Wednesday, October 13, 2021

A Year of Topps Designs: 1971

No white borders for Topps for their major sports releases in 1971. They went for a bold look for both baseball and football, with all black borders for baseball, and either red (AFC) or blue (NFC) for the NFL. All-Pro football players got both colors.

In basketball Topps went with a taller card instead of the standard size. The basketball design and the amount of room for the photo are great; the blank backgrounds and lack of logos, with players wearing their jerseys backwards, are not so great.

No backgrounds for hockey, either. A bit of a lighting effect in the otherwise solid background is all there is to enliven what is otherwise a pretty boring design.

Outside of the big four sports, Topps focused on the new popular TV shows for the older children/younger teens who made up the bulk of the card buying public.

The Brady Bunch featured a great TV design, reminiscent of 1955 Bowman, and even more so the World Series subset from 1967. It's a great looking set, I'm surprised I hadn't seen it before.

The Partridge Family got a more simple look, typical of many Topps non-sport designs.

The Brady Bunch and Partridge Family became TV classics. The third TV show that Topps put out a set for did not. Bobby Sherman's Getting Together only lasted one season. The Topps set for that show had pink borders and a flowery design.


  1. So they had licenses for baseball and hockey, but not basketball and football?

  2. I kind of like the '71 NHL look. I prefer it to a couple of the league's other early '70s sets.

    I wouldn't mind collecting the Brady Bunch set but not willing to spend the money on it.

  3. Wow, they left the last names on the NBA jerseys?