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IMG_5458.jpg  IMG_5422.jpg
lcummins

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Reply with quote  #2 
It looks to me like the yellow ink was running low and it should have been the orange flame version. Look at the yellow areas just under the torch and you can see the yellow fades out and doesn't go all the way up the sticker.

Here is something interesting; this is an uncut sheet of Love Initials on card stock! Probably an early version or test. Notice there are only 77 designs. Topps must have added another row of 11 designs for the final release, which included the missing "E" from this sheet (top middle "E" of the above photo).

LoveInitialsUncutSheet.jpg 


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Reply with quote  #3 
Hmmmm OK the flame seems to be mauve though but I'll accept your explanation unless anyone else knows. Wow that uncut sheet is awesome and poses another unanswered question!!!
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Yes, the flame is "mauve", but add the yellow on top and it will be orange. One thing I noticed about the uncut sheet is the "O" has already had the 8 at 6 o'clock corrected to a 6, so you have to wonder if the error "O" was only issued as part of a test. And why would they suddenly think about issuing as cards instead of stickers, unless this was just a proof sheet, but then, why assign a commodity code of 3-489-77-01-9? This sheet was obviously part of the final retail release, as the wax wrapper has a commodity code of 0-489-87-01-9; same stock number and year. They still needed to add 11 more designs before release; you can tell the last row isn't just cut off because the color bars on the left edge stop before the edge of the sheet and the cut marks are below the last row. This one sheet brings up so many unanswered questions it makes my head spin! [crazy]
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Reply with quote  #5 
I am putting together this set and saw the E's on the bay but didn't think anything of the extra one, assuming it was from the A&BC release given the UK seller.  The card stock is not all that strange to me, Topps brass may have just wanted to have a sturdier sheet to look at back in Brooklyn. I thought about bidding but the UK source and high price gave me pause.

The set may have been fully released twice, a test before the first one would make sense.  Did Topps retest items they repackaged a few years later?  That is a question I have yet to see a good answer to.

There could also be another sheet a "B" sheet" as it were.  I don't think all their sticker sheets followed the traditional 132/264 pattern of the time.

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Dave, I believe the sticker sheets would have been 77/154 sheets up until sometime in the early 70's. Wacky Packages used the 77/154 sheet for series 1-9 and 11-13, but used the 132/264 sheet for 10 and 14-16. Of course, any particular series might have used both if sent to two different printers I suppose. Since Love Initials was designed originally at 77 (a guess), it makes sense the sheet was probably a 77/154 sheet. If the B side was different, and included the missing 11 designs, that could make 22 single prints and 66 double prints. Any evidence of that distribution? As for Topps retesting items they repackaged, the original 32 Mini Stickers was issued in 1968, but they tested it for re-release in 1976.
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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lcummins
Dave, I believe the sticker sheets would have been 77/154 sheets up until sometime in the early 70's. Wacky Packages used the 77/154 sheet for series 1-9 and 11-13, but used the 132/264 sheet for 10 and 14-16. Of course, any particular series might have used both if sent to two different printers I suppose. Since Love Initials was designed originally at 77 (a guess), it makes sense the sheet was probably a 77/154 sheet. If the B side was different, and included the missing 11 designs, that could make 22 single prints and 66 double prints. Any evidence of that distribution? As for Topps retesting items they repackaged, the original 32 Mini Stickers was issued in 1968, but they tested it for re-release in 1976.


Lonnie, I'm not deep enough into it (yet) to tell but will say the 4 on 1's seem to be more a little more plentiful. I get 55 different on the sheet of 77, so reverse it on the other sheet for a set of 77. But it's a set of 88 and 7 big letters are completely missing plus there are multiples of all letters in the release, 66 bigs in total. All the 4 on 1's are on this sheet to boot.

Different sized sheets at different printers makes sense to me in that time period.

