Monday, June 21, 2021

A year of Topps designs: 1975

 I have cards from three 1975 Topps sets, baseball, football and hockey. It's not hard to see why young Night Owlet and other children that year were drawn to the baseball set. The vibrant, colorful set really stands out, especially compared to the highly generic efforts in football and hockey.

How was basketball doing in '75? A little better. Not as good as the baseball design, but the picture-in-picture design is pretty nice. Take away the background and it's virtually identical to football and hockey, with the main design element being a single representation of the sport (a football, a hockey stick, a basketball). The placement of the team name is more interesting here, a strong foreshadowing of '84 baseball.

Topps put out another sports-related set in 1975. It is a "Footballers" set of UK soccer players. My first thought on seeing this set was, "Does Night Owl know about this?" (He does).

Topps put out several non-sport sets in 1975 as well. "Planet of the Apes" has a full bleed photo design, with just the caption breaking into the picture. 

The Bay City Rollers were a cool musical group in 1975, cool enough to get their own Topps set. The simple pink design is accentuated by the funky and colorful letters for the caption.

One movie set, one music set, and one TV set - that one was "Good Times". There were comic-book style cards with a photo from the show and a word balloon with a one-liner, often with saltier language than you would expect to find on a Topps card. The caption on the back of this card reads "BernNadette (Thelma) Stanis, actually a 20 year old, constantly watches her weight, being careful not to eat herself out of her 16 year old role!"

Speaking of comic books, Topps put out a set of Comic Book Heroes stickers, featuring artwork of Marvel characters. Each sticker featured some standard artwork of the character and a word balloon with a funny line.

Another silly sticker set were these "wanted" stickers, featuring an assortment of family members and professions.

Also in 1975 were sets for Bazooka Joe comics and Wacky Packages, though those used consistent designs (or in the case of Wacky, no particular design) as other years.


  1. Just a head's up, Don Adams is from the '74-75 set.

  2. All I knew in '75 was Topps baseball, Wacky Packages and the '75 football Alan Page card. Clearly I didn't miss much.

  3. Sorry. The Bay City Rollers were never a cool group.

  4. Surprising level of candor that the Good Times set mentions that an actress has to starve herself to keep her job!

    I don't remember ever seeing the Bay City Rollers set. My brother and I liked them, and I'd think we would have bought some if we saw them.

  5. Great year to collect cards. All 4 major sports in the US had solid designs... with baseball being one of the best from the decade. The Marvel and WP stickers are also really nice collectibles. And as a kid... I enjoyed Good Times and Planet of the Apes.

  6. Just started that hockey set a few weeks ago. First Capitals appearance

  7. I feel bad for whoever stole Hulk's Right Guard...

  8. Wow, Topps was busy in 1975! Good compilation, Bo. I think the 1987-88 Topps hockey set took some design inspiration from the 1974-75 set featured here.