Monster Museum goals!
What are monster cards? What's the purpose of this site?
monster (mon' ster) n. an animal, plant or thing that departs from the customary course of nature in its kind; an ugly or cruel person.
card (kard), n. a piece of pasteboard printed or engraved with... a greeting or picture, as a calling card, a post card (or trading card).
What is a monster card? The easy answer is that it is a card with a monster on it. But not everyone agrees exactly what a monster is. Are aliens monsters? How about dinosaurs? Or goofy monsters?
For our purposes, a monster is menacing and there is some degree of horror involved. Alien space brothers who come in peace are not monsters, but alien invaders who come to capture our planet and enslave or eat us ARE. Normal dinosaurs are no more monsters than say, a man-eating lion. They may be menacing, but they are not really monsters unless they are somehow mutated or changed. And goofy monsters? If they are designed NOT to scare you, then they aren't included here. But scary monsters with funny jokes are still monsters, as long as there is some element of horror.
The Monstercard Museum is dedicated to cataloging every known monster card set of US origin. Overseas issues are also welcome, but not near as complete. Relevant Science Fiction sets are also included, but only if they feature significant numbers of monsters (not just aliens). So something like X-files would be considered a monster set, while Star Trek & Star Wars would not. UFO sets are NOT included unless they are mainly about monsters instead of benign aliens or flying saucers. So Alien the movie is a monster set, while Aliens & Earthlings is not. (We'll index the UFO sets in a seperate UFO catagory.)
Vampire cards are considered Monster cards.
Cartoon shows with fuzzy-wuzzy "cute" monsters do not meet the standard of horror that real monsters require. They most often appear under the Comic, Cartoon, or Disney categories. Real monsters are not always dangerous, but they at least LOOK dangerous. The Munsters and Addams Family are good examples. Herman & Lurch may not hurt anyone, but they sure look like they could. Both are monster sets. Scooby-Doo would also qualify as a monster set, because the monsters in it are menacing. So are the Jack Davis cartoon monsters in the original Funny Monsters set (despite their funny gag lines.)
Sometimes the original movie features real monsters, but the cartoon version does not. Lon Chaney as the Hunchback of Notre Dame is a monster card, but Disney's cartoon version is not. Casper the Friendly Ghost is not a monster set, regardless if it's the movie or the cartoon. Casper is made to look friendly and even the bad ghosts are goofy. Gremlins are another example. They are really comic characters designed to entertain the smallest of kids. So are Gargoyles, and AAAHH! Real Monsters! Sorry, no Dr. Suess-type "monsters" are included here.
Dinosaur cards are excluded as well, unless they feature giants beyond their normal size or somehow changed from their basic nature. (Like turning plant-eaters into dangerous man-eaters.) So Godzialla, King Kong and Dinosaur Attacks are considered monster cards, while Jurassic Park is not. (The dinosaurs are not mutated in any way.)
Sports card/ monster cross-over sets are not included in the main index either, since they are more goofy and sports oriented than anything scary. (That's two strikes, you're out!) However, we'll include a separate index of titles for your convenience.
Also avoided are gaming cards, even though many of them feature mythical monsters. However, these are considered Fantasy and/or Role Playing sets and belong elsewhere.
Japanese or Chinese monster sets are welcome, but only if they use enough of the western alphabet for collectors to identify and look them up in our list. (Even if we could afford translators, the chances you also have one are slim.)
Yet even with all those variations excluded, you'll still find hundreds of new and old monster cards cataloged here. You'll be amazed how many different titles there are. (I know I was!)
This museum is a fun place to browse sets that you may not know about and view samples. Additional samples will be added as time and space permit. If you have a set you can't identify, check our list and see if it helps. If not, feel free to email me a description of it. Include the company name and copyright date from the back of the card (if available). We may post your comments in our MONSTER CARD COMMENTS section. If you know of a set we left out or a price you think is off base, please inform us!
Do to space restrictions and price fluctuations, we don't generally list promo, autograph or chase cards. This museum is devoted mainly to monster sets.
Check back in as we continue to upload more and more images of your favorite monster card sets!