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Richard Hall

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Reply with quote  #1 

I picked up 9 "US Army In Action" by Rosan for my brother. (He specializes in war-related cards.)

From what I saw, they used cheap stock for printing, had poor control over cutting the cards, hand-numbered the cards, and had the most unattractive backs of any set of cards I have ever seen.

What can you guys tell me about this apparently low-rent card company? Their Kennedy set was sold as a set. What about the others?  


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Rick Hall
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Reply with quote  #2 
Several of their "Monster Cards" sets are so low budget and filled with type-o's that they're actually appealing...sort of like certain lovable "B" horror films.


MON0401-028_MonsterCards_W528-6_RosanPrinting_C.jpg 


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Chris Watson
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Reply with quote  #3 
to the rescue: 1963 Rosan "Famous Monster Series" a winner!

Larry

non-sports daniel

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Reply with quote  #4 
In general monster cards do nothing for me but I do love the blue monster cards.
MorrellMan

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Reply with quote  #5 
Richard asks a good question - we've all seen the packaging for the JFK set, but how were the monster cards issued?

Whilst we wait for an answer, here are a few more blue monster cards.  They were actually kind of cutting-edge for their day with at least one terrible joke worthy of being put in regular rotation

img1770.jpg 


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Mark Hellman
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Reply with quote  #6 

I can answer the question about how the cards were distributed, as I remember the Rosan sets very well from my childhood.

First, the war-themed set belonged to a different company - I believe they were known as ROSEN, not ROSAN.

The JFK and horror cards were issued as a vending machine issue.  No gum, no wrappers, nothing.  Back in the day, there would be a vending machine bolted to the sidewalk outside the five and dime or the newsstand, you would put a nickel in, and you would get (usually) five cards held together by old-school wide brown paper tape.  Topps sold their cards that way as well - that's where we get "vending" boxes from.  Retailers would buy the cards in bulk, wrap them for the machines, and make what must have been a remarkably small profit selling them that way.

The Rosan sets are certainly among the most low-budget sets of their era.  The JFK set is a poor quality imitation of the much better produced Topps set of the same era, utilizing the same or similar publicity photos of the late president, but coming across as muddy and cheap looking.

Rosan issued four monster sets.  The red-bordered "Famous Monsters" set is the best quality issue because it was essentially a subcontracted issue, paid for by the popular horror magazine of the same name.  Famous Monsters magazine sold the set out of their back pages, and Rosen sent the excess cards they printed to the vendor outlets.

The green bordered and purple bordered sets were their main issue, issued in 1963 if I recall correctly.  They came after the somewhat better Nu-Card sets and were contemporaries of the Topps Monster Midgee issues.  They all made use of undoubtedly free or almost-free publicity photos for those cheesy 1950's sci-fi and horror movies we all enjoyed on late night TV, most of them produced by American International Pictures.  I'm sure AIP didn't charge a lot for licensing.

Rosan was located in Brooklyn.  I've seen some card issues that have the company's address on the back, but have you ever seen one where the office phone number is printed on the card?

And as for those Blue Cards - they were Rosan's test issue, and they're actually evidence of shameless pirating of another company's work.  Nu Card seems to have gone out of business just before Rosan came onto the scene, and the Blue Cards are all or mostly reprintings of the Nu Card horror set.  If you look at the back, on some cards you can see where Nu Card's copyright information has been blacked out!  It's possible that Nu Card (which was located on Long Island, just outside New York City) was affiliated somehow with Rosan; perhaps some of the same individuals headed both companies, so they felt safe to rip off the recently departed predecessor.

Anyway, the cards are terrible, objectively speaking, but I agree they're charming in their own amateurish way, and I have very fond childhood memories of putting another nickel into the vending machine, hoping to get some of the last cards I needed for my set.  Instead of a fifth copy of the card featuring "Goliath and the Barbarians."


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Alan Kleinberger
MorrellMan

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Reply with quote  #7 
Good stuff Alan. My vending machine was in the barber shop on the corner.  I seem to remember getting some Topps cards that came out as a small stack with no wrapping.  That must have been at the discretion of the operator.
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Mark Hellman
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Reply with quote  #8 
Sure nickel vending machines for cards were around here and there through the 70's at least.  We had a toy store on Long Island where I bought raks of Topps Baseball from 1970-73 or so and they also had a nickel vender in the vestibule, which I would often hit on the way out. Got some Hockey out of that one too IIRC.

