DC Universe Trading Card Sets

Part 1: Through 1999

The series listed here are either JLA-themed or older/broader DC-themed sets. For the most part, Superman- or Batman-only sets are not included.

» SEE ALSO: DC Movie Trading CardsJeff Allender's House of Checklists

1962 • Topps Superman Tattoo Bubble Gum

  • Set of at least 80  
  • I own: A couple
  • Checklist

The first big trading card set from DC/National was a set of 72 Superman cards, released in 1940 (they were reprinted in 1984). They feature art by Joe Shuster and sell for fairly high prices.

This 1962 set of tattoo cards from Topps extended the subject a little bit to include the Superman family, Wonder Woman, Batman and Robin, Green Arrow, and Green Lantern.

These tattoos are highly collectible and can go for top dollar, especially if they are unused. If buying, make sure you do not confuse these with 1967 tattoos, below, which are reproductions of this set. The wrapper (which is the reverse of the tattoo) will easily identify the set of origin.

A lot of 43 sold for over $500 in 2012, ebay. A lot of clipped tattoos sold for $51 in 2016.

1966 • Topps Comic Book Foldees

Foldees are bubble gum cards with three perforated panels that can be folded over in various combinations to produce humorous results! DC super-heroes are on one side, and other characters on the reverse.

Unfolded cards are more desirable and rarer. They are sold rarely as sets, I assembled mine with pretty reasonable per-card prices, and a little patience. Many of my Foldees cost me $5–20 each.

In 2006, the Topps company began auctioning off the original art and some master sets which have appeared on eBay.

Note that there are near-identical careds, a set of 43 cards from Topps Canada that is slightly larger in size (2-1/2" x 4-3/4"). In my collecting, I have also acquired one European card that is multilingual.

I have a number of duplicates if somebody is trying to complete their set.

1967 • Topps Comic Book Tattoos

  • Set of at least 63 • Checklist
  • I own: several

All of these are reproductions, a subset of the 1962 Superman tattoo cards. The tattoos are on the reverse side of the wrapper, so it is easy to identify the set of origin. In this set, the wrapper, was produced in four varieties: Superan (orange), Batman (red), Wonder Woman (blue) and Aquaman (yellow).

Tattos from this set appear for crazy, unjustified prices. I have seen these listed for as much as $200 each. Mine were under $20.


1967 Comic Book Tattoos were issued in under different wrappers.

Some of these were also sold in Australia by Scanlen's brand trading cards.

1969 • Fleer Justice League of America Tattoo Gum Cards

  • Set of 28  
  • I own: Whole set + header card + 2 unopened

This cool set features all the JLA members through Hawkman (which was correct for 1969).

The outer wrapper was printed in two varieties, white and yellow (both bear "©1969"). Unlike previous tattoo series, the tattoos in this set are not printed on the reverse of the wrapper, they are a separate thing inside the wrapper.

These are usually competitive auctions. I hate to say what I paid for a set of ten, but some auctions can bid up.


1970 • Topps DC Comics Cover Stickers

  • Set of 44  
  • I own: One wrapper only  
  • VERY RARE

Colorful stickers featuring DC Comic book covers. Some are full-sized on the card alone and others are in groups of 4 to a card. Major heroes as well as horror, war and romance titles are highlighted. These are super rare, probably because they were used as stickers, and sell for top dollar.

1974 • Wonder Bread Promotional Stickers

  • Set of 30 (11 DC stickers + 19 Looney Tunes)  
  • I own: All 11 DCs
  • Checklist

These are unnumbered and feature a mini-comic on the back sides.

  
DC Heroes include:

  1. Aquaman
  2. Batman
  3. Catwoman
  4. Clark Kent
  5. Joker
  6. Lois Lane
  7. Penguin
  8. Riddler
  9. Robin
  10. Superman
  11. Wonder Woman

1975 • Wonder Bread Scratch-Off Maze Cards

Maze- or race-themed cards were inserted into Wonder Bread loaves in 1975. The cards are two-sided, with scratch-offs. These featured the five heroes from the Super Friends cartoon.

