Collectors certainly don't have any shortage of horror trading cards. They can date back several decades and include everything from movie monsters to artistic interpretations of the things that go bump, slash and burp in the night.
Horror trading cards are still around, but their graphic nature has largely kept them to independent sets. But that's not the way it has always been. Here are three mainstream horror sets from the 1980s and early-90s that are fun, relatively cheap and readily available.
For modern horror fans, 1988 Topps Fright Flicks should be a dream come true. Pulling from many of the era's great (and not so great) genre films, the set touches on such films as A Nightmare on Elm Street, Aliens, Predator, The Fly, Fright Night, Ghostbusters, An American Werewolf in London and Poltergeist.
The set doesn't hold back when it comes to images. Gore and monsters are a common theme. Even though the cards were marketed at mass retail, it's not a set I want to be flipping through with my kids looking over my shoulder.
That said, once you get beyond the images, there is a lot of humor in 1988 Topps Fright Flicks. The captions on the front lighten the mood with bad puns and corny jokes.
A complete set of 1988 Topps Fright Flicks has 88 cards and 11 stickers. An O-Pee-Chee version of the set was also made.
1991 Impel A Nightmare on Elm Street wasn't available in packs. It was exclusive to a factory set. Cleverly packaged in a box that resembled a wooden coffin, the set covers all of the franchise's installments through Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare. The main set has 120 black-bordered cards, ten specialty cards and two "Freddy Vision" holograms.
A separate premium set was available through a mail-away offer. Much rarer, this set came in a larger boiler room box. The main 120-card set is the same, but the holograms and specialty cards are different. The mail-away set also comes with a T-shirt and a certificate of authenticity.
1991 Impel A Nightmare on Elm Street trading cards have black borders. Images and card backs retell the first six films in order. Many of the images are extremely graphic.
1980 Topps Creature Feature is largely a reissue of the 1973 Topps You'll Die Laughing set. While many images and captions are the same, some are different. Borders are also colored differently. For collectors on a budget, the 1980 release is also, understandably, cheaper.
The 88-card set highlights classic Universal Monsters like Frankenstein's Monster, the Invisible Man, the Wolf Man and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. They take a similar approach to 1988 Topps Fright Flicks, offering a silly caption on the card front.
1980 Topps Creature Feature also has 22 stickers that are inserted one per pack. Today, the stickers in particular are easy to track down cheaply. Base sets are affordable as well.