Return to the Oddball Archive Index
Title: Carvel Ice Cream Discs
Size: 3 3/8″ diameter
Number in Set: 36
Today, Focus Brands owns the Carmel ice cream franchise. But they were founded in 1929 when Tom Carvel borrowed money from his future wife to buy an ice cream truck. He eventually started operating fixed locations. Today they have over 320 locations, predominantly in the northeast.
They were early innovators in franchising and advertising, and in 1974-75, they partnered with Mike Schecter (you can see a small MS on the bottom of the discs) to have this set of discs made to use as a promotion in its stores. Michael Schechter & Associates made a lot of different disc sets, including the similar 1976 Buckman Basketball Discs.
The front of the discs features a hand-drawn player portrait by Charles Linnett, a facsimile signature, plus some basic biographical and statistical information within the borders. The front borders were printed in five colors (blue, green, yellow, orange, and pink), though a few white-bordered examples exist.
You can see a bunch of the color variations in the image below from a January 2012 Huggins and Scott auction where they sold a lot of 25 complete sets for $650.
The discs are blank-backed and unnumbered.
Although I have never seen one, a poster was apparently produced which provided circular places for each of the 36 discs.
The set’s key discs belong to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, John Havlicek, and Bill Bradley. However, none of the discs are very expensive, and if you’re looking for graded examples, PSA has slabbed 1480 discs from this set.
I mentioned that there are different colored variations; if you want that complete checklist for a “Master Set,” please check out the Trading Card Database entry for the set. I’ll list the unique players below.
Dick Van Arsdale
Norm Van Lier
Jo Jo White