December 15, 2016

Non-Sports Card of the Day: 2015 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions Sid Meier Relic

Today's non-sports card had me confused about which set it came from taking a look at the front of the card. We have "Goudey Memorabilia" running down the side and a photograph of video game legend Sid Meier wearing a polo shirt that a piece of might be embedded in the card. The graphic design doesn't strike me as something very recent and that isn't a criticism. I like the look of it and was surprised when flipping it over that it originates from 2015 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions. 

Sid Meier, by the grace of including his name on many of his video games, most famously Sid Meier's Civilization series (Civilization 6 was released in October) he is one of the best known video game celebrities although they probably wouldn't know him if they ran into him on the street. The Goodwin Champions set also features an autographed card of  Meier as well.

December 14, 2016

Non-Sports Card of the Day: 2012 Rittenhouse James Bond 50th Anniversary Yaphet Kotto

Today's non-sports card highlights one of those moments when you find a card for an actor or famous person (politicians) that you had no idea existed. Yaphet Kotto is one of my favorite actors and if you ever wanted to see a tour de force performance watch any of his work on Homicide: Life on the Street which was basically the prequel to The Wire. Kotto was the man in charge of the homicide police as Lieutenant Al Giardello and he took no crap from anyone. 

He was also famously one of the victims of the Xenomorph in Alien and co-stars in one of the best crime dramas of the 1970's, Across 110th Street, which gave us the famous theme song (made famous again in Jackie Brown). 

Live and Let Die places him as the villain who plays two roles in the film. As Mr. Big, he is trying to take control of the heroin trade and his is also Dr. Kananga, a Caribbean dictator whose tiny country produced the heroin. James Bond has to get to the bottom of things and Roger Moore, in his first Bond role, does an excellent job as an older Bond.  

Live and Let Die is my favorite post-Connery Bond film (including the Craig films) and Kotto being the villain is definitely part of my love for the film. It has has the best Bond credit song with the Wings playing "Live and Let Die."

Back in 2002, Rittenhouse issued a James Bond 40th Anniversary set and 10 years later, Rittenhouse must have thought "let's get those Bond photos and print some more cash!" This time around with way more gold foil! Kotto also has cards in the 2002 Rittenhouse 40th Anniversary set and the 2008 Rittenhouse James Bond: In Motion set. 

December 12, 2016

Non-Sports Card of the Day: 1909-1911 T29 American Tobacco Animal Series Elephant

Today's non-sports card is from the famous T29 Animals set that was issued by American Tobacco (with Hassan cigarettes advertisements on the back) for parts of three years from 1909 to 1911. Featuring original painted works of some of the most exotic animals of the world, the set can be found at very budget-friendly prices and is a great place to start a tobacco card set. 

Although my card identified this as animal as simply "elephant," it is more accurately an Asian elephant as it has smaller ears than its counterpart, the African elephant. Asian elephants can grow to 12 feet tall and weigh over five tons. Globally, there are far fewer Asian Elephants than African with about 50,000 worldwide. 

Most Hassan sets typically were 50 cards in size but the Animals set featured two series of 40 cards each. With no on-card numbering system, the 80 cards in the set are organized alphabetically and my elephant card is #24 in the unofficial alphabetical system. These larger sized tobacco cards (which are nearly identical in width at 2-7/16" to modern day cards) were sold in larger packaged products like the cork tipped cigarettes advertised on the back of the card. 

December 10, 2016

Non-Sports Cards of the Day: 1911 T99 American Tobacco Sights & Scenes of the World

Today we feature two non-sports cards that are more than 100 years old and also one of the most personal cards I own in my non-sports collection. These two photo cards showing the Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens, Greece come from the 1911 American Tobacco Sights & Scenes of the World. The gold border is reminiscent of the famous T205 baseball set, also issued by American Tobacco. 

As you can see on the reverse, there are actually two tobacco advertisements on the back which were both American Tobacco brands. The product name "Royal Bengals Little Cigars" gives you a pretty good idea as to what you would be getting when purchasing it but "Pan Handle Scrap" might confuse you a little.

"Scrap" was a term used for chewing tobacco as I imagine it was of a lower quality than the tobacco used for cigarettes and cigars. Here's an example of the Pan Handle Scrap packaging I found on eBay and you can see it was literally a paper bag of chewing tobacco with a card inside.

I picked up these two cards specifically because of the sentimental value the Acropolis has as I went on my honeymoon there during the spring of 2013. My wife and I visited Athens and then a few of the islands in the Aegean Sea.

We stayed in an apartment in Athens within walking distance of the Acropolis and it was amazing as we walked along a street market and all of sudden there it was. 

You might notice the cranes from the previous picture and the Parthenon was undergoing some stabilization and repair (as much repair as you can to ruins I guess) and it certainly gave us a unique experience while visiting the site. 

Here's a closer look at the repairs being done along one of the set of columns. 

