1963 Scanlens VFL - Graham 'Polly' Farmer #12
Is this the most famous card in Australia? Our very own version of the Mickey Mantle Rookie or Honus Wagner T206 card? It should be! This card is the hardest to find in the 1963 VFL set and cards even in poor condition have been known to sell for several thousand. But why?
There have been a number of theories over the years such as damaged cards that were disposed of in production. Looking back through financial reports from Chewing Gum products (the distributor company half owned by Scanlens and Regina) I believe the truth may be more simple.
The 1963 set sold very poorly, so poorly that it was almost the first and last set ever made. Records indicate that a lot of stock was returned and destroyed (what a tragedy!!). Secondly Polly Farmer was also one of the most popular players of the day making this card quite desirable for kids.
Putting these two facts together my guess would be a combination of its popularity at the time (it would have been a hard card to collect) and that a large chunk of the stock that did not sell being destroyed is why its so rare. Whats the actual truth - who knows and it will probably remain a mystery. While its not quite on the same level price wise as the following two cards it certainly should be regarded in the same light.