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Lot # 671 (of 1512)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Extremely Rare 1968 Topps Plaks Complete Three-Player Sprue with Mickey Mantle!

Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $1,920

Presented is an extremely rare complete three-player sprue featuring Mickey Mantle from the 1968 Topps Plaks series. The 1968 Topps Plaks are among the rarest and most fascinating of all Topps issues. Issued three plaks to a wax pack and sold for a dime, the plaks were small plastic busts of popular players of the day. The Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards likens the design and packaging of this issue to model airplane parts as the plaks were designed to be broken off the sprue and inserted into an accompanying plastic base which bore the player's name. For many years, finding even a single example, let alone a complete sprue, of any plak was virtually impossible and stymied even the most advanced and determined collectors. In 2008, everything known to the hobby about this set changed with the discovery of dozens of carefully preserved examples in the home of a retired Topps employee, who was said to have taken home failed Topps test issues, a tag that certainly could have applied to these plaks and contributed to their absence from the collecting landscape for decades. The complete sprue offered here originates from this legendary find. Unquestionably, Mickey Mantle is the key to the set. Mantle is positioned alongside fellow Hall of Famer Jim Hunter and Jim Lonborg. As a result of the find, it was discovered that a subtle difference exists in the size of Mantle's nose (likely just the result of the way the plastic was poured into the mold), so small and large versions have been confirmed although no apparent premium exists for one version compared to the other (the offered plak is a "large nose" example). The sprue remains in exceptional Near Mint condition overall. The attachments between the bases of Mantle and Hunter have separated, but it is not apparent unless the sprue is handled; it presents as completely intact when displayed. Despite the find of plaks, which increased the known population considerably, examples from this set remain extremely rare as the newly discovered plaks were quickly absorbed by collectors and many have not seen the light of day since. Every example from this set is an extreme rarity, literally one of only a handful known to exist, especially the complete sprues as is offered here. This is an extraordinary opportunity to acquire the key piece from one of Topps' most highly regarded and legendary test issues, which would be a very significant addition to even the most advanced Mickey Mantle, New York Yankees, or Topps-card collection. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,500+. SOLD FOR $1,920

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