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Very cool cards. Thank you for sharing.
 
Posts: 5170 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here's a promo postcard (Knoedler Publishing, 1993) for limited edition signed and numbered prints of an artwork, "Celebrity Night at Spago," by LeRoy Neiman. It was sent to galleries selling works by the artist and measures 5 x 7 1/2 inches. There are at least a few others out there showing other art by the late artist. Can you name all the people in there?


 
Posts: 3395 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here's one of the cards that Mount Olympus Comics sent out with orders a couple of years ago. It's a great-looking, standard-sized card with artwork paying homage to the 1977 Star Wars poster by the Hildebrandts and a refractor foil front.

Edit: David R. informed me that this was one of several cards the company used to give out with orders. I couldn't find a mention of any cards on the web.


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Posts: 3395 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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For Peanuts collectors, here's a promo card (Peanuts Worldwide LLC, 2019) that was done as a co-promotion with NASA. This is the only one I have - probably one from a set. It was inserted with a Happy Meal at McDonald's and measures 2 1/4 inches in diameter.


 
Posts: 3395 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here's a promo for the graphic novel, "Triple X International" by the Pander Bros. It measures 3 x 4 inches. I think it was given out at the 1997 San Diego Comic-Con (graphic novel was published that year). Also, it isn't noted on the card but the graphic novel was published by Dark Horse Comics and so was this promo.

This one is not often seen for sale.


 
Posts: 3395 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It's true that temporary tattoos are definitely not cards but they are the kind of thing like a sticker or a magnet that some card collectors would keep with their cards because they fit in a card sleeve and a binder page pocket. This one promotes the movie, "The Phantom" (Paramount Pictures, 1996) and was given out at shows.


 
Posts: 3395 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here's a card from a set of San Francisco 49ers Cheerleaders cards (Walk West Productions, Inc., 1993). I just have this card but the set was around 30-40 unnumbered cards. I never saw a promo for it and think the company just gave out singles from the set as samples.

You rarely saw it outside the San Francisco Bay Area except for a few dealers specializing in pin-up stuff. It had a small print run so it didn't get listed in price guides of the time nor since - another small 90's set even more obscure today.


 
Posts: 3395 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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And another San Francisco 49ers Cheerleaders set (The Fan Club, 1995). It was produced by a small company with one or two sports memorabilia stores in the San Jose, California area. The company is long gone but you still see sets and singles occasionally for sale.

A third company put out a 49ers Cheerleaders set in 1994. I don't have a sample of that but it might not be that hard to find.


 
Posts: 3395 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here are a couple of cards that could be considered sports cards and non-sports cards at the same time. The Don Shula card comes from a set that has card backs with a public service announcement encouraging kids to stay in school and is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club, law enforcement, and the Miami Dolphins. It might have been given out at team events or schools. It's undated but the players on the other cards indicate the set is from around 1983 (just after Bob Griese retired and before Dan Marino was drafted).

The Kansas City Chiefs card has a "crime-stopper" tip on the back with three sponsors noted as well. It is marked "1983." I've also seen similar Dallas Cowboys cards but am not sure if all the teams did the same thing.




 
Posts: 3395 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here's a set of 3 promo cards given out by tattoo artist/author, Chris 51, at shows he set up at in 2016. One of them looks like a football card; another looks like a baseball card and the third spoofs "Garbage Pail Kids."

I was at a local show back then and was surprised to see a booth used as a mini tattoo parlor. Chris would take breaks to talk to people that stopped to see him work.


 
Posts: 3395 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There are several Star Wars fan organizations now, but back in 1981, the first official Star Wars fan club was started with members receiving this 4 x 5-inch sticker (Lucasfilm Limited, 1981). The artwork by Ralph McQuarrie was used as a poster promoting the radio show version of "The Empire Strikes Back" which debuted in 1982.

This is the kind of thing one might think is rare but a lot of people hung onto their stickers so there always seems to be one for sale when you look for it. I bought this one in the late 90's for $5. You can still find one for about that today.


