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Lot # 1397 (of 1411)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1962 Topps "Mars Attacks" Display Box Top Artwork

Starting Bid - $1,500.00, Sold For - $3,480.00

Offered is one of the most extraordinary "Mars Attacks"-related artifacts that could possibly exist: This is the original mechanical artwork for the top of the "Mars Attacks" five-cent counter display box. Topps designed the Mars Attacks display box to capture the attention of youngsters at candy stores, to generate interest, intrigue, and sales. The top of the box features a weapon-wielding Martian who is pointing the way to Earth's destruction, with comrades, billowing smoke, and invading spaceships in the background. When published, the per-pack price (five cents) and additional lettering reading "Mars Attacks!" in large type were added. This is an extremely important original artwork related to the most classic nonsports issue of the era. The artwork measures 9 x 4 inches (image area). The entire board measures 9 x 4.75 inches. The mechanical artwork is comprised of an original somewhat crudely painted background (painted directly onto the board) accompanied by the original mylar overlay with black ink (either painted or mechanically applied directly onto the clear plastic). This overlay is attached to the board across the top by clear tape, and lays perfectly over the painted board, thereby providing the color, as intended, to create what appears to be the finished mechanical artwork used by Topps on the top of the Mars Attacks five-cent counter display box. We do want to qualify our identification of this item by stating that we cannot guarantee with certainty that this is the original artwork, as opposed to an advanced preliminary, simply because we have not had the opportunity to carefully examine a "Mars Attacks" printed box along side this artwork. The "Mars Attacks" display box is the rarest box of the era, so rare that we have been unable to locate even a single example to closely examine, and have only been able to find a single photograph of a box for comparison. We have provided this photo online. The top of the box in the photograph of the "Mars Attacks" box appears to our eye to be a perfect match. In addition, this artwork has ironclad provenance tracing it directly to the personal collection of legendary hobby pioneer and former Topps art and creative director Woody Gelman. The entire piece is mounted on a piece of black notebook paper (8.5 x 11 inches) with file holes, which is how Gelman frequently stored items for his personal collection. The artwork and mylar overlay are both in Excellent to Mint condition. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$4,000. SOLD FOR $3,480.00


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