produced as limited edition. Not for public circulation or distribution. Not for resale. To be returned to: Visual Panographics, Inc. 488 Madison Avenue New York, New York.” Now how else can a "Kellogg" related item end up in a Topps product if there was no relationship? Goes back to the supplier of items of both- Visual Panographics.
A couple pics from Sports Collectors Daily article from 2014 revealed the box the 3-D items came from. In an earlier Post I showed a 1971 Topps Greatest Moments set and the rare pack wrapper from it. This wrapper is also equally rare ,yet despite this sold for less than $9000 combined with a proof card in a 2012 Mile High auction
Now if Topps had said "no" to an item in those days the go to people were always the food people if someone wanted their product to reach the general public. While its not discussed in any hobby related articles of the time ,nor in any other areas for quite a few years afterwards, fast forward nearly 10 years to 2015. I was made aware of the collection of John Benanti coming up for sale. In this unique collection were items obtained by John Benanti of Visual Panographics while employed there. His son decided to make them available after learning of their historical importance ( and possible values). You can locate the article HERE. While they didn't reveal the son's name ( I won't either due to respecting his privacy) his father was well known to me. I had come across his and other names when researching this stuff . Who is he ?? Well if you don't know who Victor Drago, Bill Feldman, John Benanti and many others are then Visual Panographics and LOOK magazine has certainly faded into oblivion is all I'll say. BTW his relatives and survivors can contact me at my [email protected] address if they care to discuss more about their family history as its very interesting stuff for people like me who appreciate hobby history as well !!
Olberman's research and the subsequent discovery of the same Visual Panographics warning leads me at least to believe that Topps either passed on production and it was marketed to the food people at Kellogg's and other places- or some business relationship between individuals known to each other when in New York allowed Visual Panographics to merely move on to the next party interested in their products.
I went looking for my 1970's related Kellogg's Red Sox and sadly cannot locate them here in Vegas despite one month of searching . I'm sure I'll eventually locate in storage and will try and update this post with the dozens of Kellogg's related items I own.
I did however in the course of my research unearth many pics that help me understand the distribution of a few the 1970 Kellogg's Red Sox items in my collection. Below are pics of the 1970's Kellogg's. We all probably remember these ads on the back of cereal boxes- this is the 1970 version
While most people remember the plain manila envelopes inside the cereal there was a 2nd method via a rather expensive ( for the time) rack pack distributed . In trying to get around the Topps monopoly they decided to sell " Team Iron On" items and include the Kellogg's cards for free. I can tell you they came out well after the cereal versions -- probably as a way to get the remaining stock of 1970 out of the way so 1971 Kellogg's items could be produced.
These items came out of the below box.
I have to say I don't like coincidences. It is apparent to me at least that Topps may have been involved in some way with helping point Visual Panographics in the right direction as far as distribution channels. I find it extremely unusual that the 1970 Kellogg's box shown above bears remarkable color similarity to the 1968 Topps 3D box that showed up at auction. Either that color was in vogue at the time or someone co-opted packaging hints from Topps. Methinks whatever 3rd party distributor that may have been used just re-used similar features to help distribution speed up.
I also find it unusual that outside of New York very few of the boxes have ever appeared of either 1968 Topps or 1970 Kellogg's 3D. Highly unusual for a well known and collected series. I was deep in the hobby back then and never once witnessed either box appear at any show I ever attended.
I noticed when researching the above items above in the Sportflics post that during the 1940 thru 60's there were numerous examples of variable image items produced by a company called VARI-VUE. Vari-Vue coined the name "lenticular" to describe their linear/lenticular lenses and "Magic-Motion" to describe any lenticular image containing motion. Long before those Sportflics items from Optigraphics came around there were tons of other items that were produced by Vari-Vue. An example of their items is below- we all will recognize the Beatles and Green Hornet items but they also handled political buttons and many other items. When I first started out looking at the Optigraphics stuff I suddenly realized there were similar technologies involved but that they varied in their production. Hence why I wanted to delve back into the Kellogg's back story a little more - peaked my interest. I noticed their were different imaging methods, different 3D effects methods, and also different plastics. Hence why I stated in the posts above that you'd need to develop an interest in photography and get a degree in the subtle variations of light effects and such to understand it all.
