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Grocery Wax Pack Trays from the 1970s

Updated on June 16, 2012

Pre 1970 Wax Pack Trays

1969 Topps Unopened Baseball Wax Pack Tray
1969 Topps Unopened Baseball Wax Pack Tray
1969 Topps Unopened Football Wax Pack Tray
1969 Topps Unopened Football Wax Pack Tray

Wax Pack Trays


As far as I know grocery (or wax) trays can be traced back to late nineteen fifties or early nineteen sixties. The earliest known wax tray that I have seen a photo of is from 1962 Topps baseball. These originally wholesaled for $3.42 for a case of 36 trays. Wow!! The retail price was just .15 per tray. Just think... you could have made about .05 of profit per sale back then but if you kept them until today... you could probably sell them for somewhere in the range of $2,800 - $4,000 each depending on condition

Wax Pack Trays - The 1970's

1972 Topps Unopened Baseball Wax Pack Tray
1972 Topps Unopened Baseball Wax Pack Tray
1973 Topps Unopened Basketball Wax Tray
1973 Topps Unopened Basketball Wax Tray
1974/75 Topps Unopened Basketball Wax Tray
1974/75 Topps Unopened Basketball Wax Tray
1974 Topps Unopened Football Wax Tray
1974 Topps Unopened Football Wax Tray

The Trays in the 1970s

The 1970s

During the 1970s, wax trays were in their heyday. Topps produced trays for each of the four main sports although they did not always produce them for each sport every year. It is believed that Topps produced the following:

1970- BB & FB

1971- BB & FB

1972- BB & FB

1973- BB, FB, Basketball, Hockey

1974- BB, FB, Basketball, Hockey

1975- BB, FB, Basketball, Hockey

1976- BB, FB

1977- BB, FB, Basketball

1978- BB, FB, Basketball, Hockey

1979- BB, FB, Hockey (Note: there is considerable debate, based on the pricing circle and codes on the back of the trays and cello wrap, as to whether 1979 Hockey trays were produced by Topps or by a resealer)

Last Cardboard Backed Tray Pack

1980 Topps Baseball Wax Pack Tray
1980 Topps Baseball Wax Pack Tray

Post 1979

The last time Topps made a Tray with a backboard and cello wrapping was for 1980 BB. Toward the end of the 1980 BB production process, Topps shifted to a cello sleeve and that was used until 1985.

If you see any cardboard trays on the market after 1980 BB, (like 1980 Basketball or Hockey) please re-read the above.

More Information

Over the near term, I will be adding some comments about volumes in the market and how to spot resealed packs. I have come to learn, spotting the fakes isn't too difficult.

In the interim, let's hear from you. What do you think about the old Wax Trays? Do you remember the stores in which they were sold? I do, I remember paying a whole 59 cents for a tray at an A&P in Westchester County back in 1978! That was paper route tip money! Look forward to hearing your thoughts.


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      howto increasever 

      10 years ago

      Hi, there is a lot of stuff here.. Thanks for the cool hub...


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