Trade or Die: Cereal Killers Trading Cards (2011)
My affinity for the work of Joe Simko and his latest venture, Wax Eye, should be nothing new to those of you who frequent the clubhouse. In particular I’ve grown rather fond of Wax Eye’s premiere product release, Cereal Killers, which Simko originally conceived of for Topps Wacky Packages line of sticker cards. Lucky for us that never happened because Cereal Killers itself is infinitely cooler on its own then it would have been as part of another series.
Consisting of 55 cards total (plus a buttload of “gifts” like temporary tattoos, sketch cards, and more), this first series of Cereal Killers card features some of the best horror parodies I’ve ever seen– it’s a shame that they can’t all be poster-sized prints. Each mini-box set comes with three different cereal box packaging (just like Momma Strange used to buy!) with 20 cards per box. Right from the beginning its clear that there has been some great attention to detail, with each box faithfully recreating the feeling of miniature breakfast cereal boxes complete with some special touches (Ages Fetus to Corpse).
As the box promises, each comes with 20 cards PLUS a bonus gift and a piece of eyeball gum– it’s so nostalgia laden that it brings a tear to my eye… if I had tear ducts that is (which I don’t). The eyeball gum is straight out of a Pizza Hut vending machine and that’s far from a knock on it. Granted, it’s a little chalky and the taste doesn’t last long but it’s freaking eyeball gum so who cares! Beyond that, though, I also scored a Zomb’a Crunch temp tattoo and magnet in addition to a Frosted Freeks glow-in-the-dark sticker.
Then there are the actual cards, poking fun at virtually every horror icon and breakfast cereal mascot of the last century. There’s some real highlights with titles such as Hellraisin Bran, Honey Cut Deleerios, Marbits Attacks, and Angry Jacks that spoof some of the genres premiere movie madmen/monsters. There’s also twists on characters who were parodies themselves like Count Shockula and Frankly Burried– Simko even tossed a tongue-in-cheek ode to the “Best Worst Cereal” ever, Trolltoo.
While the price point of roughly $25 might seem slightly intimidating at first, it’s well worth it when you consider that you’re likely getting half the set in those three boxes in addition to the free prizes inside. The make everything that much more fun, Simko and company made sure to include mini-games on the backside of each card in addition to a Tales from the Crisp factoid. Those that don’t feature the mini games end up forming larger collages of signature cards. All in all I can’t imagine a better collection of clever puns on the horror genre’s most famous icons.