Just when you thought it was safe to spend your $$$ on other hobbies, it's back:

The Revenge of More Oddball Monster Sets!

By Kurt Kuersteiner ©1995 Monsterwax Monster Trading Cards

A lot of old time collectors avoid recent product because they feel it is over produced and too common. While that stereo type may apply to a lot of modern sets, it is certainly not a fair description of all of them. Some of the following sets are not only unusual, they are produced in smaller numbers and are harder to locate. If you're one of those who enjoy the thrill of the chase, many of these sets fit the bill... or at least inflate the bill, depending on how you get them.

Case in point: The two sets of Full Moon "Vari-view" trading cards. I talked about these last year, but only after several years of searching did I finally locate them. They are not listed in any catalogs, there is no check list, and few dealers have ever heard of them before. It turns out there is a third set besides Meridian and Shadowzone. This sets consists of six cards produced in 1989 for the movie Puppet Master. These are not holograms, but thick 3-D photos that change as you adjust the angel of the (lenticular) card. They cost around $5 per card (if you can find them).

Another flicker set featuring hooky horror is the Coors Flicker Treat set from 1994. They were not really flicker cards at all, but collectible film clips 3 3/8" long x 1 3/8" wide. There's only five in the set, but good luck finding all five. You have to buy a twelve pack to get one, and each shipment seemed to be filled with duplicates. They movies featured were The Crawling Hand, The Wasp Woman, EEGAH, The Giant Gila Monster, and The Brain That Wouldn't Die.

A set much easier to obtain but almost as strange is the R.I.P. set from Kitchen Sink (1994). This series definitely wins the "most unusual shape" award, since each card is cut in the shape of a coffin (3 3/4 vertical x 2 3/4" top x 1 3/4" bottom). Finding pages they fit is a pain, four pocket is about the best you can do. Most the art is neat and the backs relate "real life" stories of the unusual. The series is sold as a boxed set for a moderate price, though few dealers seem to carry it.

In the for foreign set department, the British House of Horror deserves mention. This 1982 Geo Basset set is colorful, but like most UK sets, is also odd sized (1 3/8" x 2 7/16"). The fifty card set features classic monster illustrations and explains the historical origins of the modern day monster myths. The price range seems to be about $50 to $75 per set.

Remember the Crackpots and Visionaries set put out by WFMU radio in 1992? No? That's probably because only 2,000 sets were printed. They produced a second series in 1994 using the same format: Thirty six 2 3/4" x 3 3/4" full color cards drawn by different artists depicting weirdoes, madmen and human monstrosities. The backs tell all about their bizarre exploits. Some strange examples include G. Gordon Liddy, Rev. Robert Tilton, and Rasputin. This series is sold as a boxed set by WFMU to raise funds for Upsala college radio.

Monster fans who like football might enjoy Coke's Monsters of the Grid Iron series (1994). Some collectors roll their eyes back at this one, and there's no denying football stars in monster outfits are a little stupid, but hey-- it's all in the spirit of Halloween. This thirty card color photo set isn't easy to piece together, with only one regular card and one scratch off card included in each twelve pack of Coke. A mail in offer provided a five card foil pack, so there's a wrapper also (albeit a rather plain foil one). There's no confusing this set with anything else!

Last but not least is the new Mars Attacks set produced by Screaming models and fully licensed by Topps. The nine cards are colorful and show scenes similar to the models the company manufactures. Since one cards comes with each Mars Attacks model, this set is technically free, but realistically, very expensive. There is also a special "Bonus Card" (limited to 5,000) but as of press time, the company is still undecided how to distribute them. (It may require buying all eight models.)

So if you like the scary but scarce stuff, don't give up hope, because they do make 'em like they used to. You just have to look harder because, well, because they're uncommon! But even the pricey stuff can be traded for or found cheap if you do enough digging. So until next time, keep up the chase!

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