My Favorite Non-Sports Sets (Unranked)

Earlier this week, Billy over at Cardboard History ran through his top 30 non-sports sets, concluding with this post on Monday.  He concluded his post by asking readers what their favorite sets were, and that got me thinking about all of the different non-sports set I liked.

I’m not going to rank them (other than re-state what I’d declared to be my favorite), but I thought it would be fun to run through my favorites, anyway.

The one I said was my favorite in the comments on that post was 1961 Topps Sports Cars.  This “Tall Boy” sized set is a thing of beauty, and one I’ve been slowly trying to complete over the past few years (and I need to get back on this one).

A similarly-themed set from Topps is the 1976 “Autos of 1977” set.  This set isn’t as beautiful as the 1961 Sports Cars set, and it’s clear that Topps hadn’t put a lot of effort into the set – the photos and write-ups were came from the card manufacturers and they misspelled “Volkswagen” throughout the set, fer cryin’ out loud – but as a child of the 1970’s I can identify with the cars and I’m confident that if this set had been available where I lived (or at least in the stores I went into in 1976), I would’ve collected the hell out of it.

It doesn’t seem right that a rundown of non-sport sets should be without one of Topps’ illustrated narrative-style sets of the 1960’s.  I’m not a fan of “Mars Attacks” or “Civil War”, but I love the painted Batman sets of the mid-1960’s, especially the initial “Black Bat” series.

I did mention that I’m a child of the 1970’s, and just about anybody who grew up in the 1970’s was a fan of Wacky Packs.  I am certainly no exception.  As this is a sticker set, many kids chose to stick them to various items.  Again, I am no exception.  The blue background in this scan is the looseleaf binder these two are affixed to.

Beatles!  For the purpose of this post, I’m lumping all of the various 1960’s Beatles sets into one category, and I tend to prefer the ones which show them as a band or as a bunch of zany moptops.

…Is your wife interested in Monty Python cards?  Eh?  Monty Python cards, he asked  him knowingly?  Eh?  Eh?  Know what I mean, know what I mean?  Nudge, nudge!


(I suppose I should say more… This card is from the 1994 Cornerstone Monty Python’s Flying Circus set which frankly tries too hard in spots, but as someone who can honestly say that Monty Python changed my life, I still enjoy this set.)

It doesn’t take an army of Fred Flintsone clones to get me to like the 1993 Cardz Flintsones set.


To be fair, it’s not a super-great set and it includes way too many cards from the  spin-offs like “The Pebbles And Bamm-Bamm Show” and the then-current special “I Yabba Dabba Do!”, but there are plenty of cards that make me giggle thinking of the many misadventures of Fred and Barney.

Honorable mention:
As big as a Star Trek fan as I’ve been in my life… more so “then” than “now”… I’ve always felt like there should be a Star Trek set among my favorites. The 1976 Topps Star Trek set would’ve been a favorite of mine had I been aware of it in 1976… but just like with the “Autos of 1977” set, I wasn’t aware of this one until years later.

There was a Star Trek 25th Anniversary set put out in 1991 by Impel which wasn’t bad…

…well, the cardstock was paper thin and the set included “The Next Generation” which was fine, but wasn’t THE ORIGINAL.  \

I hadn’t thought about it before, but maybe I should collect a Star Trek Frankenset.  Hmmm…  As Mirror Universe Spock said, “Captain Kirk, I shall consider it.” Who knows, this could end up as Official Card Collecting Goal #419!

16 thoughts on “My Favorite Non-Sports Sets (Unranked)

  1. Fun list! I thought about doing a similar post early last year, but ultimately the idea was scrapped as I didn’t think anyone would care about it. After reading Billy’s series, and now this post, I might have to revisit the idea, especially since my favorite set of all time is a non-sport set.

  2. Would have loved to have known about the older Trek set too. One day I’ll find a bargain set at the National.
    If you like, I have a decent starter on the Impel one available….

  3. The Beatles non-sport cards were a favorite of mine growing up in the ’60’s. I also collected a fair amount of the Batman series, but with the limited fund$ of a kid, my cash was focused on baseball and football cards! I also collected a decent amount of the ‘Get Smart’ TV Series cards which were, to my 10-year old sensibilities, as amusing as the show itself.

  4. #1) Batman, Beatles, Star Trek, …….those would be in my list as well. I’ve had my eye out for an affordable Star Trek complete set.

    #2) I’ve been watching the original ST episodes lately. They are both better and worse than I remember them. ‘-)

    #3) Billy tempted me and you convinced me…I have to do a favorites non-sports rundown post.

  5. Great post! Glad I could say I inspired it and maybe some others in the future too! I have not seen the Cardz Flintstones set before. If I had made my list at the 20 year mark their Tom & Jerry set and Popeye set probably would have made the top 10.

  6. Can’t agree more with some of these selectionsThe Black/Red/Blue Bat Series would rank high for me, as well as the original Star Wars and Happy Days sets I remember collecting. I just picked up a couple cool 1964 OPC Outer Limits that would be there. The DART Vietnam fact series series I (series 2 sucks)…

  7. Pingback: Angels Not In The Outfield | The Shlabotnik Report

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