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monsterwax

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Reply with quote  #1 
This isn't outing an auction, because it's been relisted several times (first at $12K, now down to $10K): Flash Gordon Test box (supposedly the only one in existence-- but who really knows?). There was no official wrapper except the "pack of fun" generic wrapper. The four boxes that were broken up and sold in 1984 were generic test boxes as well, so apparently this box was designed, and printed, but never used. There were only 24 cards to the set (I still need #24). 

What do you think about this box (or the cards in general)? 

FlashGordonBox.jpg

Article on the set can be found here.

And images of all 24 cards can be found here









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nsaddict

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Reply with quote  #2 
I like the box and a rare item indeed. Given the choice Iā€™d prefer a Mars Attacks box but Flash is as tough as it gets. I feel the price tag is on the Mark(s). The Ebay description mentions Bob and Jeff Marks in a 3rd person and they are the sellers šŸ˜€ Anyone want a true rarity go for it!
Crockettfan

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Reply with quote  #3 
Beautiful box.  I love that set. 
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lcummins

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Reply with quote  #4 
I've been wanting color photos of this box (and King Kong) for years!

These images bring up four points of interest for me.

First, this looks to be a "mock-up" box and not a fully printed box. It appears that a printed paper proof was glued onto a generic white box. Look at the lid flap that folds into the box and the wrinkles of the paper on the back panel. It does not take away anything from the rarity as this might still be the only existing example of any box type for "Flash Gordon".

FlashGordon_Test_21a.png 

Second, at first glance, it looks as if the only colors printed on the paper proof were black and cyan or a combination of cyan, magenta and yellow that make the blue. It looks as if the title and price were maybe meant to be some color other than white, or so I thought. But look at these "Lost In Space" and "Man From U.N.C.L.E." boxes, both, basically one overall color. "Lost In Space" does indeed have another color for the title and price, but "Man From U.N.C.L.E." is white, just like the "Flash Gordon". So, I guess it could go either way...

LostInSpace_03a.png 

ManFromUncle_06a.png

 
Third, I show the above two boxes because they have the same design elements as the "Flash Gordon", yet they are from 1965 and 1966! So is the dating of "Flash Gordon" at 1968 in error and it really is from around 1965 or 1966? The serials were first syndicated to TV in the mid 1950's, but were syndicated again in 1966! Food for thought!

Lastly, the "King Kong" box is described as being basically one color with black and white accents as well. It is attributed to 1965. It would not surprise me if the box design matched the three boxes above, which again, would call into question the dating of "Flash Gordon". Does anyone have color images of the "King Kong" box to share???


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joshleland

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Reply with quote  #5 
I have had my doubts on this box when I first saw it. It has a very strange look to it. Looks like the defects are in the printing versus on the piece itself. I have not seen it in person so this is only conjecture. Also he colors have a "hot" look to them as well. Has anyone seen it in person? I dont know the seller but he also sells a lot of repro boxes. 
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non-sports daniel

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Reply with quote  #6 
The seller is a very well known box collector from way back.
Terry G.

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Reply with quote  #7 
Bob Marks was known as the Box King back in the 80s and throughout the 90s and beyond. Most of the rare Topps Test Issue boxes, standard issue boxes, wrappers and cards were in his possession at one time, including the Attack From Space prototype box for Mars Attacks. He also wrote a multitude of articles in The Wrapper for the non-sport hobby with his son Jeff and was always happy to share his wealth of knowledge. If he is selling this box, I would believe its authenticity.
joshleland

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Reply with quote  #8 
I was not aware it was Bob and Jeff Marx. Apologies. 
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a71678

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lcummins
Lastly, the "King Kong" box is described as being basically one color with black and white accents as well. It is attributed to 1965. It would not surprise me if the box design matched the three boxes above, which again, would call into question the dating of "Flash Gordon". Does anyone have color images of the "King Kong" box to share???


Lonnie, looks like your instincts are dead on:

s-l1600.jpg

lcummins

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by a71678


Lonnie, looks like your instincts are dead on:


Thanks so much for this image!!! You don't happen to have any other angles, back or bottom images do you?

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Lonnie Cummins
a71678

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Reply with quote  #11 
Unfortunately, no. I found it online.
lcummins

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by a71678
Unfortunately, no. I found it online.


No worries... I should have known where to look. [wink]

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Lonnie Cummins
lcummins

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by a71678


Lonnie, looks like your instincts are dead on:


Well, the back panel is different from the other three, but still has the same overall design elements. We also have a 1965 copyright on the lid, so I think Kong is definitely from the same time period as the other three. I've asked Jeffery for a closeup of the copyright line on the Flash box, or at least what it says, so maybe that will help cement Flash at 1966.

Also, I'm uncertain if Kong is the same as Flash as far as being a paper copy pasted onto a white box. It kind of looks like that, but at the same time, kind of looks printed onto the box as well, but I'm currently leaning toward the same as Flash.

KingKong_Test_04.jpg

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Lonnie Cummins
toppcat

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Reply with quote  #14 
Interesting that King Kong is a Bubbles Inc product, likely due to the monster overtones.  I will offer that the Brooklyn 32 notation from Flash Gordon's paper wrap indicia was used into 1966 (Lost in Space may have been the last) even though ZIP codes had commenced in mid 1963.  Why Topps didn't change this is unclear to me, they changed indicia at the drop of a hat back then. I believe the Topps test dates to 1966, when Flash was re-syndicated on television; 1965 copyright dating would not kill this theory to my mind, things are often off by a year or so with Topps sets and I suspect the copyright dates have more to to with trademark registration or the copyright submittal for the set made by Topps. 

The design of both Kong and Flash is typical of early B&W tests of the era, roughly mid-60's-I think the first set in this vein is the Topps Baseball Dice Game, now attributed to 1963 (not 1961). I'm not positive but believe these style B&W sets were early lab tests of products (controlled setting vs next level of handing out randomly at middle schools followed by retail testing).  The scarcity levels certainly bear out less than a full retail test.  Bleeding off extras, including where the deal didn't go through, or testing nixed the set by dumping into Fun Packs, was a Topps tradition.

UPDATE 3/20-A King Kong cartoon started airing in syndication in Sept. 1966-further cementing that year as the date for these two somewhat linked test issues and their mocked up boxes.

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