Monday, Sep. 1, 2014

Trade or Die: The Simpsons Trading Cards

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May 5, 2011

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Editor’s Note: I want to dedicate this edition to club member, Devin, who so graciously donated these cards to both myself and those who purchased our recent anthology. Thanks Devin!

The Simpsons are kinda like the cockroaches of prime time television… they’ll never die. Currently in its 22nd Season the show has achieved a record-breaking run that began (simply enough) with an “ordinary” family, a few couch gags, and a catchphrase (“Eat my shorts.”). Just as the franchise was beginning to find its feet in 1990, Topps decided to cash in and release this series of trading cards.

The complete set consists of 88 cards, 40 of which contain pieces to a larger Simpsons putt-putt golf portrait. The other 48 cards feature a variety character-themed trivia challenges such as Lisa’s Lowdown, Maggie’s Mutterings, Bart’s Baffler’s, Marge’s Mindbender, and Homer’s Homeroom. There’s no clue as to which episode each question is from, so there’s a good chance the these questions come from both Season 1 and Season 2. Of course, the answers are blatantly there on the back of the cards as well, but peeking kills all the fun.

Foregoing a poster-like image on each card, Topps actually got creative with this set and instead made each card up to look like a stylized, Simpsons‘ television set with the screen showing various images from the show. It’s also fun to see the rougher visual depiction of the show originally, considerably more squatch-n-stretch than it is today. In fact, it reminds me a lot why I was interested in the show to begin with back them.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many standouts in this set… none really. While the overall collection brings back some good memories, there’s no signature moments from the show captured in the cards here– especially considering such great resource materials like “Homer’s Night Out” or “Krusty Gets Busted.” It would’ve been nice to see a few cards that featured the memorable (and expansive) cast of the Simpsons universe.

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About Author

Rondal

Rondal is the Editor-in-Chief of Strange Kids Club and a creative instigator who tackles each day with Red Bull-induced enthusiasm and a mind for adventure. Rondal has written for other sites including Rue Morgue, Fuel Your Illustration and Bloodsprayer. His obsession with horror movies, 80s animation and action figures is considered unhealthy by medical professionals.

  • LaDracul

    I think the good cards didn’t come out until later in the series’ run and they were made by Artbox… I do remember having the Diamond sticker book of the Simpsons Shorts that also included a 3D ‘viewer’ that wasn’t 3D…

  • Chris Sobieniak

    “It’s also fun to see the rougher visual depiction of the show originally, considerably more squatch-n-stretch than it is today. In fact, it reminds me a lot why I was interested in the show to begin with back them.”

    The actual images Topps used for the cards came from the original shorts that were seen between 1987-89 on The Tracey Ullman Show, an earlier show that aired on Fox from it’s debut of a Sunday line-up in ’87 (they mostly picked from the third season as the characters start to look more like they would by 1990). The squash ‘n stretch qualities of those shorts and the earlier seasons is one I miss very well myself. I actually use to had a set of these cards (I might still do someplace in the house if I can find them), but I recall those trivia questions were mostly from the first season anyway.