Trade or Die: Universal Monsters of the Silver Screen (1997)

Universal Monsters Of The Silver Screen

There’s something to be said about Universal’s Classic Movie Monsters… I just don’t know what it is exactly. No, really. I’m a huge fan of those silver-screen aged gems (particularly Frankenstein, in all of his incarnations), but it’s tough to define exactly why these icons have persisted long after their creators lifetime. I’m not the only one who thinks so either. As old as those films are, they’re still completely relevant today. Whether it’s a shirt, a toy, a tattoo or a trading card, these old fogies have proven time and again that they still have “it.”

The Universal Monsters of the Silver Screen trading card series from Kitchen Sink Press is one such example. A 90 card base set series, the series also included 10 sticker cards, 12 chrome cards featuring the actors behind the make-up and 1 ultra chase card of the Bride of Frankenstein.

Universal_Monsters_cards_3The quality of these cards is top notch, with a thick card stock and a high protective gloss on both sides (durability is always in a collection). This set is technically old enough to purchase tobacco and pornography (if it were sentient), but they don’t look a bit dated whatsoever. Likewise, the design of the cards are spot on. Kitchen Sink didn’t go with any borders on the front, instead they just have a conservative red foil stamp branding the series name in the bottom corner. The images, plucked from the films, also feature some choice shots.

The backs of the card are equally pretty snazzy with fonts and coloring that relate to the time era when the movies were originally released—it adds to a great representation of each film. Kitchen Sink Press could have gone a very hokey route, with tacky fonts or something that looked like dripping blood, but they didn’t and I appreciate that. We’re also treated to some fun factoids on the back of these. Normally the info is general knowledge, but these actually offer some pretty good info, ranging from what actors brought to their roles to things the directors did to make these adaptations work on film.

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All around this is a really good card series. I was also happy to see the inclusion of the Abbott and Costello crossovers with the Monsters in the series since I’m a really big fan of those films. Another favorite addition, the cards each have a slight silver tinge to them (like in the series title: “silver screen”) that gives them a more life-like, 3D appearance.

The market on this set is a tad odd. The price for the base set fluctuates anywhere between $10 bones up to almost $30. Your best bet, if you’re really wanting this at a good price, is get it in a collector’s circle. I’ve seen the set let go for as low as $7 bucks (kindly) and that’s including the stickers. The chrome and chase cards fetch higher prices though, normally $6-9/each for those.

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Well, that’s it for this edition of Trade or Die. Round up your “Squad” to get some “Monsters”—happy hunting!

Written by Christopher Bacon

Mister Bacon tries really hard to define the line between collector and hoarder. Between comics , cards , video games , metal and horror movies the only thing he likes more than obtaining them is talking about them. Beer is good too.

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