Sunday, April 3, 2011
Topp's Monster Initials
Released by Topp's from 1973 to 1974, the idea behind this set was a simple one; create stickers for each letter of the alphabet, but inside each feature a cool monster scene inside each letter. C'mon how cool is that? Letter stickers you can collect to spell out your name, who wouldn't want that?
The artwork on each sticker was in my opinion, some great stuff. The downside of the intitial release was that the backs of the stickers were blank cardboard, unlike many other cards of the time that featured stats, jokes or something on the back. Seemingly to counter this "blank back" issue, the packs contained one puzzle piece that could be put to gether to make a scene of monsters looking through the set of cards. The puzzle is pretty cool however the are differs from the are on the initials and resembles fames MAD magazine artist Jack Davis' style of art.
I remember my first encounter with these stickers was back in the late 70's at the Englishtown outdoor flea market where every week a vendor was selling reproductions of some of the stickers. Every week I would try to find a "T" and a "K" but never did. The odd thing thinking back on these stickers was the monsters I remember don't match the actual monsters from the set I find now. I distinctly had a letter with Gorgo's Mom attacking Big Ben inside it. Perhaps these were knock offs or a permutation from another company.
What's really sad about this set is that as nice as all the artwork is, it's practically impossible to find a complete set for sale these days... even on eBay. A quick scan of ebay right now comes up with only some empty wrappers, boxes and a few card proofs selling for $500.00 each.