Frankly these items above are the color items I first remember showing properties like the later Kellogg's cards. I later learned that the Visual Panographics people had a relationship with the same folks that Vari-Vue used. Murky is the waters that surround the Sports scene and usage of the Kellogg's "principles". Vari-Vue, along with companies such as Crowles Communications, Hallmark, Toppan ("Top Stereo") and Dai-Nippon of Japan and later Optigraphics ("Optipan" and "Linearoptics") produced a wide variety of products from the 60's thru the 00's , including Cracker Jack premiums, Political buttons, 3D baseball cards, postcards, magazine and book covers and point-of-purchase displays.
I'll advise what further research uncovers but it will take a lot more digging. I do know patents that Vari-Vue has are pre-dated by nearly 30 years by others. Again- would require further research and a degree in several fields to decipher whose responsible for what.
Suffice to say my interest in a simple history of the Sportflics & Kellogg's items items led me down Alice's rabbit hole !!
I was wondering what had happened with this thread.
I picked up 1 or 2 items from eBay that were coming from the Benanti collection. I can't recall what I specifically bought, other than they were Kellogg items, but I think at least one may have been graded with his name on the label. I had to google the name at that time to see why it was significant as I had never heard the name with regard to collectibles. I'm guessing a majority of buyers were in the same boat as me, just scrambling to get something unique and not really caring who Benanti was.
Today's post will be covering the 1987 STUART SUPER STARS PANEL SET
We have all heard the generic description about this set above- just about everyone uses the same write up
Below is the write up most often used and one of the most accurate I've seen ( so far)
Taken below is the set attribution from PSA CARD FACTS website
The 1987 Stuart “Super Stars” baseball set was distributed in 28 four-card panels measuring 10-1/8” by 3-7/16” featuring three player cards and one sweepstakes entry form card. As was customary with many Canadian sets, the 1987 Stuart baseball cards were printed in both English and French and were only issued in Canada. These 2-1/2” by 3-7/16” cards were printed on bright white cardboard with the player portrait flanked by blue panels hosting a dozen stars. At the top is the Stuart logo as well as “Joueurs étoiles” and “Super Stars” on either side and the bottoms have a pair of crossed wooden bats with the player’s name, team and position printed below (the
latter two printed in English and French). Also present is the MLB Player’s Association logo, despite the fact that all team logos have been airbrushed out. The backs show the player’s previous year stats with a bilingual biography against a plain white background. All 26 teams are represented with the Montreal Expos and Toronto Blue Jays appearing twice.
A little background to go with the above. The fact they don't even mention HOW the set came distributed is perplexing.
First and foremost the name should have been changed to say " 1987 STUART BAKERY SUPER STARS PANEL SET ". To leave off the " Bakery" part is to ignore the contribution put forth by the folks responsible for the sets creation and distribution up in Canada and its eventual sale later on down the line here to US customers.
Back in Day 22 if you'll remember ( or if you haven't read all the posts go back to that days posts and read to catch up ) I discussed the Hostess sets, and how the company was forced to sell its assets in its second bankruptcy. I mentioned the various companies involved in the breakup and sale in its Chapter 11 transaction and how Apollo Global Management and Mexican bakery king Grupo Bimbo had a big hand in the purchases of many of the assets of Hostess and its subsidiaries in the bread & snack industry that were tied in.
Stuart Bakery at the time in the mid 1980's was a Quebec based bakery that had been acquired initially by Saputo's bakery division ( part of Canada Breads conglomerate). They ran separately as a stand alone company for quite a while after Saputos purchase, and much later on down the line they were eventually swallowed up by Grupo Bimbo in the mid 2010's when Canada bread sold them to Grupo. Once again- a company tied in back to Hostess !!
As can be expected from the round about snack / bakery business tied in with Hostess Brands, many of the cross promotions were specifically tailored towards the predominately French-Canadian customers in Quebec Province where this promotion was centered. The primary language of French Canadian with English as a second language was why these items were first and foremost given French on the left and English on the right ( advertisers use this as a way of saying " closer to the heart" when placing a primary language to the left) .
