During the late summer of 1968, certain neighborhood stores in Brooklyn were stocked with a limited supply of packs containing one three-dimensional baseball card and a display easel. With precise color photography and an intentionally obscured background, these quirky round corner canvases were also covered by a layer of thin plastic to create an optical illusion when moved or tilted. Several survivors from the designated Topps 3-D issue are stamped on the blank reverses with the proclamation: “This is an experimental XO-GRAPH card produced as a limited edition. Not for public circulation or distribution. Not for resale. To be returned to.” The formidable lineup included greats such as Clemente, Perez and other stars of the day. While popular among the hobbyists of today, the cost prohibitive nature of the set in 1968 is most likely the reason that the set was not renewed. The groundbreaking concept was replicated by Kellogg's two years later as part of a successive fourteen year run.
Though a few hundred 1968 Topps 3-D samples are found in various collections today, a handful of prototypes picturing the Oriole great Brooks Robinson are also confirmed. Graded 20 Fair 1.5 by SGC, the offered 1968 Topps 3-D Brooks Robinson prototype is the highest graded of the three known examples in the hobby. (two graded by SGC, one by PSA). The 2-1/4 x 3-1/4" production has square corners and red block lettering reminiscent of the 1967 Topps Baseball design. The lower left corner displays mild wear, while faint scratching and surface abrasions are evident throughout only upon close scrutiny. The moderately toned reverse does not bear any stamped statements.