  • Set of 20 • 6 DC + 14 Warner Bros.
  • The DC cards (not numbered):
    1. The Bat Computer Is Out of Control! / Batmobile Race
    2. Find the Batcave / Joker's Got the Jewels!
    3. Find the Diamond Mine! / Superrace!
    4. Help! Robbers Have Stolen My Lasso! / Underground City (Wonder Woman)
    5. Rampaging Robots / I Must Find the Hidden Kryptonite!
    6. To the Rescue! / Underwater Trap

Thanks to L & L Collectibles for the checklist

1977 • Russell's Color-A-Deck Card Game

  • 6 variations: Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Robin, Shazam, Flash

These are not technically trading cards, and it's unclear where or how one was supposed to "color," as the cards depicted are printed in color, not like a coloring book.

1978 • Bread Company Promotional Stickers

  • Set of 30
  • I own: 2 whole Taystee sets  
  • Checklist

These stickers were printed in sets bearing the Sunbeam, Taystee and Langendorf Breads company logos, and one logo-free set as well. Cards can be quite discolored if they were exposed too long to the moisture in the bread package. Printed by Arnold Harris Association.

Cromy Super Amigos Cards (Argentina)

The Super Amigos was the "Super Friends" for South America. Along with the Super Powers action figures, the company called Cromy issued at least four different collector's albums with sticker cards to complete them.

The user would complete each set by placing the cards/stickers onto themed pages.

Super Amigos Album #1 (1981)

Set included:

  • #1-55(?) “Super Redondas” (rounds)
  • #63(?)–148(?) sticker cards
  • Many “troqueladas” (cut-outs) of characters to be placed onto scenes in the book
    Supplemental insert where the characters can be viewed through 3D glasses.
Cromy Super Amigos album from 1981.

Super Amigos Card Album #2 (1982)

Cromy Super Amigos album (year uncertain).

Super Amigos Album #3 (1985)

Cromy Super Amigos album from 1985.

Set included:

Super Amigos Album #4 (1987)

Cromy Super Amigos album from 1987.

Set included:

1979 • Cracker Jack Stamp Cards

  • Set of 20 stamp-size (1.29" x 1.75"), adhesive-backed cards
  • I own: Whole set

These were also issued in Canada in Hostess potato chips. These sets come up for auction relatively frequently.

1987/1989 • Great Heroes & Great Moments in Comics

  • Series 1: #1–48
  • Series 2: #49–120 (Series 2 back side erroneously reads "Collect All 48")
  • I own: Whole set plus some unopened comic packs 
  • Gallery
  • Checklist

These "cards" are fairly rare and formed the "backing board" for comics sold in 3-packs. They feature surprising array of characters and DC covers. Each board features 8 cards; the board is not perforated. Sometimes when they come up for sale, they have been cut apart from the board.

Each multi-pack of comics included three consecutive issues of Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman, which were shrink-wrapped with this "trading card" backing board.  Most comics were not first printings. The two series bear different background designs.

1991 • Impel DC Cosmic Cards Inaugural Edition

  • Set of 180
  • 10 hologram cards
  • 36 packs per box
  • 10 cards per pack
  • I own: Whole set  
  • Checklist

I like this set a lot. It was made by DC and it feels like what I'd have loved as a kid. Also, they hired tons of top-rate talent to work on the project: legends like Murphy Anderson, Joe Kubert and Gil Kane. It's notable that there are no Batman-related cards in it, as the character must have had exclusive rights elsewhere. Cheap on eBay.

1993 • Skybox Cosmic Teams

Yes! This is what inspired the name for this web site. (I liked how cheesy it sounded. And I wanted to cover teams.)

This fun set has Team Triptychs and individual cards for entire rosters of the JLA, JSA, Legion, Titans and others.

Most cards were drawn by each team's then-current artist (JLA = Dan Jurgens; JSA = Mike Parobek; Legionnaires = Chris Sprouse; L.E.G.I.O.N. = Barry Kitson).

  • Set of 150
  • 10 holograms
  • 8 cards per pack; approx. 4 holograms per box.
  • I own: Whole set  
  • Gallery
  • Checklist  

1993 • Bloodlines by Skybox

  • 81 cards + 5 Bonus Cards  
  • I own: Whole set  
  • Checklist

A truly wretched set. Thankfully I only paid $1.00 on ebay. I was led to believe there was a JLA component to the set, but it's all about the lackluster Bloodlines characters.

