Sunday, September 07, 2008

1981 Topps Movie Giant Pin-Up

Last week I was graced with one of those rare coincidences that happen to place something new and exciting into your lap. I was on eBay at the right time using the right search terms, and I won this.

I'm kicking myself now for failing to include something else in the scan of this pack to demonstrate the size of scale. The pack is probably about eight inches long by four inches wide. Most mysteriously, it's sealed in a fashion amazingly similar to the card packs of today. The top and bottom are pinch-sealed and there's no wax to speak of on the whole thing. The consistency and feel of the wrapper is much closer to paper than the erection-inducing plastic of Topps Heritage, but there are hints of this movie pack being a progenitor of the modern packaging. After all, my nipples are hard right now.

The ad wizards at Topps were kind enough to announce all of the possible "hits" from a pack on the back. The films' release dates range from 1975 to 1981, a key transitional period where film was moving away from the auteur directorship of the '70s to the summer blockbuster marketing scheme that has dominated to this day. I'll share with you now my thoughts on pulling any of these posters.

1. Jaws: I'm considering going as Mayor Larry Vaughn this Halloween.
2. Superman: Pioneered superhero existentialism in a way that hasn't been seen in film until this summer's Dark Knight (and to a lesser extent, in the first two Spiderman movies).
4. Airplane!: Great co-writers and -directors from my hometown.
5. Star Wars: Yes.
7. Animal House: Double Secret Probation.
8. The Empire Strikes Back: "Hoth-style" was an adjective I coined in high school.
9. Young Frankenstein: "Put...the candle...back!"

6. Rocky: Good movie, but ensured that Sylvester Stallone would never go away in my lifetime.
11. Revenge of the Pink Panther: Peter Sellers is great.

10. The Blue Lagoon: Haven't seen it, lack the desire to. Brooke Shields and a dude with a blonde afro just doesn't appeal to me.
12. Smokey and the Bandit: Not a Burt Reynolds fan.

3. Grease: One of the worst movies of all time. Why anybody would like this is beyond me. Really horrible, annoying songs that still get played at sporting events, weddings, elevator gatherings, etc.

It looks like I've got a better than 50/50 shot at coming away with something good.
Let's tear in.


My one shot and I totally blew it. Perhaps I just didn't put in the hours at the gym.
At least I get a piece of gum out of the deal.

Ouch. It's broken into a thousand pieces, and it's beginning to eat through the wrapper.
Wait, a wrapper on the piece of Topps gum? From 1981? This is Heritage's grandaddy after all.

The results are in!


--David said...

Wow, that is a cool item! I had never heard of those before, and now I will have to to see if I can snag some of the posters I want!

capewood said...

Young Frankenstein. One of the funniest movies of all time. And its got Terry Garr!

dayf said...

That is one of the best hit/miss ratios I've ever seen in a checklist. I'd go crazy if I pulled half of those movies. I'd buy a box though and get all Blue Lagoon and Grease with my luck.

Have you thought about drawing a goatee on Jackie Gleason and pretending the poster is from the Cannonball Run?

MMayes said...

I still love to watch Smokey and the Bandit. Burt Reynolds and Sally Field, meh. What really makes that movie are the performances of Jackie Gleason (Sheriff Buford T. Justice) and Jerry Reed.

That being said, I'd have wanted Animal House. Damn glad to meet you.

--David said...

I realize this comment may go unseen given the age of the post, but I found 4 of these on ebay and snagged 'em up. What did I get? Star Wars, Jaws, Young Frankenstein and Rocky... I am glad I read this post!