Rosan selling vending only makes sense, no pesky labeling and food safety issues to deal with.

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Dave Hornish

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billbengen

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Reply with quote  #9 
Alan, I am not sure I agree with you about the manufacturer of the US Army in Action Set. The backs very clearly declare "Rosan Prtg Corp, Bklyn" so I believe we have to assume this was the same company that produced the JFK set.

I collected this series for quite a while because no one else appeared to be interested, which is how I enjoy collecting best. I built a PSA-graded set which maxed out at 6.72,  one of the lowest-graded sets I ever owned. With all the miscuts and off-center cards, this series is a brute to obtain in genuine high grade. Since then, I see that Dave Lemon (who may have bought my set), has raised it up to 7.27. Still, not a very impressive grade for a modern series.

I also take issue with the comments about the JFK Rosan series, which was also issued in blister-packs as well as vending cards. I find, when you can obtain well-centered cards, that this series compares very favorably in appearance with the Topps JFK series. I created a PSA-graded set almost exclusively of 9's and 10's, and it was a beauty (still have the scans to prove it). That set achieved a 9.20 rating, but has since been superseded by two sets grading 9.21! As common as the JFK Rosan cards are, obtaining well-centered cards is again a problem. There are still three cards in the series for which the highest grade is 8.0 or 8.5. Go figure.
akleinb611

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Reply with quote  #10 
Bill:

Never having collected the war set, I was working off secondhand information on that one.  I bow to your firsthand knowledge.  And if the set is so rife with miscuts and other printing problems, then I would say that it probably IS the same company!

Regarding the JFK set, I neglected to confirm that it was also issued in complete set form, in a blister pack hang display.  It was also issued in vending machines.  While it may be possible in theory to get cards that are centered, I stand by my observation that contrast and fine detail issues make it easy to spot the difference between a Rosan JFK and a Topps JFK a mile away.  The print quality simply isn't the same.

Still, both sets, as well as the other Rosan issues, remain a fondly-remembered part of my childhood.

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Alan Kleinberger
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Reply with quote  #11 
non-sport.com

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Reply with quote  #12 
I'm guessing if we ever did see a Rosan Blue Monster wrapper it would look something like this...
  monster_blue_wrapper.jpg 


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Todd Riley
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Reply with quote  #13 
Yeah Todd, only the color on your wrapper is far too rich and uniform. I'd expect a few drop outs and the titles to be out of register. (And of course, some off centering!) It's the only way you could be sure it's authentic! 
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MorrellMan

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Reply with quote  #14 
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1961-Nu-Cards-Horror-Monsters-Cards-RARE-BLUE-SERIES-73-CARDS-no-duplicates/274369760809?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649
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Mark Hellman
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Reply with quote  #15 
Todd - I hope for authenticity's sake if you lift the company name it will say "Nu-Card" underneath.  - Jack J.
non-sports daniel

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Reply with quote  #16 
I was watching that lot Mark. I thought about placing a snipe, but it would have fallen far short of that final price.
Richard Hall

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by akleinb611

First, the war-themed set belonged to a different company - I believe they were known as ROSEN, not ROSAN.

Rosan was located in Brooklyn.  

The set was printed by ROSAN. I have 9 "U.S. Army In Action" in front of me. on the bottom of the back is:

"©ROSAN PRTG. CORP., BKLYN., N.Y. Printed in U.S.A."

 

They made more set than I expected.


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Rick Hall
thedutymon

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorrellMan
Good stuff Alan. My vending machine was in the barber shop on the corner.  I seem to remember getting some Topps cards that came out as a small stack with no wrapping.  That must have been at the discretion of the operator.


Morning,

My Vending machine was at one of the first 7-11's in Sacramento, and sold Mars Attacks
(This is where the Non Sports Bug Hit me) on one side and something else on the other (Probably another Topps issue) for about 6 mo's to a year in 1962-1963 before it disappeared. It also sold a Small stack of cards with no divider, usually 5 Cards for a penny.  In total I ended up with 400-500 of these cards over the time frame, and then the machine disappeared. I was 6-7 and my Dad would give me a 5 penny's to get some each Sunday on our walk.

YeeHah

Neil
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