Last week I found a surprise envelope from Shlabotnik Report in my mailbox. Inside were a pair of cards and some newsprint clippings.
Let’s start with the cards, in particular the classic 1985 Topps Gary Pettis error which features his younger brother. As with the 1984 Fleer Glenn Hubbard, this is one of those noteworthy cards from my youth that for whatever reason never made it into my collection. The story behind it is pretty fun and includes the information that Pettis refuses to sign the card.
This one isn’t as obvious a keeper as the Hubbard but collectors my age all know about it and know why it’s special so I’m very happy to add it to my binder after all these years.
The other card was an extra Goggomobile that he had mistakenly ordered form COMC and which he felt would look good next to the Ferrari card I grabbed earlier. Such a weird set with super-sporty Ferraris that people still admire and whatever this with a silly name, is but if I assemble a 6-pocket page of them it’ll definitely be a fun one to look at.
I’m glad Shlabotnik included a note about how the newsprint wasn’t just packaging since it was a good read. I didn’t scan them since they came from the current Sports Collectors Digest and you can just read the article online.
Shlabotnik thought of me because the article contained printing information about the 1960s Post sets.
Rotogravure printing was accomplished by Post’s graphic designers creating 150 percent scale mockups of each box, including the back panel. The group of mockups for each cereal brand and size were then arranged in the way they would be printed. A photograph was made and used to etch six color rotogravure cylinder plates. Each set of plates printed the boxes for one particular cereal.
Rotogravure makes sense since it’s ideal for single-sided packaging. This prompted me to loupe my Post cards and I can see how the text and linework isn’t as crisp as I’d expect it to be with offset. It’s still solid but all the edges have a slight dot screen aspect to them. The real interesting thing is the 6-color information but I suspect it’s really just CMYK process plus corporate logo spot colors.
Very cool stuff. Thanks Shlabotnik report!
4 thoughts on “Shlabotnik Surprise”
I read that article and immediately thought of you… I thought of sending you a link but since I was already planning on sending you the cards, I figured I’d use it as packing material (such as it is)
I love that 1961 Topps Sports Cars set and am sloooooowwwwwwwwwly working on it. I think the Goggomobil suffers from lack of context; here it looks chunky, but when you Google on images you can see that it’s a tiny, tiny car and kinda cute
I love that posed shot of Pettis’ brother. So hilarious with the finger on the chin.
I remember seeing the Pettis back in the mid 80’s… possibly even pulling it from a pack myself. At the time the image stood out, but it wasn’t something that really called out to me until years later (which I’m sure was influenced by other collectors being intrigued by the card).
P.S. I’m all about tiny cars… so that Goggomobile is right up my alley.
I only learned about that Pettis card after I started reading the blogs, and even I don’t really have any sort of connection to it, I’d still like to get a copy someday.