Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dinosaurs Attack: Day One

The top of the card box display art; three fatalities already!

In 1988, Topps released the "Dinosaurs Attack" cards, in the hopes of duplicating their success with the decades-earlier legendary "Mars Attacks" set. While the "Dinosaurs" cards never caught on or made the impact on the same wide-scale as the "Mars" cards, they were every bit as outrageous as their predecessors, with even more of an emphasis on the gruesome and graphic gore. Considering their main market was kids, it's a wonder their parents didn't raise a protest and get them in the news, thereby pushing their popularity through the roof.

A day at the ballpark becomes more exciting than usual!

I first came upon this sick (and I mean that in a good way) set of cards in 1992 at a comic book store in Ft. Lauderdale FL where I lived at the time. Being an "adult" when I found them meant that the cards didn't shock me like it might have most kids that bought them, it mostly amused and amazed me that cards like this could still be produced in the politically-correct atmosphere that prevailed. Scenes of people being torn apart and devoured, a baby eaten, pets smashed, all are merrily displayed in full color and in the good spirit of light and harmless entertainment. Fun, fun, fun, til your Mommy takes your gum cards away!

The blood! The torn skin! The pain! And that's just from the cheek-lacerating shards of the stick of gum included in the package!

I love the crazy vignettes played out in these cards, which if in a movie would have to be released unrated. Enhanced on some of the card backs with photos of the hapless humans reacting to the bloodbaths, this set is as hilarious to me as it would be horrifying to some parents. Although other sites have posted all the cards before, I felt that the artwork deserved to be seen in a larger format than any I found online. One has to see them in high resolution to truly appreciate the insanely dark humor and gut-splatteringly gory artwork! So, I plan on posting two cards each weekday until the entire set is covered. Click on any image to view the dinosaur-sized scans... and if you haven't seen them before... prepare yourself! Yes, they really were found in the candy shelves and sold to children! Lucky brats... I never found anything this awesome when I was a kid.

The cards told the story of an experiment in viewing the past that goes horribly wrong, bringing the bloodthirsty lifeforms of the prehistoric world into the present. Below are the three wrapper variations, small hints of the carnage awaiting inside...

The saga begins:

We start with #1, the title card, front and back...

This dinosaur attack coverage brought to you by...

I remember my reaction to the set when I bought my first pack. It was lunchtime and I had run out to my favorite fast food place, Checkers. On the way I went by a comic book store to get something to read, and I saw the intriguing box of these cards. I bought a pack, put it in my pocket, and went on through the Checkers drive-through window. I parked under a tree to eat, and while scarfing down a double cheese-burger with bacon, I opened the pack. I nearly choked on a hunk of cheesy beef as my eyes took in the ghastly events pictured in the cards. Now, this, folks, is the way to do it! Shredded flesh, crushed bones, flailing intestines, bashed brains! I knew I had a winner, and as soon as I finished lunch (and no, the cards didn't ruin my appetite) I headed back and bought several more packs. Each day for several weeks I repeated the routine until I had them all, and even acquired the empty box. Life was good.

And, the story begins, bloodlessly enough... but that won't last...

really, what could possibly go wrong?

Next: "Time Scanner Disaster!"

Some fun "Dinosaurs Attack!" links around the web:





All "Dinosaurs Attack!" images and logos (TM) & Copyright (c) of The Topps Co., Inc.


Jimmy Calabrese said...

I never knew these card existed until I bought a full box of these cards at a "rock and mineral show" (how odd right?)and I've been afraid to open them, thanks to you I don't have to.

Uncle Ernie said...

I had a similar reaction with my first pack of these cards. I have always wondered why they never were a huge hit.

leesa said...


Thanx SO much for these!!!

I was hoping some nice guy had these downloadable as a torrent or something... so, this is cool. (Trying to compute how long it will take to get the whole series posted... hmmmm)

I have a question: Did I miss something? I can't find the front of card #1 on this page? I am blonde, so that may explain it.

Thanx again!

Frederick said...


Thanks for commenting! #1 is easy to miss, it's the one with the title and the dino biting into the Earth. It's different from all the others.

leesa said...


I shoulda figured that. I was looking for a little "1" in the corner like the others... sigh.

Thanx again!!!

Anonymous said...


Gary Gerani said...

BTW, ignore Bob Heffner's DA page. Not only is it inaccurate -- it lists Woody Gelman as a creative force on the series, and dear Woody had been dead a good ten years before we even thought of the set! -- but attempts to have this page correct its errors are routinely ignored. I believe Bob himself has passed on, and it's a relative or something who's behaving like a jerk, out of arrogance or laziness, we're not exactly sure. Topps has no problem with a page celebrating one of its products, of course... all we ask is that this page not spread misinformation. Too much to ask, apparently!