Lost Monsters and Foreign Monster Cards

Count Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, the Wolf Man and the Mummy may have been smash hits on the nation's movie screens during the 30's and 40's, but how did these and other monsters fare in the world of trading cards?

Forget it!

Fact is, though wildly popular with filmgoers of the day, horror film monsters were still considered much too controversial by many American parents for card companies to risk negative consumer reaction by peddling these same monsters to children.


Consequently, during the "Golden Age" of monster movies, not one single
monster was ever placed on an American trading card!

Not only are the actual monsters absent from trading cards from this era, but
so are the actors who portrayed them. Today, the faces of Boris Karloff, Bela
Lugosi, Lon Chaney Jr., Lionel Atwill, George Zucco or John Carradine
cannot be found on a single American trading card from the period. (1920's
film star Lon Chaney Sr. can be found on numerous cards, however these
cards capture the elder Chaney's many "faces" and ignore any "horror

Monster cards. Lon Chaney Sr.
Lon Chaney Sr.
1931 "Sulma Bilder" (DE)


It wouldn't be until 1959 that trading cards featuring monsters of any kind would be mass distributed in the U.S. (But, we're jumping ahead a bit.)

The complete lack of any pre-1959 USA monster cards is rather depressing news for those who may want to collect them, but there are cards out there to partially fill the void.

And to find them, one has to look to Canada, England, Germany, Spain and other card producing countries.

Monster cards. Boris Karloff.
Boris Karloff
1934 "Film Stars"
John Sinclair Ltd. (UK)
While American card companies cranked out sports heroes and
"legitimate" movie personalities, several foreign card companies
featured classic horror film actors, and occasionaly the monsters
they portrayed, in many of their sets.

Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney Jr. and Colin Clive can
all be found "out of character" on predominantly "Movie Star"
type cards distributed in other countries. Many of these cards were
distributed with food products or with cigarettes.

Secondary players such as Ernest "Doctor Pretorious" Thesiger and
Helen  "Mina" Chandler sometimes appeared in these sets as well.

That being said, it is important to note that even though foreign card
producers were willing to include horror film actors in their sets
(and, apparently, foreign card consumers were comfortable with
collecting them) evidence shows us that in these same countries,
there too must have existed some amount of controversy regarding
the actual monsters and/or horror themes.

Monster cards. Fay Wray.
Fay Wray
1934 "Cinema Stars"
Cavenders (UK)

This evidence can be found by observing the many more frequent appearances of horror film actors "out of character" on trading cards than their appearances on trading cards "in character." There had to have been either less interest by consumers with seeing monsters, or some amount of hesitation to produce them.

The latter option seems more likely as all other genres are well represented with the actors "in character." Movie star "Cowboys", "Gangsters" and "Soldiers" can all be found on trading cards as they were seen on the big screen.

Below, as an ongoing project, we will be developing a database of all foreign cards featuring classic horror film monsters as these cards are encountered.
  A Foreign Trading Card History of Monsters

Important note: Many foreign cards (of all types), can be found with different backs and attributable to many different producers. As an example, the Boris Karloff card below was released by several British as well as Canadian companies.

Monster cards. Lon Chaney Jr.
Lon Chaney Jr.
The Wolf Man
1953 "Historia del Cine" (SP)
Monster cards. Boris Karloff.
Boris Karloff
The Mummy
1938 "Actors Natural & Character Studies"
Hignett Bros. & Co. (UK)
Monster cards. Nosferatu.
Max Schreck
1953 "Historia del Cine" (SP)

Vintage Monster Cards
1959 You'll Die Laughing
1961 Horror Monsters (Green)
1961 Horror Monsters (Orange)
1961 Spook Stories
1962 Mars Attacks
1962 Adventures of Captain Chapel
1963 Monster Flip Movies
1963 Monster Laffs
1963 Monster Laffs (Midgees)
1963 Monster Magic Action
1963 Terror Monsters
1963 Famous Monsters
1964 The Addams Family
1964 The Munsters
1964 Outer Limits
1964 Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea 
1964 Dracula's Greatest Hits
1965 King Kong
1965 King Kong (Test Issue)
1965 Monster Cards
1965 Monster Greetings
1965 Ugly Stickers
1966 Weird-Ohs
1966 Make Your Own Name Stickers
1966 Superman
1966 Lost in Space
1966 Frankenstein Stickers
1966 Insult Postcards
1967 Terror Tales
1967 Star Trek
1967 Baseball Weird-Ohs
1967 Blockheads
1968 Dark Shadows (Pink)
1968 Flash Gordon (Test Issue)
1968 Land of the Giants (Test Issue)
1969 Dark Shadows (Green)
1969 Quentin Postcards (Dark Shadows)
1969 Planet of the Apes
1973 You'll Die Laughing

dvds ringtone twilight zone complete twilight zone video rod serling twilight zone twilight zone definitive collection twilight zone episodes watch twilight zone twilight zone season 1 television series on dvd batman tv series dvd tv series on dvd television series dvd tv series dvd night gallery dvds the night gallery monster mash famous monsters of filmland universal monsters dracula frankenstein the wolfman the mummy the invisible man godzilla alfred hitchcock presents the loch ness monster hunter lochness lake monster green eyed monster cyclops model kits monster island scary monsters vincent price bela lugosi boris karloff little shop of horrors deliver us from evil horror channel evil strawberry little shop of horrors lyrics resident evil apocalypse american gothic horror stories see no evil hear no evil little shop of horror resident evil movie horror convention new horror movie touch of evil new horror movies horror videos horror story new horror horror dvds horror book horror novel resident evil extinction evil eye evil dead the musical see no evil evil empire horror dvd horror movies evil dead 2 zombie pics zombies psychic vampires psychic vampire vampire romance vampire freak vampire bat vampire series vampire freaks vampire bats vampire stories vampire story vampire the masquerade bloodlines vampire freaks com vampire masquerade bloodlines vampires vampire the masqurade buffy the vampire slayer episode guide vampire fiction buffy the vampire slayer buffy the vampire slayer episodes vampire books vampire clans vampire the masquerade redemption vampire princess vampire bloodlines


Click here to shop the NBC's Sci Fi Store

copyright     Photos, artwork, and illustrations are displayed for educational purposes only.
.............. ..............

wacky packages   Cereal Killers   Hollywood Zombies   New Webkinz   Gurley Candles