This month’s VCoM comes from one of Topps earliest oddball sets, the 1948 Topps Magic release. The 1948 set was made up of 252 cards from sports and non-sports categories and were quite unique in the fact that the card fronts were blank and you got to “develop” the card yourself in a similar fashion to Polaroid film.
After you opened your pack of Hocus Bubble Gum you took your tiny, stamp sized card and dipped it in water. You then laid the wrapper across the blank front of the card, pressed for 10 seconds and then lifted and voila the card had a picture.
This Billy the Kid card is card #7 on the category “S” checklist, which is the Figures of the Wild West portion of the set. Each category was given a letter or number designation and then the cards were numbered based upon that specific checklist. Category “A” checklist was basketball players, category “B” was football players and this ran through Category “T" for general sports athletes. You never knew who you got until you opened the pack but some of the big names in the set were Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Charles Lindberg, George Patton and this guy Billy the Kid.
These cards are very condition sensitive with many of the images fading over the years but my card is very bold and the details are very clear. I really am not a fan of mini cards and these cards are not much bigger than a US stamp but I will make an exception from time to time and this is one of those exceptions.