Friday, July 13, 2012

Battle of the food issues

Sometimes, I find myself wishing I grew up as a card collector during the 1970's.

You could find packs of baseball cards at almost any corner store for just a quarter a piece. Not to mention that Beckett wasn't even close to existing at that point, so trading with your friends was always guaranteed to be a fun time.

Perhaps the most mind-boggling aspect of the decade to a collector like myself (who grew up in the "Beckett era") is that you could actually find baseball cards at the grocery store. Next to all the aisles of produce and dairy were real, actual baseball cards.

Cool baseball cards, at that.

The favorite aisle of most kids in any grocery store is the candy aisle, of course. And as most collectors know, boxes of Hostess snacks carried an extra special prize to go along with all that sugar.

A panel of three baseball cards.

What more does a kid need?

My dad often tells the story of how he'd check every box of Hostess in search for ones he needed. I'm sure he wasn't the only one.

Thirty-five years later, few sets provide me with more excitement for my buck than Hostess cards. Even in its less-than-perfect state, I still rate the above Brooks Robinson Hostess issue as one of my all-time best dime box finds.

I've always been a fan of these "sweet" cards.

However, that wasn't the case for another famous '70s food-themed set...

It took me a while to realize just how great the '70s Kellogg's issues were.

The first recollection I have of purchasing any of them was a trip to the same card shop that netted me this nice haul of quarter cards. I was surprised to see a nice stack of later Kellogg's issues inside on one memorable trip there. While I wasn't quite all-in on them at that point, I still purchased almost every single one the shop owner had for sale.

A different quarter box is what really changed my opinion of these, the self-deemed "best quarter box on the planet". Amongst the mounds and mounds of quarter cards I found in those boxes was another big stack of 1976 Kellogg's issues, which entailed the above card of "The Bull", Greg Luzinski.

As with the Hostess cards, my dad vividly remembers digging through numerous boxes of Raisin Bran in order to find these. He says his parents would never let him buy the complete set they advertised on the side of the box.

I've become so taken with Kellogg's cards recently that I began questioning if I actually liked them better than Hostess issues.

I'm not sure about other bloggers out there, but as it stands right now, I'd still take Hostess over Kellogg's. It was one of the first vintage sets I fell in love with as a kid, mainly because I never got the opportunity to get baseball cards with my snacks. I don't eat much cereal or anything nowadays, but it's all about "virtual codes" and whatnot from what I've seen.

Tangible "prizes" seem to have fallen by the wayside. Which means that you can pretty much forget about anything like Hostess or Kellogg's baseball cards ever popping up again.

Being a card-collecting kid in the '70s must've been paradise.


night owl said...

It was. Don't let anyone tell you anything different. (i.e. We didn't need no stinkin' Upper Deck)

Chuck's Used Cards said...

I love the Kellogg's cards for two reason - one, I loved sitting at the breakfast table staring at the box with the advertising about the cards - wondering which one was at the bottom (we were not allowed to dum out the cereal to find the card, we had to wait until it emptied) The anticipation was great.

Secondly, our neighbor worked for the printing company that made these and gifted me the rarest complete set of 1971 Kellogg's baseball cards.

Since we were never bought junk food, I never obtained the Hostess until later at card shows.
Still, I like both of these type cards. By the Beckett era there was the newer Drake'sCakes set, but they pail in comparison.

check out my blog for more on the 3-D Kellogg's.

Anonymous said...

If it makes you feel any better, I grew up in the 70's and I didn't get my first Hostess card until the 90's. My mother wouldn't buy Hostess snacks, and - wisely, now that I look back on it - she went grocery shopping while we were in school, so there was never an opportunity for begging and pleading.

To be honest, I don't really remember my friends having many Hostess or Kellogg's cards. I don't think we regarded them as "real" baseball cards.

Now I'm making up for lost time and trying to complete all 5 sets.

...And I'm deeply envious of your Brooksie find.