Many of you know I study the vintage checklist market and share a different checklist on Twitter and Instagram every weekday under the CheckListGuy handle. Well, a few weeks ago, I saw a 1962 Venezuela Topps #192 Checklist 177 -264 card, graded PSA 1 (MK), pop up for sale on eBay, so I added it to my watchlist. I put in a token $30 bid and was surprised to see that a week later, on September 23, 2022, it sold for $787. It turns out that the whole Venezuela Topps community was pretty shocked. But after looking into the set, perhaps the final price shouldn’t be that surprising.
There still isn’t a lot known about the Venezuela Topps sets today. No one is exactly sure why Topps sold these separate (and smaller) sets in the Venezuelan market over seven years. However, PSA shared that the printing of the 1962 set was licensed to a Venezuelan company and was believed to have been distributed in packs of four cards with gum. And from a condition perspective, the South American cards didn’t have the same production quality as the American versions, so they are usually found in poor condition.
The 198-card 1962 Venezuelan Topps set mirrored the regular Topps release, but the backs were printed in Spanish. The set’s makeup had a few slight differences. In the 1962 Venezuelan Topps set, card #199 is Elio Chacon (#256 in the standard Topps 3rd series release), and card #200 is Luis Aparicio (#325 in the standard Topps 4th series release). Cards 197 and 198 weren’t produced.
You see, the last card issued in the American 2nd Series is Terry Fox, card #196. But to round out the Venezuelan set, the local greats (Chacon and Aparicio) were added. Likely to fill out 132 card sheets as an editorial decision by the licensee.
The Venezuela Topps Checklist (#192) that sold for $787 (pictured above) is a 3rd Series checklist and doesn’t show this Chacon/Aparicio update. The checklist mirrors the American set with card #199 as Gaylord Perry and card #200 as Mickey Mantle. However, this collector crossed out Mantle’s name and appears to have written in part of Luis Aparicio’s name.
The 1962 Venezuelan Topps set was the first (of the Venezuelan sets) to have stand-alone checklists. Very few exist today (checklists weren’t super popular with kids). If you check out PSA’s population report, they have only graded 33 checklists across all the variations and only six of card #192. Here’s a rundown of all the checklists:
Card #22: Checklist 1-88 #121-176 on Back has a PSA Population of 13.
Card #22: Checklist 1-88 #33-88 on Back has a PSA Population of 5. The America Topps set has the same two checklist #22 variations, so I presume the Venezuela Topps printer used similar sheet proofs.
Card #98: Checklist 89-176 has a PSA Population of 9.
Card #192: Checklist 177-264 has a PSA Population of 2. I’m not sure this is an actual variation like the American Topps set has (One American Topps card is “Check List 3”, and the other is “Check List, 3”. The checklist pictured at the top of this article is an old flip with “Check List 3” printed next to 192 on the card but not on the flip’s label like in the following example.
Card #192: Checklist 177-264 192 is Checklist 3 and has a PSA Population of 4.
When you balance the uniqueness of card #192 in the 1962 Venezuela Topps set and its rarity on the market in a small but active hobby niche, it’s not surprising to see a checklist, graded PSA 1 (MK) sell for over $750. It could be years before another copy comes to market! Happy collecting.
PS: if any Venezuela Topps experts read this and find that I’ve made any false assumptions, please let me know in the comments or DM me on Twitter.
PPS: my article Why There are So Many Vintage Checklist Variations is a helpful read.