The Parthenon also was the setting for one of the favorite photos I took during the trip. Here is what I call "The Parthenon Cat" enjoying some sun at one of the most sacred places in the world. 

December 7, 2016

Non-Sports Card of the Day: 1950 Topps Freedom's War 66th Division

Today we dip our toe into the lake of non-sports cards again with a card from the 1950 Topps Freedom's War set. Although you might expect this to be a World War II set, it is mainly a set about the Korean War. The most popular card in the set is #210 of General and future President Dwight D. Eisenhower and several cards, including my card below, features insignia and patches used in battle. 

The 66th Division of the U.S. Army was created in 1943 and its main duty was fighting German forces in Northern France immediately following D-Day. The reverse side of the card gives a nice write up of the history of the division and this is card #179 and also #2 in a 24 card insignia subset. 

The image of the black panther used on the patch was created by a member of the 66th Division, Nicholas Viscardi. He was a comic book artist turned soldier who won a competition to create the image. 

December 5, 2016

Non-Sports Card of the Day: 1936 Wills's Cigarettes Household Hints

Back before you could look up anything on Wikipedia or watch a how-to video on YouTube, smokers could get helpful household hints inside their cigarette packs. I'm talking about a notable Wills's Cigarette tobacco card set that featured a whole host of tips that would make the hosts of This Old House jealous, from how to remove a stuck screw to how to make your own lighter (don't try that one at home!). Today's card, which was issued in 1936, highlights how to fix the casters on a chair with rolling legs.

The household hints cards found an audience with customers and Wills's issued several mroe sets  with the first one coming out in 1927. A second set followed in 1930 with many more into the 50's and 60's. As always, collectors would also get a special album for the cards from their tobacconist.

December 3, 2016

Non-Sports Cards of the Day: 2015 Lawrence Public Library Banned Book Week Cards

Sometimes I think that I should call my daily non-sports posts as "cards you don't have." Here's a small set that I'm sure next to no one else out these has...unless you live in Lawrence, Kansas. I lived in the home of the Jayhawks from 2008 to 2014 and the local library, the Lawrence Public Library, began issuing their own small set of trading cards in honor of Banned Book Week in 2012. I've written about the sets a few times before and today's post highlights the 2015 edition of the cards which you can still purchase if this whets your appetite. 

And by the way, the 2016 winners were recently announced! The winners include The Jungle, The Color Purple, and A People's History of the United States.  

We begin with my favorite from the 2015 sets which honors The Call of the Wild and was created by Alexandra Simmons. 

Next we have Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? with an original art piece by Rosey Anderson and The Secret Life of Bees interpreted by Emmi Murao. 

One work I was personally unfamiliar with until receiving this was was the graphic novel Persepolis which is about growing up during the Iranian Revolution. The artistic interpretation is by Aidan Rothrock. On the right is an original piece by Lana Grove about the novel American Psycho.

The last two cards in the set are devoted to two of the most famous American novels from the 20th century, Catch-22 (with art by Barry Fitzgerald) and Of Mice & Men (with art by Larissa Wilson).

December 1, 2016

Non-Sports Card of the Day: A Little Buddy Relic

Today's non-sports card is the most modern card I've posted since I started daily posing selections from my non-sports P.C and it is also the first non-sports relic card I've highlighted. Today's entry comes from 2013 Panini Golden Age which is the sort of set a lot of collectors either love or hate. It features a checklist where you will find an Al Kaline card sitting next to Lyndon Johnson and Elizabeth Montgomery. I love cards for unexpected people and when I was flipping through the random hits at a card show somewhere in 2016, I just had to pick up this relic of Bob Denver, a.k.a. Gilligan from Gilligan's Island

Appropriately enough, Denver's base card in the set was #73 and card #74 was Alan Hale, Denver's co-star as the Skipper on Gilligan's Island. The back doesn't provide any information as to the origin of the clothing piece and so I doubt it is something from the era of the show. I was surprised to see that the show only ran for three seasons as it seemed like there were a million reruns on when I was a kid. But then again, I'm always surprised The Munsters was only ran for two seasons as well. 

November 30, 2016

Non-Sports Cards of the Day: 1911 T77 American Tobacco Light House Series

In my recent obsessions with posting non-sports cards, I've mainly been doing one card at a time. Today, however, I'm dropping 10 cards from the 1911 American Tobacco Lighthouse series about, you guessed it, light houses from around America. That's 20% of a 105-year-old set which is by far my most complete set from that era. 

The cards in this set are not the typical small tobacco size and instead measure 3-1/4 x 2-1/2 inches. The set has 50 cards in it with 48 lighthouses, the Statue of Liberty, and a final card about what sailors used before lighthouses. This first card below is of the Tillamook Rock Light which was situated off the coast of Oregon and was originally lit in 1887. It served until 1957 and today is privately owned. 

Here's the reverse side of the cards which includes a Hassan Cork Tip Cigarettes ad. The back side also features a historical write up on the lighthouse featured but the cards don't include a card number, although they were kind enough to tell us the card is one of 50 in the set. 

