I've been able to pick up all of the sets and I'll be showing them from time to time over the next couple weeks. Today I'll start with the first of these food sets, the 1981 Drakes set.
Drakes is an east coast based bakery and other than a few Seinfeld references, this midwest boy never heard of them. Looking over their product line, they seem Hostess-like. In fact, the Hostess parent Interstate Bakeries bought Drakes in 1998. Operations were consolidated and some Hostess products were made in Drake bakeries.
When Hostess went belly-up earlier this year, Drakes died with it. And just as Hostess has been brought back, so too Drakes.
Topps and Drakes brought out their first set in 1981. When Topps worked with Hostess, the cards were printed on the bottom of the product boxes. With Drakes, they went a different direction and made actual cards that were inserted into boxes. The 33-card set featured 19 American League stars (with red borders on the cards), while the NL saw only 14 stars (with blue borders) included.
Some later Drakes set were also available in boxed sets via the mail, but I've never seen a 1981 box. Does anyone know if it exists? Without a box, I used some of the design features of later boxes to create my own version.
The set included just a single Cub, Bill Buckner. Billy Buck was the defending NL hitting champ, hitting .324 in 1980, so including him in the set was kind of a no-brainer.
Take a look at the front...
...with Buckner taking a swing at a spring game in Mesa.
The backs used a...
...horizontal format and looked similar to the backs on Topps cards.