The 1967 Topps Stand-Up set is one of the several test issues that never found its way into distribution. (Other examples include the 1973 Pin-ups and the 1971 All-Star Rookies.) The Stand-Ups are similar in concept to the 1964 die-cut cards only in a larger format (3-1/8” x 5-1/4”). Another difference is the 1967 version uses floating heads instead of full body photos. Both were designed to have the die-cut portion popped out and placed in a punch-out base to allow the photo to stand up.
Though the set is described in the Standard Catalog of Vintage Baseball Cards as being earmarked for distribution in 1967, a 1968 release seems more likely. The first clue is the Jim Hunter card, which shows him on the Oakland A’s. Of course, the A’s moved to Oakland for the 1968 season. Another indication is the fact that Rusty Staub and Jimmy Wynn have their Astros’ cap logos blacked out and no mention of the Astros on the card. The Astros refusal to grant Topps the right to use their logo was only an issue in 1968-69.
Topps may have scrapped the Stand-Ups in favor of a poster set instead. The same 24 players in the Stand-Up set were used in a 1968 poster set.
As with the other never issued sets, the few rare proofs that survive must have been set aside by Topps employees. In the case of the Stand-Ups, there are both proofs printed on thin paper without the die- cuts and die-cut ones on card stock. Only a handful exists and are rarely seen on the market. When cards do emerge, the prices are exorbitant. Mantle’s card in mint condition is valued at $15,500 by the Standard Catalog of Vintage Baseball Cards.
The floating head concept always seemed odd and a bit creepy. Yet, Topps used it on cards for league leaders, coaches and rookies. The creepiest card in the Stand-Up set is Orlando Cepeda. His bug-eyed look is disturbing.
Floating heads may not be the best look, but you can’t go wrong with cards of Aaron, Mays, Mantle and Clemente. There are 12 Hall-of-Famers in all along with Rose and Dick Allen.
By the way, Topps didn’t completely give up on this concept. In 1968, they made football Stand-Ups that were inserted in second series packs.