The Perfect Valentine’s Day Set – 1954 Red Heart

I don’t believe there could be a more appropriate set to talk about on Valentine’s Day than 1954 Red Heart.

If you were a card collector and had a dog back in the 1950s, Red Heart Dog Food is what your pooch would have eaten.  From a collecting standpoint, there couldn’t be a better example of a regionally issued set.

Coming in at only (33) cards the set is relatively small.  It is split-up between (11) red, (11) green, and (11) blue background cards.  Red backgrounds are said to be the most difficult to find.

Mailing two Red Heart Dog Food labels along with 10 cents to the John Morrell & Company would’ve gotten you (1) 11-card series.  The color you received depended on where you lived.  Certain colors seem to be more/less popular in different regions of the country.  This type of distribution method made it difficult to complete a set.

The checklist is packed with Hall of Famers – Richie Ashburn, Ralph Kiner, Duke Snider, and Enos Slaughter to name a few.  Mickey Mantle and Stan Musial are two of the most popular subjects.  Stan Musial doesn’t appear in either the 1954 Topps or 1954 Bowman sets.  His card from 1954 Red Heart isn’t easy to find (red background), and has a high demand due to his lack of main-issued 1954 cards.  Mickey Mantle is also absent from 1954 Topps, but does appear in 1954 Bowman.

Collectors could take advantage of this mail-in offer all the way through the early 1970s.  That’s a long time for a promotional program to go on.  You can’t say collectors didn’t have enough time to get their hands on them.

Topps Officially Has Valentine’s Day Covered

In 1961 Topps added another Valentine’s Day set to their crazy lineup of products.  The official name of it was Topps Giant Funny Valentines.  I refer to this set as the “tall boys” of Valentine’s Day products.  Unlike the other Valentine’s Day sets Topps issued in 1959 and 1960, these cards are much bigger.  The cards found in the 1961 set measure 2-1/2″ x 4-3/4″.  I guess Topps thought they had to change things up a bit.  All of the drawings were done by Jack Davis.  On the front you’ll find a cartoon which sets you up for a punchline on the back.  Topps reissued them again in 1966.

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1961 Topps Giant Funny Valentines #53 front

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1961 Topps Giant  Funny Valentines #53 back – its not uncommon to find writing on the backs considering they were made to be given to people

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1960 Topps Funny Valentines front

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1959 Topps Funny Valentines front

Garbage Pail Kids also have a bunch of Valentine’s Day themed cards.

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Flashback Product of the Week: 1960 Topps Funny Valentines Series A

It always amazes me to look back and see what kind of products Topps made back in the day.  1960 Topps Funny Valentines Series A is a 66-card set that contains interesting artwork along with witty Valentines Day sayings.  During the late 50’s and early 60’s, these sets must have been popular because Topps produced more than one set like this.

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Show These Cards Some Love This Valentine’s Day

Roses are red;
Violets are blue;
I can’t believe Topps made a Valentine’s Day set too.

The year is 1959.  Eisenhower was President.  The Dodgers defeated the White Sox in the World Series.  And yes, Topps created an entire set based on Valentine’s Day.  At this point in time Topps was on top of the collecting world.  They had already purchased their biggest competitor, Bowman, and it seemed like they could do no wrong.  Along with creating a popular baseball and football set that year, Topps made some crazy looking sets as well.  They released products such as Funny Monsters and Wacky Plaks.  If you’ve never seen Wacky Plaks, I highly suggest checking them out.  Some of the sayings you’ll find on them will crack you up.  I’m assuming that Topps released Funny Valentines around February that year, just because it seems strange to release this product at another time.  Its a 66-card set that features some cool artwork and entertaining punchlines.  This product must have been popular because Topps released another version in 1960.  Its still possible to find sealed packs that sell for about $35.00 each.  I’m not sure how a product like Funny Valentines would do in today’s hobby.  It probably wouldn’t do very well, not unless each box guaranteed an authentic arrow head used by Cupid himself or a serious amount of sketch cards.  Here is how I look at it.  If Topps can bring back Garbage Pail Kids, Funny Valentines has a chance.  Have a great Valentine’s Day weekend!  Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do 😉
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