Wednesday, September 7, 2011

1948 Topps Magic Photos

Set size: 252 total, 19 baseball subjects, 7/8" x 1-1/2"

Front Design: The vertical card fronts have a black and white photo with the subject printed over the photo.

Back Design: The horizontal black and white backs indicate which "series" it was from (in this case, "Aviation Pioneers"), as well as a trivia question relating to the subject on the front of the cards. The cards are numbered as part of each series. Baseball players feature a -K card number suffix.

Parallels and Similars: 1955 and 1956 Topps Hocus Focus cards feature the same concept and similar card front designs, though the backs of each issue are unique.

Distribution: Cards were issued in packs/wrappers with instructions on how to develop the photos. The photos were originally blank, and would need to be developed by spitting on them.

Thoughts: Gross. Really gross. Totally cool, but incredibly gross. Let's hope this is one concept Topps never brings back as a retro insert set. This issue contains the first baseball cards issued by Topps - four years before the iconic 1952 set. Not only is this the first baseball issue, it's the first card issue from Topps. Well-developed near-mint cards are worth $60 (and can easily bring more), but non-sport subjects in lesser condition with poorly developed photos are thankfully easier to pick up.

From Wikipedia: The subsets by group letter are: A Boxing Champions, B All-American Basketball, C All-American Football, D Wrestling Champions, E Track & Field Champions, F Stars of Stage & Screen, G American Dogs, H General Sports, I None issued, J Movie Stars, K Baseball Hall of Fame, L Aviation Pioneers, M Famous Landmarks, N American Inventors, O American Military Leaders, P American Explorers, Q Basketball Thrills, R Football Thrills, S Figures of the Wild West, T General Sports.

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