1940 Superman Cards R145 (Gum Inc)

This is the granddaddy of all Superman sets. 1940 Superman cards were released by Gum Inc and are classified as R145. Together, let’s explore this set, take a look at the cards, learn about values, and take a look at the 1940 Superman checklist.

This set consists of 72 cards. However, the last 24 cards (49 to 72) are short-prints and are more valuable in price. This is the first set of non-sports trading cards about the Man of Steel.

About the Cards

The 1940 Superman cards feature a full color comic picture on the front of the card. The image is surrounded with a white border with a black line separating the border and image. You’ll find the copyright info on the bottom of the card’s front  as well.

The back of the card features the title at the top with the main area focused on a description of the card. The card’s number is found next to the title. At the bottom, you’ll find the copyright and manufacturing details, along with a blurb to join the Superman of America Club. To the side of this information is a small sketch of Superman. Part of the sketch also includes the set title, “Superman”.


1940 Superman cards were the first of many Superman sets to hit the market. Because of this, they are quite valuable.

Typically, you’ll spend about $25 to $75 on cards #1-48. Cards #49-72 will go for double that (maybe more) because they were a short-print. Card #1 and #72 are more valuable because they are tougher to come by in good condition.

The value on professionally graded 1940 Superman cards are much higher than ungraded examples.

These are the book values, but don’t be surprised if these are selling for a premium over the book values. This set is very volatile due to how difficult it is to find card with a high quality grade. Let’s take a look at the book values on 1940 Superman cards. These prices are for cards #2-48:

  • PSA 7 (NM): $150
  • PSA 8 (NM-MT): $450
  • PSA 9 (Mint): $975

So how about the less common 1940 Superman cards? Here are the prices on cards #49-71:

  • PSA 7 (NM): $225
  • PSA 8 (NM-MT): $600
  • PSA 9 (Mint): $1750

Now let’s really get up there in price with Card #72, which is titled Superman Vs Torpedo.

  • PSA 7 (NM): $375
  • PSA 8 (NM-MT): $950
  • PSA 9 (Mint): $2300

And if you’re ready to take out a loan, here is the book price on the first card in the set. This card is simply titled, “Superman”:

  • PSA 7 (NM): $1200
  • PSA 8 (NM-MT): $2500
  • PSA 9 (Mint): $5000

Because of the incredible prices on this set, many collectors also consider collecting the 1966 Superman set as a lower cost, by highly collectible alternative.

The 1940 Superman Cards Checklist

Here is the checklist for 1940 Superman cards. They include the number and title of each card:

1 Superman
2 The Spy Trail
3 From The Jaws Of Death
4 Peril In The Jungle
5 The Girl Reporter’s Dream
6 Superman Vs. Bank Robbers
7 The Averted Train Wreck
8 Rescue At The Bank
9 Superman At The Circus
10 Fury Of The Sea
11 Capture Of The Kidnappers
12 Superman’s Arch Enemy
13 Teeth Of Steel
14 Maniac At Large
15 Panic In The Subway
16 MountainTragedy
17 Death On The Speedway
18 Prison Break
19 Wings Of Mercy
20 Peril At Sea
21 The Runaway Horse
22 Wolves At Bay
23 Hurtling To Destruction
24 Attacked By Sharks
25 Trapped In The Air
26 Log Jam Peril
27 Rescue From A Rocky Reef
28 The Flames Of Doom
29 Death Dive
30 Trapped In The Glacier
31 Rescue Beneath The Sea
32 Danger On High
33 The Avalanche
34 Peril In The Oil Fields
35 Hurricane Horror
36 Facing The Firing Squad
37 Distress At Sea
38 Marooned In The Clouds
39 Disaster At The Mine
40 Racing The Shells
41 Roller Coaster Rescue
42 Danger In The Jungle
43 Flight In Mid-Air
44 Disaster At The Circus
45 The Runaway Ship
46 To The Rescue
47 Horror Beneath The Sea
48 Death In The Air
49 Danger At The Carnival
50 At The Bottom Of The Sea
51 Superman Vs. The Spies
52 Saving The Destroyer
53 The Girl Reporter
54 Rescue From The Flames
55 Superman Wins Again
56 Superman And The Killer Whale
57 Battling The Hurricane
58 A Near-Tragedy
59 The Dive Of Death
60 Menace In The Mine
61 Through The Mine Field
62 Peril In The Presses
63 Terror In The Tower
64 Adventure On An Iceberg
65 The Runaway Trolley Car
66 Danger At The Dam
67 Explosion In An Oilfield
68 Saved By Superman
69 Saved From Buried Alive
70 Anger In The North Woods
71 Trapped In Quicksand
72 Superman Vs. Torpedo

Key Cards

Key cards will normally pull premium prices over the rest. Here are the key cards from the 1940 Superman set:

1 Superman
52 Saving the Destroyer
54 Rescue From the Flames
56 Superman and the Killer Whale
59 The Dive of Death
63 Terror in the Tower
68 Saved By Superman
72 Superman Vs Torpedo

Also, remember that cards 49-72 are less common and have a higher value. That makes these semi-key cards.

What to Do Next?

So what now? If you liked the 1940 Superman cards, here are a couple of other Superman sets that you might enjoy:

Looking for something other than Superman? Here are a couple other sets from the 1940’s as well:

  • 1940 Lone Ranger
  • 1944 American Beauties

Buy 1940 Superman trading cards on eBay

Sell 1940 Superman cards here.

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