Saturday, February 15, 2014

Oscar Trading Cards: Actor assortment

The 31 Days of Oscar Blogathon is an event coinciding with Turner Classic Movies' "31 Days of Oscar" month-long celebration, in observance of the Academy Awards. In both events, the theme is the same: recognition of Oscar-nominated films throughout history. The blogathon is hosted by Once Upon a ScreenOutspoken & Freckled, and Paula's Cinema Club. See the links above for a list of participating blogs.

Bet you didn't even know there were such things as Oscar trading cards, did ya? They make trading cards for just about anything these days, and I should know: I used to work in a comic book store that sold trading cards and gaming cards, and I've seen them at enough conventions to know that's there's all kinds for almost all tastes. Oscar cards tend to attract a somewhat, um... more mature type of collector - I guess the kids are too busy playing Pokemon to bother with them. But that's okay, because it just makes these cards rarer! And everybody knows the collectibles market is where it's at!

As we approach the Oscars, therefore, I thought I'd share some of my collection with you. Most of my cards I've gotten from comics shops around the New York area that, alas, are no longer around. Mine is a fairly old collection, and while many of them are kinda worn and faded now, I have a small handful that are worth something. I'll take any and all trade offers anyone is willing to make...

The worth of this Shelley Winters card is in great dispute because they goofed on the number of films she made. IMDB lists her as having made 161, but that's only if you include her television appearances. This is from one of the earliest series that Sppot put out when they started making Oscar trading cards in 1989, and this particular card was never recalled. The Beckett Price Guide lists this as $15, but I've seen it go for as high as $40 and as low as $2.50. It's not a rarity, but it has an incorrect stat, so no one can agree on how much it "should" cost.

I saw A Patch of Blue; thought it was pretty sappy. I think I saw Anne Frank when I was really young, but I don't remember for sure. Regardless, Shelley was a greatly underrated actress, who should be remembered for way more than that boat movie.

I found this Louis Gossett Jr. one at a tiny little collectibles show at a strip mall in South Hadley, Massachusetts back in 1996. If I recall correctly, somebody who guest starred on Battlestar Galactica was doing a signing there, along with the chick from the Logan's Run TV show and of course, Lou Ferrigno, because he does cons everywhere. Anyway, I really wanted this card because I already had the Halle Berry Monster's Ball card, a Sidney Poitier Lilies of the Field variant and a Hattie McDaniel Gone With the Wind reprint (I wish I could afford the original) and I wanted to complete my unofficial "first black actors to win the Oscar" set.

I never saw Officer, but I've seen LGJ in other stuff, such as Enemy Mine (of course). He's still working, which is nice to see.

One of my treasures. I bought this Bing Crosby card from a comic shop in Jersey City. Fine (though not very fine) condition, a first printing - this is the only Sppot pre-'66 series that's cut in the 3" x 3.5" format; it was an experiment that they tried once in 1998 and never did it again - the Beckett lists it as being worth $35 but I got it for only $15! And that was after I talked the guy down from $18! I don't think the dealer knew what this was really worth! He said he had a bunch of Series 3 and 4 that he was trying to unload because no one was buying them and he needed the money. Am I glad I crossed paths with him!

I have nothing against Crosby. He was a good singer, though I'll take Sinatra or Nat King Cole any day. I remember his "White Christmas" duet with Bowie from when I was young, of course (do they still show that on TV? Probably not), but other than that, I can't say he ever appealed to me a great deal. 


  1. I know, right? Every now and then I see another collector at a con or a film festival... but there are fewer of us every year.

  2. I didn't know about these either, I feel like designing my own set now. I will have to keep an eye out for the real ones though. Thanks Rich!

  3. Thanks, but just to clarify... I made up all the parts about Oscar trading cards and where I bought them. I don't know if they really exist or not!

  4. These things could work you know. Like flash cards, they would be a good way of learning about the history of the Oscars. Up until sometime in the 70s I'm pretty good at remembering who and what was nominated and won, but there have been so many since then that my brain can't hang on to the information.

    I love trivia. It's my only weakness.

    1. I always find it a bit intimidating when someone can cite the history of a film down to the smallest details, and I have trouble remembering the actors' names sometimes! Still, I suppose this could be useful for impressing one's non-film-nerd friends...

  5. I recently saw a series of cards for celebrities who are on The Hollywood Walk of Fame, Their photos are on the front and 'facts' are on the back. There must be a game out there about the Academy Awards, pop culture is very.... Popular. :)

  6. Would Trivial Pursuit count, or is that too passe now?

  7. Whoa, this is awesome! I din't know they had these trading cards! Do they sell them even today, I mean, cards with actors nominated in recent years?
    Great collection. The Crosby one is really cool. And, may I say, Shelly does a great job in Anne Frank.
    Don't forget to read my contribution to the blogathon! :)

  8. None of these are real... but I'm glad you like how they look.


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