Monday, July 31, 2006

Wizard of Oz Trading Cards

I remember helping my older brothers open their packs of Star Wars trading cards in the late 70s. Would the pack I open have the final card to complete the set? The anticipation was more delicious than all of the gum I was chomping on. It used to be great fun to complete the trading card sets and subsets of stickers. Trading cards used to be pretty simple pleasures. Maybe there would be a card or sticker that was rarer than the others, but that was nothing some haggling with the local comic dealer couldn't fix. Then you'd trot home with your prize and look over your completed card set for hours lingering a few moments longer on that one card that was hardest to obtain. Ah, the good old days.

Like most other hobbies, trading cards have advanced and gotten much more intricate in the past 15+ years. Gone is that vile tasting gum that left residue on the precious cards. Now there are cards of foil, puzzle cards, panoramic cards, autograph cards, costume cards, and sketch cards. Yikes!

Here's a look at Wizard of Oz trading cards. Let's start with the simple ones shall we?

Trading card giant Topps issued a set of 44 Return to Oz trading cards in 1985. Each card had a sticker on the reverse.

A set of 100 cards was issued by Pacific with each card featuring a different scene from the film. they could be purchased in individual wax packs or as a boxed set.

In 1996 Duocards released a 72 card set with a glossy finish and foil logos. Collectors could also look for 6 foil chase cards. Each display box included a purple album that in addition to the basic set and foil chase cards, also had room for two promo cards.

This year, fledgling trading card company Breygent has brought us the most complicated Oz trading cards yet. Five promos were issued to entice collectors. In addition to the 72 card basic set there are foil cards, puzzle cards, munchkin autograph cards, cut signature cards of Judy Garland and Jack Haley, costume cards, prop cards, and sketch cards by 20 artists. These special cards will be very rare and may frustrate Oz completists, but the rest of us will probably enjoy the thrill of the hunt. Breygent also offers a collector's album in an edition of 500. The album includes two exclusive cards. Only 5000 boxes have been produced and sold out from Breygent in about a month.