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Chewing Gum, Trading Cards and Flicks – Being a young collector of Scanlens cards in the 1970’s

We all have to start somewhere, and believe it or not, there was a time where there were no such things as Pokemon or US sports cards in Australia.


Back in the 1970’s when I was a young collector, my mum used to give me 20 cents for me helping her with the weekly grocery shopping.  This would trigger a super fast 100m dash to the local Milk Bar to purchase a packet of the Scanlens Footy Cards. I’d open the packet once back in the car.  First thing I’d have to do is give my mum the piece of gum, I wasn’t allowed to have this until I was nearly a teenager.  Next would be the sorting of the cards… Bartlett – need, Watson – swap, Browning – need, Weightman – need, Glendenning – swap.  I knew every single card I had or needed and would proudly announce to my mum how I had gone.


Once home, I would sort them into my set, mark off any checklists I had, and then make sure I wouldn’t lose them by ensuring the rubber band I placed around them was tight enough to keep secure.  Wayne Forman (card #1) and Laurie Serafini (card #156) would always show the damage of those rubber bands, but in those days, penny sleeves and top loaders were not a thing, so it is just how we rolled.


Taking your cards to school was the highlight of collecting.  Mum would tell me to not take my good ones, but for me, the next card I got was the best, so I took them all.We would trade between our friends.  These were the days before short print cards, but I would always try to convince someone that my Weightman card (that I had 6 of) was really hard to get and it was a good swap for their Robbie Flower that I was after.

Here is where modern collectors will start to have heart palpitations.  We used to play games with he cards.. mate against mate, with the victor getting a card from his mate for free. A game called ‘Flicks’ was popular.  There were two versions, one where we would try to throw (flick) the card as far as we could.  The person who flicked their card the furthest, won both cards.  Some cards seemed to be designed to go further, you examined your cards looking for that one that would send competitors running scared.  I later found out that some kids glued 2 cards together to help it fly further….. I was not so smart to try that.The other game was where we would flick the cards towards a wall, this time the card that was closest to the wall, but still flat on the ground would be the winner.  Ever wondered why there are so few mint condition Scanlens cards form the 1970’s and 80’s? Collecting then was simple.

At Local Card Shop, we have a variety of different Scanlens cards from the 1970’s and 80’s.  VFL, NRL and movie cards.  They are a great was to relive our childhoods and remember why we got hooked on this hobby to begin with.

Maybe you could challenge Rob, Chris or Rick to a game of flicks?

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