Friday, January 17, 2014

Donruss Bubble Gum Cards, 1965

Today is part one of I-don't-know-how-many posts featuring some classic Disneyland bubblegum cards from 1965 - Disneyland's "Tencennial". 

The Donruss company produced sport and non-sport bubblegum cards as far back as 1954; among the desirable sets are the ones for "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea", "The Monkees", and "The Addams Family". As cool as those are, I (of course) particularly love the 66-card set celebrating Disneyland's 10th anniversary. Here's a photo of a complete box and some unopened packets (picture scrounged from Google).

Mmmm, I can almost taste that rock-hard sheet of cardboardy gum! The original release of these cards featured a nice image that covered the entire front side. Like so!

The set is known among collectors as the "blue back" set, but scientists have no idea why - I think it has to do with the Higgs boson. Hey, let's visit Disneyland in '65!

Donruss released later reprints of the set, known as "puzzle backs". Here's the front of card #1… note that the text that was originally on the back is now moved to the front, cropping nearly 25% of the picture. The blue-backs are considerably scarcer, though both are fun sets to collect; there are plenty of extinct attractions for those who care about such things.

Here's the puzzle back of that card… when somebody more motivated than me put 'em all together, you had a picture of your favorite Disney animated characters. I thought it might be fun to scan all 66 cards (the blue-back versions) and share them with you! I'll include the original text with each card.

Card #2: Goofy and his Disney Character pals are reflected in the sun glasses of a young Disneyland guest.

Card #3: Sleeping Beauty's Castle in Disneyland marks entrance to Fantasyland.

Card #4: Departing from the Swiss Chalet in Fantasyland, guests on Disneyland's Skyway travel high above the Magic Kingdom of Disneyland.

Card #5: Indians greet the Santa Fe and Disneyland railroad train as the 1890 locomotive pauses for water at the Frontierland Depot.

Card #6: Three of Disneyland's most popular attractions - The Matterhorn Mountain, Disneyland-Alweg Monorail, and the Submarine Voyage.

That same photo was used on a postcard - note that Mickey is riding up front:

Card #7: Alice and the White Rabbit begin a ride through the Alice in Wonderland attraction at Disneyland.

This same photo was used for a 1964 "Vacationland" cover:

Card #8: Western Mine train takes Disneyland visitors through Nature's Wonderland.

If you found these cards to be boring and/or your eyes are bleeding, let me know and I won't post any more. If you liked seeing these, I'll continue the series in the future post!


TokyoMagic! said...

These are wonderful....I would love to see all 66 cards, Major!

Nanook said...

My eyes are bleeding from all the exciting images. More - please-!

Thanks, Major.

D-ticket said...

Yes, more please...

Daveland said...

Keep on posting - and let's see the puzzle on the back. I know you can do it!

Pegleg Pete said...

These are great! I never even knew they existed. Thanks for posting.

K. Martinez said...

I have a complete set of the 66 cards (puzzle backs version) and had no motivation to put them all together either. I didn't realize there was a "blue back" version of the set. Nice post today. Thanks.

Chuck said...

These are awesome! Be thankful this is a digital visit; I am literally salivating over the picture on Card #6. Probably shouldn't have had the fish...

Interesting to note the description on card # 5, "the 1890 locomotive," which is odd for several reasons. The Ernest S. Marsh was actually built in 1925, and was modified in 1958 to look like the first locomotive purchased by the Denver & Rio Grande Western, the 1871 "Montezuma." The actual "Montezuma" was dismantled in 1888, although its boiler survived as a hospital heating plant until the building burned down in 1899.

The closest thing the DLRR has to an "1890 locomotive" is #2, the E.P. Ripley. While mechanically identical to #1, the C.K. Holliday, and CPRR (Carolwood or Central Pacific - take your pick) #173, its details (rounded domes, straight stack, etc.) are intended to evoke a later era than #1 and #4. The specific prototype used for reference was Baltimore & Ohio #774, which was built in 1887.

It's also interesting to note that this photo was taken from the berm side of the tracks, so it had to have been taken before the depot and water tower were moved to the other side of the right-of-way in 1962 to make room for the Haunted Mansion and the Hole That Became POTC. Great PR shots never die, though, which explains its inclusion in this 1965 set.

Finally, card #4 shows the ill-fated Skyway Bucket #13. On Hallowe'en night, 1965, this bucket was struck by lightning and abruptly vanished along with its five passengers. Some say that on cold, rainy, windy nights when attendance is low you can see the bucket winging its way across the sky, its passengers shaking their fists and vowing to sue Disney for stealing their story and incorporating it into another attraction.

Tom said...

I like 'em! More please!

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, Nanook, D-ticket, Daveland, Pegleg Pete, and Tom… OK, I will continue posting the Donruss cards. Thanks for chiming in!

Daveland, I know I can do it too, but I guess the collector in me doesn't want to handle the cards any more than I have to, and in order to make the puzzle "photographable", I'd have to take them out of their little sleeves. I had hoped somebody else had already done it and put a photo online, but no such luck.

K. Martinez, the puzzle backs were the first version I acquired, it took me a while to get the blue backs.

Chuck, you have a lot of good info! I should know that stuff, heaven knows I've read enough books about Disneyland and the trains. But I don't. I'm sure the text on the back of that card was supposed to be a general idea of what the train is *supposed* to be, rather than an accurate description for folks like you and me. It would be nice if it was accurate though! I love your Skyway story, let's see that made into a movie!

RemainSeatedPlease said...

Am I feverish from the excitement of looking at these wonderful images, or is #3 flipped (i.e., how'd the Matterhorn get on THAT side of Sleeping Beauty Castle)?!? Even if my observation is correct, I may still be feverish - these bubble gum cards are great! Please do keep them coming, Major.

Anonymous said...

Whoa, these are awesome. I love the Alice in Wonderland pic. A new perspective on an old favorite. I bet the photographer had to jump out of the way!

These are epic, thank you Major!


Snow White Archive said...

Yes, please continue with all 66. (I'm partial to #18 of course).

Unopened packs! Almost 50 years later, that's simply amazing.

Matt said...

Holy crap! You have a full set of blue backs?!?! Amazing! And of course I LOVE #7. I'll be looking forward to #35, which I never even knew I needed until I saw the blue back version. Keep 'em coming!

Anonymous said...

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