Another product of my 1990 Topps research that I found fascinating was the enormous amount of “offer” or “ad” cards that Topps packed into their products. Every pack got a “Spring Training Fever” sweepstakes card or a offer for one of many different Topps clothing items, sometimes an offer for cards, sheets or a binder instead. But 1990 also marked the debut of Topps’ quarterly magazine and the company chose A’s slugger Jose Canseco as the face of it’s promotion as well as the cover subject for the first issue.
In every 1990 Topps Holiday factory set, an oversized (about postcard sized) yellow card with ordering information was included, that depicted Canseco. Each of these cards has a “code” at the bottom (presumably for printing purposes) and this is where variations come into play:
The type on the left, with the larger print, printed horizontally, seems to be the “common” type as I pulled 9 of them out of 11 sets. The remaining two were of the smaller print, diagonally-printed type shown at right.
Another Canseco-featured ad/insert comes from the 1990 Topps Debut ’89 and 1989 Topps Traded boxed sets. This time, all the Topps Magazine order info is squeezed on to a mini card (the size of Topps’ 1986-1990 Mini Leaders). This card, again, can be found with a couple different “codes” on the back:
“B 89 A” and “B 89 H” are the two codes that I came across. A’s outnumbered the H’s (7 to 3) but I am not entirely sure if those are the only codes available on the inserts. Something tells me that other letters may also exist.
In regular old 1990 Topps packs, a similar insert can be found, urging readers to purchase a subscription of Topps Magazine. This time, it’s not a code variation, but rather a card stock variation:
The copy at left in each scan is printed on Topps’ traditional, gray cardboard stock. The card shown at right is printed on Topps’ “ireland” or white card stock (used for it’s retail box sets, traded boxed sets, Topps debut, etc…). Though currently I cannot confirm it, there may exist a 3rd variety that is printed on Topps’ “vanilla bean” card stock, the same type of card stock used for the O-Pee-Chee sets, looking like a mix between the two shown above.
That’s it for now. I’m sure there are more out there and I’d like to hear of any Canseco/Ad variations that I didn’t cover here, so feel free to email me at: email@example.com with and new info!