Grant from British Columbia, Canada writes:
"Hey Chris- I was looking at my wantlist today, mostly lamenting the sorry state of my '63 set in progress. I did a little poking around the 'net, and found a couple of places that indicated the Series from #446 thru #507 is notoriously harder than the last Series, but nobody seems to know why. After looking at my wantlist, I agree. Any ideas or inside information?"
(Cards shown are from my own collection, not Grant's)
Yes, 447-506 are the toughest of the '63 series, being slightly tougher than the last (507-572).
Perhaps Topps used a short print run (series were usually about six weeks apart), or maybe they had a lot of sellers who simply didn't order a lot of new product because they still had a glut of series 3 & 4 wax packs still clogging their stores. Since Topps never released its production numbers for the set, we'll only be able to speculate.
(See? The checklist is marked...Told you they're mine...)
1963 wasn't the only year Topps had a scarce series that wasn't its last...1957's fourth series (cards 265-352) is much more difficult than the final series (353-407).
My own '63 set-in-progress is quite pathetic. I still need about 350 of the cards myself, the only major HOFer is Carl Yastrzemski, the only notable rookie is a basketball HOFer (Dave DeBusschere), and while I have half a dozen Hi #s, I have only one card from the fifth series.
A shame really...the '63 set design is one of my favorites. Some cards have really vivid colors that really look great, especially where the colors run to the borders..