Back in a time before Star Trek was the global, multimedia entertainment juggernaut it is today, merchandise was….funky.I’ve seen cards from this set here and there over the years. Getting your stinking paws on a complete set seems to be like finding the Holy Grail or a copy of The Thing: Infection At Outpost 31 which won’t cost you a kidney. Produced in 1969 by a company called A&BC out of England, this was the first set of all-color Star Trek trading cards, predating the more commonly known set from Topps by seven years.
The 55-card set features images from a single episode of the original Star Trek series, “What Are Little Girls Made Of?” Given the guest character for this story was Roger Corby,” this likely explains the erroneous listing Captain Kirk’s first name as “Roger.” Somebody had Roger on the brain, yo. As choice of episodes go, this isn’t the worst candidate, but something like “Arena” or “The Doomsday Machine” or “Balance of Terror” might’ve been cooler, amirite? Then again, none of those episodes have Sherry Jackson sporting one of William Ware Theiss’s more memorable costume designs.
The choice of photos from the episode aren’t too bad, all things considered, even if some of the text has some unfortunate errors. Spock is a Martian, according to his card, for example. In addition to relaying text about the image on the front, several of the cards also have “space facts,” like the distance between the Earth and the Moon. Many of these infonuggets are outdated in a charming, whimsical 1950s science fiction way. Ah, such innocent times. All in all, the card set is pretty average, even if the captions lack much of the flare of the earlier Leaf card set, but what are you gonna do?
I doubt this set will ever be reprinted, but I’ve learned to never say never when it comes to pop culture merchandising. Until then, you can check out more info about these cards from this rather helpful website: Wixiban.com – Star Trek Trading Cards.
(* = with acknowledgments–and apologies–to The Daily Show)