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Mars Attacks! Vintage Non-Sport Collection

Collection stored since 1962

  • June 14, 2019

1962 Topps Mars Attacks!

Where Did They Come From

After Gum, Inc. issued the propaganda-laden "Horrors of War" in 1938, and after several other war and military releases from various manufacturers over the following decades, Topps released a fictional alien attack in 1962 with Mars Attacks! 

One of the most popular non-sport releases ever, Mars Attacks! cards are at the top of most non-sport collection want lists and high condition, professionally graded examples can sell for thousands of dollars.

A Stalled Invasion

The collection comes to us after decades of being in storage.  Collected when issued in 1962, the cards were put away in a small box for more than 5 decades!

Stashed away and out of view by an aunt, the collection came to be known by her nieces and nephews shortly after the aunt passed away.  Splitting the collection was one option, but since none of the nieces or nephews could make a complete set, they decided to each explore different ways of selling the collection.  They checked with other card dealers, auction houses and considered eBaying the cards.

One of the nephew's wives contacted Just Collect and began the process of having the cards evaluated and appraised.  After a preliminary evaluation and conditional purchase offer, the family members agreed to send the collection to Just Collect's Somerset, NJ office via our FREE FedEx Shipping Program for a no-obligation in-person inspection.  Upon review and analysis by our vintage card specialist, Just Collect prepared a complete evaluation and aggressive purchase offer to the family.  They compared the Just Collect offer to their other offers and options and chose to sell the collection to Just Collect for the highest priced offer.

Controversy

Non-Sports cards have had their share of controversy over the last century or so. From GUM, Inc's propaganda-laden 1938 "Horrors of War" and Bowman's 1951 "The Red Menace" to the horror and cowboy/Indians cards produced in the 1950's, there have been children that have loved them and parents that have despised them.

Mars Attack!

In 1962, Topps (under the name Bubbles Inc.) tapped into those fears with one of the most iconic trading card sets of all-time. Co-mingling horror, comedy and science fiction, Topps released one of the most iconic non-sport sets of all-time: Mars Attacks!

The Mars Attacks trading card series was created by Topps in 1962. Developed by Len Brown, he was inspired by Wally Wood's cover for EC Comics' Weird Science #16 and they form a story arc, which tells of the invasion of Earth by Martians. Brown discussed the idea to executive Woody Gelman and they created the story. Topps then enlisted Wood to provide the sketches and hired Bob Powell to complete them with Norman Saunders painting the final artwork for 55-card set.

Mars Attacks created a ton of controversy upon its release. Many of the cards feature gore that was extreme for the period and included futuristic battle scenes and bizarre methods of Martian attack, torture and slaughter as Martian forces attempt to conquer and colonize Earth. The story concludes with an expeditionary force of humans volunteering to embark on a counterattack on Mars, in which the Earth force attacks the Martians on their own planet. This necessitates the Martian invasion troops to be recalled from Earth to defend Mars. The Earth attack forces, after destroying the Martian cities and killing the Martians, depart just before Mars is destroyed a cataclysmic explosion, ensuring peace and safety on Earth as the Martian has been exterminated.

The cards, which sold for a nickel per pack of five, were test marketed by Topps through Bubbles, Inc. under the name "Attack from Space." Sales were sufficient to expand the marketing and the name was changed to Mars Attacks.

1962 Topps Mars Attacks!1962 Topps Mars Attacks! Checklist
#1 Card and #55 Checklist Card

1962 Topps Mars Attacks! Checklist:
1 The Invasion Begins 29 Death In The Shelter
2 Martians Approaching 30 Trapped!!
3 Attacking An Army Base 31 The Monster Reaches In
4 Saucers Blast Our Jets 32 Robot Terror
5 Washington In Flames 33 Removing The Victims
6 Burning Navy Ships 34 Terror In The Railroad
7 Destroying The Bridge 35 The Flame Throwers
8 Terror In Times Square 36 Destroying A Dog
9 The Human Torch 37 Creeping Menace
10 The Skyscraper Tumbles 38 Victims Of The Bug
11 Destroy The City 39 Army Of Giant Insects
12 Death In The Cockpit 40 High Voltage Execution
13 Watching From Mars 41 Horror In Paris
14 Charred By Martians 42 Hairy Fiend
15 Saucers Invade China 43 Blasting The Bug
16 Panic In Parliament 44 Battle In The Air
17 Beast And The Beauty 45 Fighting Giant Insects
18 A Soldier Fights Back 46 Blast Off For Mars
19 Burning Flesh 47 Earth Bombs Mars
20 Crushed To Death 48 Earthmen Land On Mars
21 Prize Captive 49 The Earthmen Charge
22 Burning Cattle 50 Smashing The Enemy
23 The Frost Ray 51 Crushing The Martians
24 The Shrinking Ray 52 Giant Robot
25 Capturing A Martian 53 Martian City In Ruins
26 The Tidal Wave 54 Mars Explodes
27 The Giant Flies 55 Checklist
28 Helpless Victim BOLD = Key cards in Set

More Controversy!

