You ever have one of those moments where you're looking through your stuff and begin to wonder, where did all this come from? Perhaps you're confused as to how you ended up with a set of hobo clown paintings, or those Star Trek III Taco Bell glasses. Recently for me it's been cards, just tons of cards. Partly this is due to subscription boxes like last months Dino Drac Fun Pack, other times it's just leftovers from childhood, The largest offender is my recent obsession for dead collectible card games. While these old playthings used to command heavy price tags, they can currently be gotten for a song. Not one to let this influx of forgotten excess go to waste, I figured we'd make a post of it. So fix a drink, lean back, and let's look at vastly outdated paper products from the collectors bubble era.
As far as comic imprints go I've had very little exposure to Valiant outside of my brothers sighed copy of Turok #1 which is still floating around here somewhere. That lack of familiarity helps to create an odd mix of fun and bewilderment when looking at these cards. I mean it's one thing to have heard of X-O Manowar, but to learn he teamed up with a time-displaced Native American dinosaur hunter to take on spider aliens simply boggles the mind. This knowledge is delivered via cardbacks featuring quick recaps of individual issues of the different comics. This could have been a cool feature back in the day for fans to quickly relive fond memories but as it stands now it's simply a barrage of unsolicited spoilers. I'm currently equipped with knowledge of characters I've never heard of, dying in issues of comics I'll never read. It's like having a stranger walk up and tell you key events from season 4 of Falcon Crest.
If you prefer your camp art to be a bit more childish, maybe the Adventures of Ronald MacDonald is more up your alley. If you're able to collect the full series then you're treated to a stories of Ronald's Adventures with just flat-out odd art. Most interesting of all are the jokes. Awful, terrible, piss-poor dad style jokes printed on each card like “What kind of Dog Loves air-conditioning?” “A Hot Dog!” Give that on a try the next time you want out of a social function.
Linking the themes of primeval beasts and children entertainment we have this card series based on the obscure Disney flick, Dinosaur. You won't find many folks talking up this film but by god did Disney ever push for it to be a massive hit. These cards are pure excess. We're talking postcard size with an envelope for packaging. Sadly most of them are composed of out-of-focus film stills though there are a few more colorful entries to perk things up.
Oh Saved by the Bell, that timid sitcom for normal kids who failed to understand that Saturdays were meant for Tales from the Darkside and American Gladiators. In this case we've got card for the short lived prime-time spin-off the college years. If you ever craved a collectible card set that will give your your own Kelly Kapowski only to guilt-trip you for it, here's your chance.
Actually the guilt is delivered via a Leslie card. She was a new character who served as another potential love interest for resident sociopath Zack Morris. The card in question features a quote where she chastises Zack for treating woman like trading cards. No shit, this may be the first self-aware card I've ever come across. Hope it doesn't mind being stashed under my bed.
The Weird-Ohs franchise is one of those topic you find to be much larger than you ever imagined. Starting as a line of model car kits with a decidedly cartoon bent that also spawned different card sets based on various sports like Surfing and in this case baseball. This is actually from a reprint set which thankfully didn't trim out any of the more violent subject matter.
One of the earliest collectible card games coming hot on the heels of Magic: The Gathering, Wyvern focused on real mythology utilizing beings like Tiamat and Beowulf or my personal favorite the Lambton Worm. Why that one me hardies? Because of the song my friends, ohhh the song. If you've never had the opportunity, I suggest spending some time on Youtube and getting that little diddy wedged into you gray matter. Personal recommendation for the renamed D'ampton Worm version from Lair of the White Worm.
Yet another early CCG this time based on a pen and paper RPG with a decidedly 90s attitude. On The Edge is a painfully dated creation that reminds us of the era of Johnny Mnemonic and chumbawomba. I have yet to spend much time with these after my sister got me the burger box packed full of a metric fuckton of cards. At a cursory glance I gotta go with patrol ape as it's the closet thing I have to a playable version of killer baboon flick, Shakma.
Lastly we have Kaijudo. A remake of the earlier Duel Masters game which essentially boils down to Magic: The Gathering sans all the bullshit. This is a much more streamlined and quick playing title aimed at kids. Sadly it went belly up after a couple of years supposedly due to some later developments that completely screwed the game balance. Haven't gone through many of these cards yet but I enjoy the lack of subtlety on display. There's little confusion as to what a guy named Soul Crusher is all about.
Thus ends our adventure through stack of old junk. For those of you impatiently waiting for one of our regular recurring features, there should be a new Star Wars book review within the week likely followed by a new Sentai recap. Thanks for the indulging in these weird off-shoots.