During the 1980's as you are by now aware Michael Schecter and Associates ( MSA) was hard at work pimping every possible form of promotional products that tied in somehow with sports-- and baseball whenever possible. Here again we have it again in the Stuarts panel set. Unlike the set they helped put out for Stuarts in 1984 this one centered on all of MLB and its stars as opposed to just the locals.
In 1987 Stuart Bakery runs a contest in Quebec province where folks can come in and buy their cakes and participate in a promotional contest designed to sell more cakes but possibly win the customer prizes or even trips . Within each cake package contained a panel of 3 cards and a sweepstakes entry form that promotes the customer possibly winning a Trip to Spring Training, a Louisville Slugger Bat, or even an Autographed ball from a MLB player. Similar to the Fantastic Sam's US cross promotion and many other MSA sponsored US promotions, it was highly successful at the time due to the explosion in the sports card industry at that time even up in Quebec. With 28 possible different panels folks had to search the various cake brands to find the ones they needed.
Winners eventually received their items via mail . Sadly I am still looking for letters / winner notifications from this promotion 21 years later for my records. Never once have I seen a winner letter, winner bat or even a winner auto ball from the Bakery promotion with actual PROOF it was the prize awarded. What I also don't have available is any newspaper ads or hobby publication ads promoting --if you have pics of any would love to see them and to actually buy them if you have them available for sale. I'd also buy any winner letters, items etc for hobby history reasons and as backup for my Clemens collection
Below we see multiple forms of advertising used to cross promote this promotion
The first is a hangar promotional piece.
The second piece shown is an insert piece-- its generally slid in between signage that would normally show pricing instead. Rather than show pricing it promotes the contest of course !
The last is a two part pic of a large ad panel top / bottom
These pieces were from my favorite "CanadaCollect" seller on eBay of course !!
I remember those being pretty hard to find when I first got on to eBay. I ended up with a decent size grouping, possibly the entire set, plus lots of dupes and eventually sold a few singles for pretty decent money. I stopped trying to sell them after a short time and although I have never looked at the recent pricing, assume they sell for much less now. Once again, the oversized nature of the cards themselves, even though it is ever so slight for this issue, has probably lessened the demand. The individual cards once broken off from the panel are just a bit larger than the standard card size, wreaking havoc on collectors who like to store their single cards together in boxes or in sleeves. Of course, Garvey is in this set, which is why I had the exposure to the issue.
DAY 38- 1984 RALSTON PURINA / 1987 RALSTON PURINA BASEBALL SET
Sorry folks for the month long delay but recovered from another illness ( sucks getting old) and work was a bear at year end was too busy to do anything.
Today's post concerns my 1987 RALSTON PURINA SET sheets that contains Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens and 3rd baseman Wade Boggs = in particular the Cookie Crisp and Chex Sheets . I'll also touch a little in the beginning on the 1984 RALSTON PURINA SET that contained former Red Sox player Fred Lynn-- however due to not having my proper cards , picture back up issues, and a distinct lack of proper source material I'll refrain from going into very much detail until I have what I really want here in house. The 1987 versions have always had more interest to me anyways due to my main collection focus of Roger Clemens being in it.
Back several pages ago on Day 22 I discussed the sale of Hostess and the various companies involved in the CH 11 proceedings. In the post I attempted to show a lot of the interrelationships between the companies involved in the food related business - in particular the bakeries involved in the food and snack industry. While not seemingly connected all these companies in one way or another are interwoven thru a fabric of companies that resemble a production "cookie" cutter line--literally !! Ralston Purina was one of the companies involved.
Ralston Purina began as an animal feed company called 'Purina Mills" in the 1890's and in 1902 changed its name to Ralston Purina. The company had two sides to it- one was the animal feed and animal food side, the other human foods- mainly healthy cereals. Back on Day 22 when I broke down the sale of the HOSTESS Brand one of the companies that was involved was Flowers Foods who purchased the rights to the Wonder Bread name . I don't want to go into the Wonder Bread story just yet ( that's coming later) but suffice to say the bakery owners of the Wonder Bread name ( and Twinkies) originated from a 1925 purchase by Taggart Baking Company who was swallowed up later on by a parent bakery company called Continental Baking . Continental owned numerous distribution points and tons of bakeries mixed in all geographical areas. They were the Walmart of Baking for a number of years.
