Friday, November 5, 2010

Card back countdown: #25 - 1963 Topps

The 1963 Topps set contains a lot of elements that I like. It's extremely colorful. It features not one, but two images on each card. It is the inspiration for 1983 Topps, which is, hands-down, the greatest '80s set of all-time.

Unfortunately, when you put it all together, the 1963 set just doesn't do it for me. Some of the cards are filled with so many bright colors it's off-putting. I know that's weird for someone who loves 1975 Topps so much to say, but it's how I feel. Also, the inset photo looks rather primitive, especially when Topps was trying to airbrush an "L.A." on a tiny cap.

I'm also sure the full-bleed card bottoms drove collectors crazy.

Other than that, I don't have much else to say about the fronts.

In fact, I don't have much to say about the backs either. Except to say that I like them.

Sure, yellow isn't the greatest color, but the backs are very neat and clean. Very readable and all of the information is readily available.

But the best part for me are the cartoons. These cartoons look a lot different to me than many of the cartoons that Topps used through the years.

The drawings are more artistic and have the look of a more serious artist than other card back cartoons. I read somewhere recently that the 1962 card back cartoons (which you'll see later in the countdown) were drawn by the same guy who did drawings for Mad magazine.

The cartoons in the '63 set look like those in the '62 set, so I'm wondering if the same guy did both sets.

Anyway, they're phenomenal. It's the kind of cartoon that makes you want to see it full size and ask whether you can take it home and frame it.

Best of the set:

Again, I have very few of these cards that are not Dodgers, so I'll skip this once more.

(previous card back countdown selections):

50. 1978 SSPC Yankee Yearbook
49. 1993 Score
48. 1999 Skybox Thunder
47. 2000 Upper Deck
46. 1999 Skybox Premium
45. 1953 Johnston Cookies Braves
44. 1995 Topps
43. 1997 Fleer
42. 1992 Pinnacle
41. 1989 Bowman
40. 1977 Kellogg's
39. 2004 Topps
38. 2004 Topps Total
37. 1992 Topps
36. 1992 Donruss
35. 2008 Upper Deck Documentary
34. 1963 Fleer
33. 1955 Bowman
32. 2006 Topps
31. 1961 Topps
30. 1955 Topps
29. 1967 Topps
28. 1970 Topps

27. 1969 Topps
26. 1966 Topps


  1. I mentioned this when his card came up on my 1965 Topps blog, but I think Moose Skowron resembles actor John C. Reilly (Gangs of New York, Chicago, Stepbrothers, etc.).

    I just ripped a box of 2010 Topps Update and pulled an insert of Eddie Murray done in the 1963 Topps design. It's fantastic - I'll feature it on my blog this weekend.

  2. Put a mustache on Skowron, and I think he'd look like a young Mike Ditka.