Some of the more "memorable" Bloodline heores.
The JLA and Team Titans cards

1993 • SkyBox DC Skycaps

  • 54 caps
  • 6 foils
  • Need: foils F1 Superman S-Shield Logo, F2 The Last Son of Krypton S-Shield Logo, F6 Batman Logo
  • Checklist

It's rather rare to find larger sets of these "pogs" for sale. I've been looking for my remaining foil 'caps for years and never seen them for sale. I was lucky to buy a near complete set originally.

1994 • Skybox DC Master Series

  • 90 painted cards
  • 4 Foil Cards
  • 5 Double-Sided Spectra Cards 1 SkyDisk
  • 6 cards per pack
  • I own: Whole set  
  • Checklist

This set epitomizes what was bad about comics in the '90s. We were supposed to believe that paintings adorned with foil were automatically desirable. I can't recommend this set at all because the paintings are low quality. There's no sense of design for the most part (with the exception of the Green Lantern cards done by Tony Harris).

1994 • Skybox DC Stars

  • Set of 45 + 9 puzzle + 4 foil
  • 18 packs per box • 5 cards plus 1 puzzle card per pack
  • I own: Whole set  
  • Checklist

Produced exclusively for sale at Walmart. Some of the art is recycled from the Cosmic cards. Fairly easy to assemble a set.

1995 • Skybox DC Legends Powerchrome

  • Set of 150 chromium cards + 6 Battlezone cards + 3 Legacy cards
  • 9 cards per pack
  • I own: Whole set  • See a few  
  • Checklist

This set is nice enough, but the artwork is not original. It's borrowed from existing DC art. Characters run a surprising gamut.

1995 • SkyBox DC Villains: Dark Judgment

  • Set of 90 foil cards + 9 Spectra + 3 Embossed + 1 Skymotion
  • I own: Whole set
  • Checklist

This set is beautiful, lots of dark imagery. Spooky paintings by Bisley, Sienkiewicz, Harris, et al.

1995 • Fleer/SkyBox DC versus Marvel Comics

  • Set of 100 + 4 Amalgam previews + 18 Impact cards + 12 Hologram cards + 2 Mirage cards
  • 36 packs of 10 cards
  • 1 Amalgam Preview Card per box
  • I own: All but the Mirage (super rare and expensive)  
  • Checklist

Pretty generic artwork. There's not a lot of "versus" in this set, as many cards are single-character. Decent artists, but hasty execution.

1996 • Fleer/SkyBox DC Outburst Firepower

  • Set of 80 embossed cards + 20 foil embossed + 2 holograms
  • 36 packs per box • 6 cards per pack
  • I own: Whole set  
  • Checklist

This set was supposed to be used as a game. Artwork is typical '90s mass production, even by good artists.

1996 • Fleer/Skybox Amalgam

  • Set of 90
  • 24 packs per box • 7 cards per pack
  • Approx. 5 Power Blast cards, 5 Canvas cards and 2 Holopix cards per box.
  • I own: Whole set
  • Checklist

These were released to coincide with DC and Marvel's "Amalgam" collaboration, where characters from both universes were merged into one.

1997 • Fleer/Skybox OverPower Card Game

  • The JLA expansion set contains 197 cards:
    • 20 characters
    • 134 specials
    • 1 power card
    • 15 universe cards
    • 14 tactic cards
    • 1 mission of 7 cards
    • 6 events
  • Sold in 15-card booster packs
  • I own: Whole Superman/Batman and JLA sets

Overpower was a large game enterprise that included Marvel sets. The first DC set was a massive Superman/Batman collection. The JLA set served as a "booster" to those. Some of the rarer cards seem to come down in price as people stop playing the discontinued game.

1997 • Skybox Kingdom Come Xtra

  • Set of 50
  • 16 sketch cards
  • 6 creator cards
  • 3 Kindom Classics cards
  • I own: Whole set  
  • Checklist

Despite my reservations about Alex Ross, this is a gorgeous set of cards. Yes, there's a lot of recycled artwork from the series, but it's nice to have some extras thrown in here, like the promotional artwork and the foldout cards that tell you who's who. You can actually learn a lot of deatils behind the story.

» SEE ALSO: DC Movie Trading CardsJeff Allender's House of Checklists