Fast forward 40 years or so and in 1968 Continental Baking gets swallowed up by aerospace giant ITT Corporation. ITT was a conglomerate looking to use up cash and purchased nearly 300 companies at that time. ITT held on to their investment for a number of years . Ralston Purina then purchased Continental Baking Company from ITT in 1984. This came up during the Hostess discussion as they were involved in sales proceedings of Hostess many moons ago. Again- the food / snack businesses all seem inter-related once you really check into them card wise. Its why food issues produced by MSA are all over the place.
A SHORT NOTE ON THE 1984 RALSTON PURINA BASEBALL SET
I first took notice of the Ralston Purina folks in 1984 when MSA worked with them to produce the 1984 Ralston Purina baseball card insert set and they started appearing at northeast shows. Inside special marked packages of their cereals like Cookie Crisps or Chex they included a package of cards in a sort of cream colored package. Just like all other MSA related promotions customers could also order an uncut sheet from the promotion. I won't go into the 84 promotion too much its not unusual to find full cereal boxes with the ads on them on eBay. I never really wanted to keep the boxes but did save some pictures. Mostly wanted to save the unopened packs and cards of the Red Sox. Sadly when I went looking for mine they appear to be buried so I won't be showing many of mine today from 1984.
Below is the box pics showing the 1984 ads and packs inserted. I was unable to get a good snapshot of the 1984 series sheets so I ordered one and will update this post later when it comes in. In particular I'd like to compare a sheet and a pack insert to see if I can notice differentiation in production like the 1987 versions. I also want to locate my 1984 PSA graded Purina cards and my loose items before I post any additional info on the 1984 set . Please look for an update later. I love the look of the 1984 series as the colors really pop.
As you can see below the 1984 1st series cards were highly advertised on the backs and sides of the boxes. You could get individual packs out of the boxes or send away for one of the full sets via a mail in offer. Full size pics in the album of course. Below Garvey's pic is the cut out you could send in for complete sets if you didn't care to wait for them individually. I have looked for and cannot locate the return letter/ package materials Ralston sent back then ( if someone has theirs would love to see them).
1984 RALSTON BOX PICS WITH AD
AD CLOSEUP BELOW
1984 RALSTON SHEET VERSIONS ( better pics later when they come in)
BELOW IS THE PACK -- this one has Fred Lynn front and Andre Dawson back
Now there is other info I'd like to present but honestly due to limited back up and source materials won't go into until I do have it again in house . Sorry folks will need to move on to the 1987 version
THE 1987 RALSTON PURINA BASEBALL SET
Now the interest of mine and whole reason for today's post to begin with was the 1987 RALSTON PURINA BASEBALL series. Ralston decided to run another promotion 3 years later in 1987. This one really attracted my attention as it had St Louis Cardinals Star Ozzie Smith as the promotion's face. Fresh off the World Series with cross town rivals the Kansas City Royals I was intrigued by this particular promotion. Like the prior years promotions you could get pack inserted items or sheets. Unlike the prior years however they came in variations - depending on whether the promotion came out of the Chex or Cookie Crisp Cereal boxes.
Rather than go deeply into this 1987 promotions odds and prizes I am going to give props to Hensley Meulens hyper collector and FCB member DaClyde. In case you haven't visited his Clyde's Stale Cards Blogspot before I will highly recommend reading it
His blog is on my own personal list of frequent blogs I like reading or checking out
The particular post he discussed THE 1987 RALSTON PURINA promotion is HERE
Props to him for doing the research. Love the background and information provided. Like him I discovered some interesting facts regarding prizes and promotional distribution methods and such.
On the fronts and backs of Purina's Honey Graham and Chex cereals just like in 1984 they advertised the promotion-- except now the prizes were bigger and involved a Grand Prize of winning ONE DAY WITH A HERO which in this case turned out to be Ozzie Smith. This definitely made collectors like me take notice. I tried finding my life sized poster board but couldn't see it in storage but I know there is a life sized cutout of him promoting it ( if someone has that pic show it off ). I also saw the numerous minor prizes that were possible and they also peaked my interest.