 
Posts: 3395 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Here's a 6-card set (2001) that was part of a promotion for St. Pauli Girl Beer. For a limited time around the beginning of the year from about the late 90's to about 2010, St. Pauli Girl gave out posters featuring their spokesmodel that year. In 2001, Neriah Davis was their spokesmodel. One of the extra items the company sold through its website was this 6-card set with each card featuring a photo of Davis in a version of the traditional St. Pauli Girl uniform.

Todd included the set in PCE2008 even though it was not technically a promo. He figured it was a little too obscure for just about every card guide of the time so he decided to list it. He was right. PCE might be the only guide that has listed it. The funny thing is it appears the sets were given away at some point because they could be found at shows and flea markets for a buck or two a few years ago. I don't see it for sale as often these days.


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Posts: 3395 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This is the Valiant Era: A History (Upper Deck/Pyramid, 1993) SP1 chase card done in etched foil with refractor effects and art by Joe Quesada. It was inserted 1 per 108 packs which equals 1 per three boxes. Just because it's uncommon, that doesn't mean it went up in value. It was worth about $20 in the 90's but you can find it now for as low as a buck. I actually got one as a freebie in a lot won a few years ago. It's a cool-looking card but nobody has made a big "Valiant Era" movie to make the character on the front into a household name and speculator's dream.


 
Posts: 3395 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hey Jess,

I don't know what you would make of this, but I have 2 copies of that SP1 The Art of Joe Quesada card, only both are autographed in gold ink by Quesada.

I also have a couple of his signatures on dual signed cards with Jim Palmiotti. I think '93 may be written after the autographs on the SP1s.

At the time I knew a regular comic card dealer who would go to the shows and keep lots of these cards for me. I didn't even recognize most of the names, but he would tell me who was good to have. These guys would go to many comic store signings or just promoted their own work, so they were signing all over around that sweet spot time.

I think that's why the prices haven't gotten very high even after some 20 - 30 years later. You can still find most of the cards pretty easy if you want them and the demand isn't there to make them pricey. Pack inserted signed cards may be a different matter, but lots of them went out in 5000 and 2500 batches too, so if it's not rare chances are it's not worth much either. But they are all still very cool looking cards with that authentic signature added. Smile
 
Posts: 9445 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yeah, artists used to do signings at comic shops too. Even Stan Lee did that. He signed at a store near me about 15 years ago. I'd seen him at Comic-Con or I would've gone that one. I always thought they should have had a special card printed up for him to sign at the event.
 
Posts: 3395 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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People who collected cards across the 90's probably remember at least a few unusual sets they saw at shows or saw in an ad in NSU or other hobby magazine. Many of those sets totaled just 8-10 cards or maybe 20-50. A few were quite creative running against the general formula of telling a story with a beginning and end or showcasing a subject with a series of photos. One of those sets, "Dactyls," reaches its 30th anniversary this year.

The dactyls and their world originated in the mind of the artist, Rodney Marchetti, in the 1970's. As noted in an NSU article (Vol. 10, No. 6/December 1999-January 2000 issue) by Russell Roberts, Marchetti put out an ad in a UFO-oriented magazine in the early 90's to publicize his art and he was contacted by Miles Russell who saw the dactyls as a great subject for a trading card set. Marchetti hadn't thought of doing a card set. He ended up with 22 black-and-white, pen and ink images that make up the set first sold in 1992 in a specially-printed clear plastic box. Both he and Russell wrote the text. Russell set out to sell it nationally but was unable to make a deal with a major distributor. He placed ads in hobby magazines and attended shows, selling directly to dealers.

There is no origin story provided but the reader is introduced to the dactyls as explorers traveling across time and space. They appear to be the product of evolution on another Earth-like planet (or Earth of another universe?) where pterosaurs (pterodactyls) did not become extinct but instead survived across tens of millions of years to become highly-intelligent taking their technology beyond what humans have achieved. In one of the cards a human astronaut is seen accidentally falling into their world. Meanwhile, the dactyls effortlessly pass back and forth in time and space, sometimes visiting and studying Earth at different points in its history. Apparently, they acquired a taste for abalone on one of those trips. It's a clue to the region where Marchetti was living.