Each card features original painted art and each one is more beautiful than the last. On the left is the Minot's Ledge Light which is located south of Boston Harbor and today is privately owned. The Point Loma Light on the right is actually still in use in San Diego, California. 

Next we have Point Hueneme Light which is located in California near the Santa Barbara Channel. A lighthouse was first constructed on the site in 1874 and the lighthouse as it appears on the card is still in use today.

The Sanibel Island Light on the left is located on the west coast of South Florida and is still in use. The Eastern Point Light on the right is located on the northern coast of Massachusetts and was built on a rock structure called Mother Ann.

The ominously named Executions Rock Light on the left is located in the middle of Long Island Sound in New York. The name was given to the spot because of the dangerous nature of the water at low tide and the lighthouse is still used today. Block Island Light on the right is located off the southern coast of Rhode Island and is often considered to be the most beautiful lighthouse built in the 19th century. 

On the left we have Barnegat Light which is located on Long Beach Island, New Jersey and was deactivated in 1944. A foundation was set up to put the light back in service and in 2009 it was successfully re-lit. Cape Flattery Light is on the north Washington state coast near British Columbia and was deactivated in 2008.

November 29, 2016

Non-Sports Card of the Day: 1963 Topps Monster Midgee The She-Creature

Today's non-sports card of the day is from one of the more odd Topps releases from the 1960's. This is card #13 from the 1963 Topps Monster Midgee sets which were mini cards that featured monsters from B-movies with a funny caption added to the bottom of the card. 

The set is pretty popular with sci-fi fans and fans of bad cinema. Here's an eBay auction for an empty box of the set for only $750. 

On the back, Topps gives us a ghost related joke that the kids could impress their friends with in the 60's. One of the frustrating aspects of this set is that the front and backs do not give you a definitive answer as to which film the images came from. I'm a big fan of bad sci-fi movies but sometimes it is a little tough to keep everything straight. In the fine print of the card, it gives you a hint that the creature on the front was from a film made by American International Pictures. 

With a little research into American International's huge movie output, the monster featured is from the film The She-Creature, directed by Edward Cahn. The movie's poster below gives away most of the film's story as the woman on the right is hypnotized and in a past life she was the horrible prehistoric creature on the left. She able to personify the creature into today's reality and it goes on a murderous rampage as one's personified monster often does.

The creature was designed by visual artist Paul Blaisdell who took part in many bad B-movies from the 60's including Teenagers Outer Space and Earth vs. The Spider.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 even gave the film the riff treatment during Season 8 which you can watch on YouTube.

November 27, 2016

Non-Sports Card of the Day: 1953-54 Topps World on Wheels Cadillac Eldorado

A little while ago I highlighted another card from the 1953-1954 Topps World on Wheels set and here's another entry featuring the brand-new-at-the-time 1953 Cadillac El Dorado. Just look at how long this bad boy was at more than 18 feet! The 1953 edition was the first year that Cadillac made the El Dorado through 2002 with 10 generations over those 49 years. 

The name El Dorado referred to the city made of gold located somewhere in South America. Over time the myth was attributed to Columbia, Venezuela, and Guyana and many explorers including Sir Walter Raleigh tried to located the famous city. Cadillac used the name to connect their car gold-plated luxury and the back of the card highlights the Eldorado's amazing air conditioning system. 

Eagle-eyed collectors will notice the front has "El Dorado" as two words and the back side combines it at "Eldorado" at the top and separated in the write-up. For those keeping score, Cadillac went with "Eldorado" for the car name and the city of gold city is separated as "El Dorado." 

November 24, 2016

Non-Sports Cards of the Day: Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! Today, you can add Upper Deck and Topps to your list of things to be thankful for as they created these Thanksgiving cards! The grey bordered cards featuring the mouthwatering turkey card below were part of the 2009 A Piece of History.

Given that these sort of sets have limited licensing hurdles to cross, I don't know why Upper Deck doesn't continue to issue these political and non-sports sets as they can't get the baseball card license back.

Topps also issued a Pilgrim related card in the 2009 Topps American Heritage set. The card honored their arrival at Plymouth Rock and was done in the 19611 Topps baseball design. 

November 23, 2016

Non-Sports Card of the Day: Illuminati Confirmed! 1911 T56 Emblem Cigarettes Master Mason

Today's non-sports card is more than a century old and it is one of the oldest cards in my collection. Emblem Cigarettes, which was a part of the larger American Tobacco Company, appropriately enough based on their company name issued a set of famous emblems for organizations and groups from America and around the world. This is card #48 and features the emblem of the Master Mason...a.k.a.. the shadowy controllers of everything, including the media, government, and the financial world. 

The reverse side explains the history of the Masons in America and its origins from 1733. The three level of Masonry are Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and the last which is featured on the front of the card, Master Mason. Searching around, there are also reverse side variations that feature the Hassan Cigarettes logo that collectors have placed a premium on.