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1938 Gum Inc. Horrors of War Trading Cards

1938 Gum Inc. Horrors of War Trading Cards

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1938 Gum Inc. Horrors of War is one of the most famous trading card sets of all-time. Equal parts gruesome and gorgeous, the historically based set remains widely sought after decades later.

In many cases, the most popular trading card sets are also some of the most controversial. In 1962, Mars Attacks created a stir as aliens invaded Earth, wrecked havoc and shot dogs. More recently, Garbage Pail Kids and the satirical spin on gross-out humor saw them banned from many a classroom.

But if you want to trace the history of the hobby's most notorious set, you need to go back to before World War II. 1938 Gum Inc. Horrors of War created a stir in the mainstream media at the time of its release, but it also grabbed the attention of America's most powerful man -- the President.

1938 Gum Inc. Horrors of War is a large set -- 288 cards divided into two series. The original set has 240 cards that focus on the Spanish Civil War, Ethiopian War and the Chinese-Japanese War. The final 48 cards came later as a supplemental release. Among these cards are three that show Adolf Hitler, who was now a threat to the world.

The images on the front are full of color and detail. Many of the images are shocking, even today. Nothing is held back. Scenes of torture, bloody battlefields and children under attack are all shown in the set. The colors are vibrant, further adding to the set's distinct visuals. Backs offer detailed descriptions of what's happening on the card. The writing is equally lively and colorful. Cards measure 3 1/8" by 2 1/2".

Besides packs, a factory set of the first 240 cards was also produced.

According to Dean Hanley of Dean's Cards, the trading cards got an endorsement from President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He allegedly used the cards to show people some of the horrific things that were happening overseas. At the time, America was still recovering from WWI and there was little support to get involved in the increasing unstable environment overseas. And while some politicians mocked Roosevelt, the attention helped push the set's popularity to new levels.

1938 Gum Inc. Horrors of War continues to resonate today. Cards continue to command strong prices, no matter the card's condition. Historians can look to the cards to debate their place as a propaganda tool and how they shaped sentiment among the young people and the general public. While there's much to debate about the set, its status as a premier set in the hobby isn't one of them.

1938 Gum Inc. Horrors of War Trading Cards 1 1938 Gum Inc. Horrors of War Trading Cards 2

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Set Checklist

1938 Gum Inc. Horrors of War Checklist

288 cards total. Final 44 issued after as a "More Horrors of War" expansion.

