Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cheap Ebay Thrills: 1982 Topps Donkey Kong Sticker Cards

I kind of like ephemera - the things that society produces which are intended to be used and discarded rather than preserved. Stickers fall neatly into that category.

I was browsing Ebay a few weeks back and found a listing for a complete set of 1982 topps Donkey Kong stickers for 6$. That was cheap enough for me to take a chance that they would be at least interesting enough to do a blog post about. They arrived a few days ago and I decided that they were, in fact, blog post worthy.

I was really into stickers back in the early 80s. My parents gave me an old album and I would stick any stickers I got into it. I fished that old album out of their basement a couple years ago and sat down for a look at it. It was the first time I had done so in about twenty years. There were a lot of Star Wars stickers, some hockey stickers, Gremlins stickers, Jackson 5 stickers and a whole bunch of other random ones, including one from the dentist reminding me to floss. Great stuff.
I never had any of these Donkey Kong stickers, but they do look a lot like the type of stickers that I remember collecting in the early 80s. Almost all of them have some sort of catch phrase, like “I`m Ape over Donkey Kong“ or “Donkey Kong is Better than Homework“. They don`t really display any wit to them, though they embody that safe display of mild attitude that I remember finding very amusing and comforting as a kid.

These all have black backgrounds, which gives the set a very distinctive look. I think it works quite well as it mimics the black background of the game itself. You can arrange the backs of the cards to make two puzzles, one a scene of Donkey Kong throwing flaming barrels at Mario:
And the other a scene of the title character playing the game from inside the screen, which I think I like the best of the two:
They look pretty good side by side like this:
Another intersting thing about these is how they portray Mario. He is referred to by his pre-Mario name as Jump Man and looks almost nothing like the way he would eventually be portrayed in artwork after Super Mario Bros. made him a star:
I`d really like to put some of these stickers on things, but the collector in me refrains from doing so as if I did, I would no longer have the complete set. I really hate my collector side sometimes. I might spend another 6$ to get a second set that I can just mess around with.

Related Posts:
- Amada Famicom Mini Cards: The Coolest Famicom Thing You Never Knew Existed


  1. Nice find, something that looks nice and is great to have, but takes up almost no space! :) Mario looks more like Wario on most of the cards though! :P

  2. Thanks, they do have the advantage of taking up no space! And he does look a bit like Wario...

  3. Those are great! You could almost put them on a board and frame them, if you wanted.

  4. Thanks! Yeah, I think I might try to find some way of displaying these on the wall or something. Well, if I ever get a game room where I can put junk like this on the wall I will anyway;)

  5. Great find! These have been on my "get list" for quite some time. They're not high in my list, but they're there. I love old-school Nintendo stuff. I have almost a complete set of the Nintendo Game Packs, but not a single Donkey Kong sticker.

    On a related note...I'd love to see what you have in your 20 year old sticker album. Those are always fun, and I'm sure you could get an article out of it. Even if it's not video game related.

  6. Thanks, Jason. These are definitely a must get item if you can find them cheap (they seem to be cheap, BTW, they must have made a lot of them). Another thing that I want are some Fleer Pac Man cards that were released at about the same time, though I haven`t been able to find cheap ones on Ebay.

    I will definitely do a post about that sticker album someday, unfortunately it is buried in a box in my parent`s garage on the other side of the planet. Someday though;)

  7. Man, it'd be cool to find something like that at a garage sale. And only $6? Well, they are stickers (awesome stickers... but still just stickers), which I suppose explains the price. You just know, though, that some crazy collector would probably try to sell something like that for, like $30 or more.

    Also, slightly off topic, but I ordered some manuals for Dragon Quest I and II off of eBay the other day, and I just got them. Look!

    Though I can't understand Japanese, I absolutely love all the little pictures and diagrams inside. It just really appeals to me... and they're so TINY! I was expecting them to be a little bigger, like an NES game manual, but... well, the size adds to the charm, I think.

    You know, I'd like to see you write an article about Famicom manuals. It seems like an interesting thing to write about... any chance I've inspired you to do so? ;-p

  8. Skyrnner - yes, the main thing that attracts me to the Famicom manuals (and boxes) is their tininess. They are just so damned cute it is hard not to like them! Nice find there. Its not a bad idea to do a post about the manuals, I have a few dozen of them. Maybe I should do that...:)

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