The Art of the Sell — Movie tie-in trading cards

These posts celebrate the movie trailers, movie posters, commercials, print ads, and other promotional material that stand as their own works of art. 

halloween for grown ups

My obsession with movies predates my ability to see a lot of them. When I was a kid, moviegoing was a rare endeavor, so I often find myself experiencing the biggest cinematic endeavors through the promotional tie-ins I could pick up at the local grocery store with the handful of coins gifted to me by adults. I bought comic book adaptations and novelizations, and on occasion I grabbed a waxy package that promised a stale shard of gum and a handful of cardboard rectangles that included images culled from the blockbusters of the day.

Movies obviously weren’t the only part of the culture captured in trading card format. Sports heroes are the obvious and most prevalent figures populating trading cards, and there were also loads of nicely cheap collectibles devoted to comic books, television shows, and, eventually, arcade games. The movie cards always held a special appeal for me, though. They got me closer to the flickering spectacles cast upon those big screens. They were a compromise, to be sure, but also a reasonable stopgap as I waited longingly for the day when I was finally able to decide which tickets to but, which films to support, which experiences to chase. Until then, I could at least ponder these shots out of context, using my imagination to fill in all the frames in between.

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