Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Copy That

One of the things I noticed early on when diving deep into the Topps canon was that they borrowed (or perhaps were inspired by) many issues from the 1930's. One such instance even stretches back to the early 1920's. I'm  not sure if it had to do with Woody Gelman's all seeing eye (he would have been too old to be a kid collector in the 1930's), Sy Berger's childhood memories (he would have been the perfect age or maybe just past it) or maybe the four Shorin boys' own kids but somebody at Topps was clearly influenced by the gum sets of the Depression.  I thought I would look at a few today.

One of the earliest Topps sets to crib an earlier one was 1948-49 Magic Photo.  Patterned after a number of self-developing issues of the 1920's and 30's, a couple of series of circa 1921 strip cards seems to be the earliest of these:





Magic Photo of course was a major early Topps release:


It was followed in 1955 by Hocus Focus:



I am struggling to find the link or a scan but there was an obscure 1930's set Called Hokus Fokus, if I recall correctly, that operated under the same principle of wetting the blank surface, rubbing against a piece of paper with a developing chemical and then exposing to sunlight.

Another series, American Chicle's Thrilling Stories (R25) was a small pulp booklet with a colorful, sensational cover:


While R25 sported text stories, other similar issues from the 1930's did not and featured traditonal comic art. Topps seized upon these for a couple of jokey issues in 1967 and 1970 respectively:



Of a slightly sturdier construction, Goudey came out with some flip movies of baseball players in 1937 and '38; other companies issued similar fare as well in this time frame:



Topps of course came out with Flip-o-vision in 1949:



The 1930's also gave us 4 on 1 Exhibits (1929-38) and 1935 Goudey Baseball:



While 1969 gave us Topps Mini Stickers (a.k.a. 4 in 1's) and Football Stickers:



There are other issues as well this can be dome with.  I'll dig out a few more and maybe some of my faithful readers have a few doppelgangers of their own to share.



1 comment:

Mark Aubrey said...

I've never seen those Flip-O-Vision issues with the Marx Brothers. Can't go wrong with Chico.