This year marks the 50th anniversary of the release of the Mars Attacks trading cards by Topps, under than name Bubbles Inc. in 1962, which went on to be a major Hollywood film 1996.
These cards were what every school kid was after back then. With images telling the story of an invasion from mars by a race of evil Martians, with bubbas heads in goldfish bowl helmets, incinerating anything in their path. With scenes of torture, slaughter and bloodshed, kids couldn’t get enough of these cards.
However, it released a wave of parental and community outrage, due to their graphic content, not just violent but also the implied sexuality of some of the cards that were within the set. But such outrage would just make these cards even more popular amongst the target age range. But due to the increased pressure from the Connecticut District Attorney, Topps halted production of the series ending it at 55 cards. Also, with these cards being release during the height of the cold war and in the same year as the Cuban missile crisis, these cards played on the fears of the public with the Martians playing role of the Soviet enemy at the time. With such a timely release these cards become even more insightful to these outraged parental and community groups.
Now with a limited release these cards became hot property and with art work by the renowned science-fiction artist, Wallace Wood of EC Comics fame, these cards started trading hands at higher and higher prices as the collectors started to get in on that act. Today, original single cards can run into the hundreds of dollars and complete sets will into the thousands.
With great designs by Wood, the Topps card grew a loyal fan base and overtime became a benchmark for future cards and other science-fiction projects, finally leading to the 1996 film by Tim Burton, Mars Attacks!
So have a look below at some of the great artwork by Wallace Wood and Bob Powell for the now icon Mars Attacks trading cards…
Later this your Topps cards will be releasing a new MARS ATTACKS Heritage Card Set, In addition to reprinting the 55 iconic cards which comprised theoriginal series, Topps is adding 25 never-before-seen subjects. You can also find out more at their facebook page here.
Check out the tariler below for Tim Burton’s 1996 film version of the Topps trading cards, Mars Attacks!