In all the years I have collected this series however I have yet to see a lesser prize winner letter or prize in its original state = and certainly have yet to spot the promotional prize notification or pictures of the 1987 Ralston Purina Grand Prize winner. How anyone can run a promotion and no one ever sees the winner actually promoted makes no sense. Its something I have been trying to locate for years for my personal collecting records. As you saw back a bunch of pages I saved the Borden's reply letter and I have various 1980's prize winner letters saved in my collections from various promotions. If anyone has a 1987 Ralston promotional winner letter and can show pictures of the letter (and/or a winner prize) or wishes to sell them please see me would love to own the item (s). Same applies to the Grand Prize Winner info
Life sized pics in the album as always. As you can see on the fronts ( sides and backs also) of specially marked boxes in 1987 they ran the promotional material for the ONE DAY WITH A HERO promotion with the winner getting one day with Ozzie
Below is a full box view of the Cookie Crisp version back showing the promotion full box
And a close up of the back showing off the Grand Prize of One Day with a Hero Ozzie Smith
Inside each specially marked box you got an unopened pack of 3 cards along with an instant game winner card
Below is an unopened pack sample ( mine below has a Don Mattingly front and Steve Garvey back - unknown middle)
People saw either an Instant Win notice that said "Sorry this is not a Winner " and included a special mail in offer
Or the Instant Win notice says ' Congratulations" and notified the person what they won. Most times it was either a Chex or Cookie Crisp uncut sheet
Below is the pic of a bunch of the possible cards PLUS the loser notification and an Instant Winner of an uncut sheet notifier
Below are my two uncut sheets- the only difference is one was Cooke Crisp the other Chex
Rather than just bore people with two similar sheets just took the closeup of the Chex version
Life sized as always inside the album
The back of the sheets is annoyingly difficult to show color wise . I scanned part of one of the backs to show off the color difference
As you can see from pics above there are easily distinguishable difference between SHEET CUT and PACK ISSUE
Pack Issue - whiter and brighter fronts, has "1987 Collectors Edition" printed in upper right corner, backs are grey stock Sheet Cut - fronts are white but subdued , front is missing upper right corner info, and back is a cream color stock
One detail that escapes me is why Ralston Purina ( or maybe MSA) chose to print these sheets and cards in Canada
Perhaps to give their Canadian business work? Would love to know the 'why" behind that printing choice. There is a tie in perhaps with the parent company Continental Baking since they had subsidiaries in Canada which did other food related promotions. However Continental Baking had a bakery in St Louis where Ralston was also based- no idea why they'd outsource to Canada at all.So the sheets being printed there make no sense I'd love to discuss this with anyone who would know why .
I'll update the post later on when the 1984 sheets come in and I get all my 1984 back up located.
DAY 39- 1987 FLEER SLUGGERS and PITCHERS BOXED SET
I haven't written on my Red Sox post in a long tiem due to lack of time but figured today woudl be a good day to handle one. Its going to have to be short and sweet though as I still am way, way behind on my projects I need to get handled. Came across a few items from my 1987 FLEER SLUGGERS AND PITCHERS boxed set. I realized I had an entire case of boxes in storage. Back in the 1980's as you know Fleer was famous for making the absolute worst mainstream baseball sets-- and some of the gosh darn best boxed mini sets I've ever encountered. As to why this discrepancy- who knows ?? No thought at all in mainstream sets-- and tons of thought in mini boxed sets. Whether they felt it necessary in order to please the retail outlets they served may have been the case. I never interviewed a Fleer executive yet so I wouldn't know the thoughts behind the marketing involved.
The 1987 series like its brethren in 86 came in 24 count master boxes with each 44 card / 6 sticker set inside. You could purchase them at any drugstore, KMART, Walgreens or whichever local retail outlet you had near you. For me KMART seemed the go to place as it was right in Hudson where I lived. Inside each weekly ad with the homegoods and stuff were sports ads. I knew that they also stocked baseball boxed sets and was a weekly visitor. Seems I spent a lot of time in Papa Ginos and Kmarts back then
We all remember these stores right ??