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Reply with quote  #8 
I feel so dumb! As many times as I've looked at the sheet image, I never noticed the repeated rows! You are right, only 55 different designs on the sheet. Going by Todd's checklist (and images) here are the designs not on the sheet:

A: Flowers (Top Flower Yellow/Blue/Red)
A: Flowers (Top Flower Yellow/Red)
A: Tree/Rainbow/Sun 2 of 3 (White center of A)
B: Flowers
C: Bird
C: Flowers
D: Flowers
E: Flowers 2 of 3 (Center left Red/Pink/White/Yellow)
F: Flowers
G: Flowers
G: Rainbow/Pot of Gold
I: Candle 1 of 2 (From top Purple/orange-ish/green/yellow)
I: Candle 3 NOT IN LIST - ON SHEET (From top Purple/red/orange/yellow)
I: Flowers 1 of 2 (Bottom Yellow/Red)
J: Flowers
J: Rainbow/Clouds, Sunset/Ocean
M: Flowers
N: Flowers
N: Starfish/Seashells
O: Clock 2 (Uncorrected error - probably test sheet only)
O: Flowers 1 of 2 (Top Purple/yellow/red/purple)
Q: Flowers
Q: Stars/Planets
S: Flowers
T: Flowers
U: Flowers 1 of 2
U: Flowers 2 of 2
U: Rainbow/Bubbles 1 of 2
U: Rainbow/Bubbles 2 of 2
V: Flowers
V: Volcano
X: Eye
X: Flowers
Y: Flowers
Z: Flowers

I believe the I: Candle 1 of 2 and 2 of 2 are the same design, just from different sides of the full sheet with slightly different paste-ups. Replacing one of them with the I: Candle 3 NOT IN LIST - ON SHEET (From top Purple/red/orange/yellow) not in Todd's checklist gives us 33 missing designs! I would be willing to bet the layout of the other side sheet is the missing 33 large single letters and 2 rows each of the 4 in 1's, just like this sheet. That would give us a 4 to 1 ratio of 4 in 1's versus large single letters, confirming your observations so far.

Todd, here is a detail of the missing "I" from your checklist...

LoveInitials_MissingI.jpg


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Reply with quote  #9 
I forgot to mention, with no markings for Side, Gripper, Slit, etc. and the hand-written commodity code, this has to be a proof sheet and not a final sheet, but it would not surprise me if it was the final layout of either Side A or Side B of the final print sheet.
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Reply with quote  #10 
Hey Guys, My name is garno and I have the Letter E variants for sale on ebay. I thought I'd seek some advice from Jeff Allender from House of Checklists! fame. Here is the email trail. I hope you find it informative and objective. Best garno AKA red-bat66. PS I sold the Love Initials box too.

HI Jeff - Is this unrecorded/unissued/test/limited/Withdrawn Love Letter E bona fide? garno

It's almost certainly bona fide, but apparently a color variation. Your 5429 and 5430 stickers (center and bottom middle in the all-card image) are the same artwork but with different colors. In the Non-Sports Bible, James Watson said, "... subtle variations of colors in some of the U.S. Topps stickers (i.e. exchange of green and purple on sticker #35) may have occurred during the subsequent re-release as 'Mod Initial Stickers' ..." I think that's the likely explanation, either a change in ink batches within one of the releases or maybe even a variation between the Mod Initials test and regular releases.  Yours isn't what I'd call "subtle," so I'd categorize it as a legitimate variant for collectors. Color variants within a single series were common for a lot of sets in the 1990s, but not so much with earlier sets. So I expect it's probably a choice made at printing time for Mod Initials.

 

The only examples I see on eBay right now are "gold sconce/yellow rays", and one of them associates it with Mod Initials while the other (unhelpfully) calls the set Love Mod Initials.

 

I see there appears to have been a Scanlens release for Oz too. Usually those track the AB&C releases.

Thanks for the heads-up! It definitely adds to the lore, but without some expensive or impossible research, it's going to be tough to make further conclusions. Collectors of older stuff *love* to find something new, while collectors of newer sets (with few exceptions) ignore such things ... 

t looks like Lonnie noticed how the yellow was just as bright at the bottom as the other card, but progressively faded to white as it reached the torch, which gives a vote for ink anomalies during a print run. And maybe somebody can confirm a Scanlens set, or tell us it was just the A&BC set with a different wrapper.

 

I don't get to the forum frequently because of time pressure and the need to keep the "new set" collectors hungry, but it's kind of neat to check out other sources of research too. If I had checked Vintage first I might not have seen the long article in NSB. I need to go back to recent posts in that thread and pick up a few things like the mystery of the uncut sheet. I admit to having gone through Dan's Gallery and documented (in text form) almost all of the complete and near-complete series. Cheers! Jeff




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Reply with quote  #11 
PS I found this letter E variant completely by chance in my archives as I was really hunting for the A&BC letter E variant duplicate set which I found. I later sold the Rare A&BC variant for £51.
PPS I wonder if I have another variant of another letter that isn't known.
PPPS Watch this space.........garno

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