1 Marco Polo Bridge Is Scene of First Fighting
2 Chinese "Big Sword" Corps Resists Jap Forces
3 U.S. Marine Shot While Aiding Americans
4 War Planes Over Tientsin
5 Chinese Pursuers Shoot Down Jap Planes
6 Suicide Squad of Japs Is Blasted at Woosung
7 Blowing Down the Ancient Walls of Paoshan
8 Tokyo Tank Fires On British Troops And Refugees
9 U.S.S. Panay Is Attacked By the Japanese
10 Twenty Naked Chinese Nationalists Charge Foe
11 Japanese Flagship assailed in Whangpoo
12 Chinese Bombs Rain Death in Shanghai
13 Trapping the Japanese at Nankow Pass
14 Bomb Kills Passengers On Shanghai Trolley
15 U.S.S. Augusta Is Hit By Shell as Shanghai Burns
16 Japanese Attack Train at Wusih
17 Girl Scout Carries Flag To Doomed Men
18 Japanese Bomb Orphanage at Kashing
19 Murder at a Monarchist's Funeral
20 Spanish Insurgents Bomb Government Territory
21 The Siege of Toledo
22 Big Shells Kill Madrid Children at Play
23 Early Campaign Tactics of Italy in Ethiopia
24 Italian Squadrons Flying Low Slaughter Ethiopians
25 Chinese Fight Japs Inside their Own Lines
26 Shells Splinter Deck of Tender With U.S. Refugees
27 Mobs Add Terror To Shanghai Shambles
28 Shanghai Shoppers Blown Up By Bombs
29 Tokyo Airman Attacks British Envoy
30 Street Fighting Tactics in Shanghai
31 Japanese Bombers Raid South Station
32 Shelling the "Lost Battalion" at Close Range
33 Japanese Slain in Ambush Near Peiping
34 Tokyo Bombers Invade the Dead
35 Anti-Aircraft Guns Blaze as Japs Bomb Power Plant
36 Sanitarium Evacuates Its Patients Under Fire
37 Japanese Seize Vessel And Destroy U.S. Flag
38 Scaling the Gates of Nanking
39 Foe's Planes Trail the Chiangs
40 Panay Machine Gunners Fight Back
41 Chinese Victims of War
42 Mob Burns a Madrid Cathedral
43 A Loyalist Submarine Goes To a Watery Grave
44 The Bombardment of Almeria
45 Surrender of Rebels at Teruel
46 Haile Selassie Mans a Machine Gun
47 Fierce Wallega Tribesmen Attack Italian Aces
48 Bombing an American School Building
49 Fugitives From the War Zones
50 Japanese Bomb Chinese Troops in Junks
51 Tokyo Tanks in Action at Nanking
52 Chinese Use Gas in Counteroffensive
53 Bomb Wounds the Panay Commander
54 U.S.S. Panay Sinks as Crew Abandons Ship
55 Nanking's Week of Horror
56 Nanking Retreat Turned Into a Rout
57 Japanese Soldiers Burn their Dead
58 The Dynamiting of Tsingtao
59 Chinese Granadiers Bomb Japanese Launch
60 American Homes Looted at Hangchow
61 Blowing Up the Wen River Railway Bridge
62 Bombers Raid Jap Airdrome in New Defensive
63 The Chiangs Decorate their Crack Fliers
64 Japanese Engineers Build a Pontoon Bridge
65 Chinese Women's Battalion On the March
66 Hedge-Hopper Strafe Chinese Positions
67 Women Fighters in Action in Spain
68 Rebel Howitzers Attack in Snowstorm
69 Gun Shells Daring War Reporters in Spain
70 Subway Blast Kills Madrid Civilians
71 The Emperor Leaves Ethiopia
72 Attack On American Legation at Addis Ababa
73 British Commander Breaks Up a Blockade
74 The Starving Children of China
75 Hsia Ching-Yuan Saves His Doomed Men
76 Warning of an Air Raid in China
77 The Attack On the Gallant Ladybird
78 River Gate Is Death Trap For Chinese in Rout
79 Japans Triumphal Entry Into Nanking
80 Chiang's Son Leads Red Army Against Japs
81 Japanese Airmen Bombard Schools in Canton
82 U.S. Airman Shot Down Flying For China
83 Tokyo Flotilla Runs Machine Gun Gauntlet
84 Tokyo Marines Take Tsingtao Without a Fight
85 Jap Planes Bomb Yellow River Bridge
86 Chinese Schoolgirls Enlist For War Service
87 Chinese Bombers Raid Japanese Territory
88 Human Hands Warn Newspaper Publishers
89 Woman Photographer Crushed By Loyalist Tank
90 Depth Bomb Sinking Pirate Submarine
91 Floods Wash Out Fighting in Spain
92 Pirate Sub Torpedoes Dutch Freighter
93 Creck Rebel Cavalry Attacks Loyalists
94 Torpedoing the Rebel Cruiser Baleares
95 Ras Seyum's Bodyguard Defends Palace
96 Native Uprisings Harass Italian Rule
97 Chinese Army Hides Beneath Umbrellas
98 Dummy Chinese War Planes Are "Bait" For Japs
99 Ghoulish Dogs Haunt the Ruins of China
100 Blizzard Halts Military Operations
101 Japanese General Killed in Ambush
102 Chinese Guerillas Wreck a Supply Train
103 Chinese Reds Flee Across Ice-Filled River
104 The Music of Death
105 U.S. Marines Halt Japanese Troops
106 Man-Made Floods Drown Japanese Troops
107 Japanese Machine-Gun Enemy Air Pilot
108 Gibraltar Gives Refuge To Spaniards
109 Loyalist Flame-Thrower in Action
110 Rebel Bomb Floods Air Raid Shelter
111 Loyalist And Rebels Meet in Sea Battle
112 Hand-To-Hand Fighting in Aragon
113 Franco's Planes Strafe Barcelona By Night
114 Bomb Blows Penthouse From Roof of Building
115 Barcelona Intersection Turned Into Shambles
116 Surrender Or Perish
117 Loyalists Surrender Arms And War Machines
118 Dynamite-Slingers Contest Rebel's Drive
119 Ethiopians Catch Italian Tank in Lion Trap
120 Italian Artillery Attacks Amba Aradam
121 Japanese Apply Torch To Dead Farmer
