The Three Stooges - Trading Cards

Next to comics, trading cards are a favorite collectible - both due to their relatively low cost, and general availability. Also like the comics, several different and distinct series of trading cards have been produced.

See the Card-Ography for a comprehensive list of collectible cards.

The first set of trading cards were produced in 1959 by the F.H. Fleer company. The series was made up of 96 cards all featuring colorized scenes from many of their Columbia shorts. Underneath each picture was a one-liner representative of the scene being depicted. On the back sides were short pieces of Stooge trivia or comical quotes - penned by Elwood Ullman an already seasoned writer for the Stooges. Cards number 1,2 and 3 feature head shots of Curly, Moe and Larry, and are the most sought after cards in the series. Also particularly popular were specially printed cards with checklists on the reverse side.

Six years later in 1965, the F.H Fleer company released their second series of bubble gum cards. This series, far less successful then the first, was a promotional series featuring their movie "The Outlaws Is Coming". The cards have black and white pictures of the boys, with dialogs below. The backs of the entire 66 card series join together to form a giant poster photo from the movie.

Here is an un-oppened pack of the 1965 series cards. Sure wish they could be had for the 5 cent price depicted here!!

It was a long, twenty year dry spell before the boys would be seen in the local candy store. In 1985, the FTCC company produced a fine 60 card series. The fronts depicted black and white scenes of many of their more memorable shorts. Like the 1959 series, the first three cards are bust shots of Larry, Curly and Moe.

The backs of the 1985 set features Stooge trivia. Ranging from bits and pieces of their personal lives and careers, to perhaps little know tidbits about some of their short subjects. Can you get this one? Q:"What short was responsible for getting the Three Stooges nominated for an Academy Award"? (Answer below)

Pictured here is an unopened pack of the 1985 series, as well as an un-opened box. And for the trivia question listed above - A:"Men in Black - 1934".

FTCC would again produce a series of stooges cards four years later in 1989. Another 60 card black and white series. All of the cards depict scenes from their shorts, and again feature the images of Curly, Moe and Larry on their leading three cards - though this time a more conservative professional look. Like the 1965 series from Fleer, the backs of these cards joined to form a giant picture of xxxxxx. Two variations of this set were produced - one with a blue picture on the back, and the second with a red picture.

This is a card I came across at a Stooges convention. It appears to have been produced with the WTE company in 1991. It features a rendition of the one sheet from the short "Violent Is The Word For Curly". On the back it has the title of the short, the year (1938), and on the bottom "For Promotial Purposes". E-Mail me if you have any info on this series.

Here's a sneak preview of the new Three Stooges cards soon to be release from DuoCards. The promo reads - "Yuk it up with these knuckleheads in this 24pt, foil-stamped 72-card series from Duocards featuring film, television and behind-the-scenes shots of Moe, Larry and Curly (and Shemp too). Plus look for 3 bonus die-cut cards and a 3-card 'Antics' chromium subset. Coming Spring '97." As soon as they are release, I'll get some actual card shots here.

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