As an aside, the other day I stumbled upon an eBay seller offering "reprints" that were clearly unlicensed counterfeits he made. The cards are identical front and back to each classic card being copied, with no distinguishing reprint marks/notation. While his listings clearly state the card is an "awesome reprint" there's nothing stopping someone from acquiring one and turning around and trying to pass it off as the read deal. I suspect the counterfeit Mike Schmidt RC I bought a few months ago might've been made by this guy. The person who sold it to me may or may not have known it was a fake (chances are they knew). At least I was able to spot it and get a refund. A young and/or casual card collector not familiar with vintage card stock could easily be duped into thinking such cards are authentic. I tweeted to Topps with a link to the guy asking if they could do something about stopping him. I didn't get a response from them, and the guy still seems to be at it. And I'm sure there are several more sellers just like him on eBay, pumping counterfeits into the hobby and getting away with it by calling them reprints. I just think it's kind of bullshit that my harmless "cards that never were"-type customs rile up Topps' legal department, yet blatant counterfeits that are clearly polluting the hobby don't seem to be a priority for them to deal with.
While thinking of classic designs I could use for customs that would be unlikely to step on toes, I immediately thought of Hostess box-bottom cards from the 70s. Simple and beloved, those seemed like fun designs to work with. I doubt anyone currently at Hostess is even aware the company ever put out cards, and I'm sure baseball cards are nowhere to be found in their business plan, so I don't think it's going to ruffle any feathers if I pay tribute to these classic 70s oddballs.
I've made a dozen so far, using the design from the first year of the Hostess cards, 1975.
My idea is to whip up a custom set of current stars and hot rookies, probably around 36 or so different cards. Perhaps I'll make it an annual "Heritage" type thing and do a custom set next year using the 1976 Hostess design.
As a nod to the originals, in addition to separate "cut" cards, I've also been making "uncut panels" featuring 3 cards. I figured I'd make the panels "limited" for the heck of it, so each panel is #'d /25 in the upper right corner. (and yes, the 12/25 panel will be my personal copy, of course!)
Keep an eye out for more from this set soon as I get around to making them.
And please get in touch if you're interested in scoring yourself any of these. I've got a few to spread around. Thanks!