122 Hong Kong Builds New Fortifications
123 Wine-sotted Soldier Kills Villagers
124 Japanese Bomb Railhead at Suchow
125 Seeking Life in the Face of Death
126 Chinese Cavalry Surrounds Garrison of Japs
127 Spear-Armed Farmers assault Japanese
128 Chinese Universities Flee From War
129 Swimming Jap Cavalry Repulsed By Chinese
130 Japanese Tunnel Under Wall To their Doom
131 Chiang Kai-shek Commanding His Troops
132 Chinese Motorized Unit With Amphibious Tanks
133 Loyalists Take Rebels Prisoners in Barcelona
134 Loyalist Air Raid at Majorca
135 A Battle From a Rooftop in Barcelona
136 Loyalists Bombard Algeciras With Big Guns
137 Movie Crowds Are Caught By Rebel Shells
138 Bombed Church Dome Crushes War Orphans
139 Franco Retakes Teruel in Bloody Night Battle
140 Rebels Clean Up Teruel After Recapture
141 Populace Streams Underground To Avoid Bombs
142 Fleeing Loyalists Freeze in Mountains
143 Italians Bomb Red Cross Unit at Kworam
144 Meat "On-the-Hoof" Dropped From the Sky
145 Lake Dwellers "Sell Out" To Japs
146 Chinese Terrorists Meet Death in Nanking
147 Airmen Destroy Pontoon Bridge To Trap Japs
148 Clearing the Battlefield For Action in China
149 Delousing Party Behind the Japanese Lines
150 Chinese Airmen Score Spectacular Triumph
151 Swords And Bayonets Clash in Bloody Fight
152 Shanghai University Head Slain By Gunmen
153 Death Among the Water Lilies
154 Jap Planes Bomb Uniform Factory at Canton
155 Cantonese Parade Through Coffin-Lined Streets
156 Japs Burn Villages To Smoke Out Guerillas
157 The Scourge of War in Spain
158 Planes Dump Explosives in Lerida School
159 Mistake in Identity Causes Loyalist Slaughter
160 Setting off Propaganda Rockets in Spain
161 Franco assumes Personal Command Near Lerida
162 Spanish Volunteers Swim Icy River
163 Loyalist President Leaves Barcelona
164 Catalan Women Build New Fortifications
165 Pontoon Bridges Aid Rebels To Cross Segre River
166 Liquid-Fire-Throwers Burn their Way Through Loyalists
167 Askari Cavalrymen Advance On Adowa
168 Ethiopian Defenses at Tembien
169 Peiping State Procession
170 Tokyo Bombers Drone Over Sacred Mountain
171 Little Devil Learns Jap Military Secrets
172 Japs Drive Against Chinese "Pill Boxes"
173 Disguised Guerilla Troops Prey On Japs
174 Women Propagandists Urge Chinese Patriotism
175 Japanese Women Learn How To Shoot
176 Trapped Japs Fed By Plane
177 Mute Signs of a Resounding Battle
178 Jap officers Commit Hara-Kiri
179 Wrecked Highway Brings Diaster To Foe
180 Jap Airplane Carriers Launch Mass Attacks
181 Men Against Machines
182 Franco Advances in Smoke Screen
183 Loyalists Open Flood Gates To Check Rebels
184 Rebels Trapped in Lerida By Ruse
185 Moors Attack City To Avenge Ancient Defeat
186 Rebels Brave Machine Guns at Lerida
187 Rebels Halted With Flares And Grenades
188 Rebels Cut off Barcelona Power
189 Rebel Plane Bombs Loyalist Hospital Train
190 The Homeless Children of Spain
191 Italian Conquest Proclaimed
192 Machine Guns Protect Italians From Bandits
193 Chinese Prisoners Foiled in Camp Escape
194 A Battle Among the Graves
195 Capture of Soviet Pilot Causes Jap Protest
196 Chinese Guerillas Slaughter Jap Scouts
197 Ancestors Pay Price of Treason in China
198 Chinese Recapture Birth Place of Confucius
199 Japanese Are Blasted at Yihsien
200 Japs Recapture Lini in Revenge Drive
201 Farmers of Famine
202 Japs Retaliate By Bombing Passenger Ships
203 Jap Launches Halt British Ship Whangpoo
204 Emperor Hirohito's Birthday Raid
205 The Changing Tides of Battle
206 The Deserted Village
207 Loyalists Cross Garonne To Safety
208 Insurgents Plant their Banner at the Sea
209 Rebel Cavalry Commander Killed in Action
210 Rebels Dump Bombs On Pass Into France
211 Rebels Capture Loyalist Gold
212 Franco Pushes On Through Violent Rains
213 Living Wall at Alcala
214 Over the Top With Hand Grenades
215 Loyalists Abandon Armored Train Under Fire
216 Wartime "Castel in Spain"
217 Chinese Rout the Japs at Matowchen
218 An assault On an Ancient Military Citadel
219 Yintak... the Most Bombed Spot On Earth
220 Japanese Attack Amoy Fortifications
221 British Scientist Bayoneted By Sentry
222 Chinese "Lifeline" Cut By Tokyo Troops
223 Chinese Bombers Drop Leaflets On Japan
224 Suchow Falls To the Invaders
225 Infuriated Chiang Orders Dawn Attacks
226 Cholera Breaks Out in Pootung
227 Chinese Trap "Lawrence of Manchuria" in Vain
228 Japs Rain Death in Canton Ignoring Protests
229 Japanese "Human Bridges" Aid Advance
230 No Man's Land On Aliaga Slope
231 Home-Going Madrilenos Killed By Shells
232 Loyalists Attach Hillside Trenches in Rain
233 Clear Weather Leads To Loyalist Trap
234 Spanish Rebel Planes Bomb French Border
235 Fierce Fight Marks New
236 Rebels And Allies "Celebrate"
237 Marketing Throngs Killed in Rebel Air Attack
238 Miaja's Nephews Fortify Heights
239 Rebels Bomb Alicante - Firing British Ship
240 The Frightful Cost of War

