I’ve written four checklist era series articles here on PostWarCards so far, which include the Post-War OG Sport Card Checklists, The Retro Classic Sports Card Checklists, The Golden Era of Topps Baseball Checklists, and the Oreo Cookie Hockey Checklists. Well, I decided to take the easy way out regarding non-sport checklists and write about them in a single article. Why? Well, there seem to be two tiers of vintage non-sport checklists. The first tier I’ll highlight in detail and includes:
- The 1959 Fleer Three Stooges checklists variations
- The 1962 Mars Attacks checklist
- The 1962 Topps Civil War News checklist
- And the 1965 Topps Battle checklist
I’ll briefly describe the sets each card comes from before diving into the specific checklist’s details, including population and recent sales. For the “second tier” checklists, I’ll share a photo, some population data, and why I don’t consider them to be on quite the same level as the “tier one” non-sport checklists.
1959 Fleer The Three Stooges #16, #63, and #64 Checklists
1959 Fleer The Three Stooges Overview
The 96-card 1959 Fleer The Three Stooges set remains one of the most popular non-sport trading card sets ever. The standard-sized cards each have a color drawing of the legendary trio, active between 1922 and 1970, either by themselves or as a group from one of their films. While cards can be found on white (the more desirable) or gray (the scarcer) stock, the set’s rarest items are single print run variations of three cards that had checklists printed on the back; #16 “You Can’t Keep Your Money,” #63 “Curly The First Thing,” and #64 “You Won’t Fool Anybody.” Only a few hundred total copies are known to exist still. So when you balance the legacy of Larry, Curly, and Moe with a coveted non-sport set with a shorter print run of a card that could have been easily marked or discarded, high-grade copies are seriously pricey.
1959 Fleer The Three Stooges #16 Checklist
PSA has graded 97 examples of this card, with 36 carrying a qualifier (who knows how many have been cracked and re-submitted, the Pop Report is just a nice guide). There are two Gem Mint 10s with seven 9s and four 8s. The cards with qualifiers are primarily in the 4/5/6 range. Robert Edward Auctions sold the pictured PSA 9 for $13200 in October 2014 (when just four 9s existed in the pop report).
More recently, PSA 9s have sold on eBay in July 2023 for $2651 and $4274 in May 2023. Goldin Auctions sold a PSA 9 for $2190 in December 2022.
With such a low population and only a few examples changing hands each year, the sales data is a bit “all over the place,” and a lot of these sales are driven by eye appeal as well, but Probstein sold an 8 for $3050 in August 2021, and Goldin moved an 8 for $3300 in May 2021, so you could say the cards’ price has come down a bit from the hobby peak. Heritage sold a PSA 7 for $2040 in May 2022.
1959 Fleer The Three Stooges #63 Checklist
PSA has only graded 62 examples of card #63 with a checklist back. None have warranted a Gem Mint grade, but there are three 9s and nine 8s; 21 total carry a qualifier.
Probstein sold an 8 for $1913 in February 2023, and Goldin has moved a pair; one for $1470 in December 2022 and another for $3301 in December 2021. If you thought the prices for these cards were wild during the 2020/2021 boom when a 7 changed hands for $3076 and another sold for $2640, that’s nothing compared to just a few years earlier. In September 2019, a PSA 7 sold for $6178, and Mile High Card Company auctioned one off for $5513 in June 2010.
1959 Fleer The Three Stooges #64 Checklist
There are 80 PSA-Graded examples of card #64 with a checklist back, but a whopping 42 carry a qualifier, most of which are in the low range of the grading scale. There are three PSA 9s and seven 8s, though. Goldin sold one of those 9s in August 2021 for $7380. More recently, though, an 8 sold on eBay for $2175 in July 2023, which is nothing compared to early 2021 when 8s were sold for $7375 and over $10k in April and March.
So, while 1959 Fleer The Three Stooges checklist back variations have come back down to earth since the hobby boom, they’re still quite pricey, and bidding is always intense for clean copies. The graded populations have grown significantly in the past few years; if you know about a large find of these cards, let me know.
1962 Mars Attacks #55 Checklist
The Non-Sports Bible describes the 1962 Mars Attacks set as the most fascinating post-war set; Norm Saunders’ illustrations are legendary. The 55 standard-sized cards feature graphic depictions of humankind being annihilated. It’s one of the most recognizable sets ever made and was made even more popular by the 1996 Tim Burton feature film (and at the time of release by angry parents). Topps actually halted production of the set before they could repaint and replace 13 of the most gory and sexual cards in response to lawmakers.
PSA has graded 396 1962 Mars Attacks checklist, and 127 carry a qualifier. There aren’t any Gem Mint 10s and just a single PSA 9 to go with 25 PSA 8s.
The following PSA 8 (with a back that’s too off-center for me) was sold by REA for $3120 in August 2019. They also sold a PSA 9 (OC) for $1320 in March 2019.