And we also remember these ads of course ??
Since I dont have access to my cases I'll show a few boxed sets and some of the cards. Opened one of the sealed boxes to show the checklist on the back.
And in case your Mass and New Englanders are wondering -- YDC is actually from Pennsylvania-- got them at McCrory stores when I went down there
Your going to have to have had a drivers license before 1980 to know McCrory they sold out early 80's. I traveled a lot back then doing shows up and down the East Coast
You might get lucky when opening a box to find well centered cards. HIGHLY UNLIKELY but you can try
Took me 3 cases to find 1 acceptable Boggs and 1 acceptable Clemens to sub.
You may get it L-R centered but good luck gettin T-B centering to agree at the same time
Had my graded Clemens for a while ( slabbed in 2007)
And I am still looking to see if a box bottom exists with a Red Sox player
As I like perusing blogs and stuff came across a nice blog post on the 1987 Fleer Sluggers and Pitchers Box bottoms
You can see it HERE
If anyone can locate a sell sheet see me I'll but it from you
Couldn't locate my box pics so I borrowed from ebay
I haven't written an article in a while because that part of the PC went on the backburner but came across a sealed set of 10 True Value Superstars items so figured I would. Today I'll discuss my Red Sox items from the 1986 TRUE VALUE SUPER STARS series produced by --who else- Michael Schecter and Associates ( MSA)
We all know and probably may remember our local hardware stores growing up. I had Robinsons Hardware locally in Hudson and remember Aubuchons in Clinton as well. Both were whats called " independently owned & operated" businesses. Problem with being independently owned and operated is mega chains can swallow you up and kill your business. Back in the 60's and 70'sI remember my father ( and other fathers) always going downtown to pick up some hardware item or another for some project around the house. Being in a state that endures a lot of weather variations people tend to have to constantly upkeep the home front. Whether it was paint, nails, screen fixing supplies, whatever, my father refused to buy them anywhere else. He always said " why go to someone who doesn't know or care about me"?? The folks at Robinsons knew everyone, knew what they were like, and in many instances socialized with them. Its a byproduct of a bygone age where who you knew was more important than what you knew or had access to.
The pic below of my local Robinsons Hardware in Hudson is from the mid 80's but it probably hasn't changed much ( from what I've heard they added on to it)
We all remember these ads ( some of us at least)
Anyways people like Robinsons are small and small businesses need ways to stay in business and remain competitive. They are always looking for a way to cut their costs and keep their prices low One way they can do this is by forming whats called " a nonprofit cooperative" that helps them serve as their own wholesaler and distributor. As members of a co-op, they could pool their buying power to negotiate better prices for hardware from manufacturers and then sell the merchandise with a small markup to themselves and other hardware dealers who owned the shares of the co-op. They kept costs down by pooling money that helped them promote their businesses and all profits that were left at the end of the year from the non-profits activities get distributed back to the companies that form the co-op. Neat little way to stay afloat would you say ??
The original company that created the "True Value" brand was a company formed in 1855 called Hibbard Spencer Bartlett & Company. Rather than bore you with the company history-- which is interesting- I will refer people to the following
First- a company historyy even more extensive than True Value offers on their website can be found HERE
Second- the man mainly responsible for Tue Value as we know it wrote a book published-- ahem- in 1986- same time as these cards were
Its available cheaply on Amazon. Interesting reading for history buffs.
Rather than link it ( when they pay me to link Amazon I'll start doing it) -- here's the book cover you can look it up
And now on to the cards. The cards came in 3 player panels with the 4th panel advertising the TrueValue Brand
My sealed package is below. THESE PANELS CAN BE FOUND WITH NUMEROUS AD BACKS for the variations freaks
I've personally seen Wagner Power Tools, Bondo Filler, Weber Grills ( shown below), Hamilton Beach blenders, Big Boy Tire Pumps, and numerous others
My personal collection probably has a dozen variations each of Boggs and Rice ad backs buried somewhere.
