Non-sports trading cards focus on topics such as animals, cars and other vehicles, famous people, fantasy, games, history, humor, movies, music, nature, planes, science fiction, space, television, war, and any other trading cards that aren’t focused on a specific sport.
Please join me for a few minutes and learn more about non-sports trading cards, their history, values, and more.
History of Non-Sports Trading Cards
Since the late 19th century, manufacturers have been issuing these cards all over the world, and continue producing cards today. In the past, packs of bubble gum or cigarettes used to come with non-sports trading cards.
Cigarette cards that were issued more than a hundred years ago in packages of cigarettes featured a wide range of non-sports subjects, such as exotic animals, famous places, and people from the world of entertainment.
Although cigarette makers stopped issuing them, non-sports cards became quite popular and by the 1950, they were selling in large numbers. Until almost 1990, non-sports trading cards were sold with a piece of bubblegum, but that went away. Today, “bubblegum cards” are not as readily available.
Between the late 1960s and the mid-1970s, Topps Company introduced a new concept of non-sports trading cards by issuing Wacky Packages sticker cards, which were product label parody cards. Over the past fifty years, historical trading cards and media-based cards, especially those based on TV series, have proven quite popular. The most popular of these non-sports trading cards have been based on films and TV series like Disney, Lord of the Rings, Planet of the Apes, Star Trek trading cards, and others. Comic book trading cards have been equally popular, especially Marvel cards and DC cards. Some great examples of these are Superman Cards and Batman Cards.
In recent years, the latest phenomenon of collectible card games has also become a part of the non-sports trading cards category. This includes the Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh! and other CCG sets. While many feel this should be a separate category (game play trading cards), sites like eBay still include them in the non-sports category.
Non-sports trading cards as an investment
While some view collecting non-sports cards as risky, if you know what you’re doing, you can make a nice profit.
It’s important to understand that the intrinsic value of non-sports trading cards is never guaranteed, which means that their values can fluctuate, depending on how enthusiastic collectors and the general public are about them.
Therefore, if you want to collect non-sports trading cards, you should start by determining what cards you would like to collect, and then consider how valuable your collection could be. There are certain factors that can be considered in order to choose non-sports trading cards that will probably increase in value in the future. These include the artistry, the condition, the nostalgia, the popularity, the rarity, and the theme of the cards.
Purism & Vintage Cards
It is a misconception that only vintage sports trading cards have intrinsic value and should be collected, which is referred to as purism. However, the fact of the matter is that as a budding card collector, you should choose to collect whatever non-sports trading cards that you like.
For a more attractive investment potential, you can also consider collecting cards produced prior to 1980, which are known as vintage cards. There are a limited number of autographed non-sports cards out there.
Popular Non-Sports Trading Card Sets
If you’re looking for a more detailed list, you search non-sports cards by year by clicking here.
Here are some of the more popular non-sports sets throughout history. These sets are traded more often, which provides a better investment opportunity. It’s also a lot easier to put these sets together.
- 1888 Allen & Ginter Celebrated American Indian Chiefs (N2)
- 1924 Ogden’s Ltd Leaders of Men
- 1926 Lambert & Butler Pirates and Highwaymen
- 1932 U.S. Caramel Presidents