Twenty cards each bear text on the back briefly describing each scene. Two unnumbered cards offer bonus images without any explanation. Approximately 700 sets were made with Marchetti estimating that about 500 were sold over the first few years. The NSU article noted that he never got any money from the sales though he remained positive about the experience. Of course, had he come to the world of trading cards in the 21st century, he might have been advised to go the Kickstarter route with artwork and perhaps more bonus cards to sweeten the deal.

Only so much can be said in 20 cards, leaving plenty for the reader to ponder about the dactyls. Some of the text is more philosophical. It's not your typical card set but it was part of that celebration of art that a few card companies like Comic Images and FPG explored in the 90's. "Dacytls" didn't get developed into a TV show nor a movie but it's the kind of thing that could translate into a quirky cartoon or a more pensive study of human cultures and technology as viewed from the outside.

On a personal note, I traded cards with Marchetti in the late 90's. He generously sent me an extra Dacytls set, some extra cards (two of them signed on the back), a couple of his prints, and a catalogue of other items for sale.

Here on Card Talk we often discuss the popular sets by the big companies but what I like about this forum is that we also celebrate the independently-produced sets down to individual promo cards. "Dactyls" was a tiny set among giants during a highly productive time and it still managed to get noticed. It remained in the NSU Price Guide for around two decades and is currently listed in the 2021 Beckett Non-Sports Almanac. Happy 30th Anniversary, Rodney!


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Posts: 3395 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This is a unique promo given out at the "Godzilla" movie premiere in 1998. It's a 2 3/4 x 8-inch card with a film frame set in it and it's loose inside a fold-open card with clip-out merchandise offers/coupons and that card slides completely into a sleeve that is embossed on both sides to approximate reptilian scales.

I wasn't a big fan of the movie but the card/sleeve is a cool piece still sometimes seen for sale online or at shows.

Shown here are the front and back of the sleeve and what is actually the back of the film frame card (front shows facsimile autographs of the movie's producer and director)

 
Posts: 3395 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We've talked about the Pro Line Portraits set (NFL Properties Inc., 1991) before. Yes, it's a sports set but an unusual one in that it shows photos of pro football players in street clothes instead of their uniforms with back text composed of player quotes rather than their stats. It's more like a celebrity-themed set that way. The set also had random autographs of players, their wives, and a couple of coaches on special unnumbered and embossed cards inserted maybe 2 per case (or more?). The second Pro Line Portraits set released the following year had other celebrity autographs.

Here's a 2-card cello-pack containing other insert cards from the 1991 set. One card in this pack shows Ahmad Rashad and his family (numbered "Pro Line Portraits Collectible 1") and the other shows golfer, Payne Stewart (numbered "Pro Line Portraits Collectible 2"). It's unclear where this pack came from because I've heard the cards were inserted in regular printed packs so this is an odd alternate way to get them. I get the feeling it might have been a special giveaway at a show like The National. I found it in a bargain box about twenty years ago.


 
Posts: 3395 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here's a truly oddball promo that isn't really a trading card but a promo in the form of a musical Christmas card. It promotes the theatrical release of the sci-fi comedy, "My Stepmother is an Alien" (1988) starring Dan Ackroyd and Kim Basinger with Jon Lovitz and Seth Green and Alyson Hannigan as kids. It measures about 5 7/8 x 7 1/2 inches when closed. When it folds open, it plays 3 Christmas carols in a row. I have no idea how it was released but I found it at a collectibles show about 20 years ago and it cost me only 3 bucks.


 
Posts: 3395 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here's another oddity. It looks like an oversized (4 x 6 1/2-inch) Star Wars: The Phantom Menace" card but the back text reveals it to be a religious tract in card form. The text draws connections from the Star Wars mythos with Christian teachings. I figured it could be an unlicensed item but it does have copyright information on the back. There are four different unnumbered Star Wars: The Phantom Menace cards. The other cards have different fronts but the same back:

Princess Amidala
young Obi-Wan Kenobi
Qui-Gon Jinn and Kenobi dueling Darth Maul

These cards were given out at a local show - spread out on a table.


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Posts: 3395 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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