Recently, a collector sent me a photo of a 1986 Topps Football vending box wrapped in cellophane that had Mark Murphy’s business card placed under the wrapping. I got more into unopened once Steve Hart and the Baseball Card Exchange became the biggest unopened dealer in the space, so I mentioned that I couldn’t remember seeing one like that. Later, I went back through my photo archives and did find a few more examples, so I thought it was worth a post here on the blog just in case other collectors come across more Baseball Card Kid Topps vending boxes and are unsure of their authenticity.
The following picture is the 1986 Topps Football vending box that the collector emailed to me. The collector mentioned that he bought around half a dozen different boxes from Mark.
In their 2017 spring auction, Robert Edward Auctions sold a 1978 Topps vending box for $840 shrink-wrapped by The Baseball Card Kid, Mark Murphy. They mentioned that he was “the preeminent dealer of unopened material in the 1990s and likely (though we have no way of knowing for sure) broke down a vending case at one time from which this box originated.”
In that same auction, REA also sold a 1979 Topps bending box.
In March of 2015, Mile High Card Company sold a pair of wrapped 1983 Topps baseball vending boxes for $160 wrapped in the same way.
I’ve read a few forum posts about Murphy’s vending boxes that help provide validation that Mark was wrapping and selling legitimately unsearched boxes. There are no guarantees in life, but one collector mentioned buying a few early 1970s vending boxes that he cracked and pulled many mint cards of stars and was confident no one searched the boxes.
Bottom line, if you find a vending box wrapped in cellophane with Mark Murphy’s business card, it’s likely legitimate.
And just for your awareness, Steve Hart and his company BBCE only wrap vending boxes that they take directly from a sealed case.
*Update: 9 November 2021: After I posted this article, a collector shared the following image of a 1979 Topps Football vending box from The Baseball Card “Kid.”