Tuesday, July 6, 2010

They Came In Peace?

Hello hello and hello!  After far too long of a break I am finally back with a new post.  Time just always has that way of slipping on by.  Things have been cooking though, so I have the beginnings of a new collection to share.

I have always been fascinated by the old "Mars Attacks!" cards that came out in 1962.  I know my father told me about them when I was young, but I can't remember what prompted the telling.  Either I had heard about them and asked or he mentioned them and then had to explain the reference, most likely the latter.  Either way, I had been interested in them partly because they were something that sounded so cool but were far enough in the past that I would probably never catch a glimpse of them.  Fast forward 30 or so years and thanks to the intertubes of the net here, every card is available for drooling over.  I first looked them up years ago, then promptly forgot about them.  I wasn't into collecting much, I didn't have any disposable income (I still can't say much for that, but I have learned to manage it better, heh), so I didn't dwell on the cards.

Recently I saw that some company had made posters of the cards.  I thought that was such a great idea and, honestly, I was shocked it had taken so long for someone to do it.  Unfortunately it turned out they were not posters but wall clings.  Ugly.  But with the Martians on my mind and finally some experience collecting, I turned to ebay, smacking myself in the head for not thinking of it earlier.  I told myself I was just curious as to what was out there and how much the cards were going for, knowing not too deeply that this was bullshit.  I wanted me some cards!
I was pleasantly surprised to find that much like comic books and toys there were deals to be had if one was patient.  Sure there are some cards that run into the hundreds and a full sets were going for $2000, I could see that patience would net me some cards for no more than $10-$15 a pop.  So I set my goal to not spend any more than that and to also get a nice frame to display them in.  This helped to limit how many cards I could blow money on and has the added bonus of looking really awesome hanging on the wall.

So far, these are the cards I currently have, I just got #36 in the mail today!

Click to get a closer look.

As you can see, they are not mint, but that's ok.  I like my collectibles to have a bit of character.  Although, if I can get a slightly better #50 somewhere down the line, I may do just that.  Otherwise I don't mind.

Let me give you a bit of the history of the cards in the event that you don't know much about them.

Released in 1962, there were 55 cards in the set, #55 being the checklist.  On the backs of each card told the story of how Mars attacked Earth and the story continued through each card so that they told a complete story.  Eventually Earth strikes back and destroys Mars, but not before the Martians spend years fighting with all sorts of horrible weapons, like shrink rays, freeze rays and giant insects!

You can see the whole set HERE, click on each image to read the whole story.

The cards which were inspired by EC Comics, were pretty popular, they only cost a nickel per pack of five cards and they were totally gruesome.  Kids immediately ate them up, and not surprisingly parents immediately freaked out.  Topps, who put out the cards, tried repainting some to reduce the gore, but that was not enough and shortly they stopped production all together.

There was a set released in the 90's which expanded on the original story, so watch out for any cards with numbers past 55.  They aren't originals, but were painted in a similar style to match and are fun in their own way.

So there you have it!  I'll up post some updates when I get more, when ever that may be.  I have space for 4 more cards in my frame, so I have to choose wisely!

Until next time!

1 comment:

  1. Those cards are awesome! I especially love the one where the Martian disintegrates the dog. Not because of that however, but because of the way the kid is portrayed. He's about to get vaporized too. I hope there is more to come.