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Charlie Brown Baseball Bank

Vintage 1950 Peanuts Charlie Brown Baseball Bank Determined Mint Rare – $90. Find it on eBay (affiliate links).

Vocabulary is a very important and serious business when selling online. It’s used to communicate exactly what condition an item is in. For my customers, I have an easy cheat sheet. When the term “Mint” is used by a seller, I don’t expect it to taste like peppermint candy. Instead, I expect it to look like it’s just rolled off the assembly line, shipped to the store and put on a shelf. This Charlie Brown Baseball Bank looks more like it should have been pulled off the line by Quality Assurance.

What’s wrong with him is fairly obvious to me. This particular Charlie Brown Baseball Bank has a very weird looking zigzag going across his shirt. On closer inspection, you can see tons of cracking paint all across this piece. Mint? More like Peanut Brittle!

Charlie Brown’s Zig Zag Continues

Further, the seller claims this is the 1950 version of the bank. When the Peanuts comic strip is only around for three months and hasn’t even mentioned baseball yet? Not a chance! The seller points out the zigzag doesn’t continue on the back of this bank. After looking at a variety of these, it doesn’t appear to be that rare. Also, it appears that the full zigzag versions have more solid colors and less of a brushed look. In my opinion, the visible brushwork makes it look kinda cheap, especially if the overall quality of the paint leads it to later crack like this example.

Why two different versions? I have no idea. Two different factories? Change in painting instructions? Quality issues? Cheaper production? Better production? New molds that didn’t have the stripe on the back for workers to follow? Whatever the reason, it’s probably lost to time. It’s up to you if you want to collect both versions. For me, I’d be happy with one great looking piece with no cracking paint.

How much is a Charlie Brown Baseball Bank worth?

As well as Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, Peppermint Patty and Snoopy were made by Determined Productions in 1973. In actual mint condition, I would expect to spend $35-50 on one. They’re generally not perfect because they’re made of papier-mache. In very good to excellent condition, they sell for $15-35.

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A note on prices

When reviewing these articles, be sure to note the date. Market prices fluctuate with availability and interest in a subject. Putting a value on items can be nuanced and comes from the perspective of buying to enjoy in a collection. I also tend to be conservative with valuations to account for the ups and downs in market values. 

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