Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Collectibles: Tom Tyler on the Maple Leaf Gum cards

One of the more frequently seen film star cards with Tom Tyler on the front actually happens to be a misprint. Maple Leaf Gum, Canada, produced a set of 175 cards in 1952, and the card that bears the name Tom Tyler is actually the picture of Bob Steele. This particular card is numbered at 130, while the card with the picture of Tom Tyler and the name of Bob Steele printed at the lower left is number 132. It is unsure how the names and photos were mixed up during the production of these cards. It seems like the photo shots on these two cards were probably taken from the early to mid 1940's, from one of the Three Mesquiteers films. In the card labeled Bob Steele, Tom is standing by his white horse and wearing the orange/yellow shirt, purple scarf and light gray cowboy hat similar to what he wore in “Gauchos of El Dorado”. Also, the "Rep." at the lower right corner designates the name of the studio the film star was with, in this case, Republic.

Each Maple Leaf Gum card  is 1 13/16” x 2 3/4” in size, and the backs of the cards are blank. This set of film star cards was also issued in Sweden, Netherlands, and Malta. What is notable about this particular set of Maple Leaf Gum cards is there is a stress on the western stars; Roy Roger appears in different shots on a handful of cards in this collection. One unique feature about this collection of film star cards is that Maple Leaf also issued an album for the cards to be pasted into, like a stamp book. When seeking out a copy of this particular film star card on auction sites like ebay, make sure it has the name of Bob Steele at the lower left corner.

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