Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Cardboard History History of Cardboard: 1980-1989

The 1980s were a pretty great decade. After all, I was born in the 80s, and I began collecting cards in the 80s, 1988 to be specific. I've never left the hobby, in fact, by 1988, I was already established in three of the 5 main hobbies of my life. (besides cards, I was already collecting car stuff and comic books. Historical objects and plastic models would come later.). Non sports cards from the 1980s are pretty slim, let's hope I can resist the temptation for taking the "easy out" of using both Star Wars sets for 1980 and 1983...spoiler alert, I can.

1980 Topps Empire Strikes Back

1981 K.F. Byrnes Fire Department

1982 Topps E.T.

1983 Topps Perlorian Cats

1984 Topps Supergirl

1985 A & S Racing

1986 K.F. Byrnes Fire Department

1987 Comic Images G.I. Joe

1988 Leesley Bigfoot

1989 Micro Machines Microcards
What a fantastic decade! I should note, from 1988-current, all cards in the project will have been added to my collection the year they were issued, unless otherwise noted. 1985 is the only year that does not have a non-sport card in my collection this decade, although 1988 is limited to only two Alf cards. 1988, of course, the year I began collecting, it all started with the Leesley Bigfoot set. I was a huge fan of monster truck racing at the time- I'm not now- having discovered it and kicked off my lifelong love of auto racing in 1986. Empire Strikes back is my favorite Star Wars movie, so 1980 was never in question. Although the 1983 Return of the Jedi cards were part of the cornerstone of my collection, I could not pass up the Perlorian Cats card, one of my favorite sets ever. Unfortunately I have only one pack's worth. The K.F. Byrnes Fire Department cards came to my collection as freebies at a diecast car show, believe it or not. The Supergirl card set, representing the year I was born, was a gift from Dave & Adam's, and the GI Joe set came as a gift/trade from Jon of A Penny Sleeve for Your Thoughts, I think. (I didn't record where cards came from until 2016). This is the first decade where I have a complete set of any of the cards shown, with 1981, 1984, 1986, 1987 and 1989 all being completed. (I've made significant efforts towards completing the Bigfoot set, but no luck) And just think...with how great the 80s were...the best is yet to come.


  1. That 1980 card brings back great memories. Maybe by "thin" you mean in your collection, there are plenty of other '80s nonsports cards: Alf, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Gremlins, Goonies, MASH, Dukes of Hazzard, Knight Rider.

    Also, I know what you're insinuating at the end there but I ain't buying it. Nothing beats the '80s.

    1. I'm really not a big TV or movie fan...I have Alf, Gremlins, Dukes present in my collection and an unopened pack of MASH but didn't even think of them when I wrote this up.

  2. Awesome stuff. I'm pretty sure I had that ESB Retreat! Retreat! card when I was a kid. And every time I see the Perlorian Cats... I want to buy a set.

    1. I want to find more as well. The one pack I found is the complete total of all I've ever seen.

  3. The Perlorian cars set is awesome. The Japanese did some fun sets too of Perlorian Cats. Great variety this decade.

    1. It really is a fun set! I imagine it led to a lot of clawings for the photographer/arranger though.

  4. That G.I. Joe card brings back some memories, for sure. I can hear the cartoon's theme song now. Yo Joe!

    1. I was a huge fan of GI Joe for a long time...I will have a post about them in November. I still read the comics.

  5. The '83 cat card is adorable. And it's neat to see the original Supergirl on a card. I just uncovered some non-sports cards from my childhood collection, most of them are from the late '80s.