- 1933 Indian Gum
- 1933-34 National Chicle Sky Birds
- 1935 Gum Inc Mickey Mouse
- 1936 G-Men and Heroes of the Law
- 1936 Jolly Roger Pirates
- 1936 WA & AC Churchman Howlers
- 1938 Gum Inc Horrors of War
- 1939 Gunmakers of American True Spy Stories
- 1940 Gum Inc Lone Ranger
- 1940 Gum Inc Superman R145
- 1944 American Beauties
- 1948 Leaf Pirate Cards
- 1950 Bowman Wild Man
- 1951 Bowman Jets, Rockets, Spacemen
- 1951 Bowman Red Menace
- 1952 Bowman US Presidents
- 1952 Dixie Cup Nelsons Ice Cream
- 1952 Topps Look n See
- 1952 Topps Wings
- 1953 NBC Stars
- 1954 Topps Scoop
- 1955 Barbers Tea Ltd Cinema & TV Stars
- 1955 Times Confectionary Co Roy Rogers in Old Amarillo
- 1955 Times Confectionary Co Roy Rogers South of Caliente
- 1955 Topps Rails & Sails
- 1956 Gum Inc Adventure
- 1956 Topps Davy Crockett Green
- 1956 Topps Davy Crockett Orange
- 1956 Topps Elvis Presley
- 1956 Topps Flags of the World
- 1956 Topps Round-Up
- 1956 Topps US Presidents
- 1957 Barratt & Co LTD Walt Disney Characters
- 1957 CWS Western Stars
- 1957 Topps Hit Stars
- 1957 Topps Robin Hood
- 1957 Topps Target Moon
- 1958 Topps TV Westerns
- 1958 Topps Zorro
- 1959 Fleer Indian Trading Cards
- 1959 Fleer Three Stooges
- 1959 Topps Fabian
- 1959 Topps You’ll Die Laughing
- 1960 Fleer Casper
- 1960 Fleer Spins and Needles
- 1960 Golden Press Presidents
- 1960 Topps Funny Valentines A Series
- 1962 Topps Civil War News
- 1962 Topps Mars Attacks
- 1963 Topps Astronauts
- 1963 Topps Beverly Hillbillies
- 1964 Donruss Addams Family
- 1964 Leaf The Munsters
- 1964 Leaf The Munsters Stickers
- 1964 Topps Beatles Black & White
- 1964 Topps Beatles Color
- 1964 Topps Beatles Diary
- 1964 Topps Beatles Movie Hard Days Night
- 1964 Topps John F Kennedy
- 1964 Topps Outer Limits
- 1965 Donruss Disneyland
- 1965 Fleer Gomer Pyle
- 1965 Fleer Hogans Heroes
- 1965 Fleer McHales Navy
- 1965 Philadelphia Gum James Bond
- 1965 Philadelphia Gum War Bulletin
- 1965 Topps Battle
- 1965 Topps Gilligan’s Island
- 1965 Topps Man from U.N.C.L.E.
- 1966 Donruss Green Hornet
- 1966 Fleer Three Stooges
- 1966 Leaf Good Guys and Bad Guys
- 1966 Marvel Super Heroes
- 1966 Philadelphia Gum Tarzan
- 1966 Topps Batman A Series
- 1966 Topps Batman B Series
- 1966 Topps Batman Black Bat
- 1966 Topps Batman Color
- 1966 Topps Batman Riddler Back
- 1966 Topps Lost in Space
- 1966 Topps Monster Laffs
- 1966 Topps Superman
- 1967 Anglo Confectionaery Tarzan
- 1967 Leaf Star Trek
- 1967 Topps Wacky Packages
- 1968 Superman in the Jungle (A&BC)
- 1969 A&BC Star Trek
- 1969 Topps Man on the Moon
- 1969 Topps Panet of the Apes
- 1971 Primrose Confectionary Star Trek
- 1971 Topps Brady Bunch
- 1973 Topps Wacky Packages Series 1
- 1973 Topps Wacky Packages Series 2
- 1973 Topps Wacky Packages Series 3
- 1973 Topps Wacky Packages Series 4
- 1973 Topps You’ll Di Laughing Test Issue
- 1974 Topps Evel Knievel
- 1975 Topps Comic Book Heroes Stickers
- 1975 Topps Planet of the Apes
- 1976 Topps Marvel Super Heroes Stickers
- 1976 Topps Star Trek
- 1976 Topps Star Trek Stickers
- 1977 Topps Star Wars
- 1977 Topps Star Wars USA Stickers
- 1977 Wonder Bread Star Wars
- 1978 Donruss Elvis
- 1980 Topps Star Wars Empire Strikes Back
- 1982 Wrestling All Stars Series A
- 1982 Wrestling All Stars Series B
- 1983 Wrestling All Stars
- 1985 Garbage Pail Kids Series 1
- 1986 Carnation Major League Wrestling
- 1993 Magic the Gathering Alpha MTG
- 1993 Magic the Gathering Arabian Nights
- 1993 Magic the Gathering Beta MTG
- 1993 Magic the Gathering unlimited
- 1999 Pokemon Game Basic Holofoil
- 1999 Pokemon Holographic 1st Edition
Regardless of the investment potential, collecting non-sports trading cards can prove to be a fun and enjoyable hobby, and the more you collect, the more proud you will feel about your card collection.
Prefer to learn about sports cards? Take a look at these possible collectible investments.
If you have any questions about non-sports trading cards, please feel free to reach out to me anytime.