Back in 2014, I profiled this W529 boxing #5 as my toe-in-the-water for collecting type cards beyond baseball. Tendler's straightforward look and $2 price tag appealed to me.
|W529-1 #5 Lou (Lew) Tendler, normal IFC ©|
Little did I know that Lew stood on an iceberg of variations. Consider the W529-2 boxing set, identical to W529-1, with reversed images and checklist numbering. Just like looking in a mirror.
|W529-2 #6, reversed image and IFC ©|
|(The lower strip's miscut from a larger sheet, with names above instead of below)|
His #5 card starts a phrase, 'UNIVERSAL "FIGHTERS MATCHING CARDS" SERIES 1.'
Universal made many mid-century toys, like this tank kit with paper body parts and wooden wheels. Most of their products squeezed fun from a small box of low-cost materials.
|Universal paper-wood tank with box and instruction sheet|
There's more to learn from Tendler's card itself.
That "IFC ©" marker near Lew's right foot tells us these photos came from a service. Can we figure out which one?
|Tendler promo photo (autograph dated 1922)|
Lew's management arranged for Fowler Photo to take his studio photos and made them available to the press, which could be where IFC got involved.
Fred Fulton's #6 card came from this workout shot, tagged "International" in vertical type along its left edge.
|Undated Fred Fulton photo|
|1919 Fulton & Carter promo|
|1919-21 Universal actors strip card #15, Dorothy Dalton|
Value: While Lew cost me $2 a few years ago, many strip cards rose to $10+ since then, even in low grade.
Fakes/reprints: The crude nature of strip cards makes it easy to fake Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and other big baseball names. Universal's strips use rag paper about the thickness of playing cards. Anything with a high-gloss finish or bright white stock should be suspect. While boxers might not get the same treatment, I recommend seeking lesser names as type cards to reduce your risk of buying a bad one.