At the time of issue, many complained that the cards were too extreme. One particularly controversial card depicts an alien blasting a helpless dog with a ray gun. While kids ate them up, teachers and parents were outraged at the graphic violence and subliminal sexuality. Topps even agreed to redo the artwork to subdue 13 of the cards, however, after inquiries from a Connecticut district attorney, Topps ceased production of the series altogether before the replacements could be printed.

1962 Topps Mars Attacks has a total of 55 cards. As with most sets from the era, the first and last cards carry a premium as they were often the ones to get the most wear and tear. The final card in the set is also the set's checklist. Unmarked copies are very tough to come by today. This collection contained five #55 Checklists including two that were unmarked (see the reverse of the checklist card below on the right!

1962 Topps Mars Attacks!1962 Topps Mars Attacks! Checklist
#26 Prize Captive Card and #55 Reverse of Checklist Card


Buying Most Non-Sport Cards

Just Collect is one of the most aggressive and active buyers of non-sport cards in the world and is always looking to purchase collections of most pre-1980 non-sports card issues.  We are looking to buy these sets in most conditions, ranging from Good to Mint! Even if you don't have complete sets, we are also buying partial sets, singles and high condition commons. The singles with the most value will be the first and last card of each set, along with any checklists or high series cards. Additionally, there are three cards in the non-sports arena that hold tremendous value, that we buy in ANY condition: 1932 U.S. Caramel Presidents #24 William McKinley, 1952 Topps Look 'N See #82 Rembrandt, and 1959 Fleer The 3 Stooges #1 Curly.

Schedule an Appointment to Meet Just Collect at a Show Near You

Just Collect travels to several shows on a regular basis. In the New York area, we often attend the White Plains Show at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY. If you're in the New England area, you can make an appointment to meet with one of our specialists when we're in the area for the Shriner's Show at the Aleppo Auditorium in Wilmington, MA. We also visit the Metro-DC area when we attend the CSA Show in Chantilly, VA. If you're in the South Jersey or Delaware area, you can also schedule appointments while we're in the Philadelphia area when we do The Philly Show in Valley Forge, PA.

We set up at The National Sports Collectors Convention every year and this year, it will be at the Stephens Convention Center in the Rosemont section of Chicago, IL and it has also been in Cleveland, Atlantic City and Baltimore in recent years. Additionally, we travel to the Sports Card and Memorabilia Expo in Mississauga, Ontario for those of you in the Toronto area that want to meet with us in Canada.

We would love to meet with you and schedule a private appointment to assess and value your collection while we are in your area, so please check out our show and travel schedule to see when Just Collect will be in your area!

Our Buying Philosophy

We've run into a wide range of people and collections over the past decade. Although we are known for buying vintage sports cards and especially vintage basketball cards, we are also extremely interested in buying non-sports cards, also!

Every collection and every collector is different and we treat EVERY collection with the respect and attention that we show for our own collections. We understand that many have put their heart and soul into building their collection. So when you're ready to sell, Just Collect understands the feelings that you're going through and we will work with you to help you reach a decision that is a WIN/WIN, because if you're not happy, we're not happy.

Won't They Be Worth More if I Grade Them Myself

We discuss all of the selling options with everyone that we meet with. In most cases, selling the collection on their own will put the most money on the bottom line, but it will also take an large commitment of time and energy and one that most are not ready or able to undertake. Another misconception is that grading the collection will return more money. When I hear people say, "You're just going to grade them and get ten times the money," I almost cringe. Grading a collection can be a money losing proposition, especially if you don't know what you're doing. And most times, we grade very few, if any cards, from average collections that we buy.

We value a collection based upon the condition and the value. If a card is worth $100 in a PSA 7 NM, we're going to value it at $100 whether it is ungraded or graded. You can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars grading your cards, but we're still valuing them the same and paying the same regardless of how much you've invested in grading them.

We Are Always Buying

Just Collect is always buying vintage sports and non-sports cards from 1879 to 1979 as well as select modern cards. If you have a collection that you are considering selling, contact us today to discuss your collection and get our industry leading purchase offer. If you have a collection that you want appraised, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss your collection and help you understand the real cash value of your collection in the current marketplace.

Don't hesitate to check out our Google Reviews left by many of the great people that have considered selling collections to Just Collect.

"Mars Attacks! Vintage Non-Sport Collection" Video:

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