Ad It Up: Star Trek Trading Cards

I don’t have a lot to say about this ad, back in 1991 when this ad was printed in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man #351, I was not into Star Trek, though I was still a fan of trading cards. That’s what I started collecting, long before comics, but when these things came along that you could read again and again instead of just look at a few times in a binder, I made the jump completely to comics. I would imagine these were a pretty big deal for Trek fans, though.

Ad It Up: Marvel Trading Cards

Like a lot of my fellow collectors, comics weren’t my first addiction. Before comics, I was WAY into trading cards. I started off with sports cards, going so far as to buy packs, sets and boxes of sports I didn’t even care about. Back in the late 80s and early 90s it was a boom time for trading cards and those of us who were kids back then were inundated with options. Every big, kid-oriented blockbuster movie had a card series. All the cartoons had them. And then, there were the comic book cards. I remember going over to a friend’s house who had the entire set of Marvel Universe Trading Cards and being insanely jealous and curious. Who were all these strange characters? Sure, I knew the biggies, but who the heck is Prowler? (He might not be one of the actual cards, but you get the idea). These cards segued nicely into my burgeoning comic addiction, especially as the worlds of comic and card shows were still joined at the hip when it came to small shows at the Knights Of Columbus Hall or local churches in Toledo, Ohio.

I’ve talked to a lot of my friends and fellow collectors and a surprising number of us got our first in depth look at the Marvel and DC comic book universes through card sets. The Marvel ones were very popular, but I also have fond memories of a similar DC set with gray borders and another one called Cosmic Teams or somesuch. I’ve got full sets of both of those.

I love this ad, but at the same time it’s kinda weird, right? Why would they have their trading cards fanned out light playing cards? Any time I traded cards with my friends, we just grabbed the other persons extra/doubles pile and just flipped through. Better yet, why are some of the cards flipped over? Maybe to show off the card backs, but they’re not very well showcased. Finally, who does the hairy ape-like hand at the top belong to? I’m guessing the human hand is supposed to be “You, the consumer!” and the others are Spidey, Doctor Doom and the Lizard (what are they doing hanging out?!) but that top one is either super obscure or an extra fake arm the prop company had lying around for the photo shoot. Man, I’ve thought about this WAY too much. Back to work!

Ad It Up: DC Cosmic Cards

Bang! My first real foray into the history of the DCU didn’t come from a comic (like The History of the DC Universe), but from trading cards. I was way into collecting baseball, basketball and football cards before getting into comics, but there was a time where I was buying both (ah, to have such simple worries as “Should I buy a pack of cards or a comic?”). During that time I bought a ton of comic based cards in packs and sets. Cosmic Cards were one of those sets and they even stayed in my possession after the great trading card purge of one of our family garage sales (don’t worry, I sold them along with my original Simpons figures willingly, it’s not like my parents cleaned out my collection or anything). This ad comes from Brave And The Bold Present Green Arrow, The Question & The Butcher #5 from 1992.