Consumer Products and Retail in 1962
Here’s something I haven’t done before, post an update to one of my articles. This is an update to my article Ed-U-Cards Games to Grow Up With. Since that was first published over five years ago, I have continued to find more games and more information on games I had discussed. I have even purchased some additional games for my own collection.
Here’s an example of a game I discovered within just the past year. I had done a lot of research on eBay, and never turned this up. But I found it in a local antique store and just had to buy it. I have not been able to find the age, but it has a late 1950s-early 1960s look to it. The box is still labeled as made by “Ed-U-Cards”, the name the company used until they changed to “Edu-Cards” by 1963. So “3 Wee Pigs” may have been around in 1962. All the game pieces are die cut from thick cardboard, as many of the Ed-U-Cards games were. The game pieces include pigs, of course, spinners, and bricks and windows to build your safe, brick house first. If you spin the wolf, you lose a turn.
I have also discovered one company that subcontracted work for Edu-Cards, through the help of one of my readers. Alan (no last name given) wrote me that his father owned Precision Assembly Corporation in Long Island City, New York, which did the packaging for Edu-Cards. The two companies even shared the same building together. He went on to relate that Precision Assembly did packaging for products such as “Great Moments in Music” and “Great Art Treasures”, and other games including Yahtzee by E.S. Lowe.
I also have some corrections to information I previously presented. For example, I had stated that Ed-U-Cards started publishing puzzles in 1966, but have since discovered a puzzle published by them in 1962. I have also found new information about the final few games from Edu-Cards, in 1984. During that final year, they produced at least the following four games: “+ and - Schoolbus Game”, “Find and Read Game”, “Animal Spelling Game”, and “It’s O.K. To Say NO! (Awareness Card Set)”. That last game may be the strangest game they ever made, an anti-drug use game that seems to have been a forerunner of then-first lady Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign. Mrs. Reagan kicked off her campaign in September, 1986, but since this game was endorsed by The Children’s Justice Foundation, I suspect the general idea of “Just Say No” was around two years earlier.
I had mentioned that some of the card games, such as “Mixies”, were being republished with new artwork by a company named eeBoo. More recently, there was another attempt to republish original Ed-U-Cards games. In late 2012, Stephen Leon and a partner re-registered the lapsed trademarks and began a business to publish several of the old Ed-U-Cards games. They set up a Kickstarter project, but canceled the project before December 31. It appears they did not reach their funding goal and I have no more information on whether they will publish or not.
Since we’re usually discussing 1962, here’s my list of Ed-U-Cards games that came out that year. Some are uncertain and could have been out in 1961 or 1963; those are so noted. Though the Jumbo Lotto is labeled as Set 1, I have not found any other sets. I remember the Casper and Bullwinkle games we had at home, and my mom kept all these years. They are now in my collection, though missing a few cards, as you might expect.
- Mini Playing Cards (with zebra backs) - 196??
- Terrytoon Edition Old Maid Card Game - 196??
- Casper and His TV Friends Card Game - 196??
- 3 Wee Pigs (A Child’s First Game of Counting Fun) - 196??
- Ed-U-Cards Of Science – Experiments - 1962
- Ed-U-Cards Of Science – Chemistry - 1962
- Ed-U-Cards Of Science – Astronomy - 1962
- Ed-U-Card Library - 1962
- Bullwinkle Card Game - 1962
- Jumbo Lotto Community Helpers – Set 1 - 1962
- The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm Cinerama Jigsaw Puzzle - 1962
- Jr. Keno Game - 1962
- Krazy Kar Circus Inlay Tray Puzzle - 196??
- Enriched Flash Cards – Subtraction - 196??
- Enriched Flash Cards – Multiplication - 196??
And finally, I had mentioned in my original article that I was inspired by the Ed-U-Card games I played around 1963, and my interest in chemistry, to create my own Chemistry Game. I really thought I had something, and submitted the idea to Ed-U-Cards. Of course, it was never published, but neither my mother nor I remember if I ever received a rejection letter. Proving that I had a good idea though, a company called Genius Games issued a similar game in 2015! Just like my old game, “Ion – A Compound Building Game” consists of a deck of cards showing some elements, such as sodium and hydrogen. And also just like my old game, the rules involve matching the elements to create some chemical compounds, such as salt (sodium chloride), something like a rummy game. Besides common chemicals, “Ion” includes some radioactive elements to make it even cooler than my idea!
All photos by the author and Copyright © 2017, 2021 - Donald Dale Milne, except as noted.
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