The 1970 Kellogg’s Reggie Jackson baseball card knows something about Topps that you may not.
You can see it in his eyes.
See, in the 1960s, Topps was reveling in the heyday of their monopoly.
They had dispatched Bowman to the commons bin of history back in 1956, and they squashed Fleer pretty hard in 1963 when the Philadelphia gum maker veered off into current players packaged with … uh … cookies.
Basically, Topps was free to do whatever they wanted.
And that freedom led to some pretty blah decisions, like no-hatting guys who got traded and using the same picture of Hall of Famers for what seemed like decades in a row.
But, to their credit, what Topps also seemed to want to do was experiment.
Indeed, all through the ‘60s, Topps treated collectors to an avalanche of oddball releases and test issues that included unusual entries like gold embossed bust cameo cards, stamps, candy lids, coins, game cards, Supers, and on and on and on.
And then, in 1968, with man on the verge of rocketing to the moon, Topps decided to try something really wild — 3D cards!
That set of 12 cards was just testing the waters, and because of that, sales distribution was limited — today, those cards are tough, tough to find and bring big bucks whenever they’re offered for sale.
They were real lookers, too …
Clean lines with block letters and a circle containing info about the player — position and team.
Sort of a dramatic preview of the 1969 Topps baseball cards.
Of course, probably THE star of that ‘69 set is the Reggie Jackson rookie card, issued on the heels of Reggie’s 29-homer sophomore season in 1968.
While the Reggie RC was busy popping out of wax packs the next summer, 1969, the man himself was busy slamming 47 longballs to lead the A’s back into contention (they’d finish second to the Twins in the first-ever AL West race).
That established Jackson as a superstar, and a prime candidate for inclusion in any “special” baseball set that came along.
As luck would have it, one of those very special sets that came along in 1970 was a run of 75 lenticular 3-D cards (same technology used in the ‘68 Topps test issue), this time inserted in Kellogg’s cereal boxes.
And right there on card #32? Yeah, it’s Reginald Martinez Jackson:
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If that design looks familiar, well, you could be forgiven for thinking it was a rehash of the ‘68 test set.
It’s not … not exactly, at least.
But it does bring together all the best elements of that impossible issue, baseballed up a bit, and with a facsimile autograph added.
Like the ‘68s, these first-year Kellogg’s cards are works of art, beauties to behold.
And, also like the ‘68s, the Kellogg’s are nowhere near common (though also nowhere near as scarce as their ancestors).
Today, a Reggie in PSA 9 sells for about $100 most of the time, while a perfect 10 is pushing toward a cool grand.
And, no matter the condition or price, this snazzy pre-Mr. October Jackson is a hobby bridge, connecting the era of dreams to the era that saw a 3D card in every kitchen cabinet.
Magic Motion jetsam everywhere says, “thank you.”