I don’t know about you, but when I was younger, trading cards were a big part of my everyday life. I would spend plenty of my allowance on packs of baseball cards as well as non-sports cards of all kinds. Then I’d smuggle my cards to school and trade them with friends, or sometimes just drool over their collection. There was actually a summer where every single day with my friends was spent trading cards.
There is something very nostalgic to me about opening a pack of cards. I’ve went on a bit of a binge lately and purchased a lot of old wax packs on ebay. Everything from old baseball cards to Dick Tracy movie cards to Young Indiana Jones Chronicles cards. I’ve bought a lot. So with that said, it’s time to start opening these bad boys up and seeing what’s inside in what I like to call Wax Pack Flashback!
Up first is a pack of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cards from 1984. This was an 88 card set, that also featured 21 different stickers, with one being randomly inserted into each pack. The cards are in the animated style of the He-Man cartoon, and actually re-tell the episode titled “Like Father, Like Daughter” in comic strip form. They used scenes from the episode along with word bubbles to tell the story, and the backs of the cards went more in-depth about the story being told on the front of the card.
Just looking at the pack, it scream cool. It’s funny, but I was a super huge mark for all things He-Man back in the day, but at the time, I didn’t even know these cards existed. When I first came across a pack of them, I thought the packs themselves just looked really cool. The packs featured four different characters on them. He-Man, Skeletor, Teela, and Orko. I’ve got one each of the He-Man and Skeletor packs featured prominently in a display case in my living room.
The back of the pack shows the Topps logo quite well, but nothing else of note really. A lot of card packs from this era would feature some kind of candy ad on the back of the wrapper.
Well, as I open the pack, I am greeted by the back of a card. I was hoping for some kind of eye-popping action scene as I opened the pack, but not this time.
Turning the cards over, I’m greeted by another card back instead of an action scene. However, on this side is the stick of gum that came in every pack. At this point, this piece of gum is at least 33 years old. It’s broken, and it’s pieces are quite hard.
Oh wow. It took a little bit of effort to get the fum unstuck from the card. If these individual cards were worth very much, this one would be toast due to the oily residue left on it from the gum being stuck to it for so long.
Now we’re in business! As I thumbed through the cards, I was taken back in time to school days after getting home, and settling in to watch the newest episode of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe before doing my homework. Just seeing the scenes on these cards, and the smelling the old school smell they have just took me back.
You can see the art on the cards are from the cartoon like I mentioned earlier, and even though the cards are as old as they are, the colors are still pretty vibrant.
The backs of the cards continue to tell the story from the front of the card. They have a nice, blue background, with the story told on some ancient looking scroll paper which give them a nice touch, and keeps up with the sword and sorcery theme on the cartoon.
This pack had the Teela character sticker included in it. Now, I said earlier that when I was a kid, I had no knowledge of these cards existence. Maybe time plays tricks on the mind, because while I don’t remember the cards at all, I specifically remember having this sticker stuck on the side of my metal He-Man lunch box. So either I actually had some of these cards at some point, or someone gave me the sticker.
The backs of the stickers all featured a different part of a picture that made up a He-Man puzzle poster. This feature was always a cool concept I thought. Usually once you peeled a sticker off of its backing, the backing was useless and would be discarded. But in this set, those sticker backs were kept because you were trying to get all the pieces to the puzzle to complete the poster. The way I operated as a kid, if I had gotten all the pieces needed for the puzzle, I wouldn’t have framed it or anything nice like that. I would most likely have just taped all the pieces to the my bedroom wall and sent my mother into a rage in the process.
Well there you have it….one more pack of He-Man trading cards have been opened, leaving one less pack in mint condition. This little trip down memory lane has been incredibly fun for me for several reasons. As I said at the beginning of this post, I was a huge fan and collector of trading cards of all kinds. And He-Man was my first toy love, as it was the first line I ever wanted multiple pieces from. The cartoon was a big favorite of mine as well. All of these things rolled up together make for a total package that absolutely thrills me today. When I received these cards in the mail, I couldn’t wait to rip into them and step back in time for a little while.
There is something about the feeling of opening a pack of cards that thrilled me way back when, and still does today. Maybe more so today, because I still have the same excitement of seeing what treasure lay in the pack in my hand, and now the wave of nostalgia is also there.