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The Worst Trading Cards Ever Created: Part 1!
by: -RoG-

When I posted my tribute to the Wacko-Saurs, I mentioned that there were many other non-sports trading card sets that were absolutely awful. While cards like the Wacko-Saurs fall under the "so bad they're good" category, the cards I'm going to be covering in this new series of articles are primarily of the "so bad you have to wonder how quickly the people who put them into production were fired from their jobs and then stoned to death" variety. So without further ado, let's start looking at trading cards that actually deserved to be left in your bicycle spokes.

Fuck yes! Want to be the most envied kid in your school? Then you simply MUST own the entire KOJAK trading card set! When your teachers ask you what your excuse for not turning in your homework on time, all you'll have to do is respond, "Oh, I'm sorry... I was too busy staring at the glorious dome of Telly Savalas!" and they'll understand. Hell, they'll pass you with honors for having such excellent taste. Who loves ya, baby?

Well, well, well... what do we have here? Why it's one of the many card sets that tried to cash-in on the success of the Garbage Pail Kids. With the case of Bathroom Buddies, they were FAR less creative than some of the other GPK rip-offs, because almost every single card in the set involved a toilet. But hey, if wacky pictures of cartoony characters puking into the porcelain god are your cup o' tea, then maybe this set is just right for you.

Ahhh, Catwoman! How purrrrfectly cool we all thought she was. Oh wait, this isn't the Catwoman played by Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether or Michelle Pfeiffer. No this card set is based on that fucking horrid atrocity of a Catwoman movie starring Halle Berry. Look, when a movie is that godawful, chances are you know it from day one, so why put out a trading card set? Do you really think anybody wants to remember it? This is the movie that was nominated for a whopping seven Razzie awards in 2005. Maybe the reason this trading card set exists is because they were desperately trying to find some kind of way to make up for the 14 MILLION they paid Berry to be in the movie. Yeah, good luck selling that many cards...

Growing Pains as a trading card set! Oh how fantastically awful! Do we really need trading cards featuring one of the most typically bland suburban white family TV shows to come out of the 80s? Wait a minute... what was I thinking!? This set doesn't belong here at all! Any trading card set that features a picture of Kirk Cameron with a giant snake wrapped around his body and "LOVE ME... LOVE MY SNAKE!" as a caption is clearly worth its weight in gold. Gold I say!

Ok, Coke, we get it. They're big fluffy Polar Bears. They're cute, especially when the little cub takes a swig of soda. Awwwwwwwww he's so cute, look at him drinkin' that big ol' bottle all by himself! He couldn't be cuter if he was pooping butterflies! It was a marketing campaign that worked well and I'm sure they sold a good number of plush toys as a result, but did we really need trading cards for them? Plus, these trading cards don't even feature the original bears. Instead, we're treated to some badly drawn polar bears in all sorts of crazy situations that I guess they hoped would evoke the same kind of mushy emotions from the populace. Look, when you have a picture of the polar bears blasting through the solar system in a Coca-Cola spaceship, you've clearly lost vision of what the original TV ad campaign was all about.

That's right, it's everybody's favorite Puerto-Rican super boy band from the 80s, Menudo! It's the perfect trading card set for teenage girls who wanted to look at Ricky Martin and company performing their hits from Evolución! Indeed, this was just one of the many things created to cash in on Menudomania! It was also the perfect trading card set for pedophiles who had a penchant for energetic young Puerto-Rican boys in frilled pink and yellow outfits.

Hey guys, watch out, I've got a BABY ON BOARD! Actually I don't, and I couldn't be happier about it. Still, nobody can forget about how popular those damned "Baby On Board" signs were for a while, and I still see them in cars every now 'n then. Well, apparently Topps wanted to try cashing in on it by creating their own parodies of the popular yield signs called "Snotty Signs". The result was a set of horribly unfunny and uninspired sticker signs with zany lines such as "Danger: Zit Zone", "School Really Stinks", "I Hate Kate" and "Roaches In Hot Lunch". Not even the box design that was reminiscent of the Garbage Pail Kids could save this set from certain failure.

The Great and the Least,
The Rich and the Poor,
The Weak and the Strong,
In Sickness and in Health,
In Joy and Sorrow,
In Tragedy and Triumph,

Yes indeed, what kid wouldn't want a trading card set based on a popular TV soap opera show which covered controversial topics such as AIDS, drug use and even grizzly bear encounters? And no, there wasn't a grizzly bear card. This set primarily featured headshots of all the actors. Exciting!


Welcome Back Kotter was basically the 70s version of Head of the Class. Kotter was taught a remedial class of students known as the "Sweathogs", the most famous of which was Vinnie Barbarino (played John Travolta). If you wanna know who to thank for the phrase "up your nose with a rubber hose", look no further than Vinnie. But what made this show worthy of becoming a trading card set? Maybe I need to take a remedial class too, because I'm completely stumped when it comes to finding a reasonable answer to that question.

Don't get me wrong, I loved the Gong Show for what it was - Chuck Barris introducing us to gobs o' mindless entertainment from amateur acts including the talents of tomorrow such as Paul Reubens, David Letterman, Michael Winslow and Oingo Boingo. And really, you just can't go wrong with a show that features Rip Taylor as one of the talent judges. Fuck American Idol, it was all about the Gong Show. And believe me, there were plenty of awful "talent" acts on the show for the judges to rip into, just watch some re-runs of it and you'll see what I mean. But like all good things, people always find a way to spoil them. In this case, it was the Gong Show trading card set which featured stills from the show with insipid captions that added absolutely no humorous value whatsoever (ex: A photo of dancing trash cans with the caption "we get some real trash on this show!") Why they didn't ring the gong on this set before it hit production is beyond me.

Ok, that's all for now. Remember this is just part 1 of these "Worst Trading Cards Ever" articles, so if you happen to know of any card sets that I should cover, be sure to email me and let me know! Also, part 2 is now up online so be sure to check it out!

Questions or Comments about this piece?
email -RoG-

If you enjoyed this piece, be sure to check out:

Wacko-Saurs Trading Cards!


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