Saturday, May 7, 2016
PLANET OF THE APES 1969 TRADING CARD SET (PART 1)
The PLANET OF THE APES franchise has endured since the first film of the series was released on February 8, 1968. There had been quite a media buzz during the production, and watching it at the local theater during its premiere run as a teenage Monster Kid, I was enthralled by the story concept, the characters, and in one of those "you shoulda been there" moments, one of the most shocking endings in science-fiction cinema history.
Marketeers were quick to jump on the film's popularity and all sorts of "POTA" items started showing up at local hobby shops and variety stores (remember those?). Topps trading card company was one outfit that realized the potential, and, in 1969, released 44-card set of POTA pasteboards.
Measuring 2-1/2" by 3-1/2", the cards told the story from the movie. On the front was a photo of a scene from the movie with the title of the card inside a scroll design. On the green-tinted back was a description of the scene. Read from the first card to the last, the story was told in its entirety. Card 44 was the only one which showed a production still from the movie, the rest were movie stills. Some cards had noticeable touch-up work done on the picture. This was a common practice on all sorts of trading card sets of the time.
According to the PSA Registry, "The set was printed on 132-card sheets that consisted of 12 rows of 11 cards. Each card in this 44-card series appears three times on the sheet, and the sequence of the 44 cards in the first four rows is repeated in rows five through eight and rows nine through 12."
Collecting cards from this set is not difficult. The usual online sources normally have multiple cards for sale. As usual with this type of collectible, the first and last cards are the hardest to find in the best shape as the practice of putting a rubber band around a stack of cards was universal. Card #4 is known to be difficult to find centered. The #1-graded PSA-registered set of POTA cards commands the price of $5,999.95.