JAMES BOND SECRET AGENT (Philadelphia)
Founded in 1946, the Philadelphia Chewing Gum Corporation manufactured many different brands of chewing gum, such as: Swell, El Bubble Cigars, Cry Baby, Gold Rocks Nugget and Joe Blo. That’s the reason, the name “Swell” appears on the Philadelphia box holding the “James Bond Secret Agent 007” trading cards. In July 2003 Concord Confections Inc. took over the Philadelphia Chewing Gum Corporation. When buying a complete box as shown here below, there was a free toy pistol inside.
"Swell or Philadelphia packaging"
Under licence from Glidrose Productions Ltd. & Danjaq S.A. the Philadelphia Chewing Gum Corporation manufactured a 66 bubble gum card set depicting black & white stills from the first three James Bond movies. The numbers 1 to 18 contained pictures from the first James Bond movie “Dr. No”. The cards numbered from 19 to 41 showed pictures from the second James Bond movie “From Russia With Love” and from card 42 to 66 depicting stills from “Goldfinger”. On the reverse side, the text printed in black and red described the picture in the front. On the other side of the globe in Australia, the same card set was printed and distributed by a popular local football card manufacturer "Scanlens". The difference between the two manufacturers is the following: the U.S.A. cards were printed on a greyish paper stock, the Australian cards were printed on a snow white paper stock.
The retail price per pack was only 5¢. A box from 1965 as displayed here below was on eBay in 2008 with a reserve price of 300€. It didn’t sell. The box came in flashy yellow with "JAMES BOND" in large red lettering and displayed Sean Connery as in “From Russia With Love” together with some other stills from the same movie. Also mentioned on the box was the free 007 badge.
"Counter Display Box"
were also available in rack packs. The rack packs come in two different
versions, 36 cards in six individually sealed cellophane packs in
a bag with the header card or 36 cards in three individually sealed
cello packs in a bag with header card. The retail price for a rack
pack was only 29¢. Generally, when kids would run to the store
and grab a pack of trading cards, they would quickly open the pack,
chew the gum and discard the wrapper, so creating an automatic shortage
for those collectors seeking original wrappers.
Aware – Look Out For Fakes! The cards and the rack
pack headers are quiet common but unopened rack packs are very rare
and go for a higher price than 36 single cards would. Fake rack packs
are being made by getting 36 loose cards together in a slim bag and
stapling the header card to it. The cards inside should be sealed
in cello packs of six or twelve and of course they should be absolutely
mint. If there is any wear around the staple holes be suspicious.
Original rack packs have been sold on eBay and other Internet stores
for around 200€ or more.
As announced on the wrapper, you could obtain the free 007 badge, pictured here below, when you mailed five wrappers to the Philadelphia Chewing Gum Corporation. Together with the badge, the new Secret Agent received his membership or "Official Identification Card". The badge & card, although hard to find they still pop up in places like eBay from time to time.
The James Bond Secret Agent trading cards where announced in the retail shops by a yellowish poster. Not many posters survived this hard world and it's very difficult to find one these days, even on eBay or other auction sites.
On more thing about these bubble gum cards, the cutting is very bad. That’s why the white border frame is very irregular. In some places there isn’t even a border. Here below you can enjoy the complete Philadelphia “James Bond Secret Agent 007” bubble gum card series.