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Rare Batman boxes and counter displays

Date posted: October 11, 2020
By Matt Cassidy

Roger from Alabama recently reached out to share his very impressive collection of 1966 Batman cards display boxes - in fact he is not too far from acquiring an example of each of the international sets of 1966 Batman display boxes.

Collecting empty display boxes of Batman cards isn’t something I’ve covered on the site before. Roger’s wealth of knowledge on the topic and exceptional collection is something I thought other readers would definitely find interesting.

Here you’ll find the result of my chat with Roger, a look at his collection and a couple of my own notable rare display boxes.

What makes display boxes collectible?

Unlike the packs of cards they held, display boxes had a short lived purpose: to help transport the packs safely to the point of sale and to attract attention to sell those packs to customers.

Once this purpose was complete these boxes were usually disposed.

Additionally, the ratio of cards to box was large - each box held many cards.

As a result the boxes themselves are rare. They are not impossible to find, however, they are considerably more rare than the cards they held - especially in quality conditions.

Rarity is always nice in a collection but display boxes have another collectibility going for them: their look and feel. Due to the fact that display boxes where also marketing tools they retain great eye appeal and capture the feel of the era beautifully. Display boxes look fantastic alongside a collection cards and truly set off any already great Batman cards collection.

A look at Roger’s collection of 1966 Batman display boxes

Roger from Alabama has been collecting 1966 Batman counter display boxes for 25 years through eBay.

Because the release of these cards coincided with the 1966 launch of the Batman TV show staring Adam West and Burt Ward, they were part of “Batmania”, and a tremendous commercial success for Topps. So even today, 54 years later, most of these counter display boxes are plentiful and can be purchased, with some patience, on eBay for very reasonable prices.

The one exception is the large green 10-cent cello pack box. Over my 30 years of collecting, I have only seen this one box intact. It is the linchpin of my collection, and because of its rarity, I couldn’t assign it a price. But if I were to estimate, it would be 3X the price of any other Batman box in my collection.

There are other variations on these box themes, and my collection is not comprehensive. My primary objective for this collection is to add the English A&BC Batman wax boxes to this collection. I have seen a couple on rare occasions, but was not in a position to make the purchase. With time, I expect the British boxes will show-up, and with some luck, and very deep pockets, I can pick-up 1 or 2 different versions.

Take a look here at Roger’s excellent collection of 1966 Batman display boxes.

Batman cards box Topps 5-cent box first series
Topps 5-cent box, first series

Batman cards box OPeeChee 5-cent box first series
OPeeChee 5-cent box, first series

Batman cards box Topps 5-cent box 2nd series large sticker
Topps 5-cent box, 2nd series, large sticker

Batman cards box Topps 5-cent box 3rd series small sticker
Topps 5-cent box, 3rd series, small sticker

Batman cards box Topps 5-cent box Real Photos
Topps 5-cent box, Real Photos

Batman cards box Topps 5-cent box Riddle Back
Topps 5-cent box, Riddle Back

Batman cards box Topps large green 10-cent box cello packs
Topps large green 10-cent box, 2nd series, believed to have held cello packs, and not wax packs

Roger has also included further 1966 boxes he’s on the look out for. If you have any of these and would like to be put in touch with Roger please let me know.

Batman cards box Topps 5-cent box 2nd series small sticker
Topps 5-cent box, 2nd series, small sticker

Batman cards box Topps 10-cent box Riddle Back cello pack
Topps 10-cent box Riddle Back cello pack

Batman cards box A&BC threepence
A&BC threepence

Batman cards box A&BC sixpence
A&BC sixpence

Australia and New Zealand rare Batman boxes

I thoroughly enjoy the Batman cards produced for the 1989 and 1992 Tim Burton / Michael Keaton films Batman and Batman Returns. Here is a selection of some of the rarer boxes of Batman cards produced for these films.

1989 Regina Batman boxes

Topps produced two sets which was available throughout Australia and New Zealand produced and distributed by New Zealand based confectionary company Regina (1988) Ltd.

I have only seen the counter displays below and never a complete box containing cards of the 1989 Batman series one release by Regina in modern times - please get in touch if you have one.

Here are some photos showing two counter displays of 1989 Regina Batman series one, the cards themselves (which do not state ‘Regina’ anywhere on them - 'Topps' was removed from card #1) and the poster which was included as a box topper. Also included in these images is some of the 1989 Australian ‘Dandy’ release cards.

Unfortunately the slightly better condition box here has a price handwritten on it of 35c.

Batman Regina Series 1 Box
Batman Regina Series 1 Box

The second series boxes are more available however are still quite rare and command a decent price when they do become available.

Here is the 1989 Regina series two display box - in fact this is a complete box containing the cards themselves.

Batman Regina Series 2 Box
Batman Regina Series 2 Box

1992 Dynamic Marketing Batman Returns boxes

Probably my favourite set of Batman cards of all time is this 1992 Batman Returns release by Dynamic Marketing. It was ground breaking for its time featuring various levels of inserts, stickers, shrinkies, Gotham dollars, special sleeves, a special album and a miniature album.

It was a lot of fun to collect back then and still is today. The counter displays are fairly rare with only a few becoming available that I have seen in modern times.

Here is an image showing the album, mini album and a complete box of Dynamic Marketing Batman Returns cards.

Dynamic Marketing Batman Returns Box, Binder and Mini-binder
Dynamic Marketing Batman Returns Box, Binder and Mini-album

If you're looking to grow your collection you may be interested in in my buy Batman boxes page.

Thank you to Roger for sharing his collection and knowledge.

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