More Horrors of War
241 Russian Troops Invade Jap-Claimed Territory
242 New Soviet Planes Conceal Troops in Wings
243 Soviet Cutter Lands On Island in Jap Clash
244 Russians Burn Village in Manchukuo
245 Japs Wrest Hilltop From Soviets in Fight
246 Soviet Planes Bomb Area Japs Claim
247 Soviets Repulsed in Dawn Attack
248 Jap Flares Disperse Fog And Expose Foe
249 Japs' German-Type Guns Reply To Soviet
250 Russian Bombers Raid Korean Villages
251 Devil-Worshiping Koreans View "Dog Fights"
252 Russian Tank Commander Is "Purged"
253 Jap Machine-Gunners Attack Reds in New Clash
254 Armistice Suspends Fighting On Border
255 The Last Bowl of Rice
256 Daring Jap Unit Takes Susung in Hankow Drive
257 Crowds Cheer Execution of Traitors
258 Chinese Unleash Yangtze Flood To Halt Japs
259 Chinese Pilot Makes Death Dive in Yangtze
260 Child of the Death Rain
261 Chinese Flee as Bombs Rake Hankow
262 Rebels Drop Curtain of Fire in Ebro
263 Lone Raider Bombs Neutral Ships
264 Don't Shoot Your Brothers
265 Japs Torture Reds After Armistice
266 Red Police And Chinese Fight Over Flag
267 Jap Bombers Ignite U.S. Oil Tanks
268 Gun Boat Oahu Sails in Defiance of Japs
269 Tokyo Planes Wreck U.S. Pilot's Transport
270 Jap Machine-Gunners Pursue Swimming Airman
271 U.S.S. Monacacy Threatened By Mines
272 Chinese Protest Jap Use of Poison Gas
273 Nanking Under Japanese Rule
274 Rebels Bomb Barcelona's Flower Promenade
275 Loyalists Adopt Submarine Mail Service
276 Spanish Raid Refugees Bury their Dead
277 Hitler's Border Tour Raises War Scare
278 Czechs Watch Border as Germany Marches
279 France Moves Troops To Frontier
280 Italians Evict French Farmers in War Move
281 Inside the Maginot Line
282 Horse Whipping of Deputy Inflames Sudetens
283 Hitler Threatens Force To Free Sudetens
284 Germany's Amazing Mobile Big Gun
285 Sudetens And Czechs Engage in Civil War
286 Chamberlain Meets Hitler in Peace Effort
287 Premier Hodza Confers With Army Heads Over War
288 Czech President Surrenders as Mobs Cry "Fight"

1938 Gum Inc. Horrors of War Trading Cards 3

Ryan is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff.   His collecting origins began with winter bike rides to the corner store, tossing a couple of quarters onto the counter and peddling home with a couple packs of O-Pee-Chee hockey in his pocket. Today, he continues to build sets, go after inserts with cool technologies, chase Montreal Expos and finish off his John Jaha master collection.

User Reviews


I just found a card in our old house it’s wall. It’s a O-Pee-Chee ( London, Canada) card. It looks like a ww 1 scene. The European War, in the German trenches. I can not find anything online who has a clue? Thanks

Colleen Cluff
Colleen Cluff

I would like to know the value of #13
“Trapping the Japanese at Nankow Pass”

Paul Hildebrand
Paul Hildebrand

What shape are they in and how much do you want for them?

Nora Mohr
Nora Mohr

I found these cards in a box of my deceased husband and was wondering if they are of any value. I have about 45 cards, starting with #1 and ending with 173. nIs there any interest in these cards and what can I do with them?

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