Thursday, March 7, 2019

Space Cards, G-Men ...and other weirdness

My Net54 grab-bag purchase and latest hotel show scrounging yielded some stuff I had no business adding to my collection. But it's some fun stuff and post-worthy (I guess).

These first two cards are from the 1957/58 Topps Space Card set. I had never seen these. A little digging turned up the fact that these cards, 88 in all, were recycled for another set, Target: Moon somewhat later. The dates of issue for some of these non-sport sets are sometimes murky. The Topps Archives blog does a great job of researching this sort of thing. These were also re-issued in England through Topps' agreement with A&BC. Some were also included in repacks and promotional tie-ins as late as 1968.

The artwork is uncredited as far as I can tell. I saw a Topps mainstay, Norm Saunders, credited for these on at least one reference page but checking Mr. Saunders' website finds no mention of them.

This is a fun one..astronauts playing checkers in space. Well, OK then.

Just for grins, I checked to see what putting this set together would cost, or if it was readily available already completed. Lots of listings for singles on eBay at prices from about $4 and up. One complete set, from a British seller, for over $450. I think I'll just enjoy these two in my non-sports binder.

And speaking of tough to put together...check out these next two cards. They are from the 1936 G-Men and Heroes of the Law set.

Gum, Inc. (aka Bowman) issued these as a skip-numbered (and probably unfinished) set of 168 cards. The card numbers run into the 400s. Some background and the known checklist is available here.

I blew these up so the backs could be read here. That's about as much text as I've ever seen on a card.

I'd guess that these were done to jump on the popularity of the Dick Tracy comic strip which premiered in the early 1930s. This page has a link to a slideshow of the whole set.

You can get a better idea of the size of these with this scan I did of one next to a standard Topps card.

Haven't had enough of guys with guns? My dealer and friend Daryll had a stack of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. cards in his non-sports box. I picked out a couple of Robert Vaughn examples. This is the best of the bunch.

I really enjoyed that show back in the day. But it wasn't my favorite...that honor goes to Combat!  I've posted a few of these cards previously but I think these two capture the main characters best:

Rick Jason as Lt. Gil Hanley...

..and Vic Morrow as Sgt. Chip Saunders.

Like everything else we enjoyed, my friends and I had debates on which character was 'the best' in the show. I was a Hanley devotee. Sadly, both actors died tragically.

I'm still not done with the oddballs. But I'll mix in a few baseball posts so both regular readers don't completely abandon ship. 


  1. I’m definitely a fan of the Space cards. The 1960s Space Stuff was pretty wild!

  2. My local Portillo's have similar looking G-Men framed pictures on the wall. Like 8x10 pics. I wonder if anyone posted an inside pic of the joint on Google.....

    ..... holy shit. I actually found them in a 360 panorama someone posted!!1s0x880e8a50ddc74de5%3A0x3d598897137ab985!2m20!8m2!1m1!1e2!16m16!1b1!2m2!1m1!1e1!2m2!1m1!1e3!2m2!1m1!1e6!2m2!1m1!1e4!2m2!1m1!1e5!3m1!7e115!!5sportillos%20-%20Google%20Search&imagekey=!1e10!2sAF1QipPHCRYACMRSi9dIBDw3vpYgMpjFPjwgac98ZUl3&activetab=panorama

    Pan left when it loads (and yes, it's creepy at hell at the start), but you will see this two seater tables. The one you can get the best view on with a yellow/red/blue placard on the table - zoom in. Blurry, but still, they are not trading card sized. I wonder if the cards are based on a comic book?

    1. Link didn't work for me Jeff. I'm gonna try a search