For one of the most unsettling collector’s items available, look no further than the new “Horrors of War” trading card collection. Cards range from “Atomic Bomb” to “Highway of Death,” and cover every war from WWII to our current war on terror. You can also buy the signature of Winston Churchill, Donald Rumsfeld, Benito Mussolini — you name it. Long forgotten Spanish-American or Korean War heroes? You bet. They’re available for purchase today.
The original set came out in 1938, and was produced by a company called Gum Inc. That one included scenes like “Suicide Squad Of Japs Is Blasted At Woosung” and “Haile Selassie Mans a Machine Gun.” “Women Propagandists Urge Chinese Patriotism,” etc. LOL, “Devil-Worshiping Koreans View Dog Fights.” The new version is less vintage racism, more guns n’ ammo and nostalgic ’40s-style patriotism.
The Hitler and Mussolini card (all pics via famousfabrics.com):
Erwin Rommel, the Nazi general who commanded German and Italian troops in North Africa:
General Douglas MacArthur’s signature:
Here’s the sales sheet. The usual WWII-type stuff, plus scenes of 9/11 and — is that the Kent State massacre on the left?
As for pricing: if you’re only a casual blood and guts fan, you can acquire a box for $168.95. If you want the full shebang (a 40-box case), it’s $5,999.95.
We tried to reach Famous Fabrics for comment, but curiously, the company has no phone number listed anywhere and a call to 411 revealed that it isn’t located at either address given on the website. We did speak with Ben Marks, Senior Editor of Collectors Weekly, who was able to partially illuminate the world of people who collect stuff like this (“militaria”). “There are people who collect Nazi memorabilia, just for the sake of collecting it,” he said. “It’s not a rational thing. They collect these things just to collect them.” There are also people who collect barbed wire, according to Marks: “Apparently there are all different kinds.” To each his own, etc.