More recently, Probstein sold an 8 for $5555 on eBay in May 2022. But even lower-graded examples are pricey; a PSA 4 sold on eBay in March for $355, and a PSA 6 changed hands for $1594 in September 2022. An absolutely annihilated and marked raw copy was sold on eBay for $45 just a few weeks ago.
One of the coolest items related to the checklist card I’ve seen is this original artwork by Norm Saunders used for its production. It sold for $9k in March 2019.
1962 Topps Civil War News #88 Checklist
The 1962 Topps Civil War News set’s popularity was always attributed to its extraordinary artwork. And for a long time, Norm Saunders was thought to have drawn all of them, but it’s now known he collaborated on it with Maurice Blumenthal. Anywho, The 88-card, standard-sized set was meant to teach kids about the war. Parents also complained that the horrifying images of war in this set were inappropriate for kids in a bubble gum set, so Topps cropped out some of the original artwork on the printed cards. However, their accurate historical information has made the cards popular among civil war hobbyists. And despite a find of several unopened cases of the cards many years ago, the checklist remains elusive in high-grade because of notoriously awful cuts and off-centered cards.
PSA has graded 379 1962 Civil War News checklist, and 109 carry a qualifier. There aren’t any 10s and just two 9s, but there are a whopping 81 PSA 8s.
Heritage Auctions sold one of the 9s in April 2019 for $1080. REA sold the most recent PSA 8 for $480 in October 2022. PSA 7s are even more “affordable” since ether are over 100 of them in the Pop Report, one sold for $234 in April 2021, but they were closer to $150 a few years before that.
1965 Topps Battle #66 Battle Checklist
Released a few years after the Civil War News set, Topps tried their hands, this time with World War II, again using Norm Saunders’ artwork and a few others on the staff like Bob Powell—the 66-card set features vivid colors of bloody combat along with a few generals and politicians. The set is super popular among WW2 history buffs and non-sport set collectors. And the checklist has such a classic look to me.
There are two checklists in the set, but I’m only including card #66, the Battle Checklist, for its more classic look, desirability, and condition sensitivity and for being the last card in the set. The other checklist, #65 (U.S. Military Cloth Emblem Checklist), is still a great card, but it covers the extra cloth military emblems that Topps inserted in each pack of cards.
PSA has graded 68 Battle Checklists, and only four carry qualifiers. There aren’t any 10s and just a single 9 to go with an 8.5 and 13 8s. The 8.5 sold on eBay in January 2019 for $721.99.
This PSA 8 sold for $550 on eBay on June 15, 2023.
Also, an SGC 5 sold for $240 in July 2023.
The Second Tier Non-Sport Checklists
1957 Topps Planes of the World Checklist 1-120
There are a pair of 1957 Topps Planes of the World checklists, Bazooka and Twin Blony, just like the 1957 Topps Baseball checklists. However, the set just isn’t as popular as the previous ones. There are 11 of each checklist in PSA’s Pop Report, all mid-grade. Historically they sell for between $50 and $100.
1963 Topps Astronauts #55 Checklist
There are two variations of this checklist. The regular checklist has been graded 64 times by PSA without any 10s, just one 9, and seven 8s. There’s also a popsicle back variation with just nine graded samples. I nearly included these as must-haves, but the set isn’t quite as historically significant as the others. The cards aren’t cheap, a PSA 8 was sold for $350 in February 2021, and a 4.5 sold for $165 in December 2020.
1965 Philadelphia War Bulletin Checklist 1-88
I really like the look of the 1965 War Bulletin checklist, but again, the set doesn’t have the right level of prestige. PSA has graded 70 of these checklists; four 9s, 25 8s, and 21 7s are in the pop report, with just three carrying a qualifier. So it’s not as tough a card as some of the biggies. It also doesn’t command huge prices; 8s have been selling for between $85 and $125 for a few years.
1966 Topps Green Berets #66 Checklist
The 1966 Topps Green Berets #66 checklist is just too ordinary to be a must-have post-war non-sport checklist. But it’s a tough find; PSA has only graded 33, and 12 have qualifiers. The highest graded clean copy is a PSA 8, and there are 10 of them at that grade; however, PSA’s APR shows the last sales of a PSA 8 being back in 2017 for $64 and 2014 for $60, so they’d be hard for me to price today. A marked copy, VG at best, sold on eBay in July 2023 for $12.
These cards are all incredible, and whether hobby-used (marked) or clean, having any in your collection would be great. However, if you’re looking for high-grade “clean” copies, you’ll have to be super patient.
And if you’re interested in checklists, check out Checklist Central here on the site; it’s where I highlight my checklist era series, provide a checklist variation guide, and list all my checklist-related articles. Also, be sure to follow @ChecklistGuy on Twitter or Instagram; I share a checklist every business day. I also share info about checklists from time to time on the Post War Cards Newsletter, so be sure to subscribe.