Jets (Topps)

Jets cards Topps unleashed their massive Jets trading card series in 1956. There were 240 cards in the set, each measuring approximately 2-16" by 2-15/16".

This trading card set was almost certainly geared toward boys who were fascinated by the myriad aircraft (much of it jet-propelled) that were being built and used during this period of the Cold War.

The set consisted of 240 cards, but the latter 120 are much more difficult to locate than the first half, indicating that this card series was probably released in two separate runs (like Topps did with their baseball cards), and that perhaps the second run was cut short resulting in fewer high-number cards.

Each Jets card featured a black-and-white photograph of an aircraft surrounded on three sides by a white border, with a red block at the bottom which held the card number, the name of the plane, and a brief description of its use.

The card back carries the Jets logo and the repeated card number, followed again by the name of the plane and its use, followed by a block of text. The plane's stats (speed, wingspan, etc.) run along the bottom, while the right side of the card features a silhouette of the aircraft in white against a light green background.

Albums were sold by Topps at 15 cents each to hold completed sets.

Three different wrappers are known: two regular Jets wrappers at one and five cent packs, and another 1-cent wrapper that gives the set name as Fighting Planes. Was this a test wrapper, or perhaps the original name of the series in preproduction?

The American Card Catalog reference number for this set is R707-1.

Value: Cards between #'s 1 and 121 generally go for between $1.50 and $2.00 each in Excellent condition, while #122 to 240 can be had for $2.00 to $3.00. A full set of 240 cards usually hovers around $600.00. Albums can sometimes be found for $25.00 to $30.00 each.