Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Transfers, Rub-offs, and a quandary

I recently bought an interesting, fun vintage lot off of eBay - 17 1965 Topps Transfers, 45 1966 Topps Rub-Offs. Lots of big big stars, and only $15 shipped. 

There was just one catch.

They were all used!

I've seen pictures of the '65 transfers but never owned any. I did have five '66 rub-offs already. Any that I had seen were in unused condition. That means that the photo and words were reversed. You had to hold it up to a mirror to see what it should actually look like.

These were all used, so they are facing the right way. The only question now is what to do with them?

The 1965 rub-offs were all rubbed off onto this piece of fabric. As you may be able to tell from the pictures, the fabric is OK but not immaculate, and it smells a bit too. My instinct is to cut these up into card-shaped rectangles and put them into penny sleeves.

Mays, Aaron and Clemente, very cool. I think there is also some of the face of a 1966 Topps rub-off there, I might try to figure out who it is.

Unless a reader tells me a good reason to leave this intact, I plan to cut it up.

The '66s came on four pieces of construction paper.

Some big names here too. Most notably two Mickey Mantle's!

The presentation here is nicer than the fabric for the '65s, but I am still inclined to cut these up too. It will make it easier to integrate them with the ones I already have, and may get in the future. (I'm certainly not going to experiment with rubbing off the ones I have intact!)

I already have in my 1969 MLB PhotoStamps set a mixture with about half of them having heavy cardboard backing. And over half of my 1967 Topps posters are laminated. So there is precedent for me having this kind of "things done to cards" in my collection.

So unless anyone gives me a good reason not to, I do plan to cut these all down to individual "cards" in a couple of days. (Which would mean I would have a very off-condition '66 Mickey Mantle rubdown available!)


  1. Knowing how your vintage collection is, there isn't a reason in the world to NOT cut them up. I'd cut them too!

  2. Complete the 65 set and rub them off on the same fabric then frame it. Or cut it up. :)

  3. I've never seen these, or anything like them, on fabric before -- that couldn't have been a very common thing to do. And I see no reason why you shouldn't cut them up.

  4. Never seen these Transfers and Rub Offs before. I've seen stuff the stuff Topps produced in the 80's though. The collector who did this was kinda creative. I really like the idea of putting them on construction paper and cutting them out. I know it's not something collectors would do with vintage Rub-Offs right now, but if I was a kid back in the 60's this would have been cool.