One of these days I'll make a list of all my variations
And in no way am I opening my unopened packages of these. While I'm aware they could be given out during purchases of $5 or more mine came from MSA in sealed packages like the one shown below
And a pic of a Rice obtained from our supercollector [MENTION=2659]tpeichel[/MENTION]
And the company by the way was HQ in Chicago so all you Chicago folks probably saw them on schedules like the one below- or on the Bears Super Bowl Winning Team promotions
I was not aware at the timeI got mine that the ad backs for the True Value cards existed. I didn't notice things like that at the time. Of course, I would needed to have at least two of some cards and I want to say I probably bought a set and that was it.
I didn't go on an extensive search, especially since most people selling them were not scanning backs (or fronts) of all the cards they were selling. After reviewing a number of lots and singles on COMC and asking a few selelrs to tell me what they had for back brands, I have come to the current conclusion that Garvey only has 2 back variations. This is not set in stone, even in my mind and would be OK with proof otherwise.
Now within the sets I own, each player has different products advertised. For example, there may be a different product on the back for each player in the set, although there may have been some duplication of the brands/products. I don't recall, as I was focusing mainly on the Garvey card. It is possible some players, maybe all, have more than 2 different ads on back, but it seems odd that they would bother to go to that extent for such a limited interest set. Unless it can be shown that sets came with the same ad back for all cards, I am content with my conclusion that a handful of products were highlighted across the set, and my search is over for any new Garvey ad variations.
Looking forward to some new entries for this thread soon as well...
While I would "normally" post these in my grading thread going to post them here today and pick up some writing on my Red Sox PC stuff.
In the mid 1980's former Cincinnati Bengals punter Pat McInally, a Harvard graduate, decided to partner with one of the operating principals at Kenner Toys ( which one is up for debate- either its chief toy designer or its head of sales) to create a toy line of sports action figures that he had dreamt up in late 1986 at the end of his career. After having his idea accepted , in 1988 the company came out with several sports brands-- one of which of course is the baseball action figures we so love. And contained within was the cards inside many of us love to collect !!
This was around the time the toy industry was in a massive shakeup. The 1980's, particularly the late 80's and early 90's, was similar to the sports card industry, in that the toy business is cyclic. What's hot today may be cold 6 weeks from now, and a product that carried a company thru 3 years may disappear sales wise in a rush. Kenner Toys was no different. If you read my treatise on the mechanization's of the food industry, and how everybody seems to eventually come back around to everybody else - well toys are no different. Kenner was known for its Parker Brothers brand board games, including the Monopoly, Clue, and others. People may also know their other stuff like Play Doh, Care Bears, Nerf balls, and if your into this type of stuff- the Ouiji board.
Kenner at the time McInally wanted to start his venture was involved in a hostile takeover from another company, and Tonka seized the chance to buy it. Tonka over spent ( they bought it for $622 million ) to get Kenner, borrowing almost the entire purchase amount. Bad business decision that would come back and haunt them years later ,and they wound up being bought out by Hasbro. Basically a mid range business eating a small business, the mid range which in turn gets eaten by the big dog. But McInally had a hit on his hands initially- I remember they came to one of the 90's Nationals with some prototypes and a Nolan Ryan sold for pretty good money back then. They even had their own Kenner convention. If your big on that circuit and had some of that show info from the 1990's= would love to have that history myself ( can email me just use my profile).
Rather than going into Kenner history I'll link to this interesting local article about the Kenner business written in 2012
And we all know what the toys look like. But I will solve a little bit of a mystery in case some of you always wondered why there were two 1988 versions. Its because of how they were distributed by each toy division. As you can see from my pics below-- the Parker Brothers game produced team set items that says 'Parker Bros" and the Kenner SLU uses the photo and says "KPT". And rather than steal someone else thunder- I will link to what I feel is by the far the DEFINITIVE explanation of that oddity provided by none of than the SABR folks.
The best baseball cards are evocative—tangible reminders of a particular period of life, memories of rooting for a favorite player, or the circumstances in which one came to acquire a prized posses…
Here is a bunch I just scanned as a part of my Clemens slab project. I have his other years buried in another box as always. When I find them will come back and update the pics. One thing I never noticed- even after owning these for 32 years- is the 1988 backs. One is left to right, the other right to left ( flip sided).