Animation History
April 22, 2013 posted by

Cartoon Playing Cards


It’s hard to believe classic cartoon characters were ever more popular – at least among the younger viewers – than during the late 1950s, early 1960s. And during that time one of the most fascinating pieces of merchandising were the decks of cards produced by Ed-U-Cards.

Ed-U-Cards had competition from Whitman Publishing, Fairchild Corp. and Warren Paper Products – but somehow Ed-U-Cards would up with the best character licenses. The card games themselves were variations of “Old Maid” and “Rummy”, but the real appeal of the Ed-U-Cards was the flip-book animation on the back of the cards. I don’t think I ever played the card games – I just collected these for the animation! I hope someday someone will photograph the cards a frame at a time and post the animation online. Till then – we have the boxes, the cards, and our memories.

Some of these images are courtesy of Mark Anderson at Thank you for putting these online, sir. Click on thumbnails below to veiw gallery at larger size.

woody_cards huck_cards quick_draw_cards Popeye-Cards
donald-cards spacemouse_cards bullwinkle_cards chipmunks_cards
casper_cards mickey_cards funday_cards wendy hearts


  • “[F]lip-book animation on the back of the cards”? Wait, so the cards had marked backs? I wonder if any kids went through the trouble of trying to memorize certain cards based on the picture on the back…

    • If you want to see one of these flipbooks in action, go to Google Images, type in Ed-U-Card and press enter. There should be an image of Popeye boxing. Click on that one and it’ll show you 30 cards flipped through.

    • Hey – Thanks for the tip, Robert! Here’s a link to said gif:


  • In Spain, the Heraclio Fournier company made many card games based on licensed cartoon characters, such as this one starring the Terrytoons from 1976:

  • I still have the Casper card game pictured above.

  • I had a deck of Ed-U-Cards (I distinctly remember that logo) when I was really young, perhaps 3 or 4 years of age (1969-70). I want to say I had the Huckleberry Hound deck, but the card shown in the roadtrip article doesn’t match up with what I recalled. I do remember the cards, themselves, were not very durable, unlike the Hoyle or US Playing Card decks that I used to play blackjack or poker with my father. Ed-U-Cards would dog-ear frequently, so to find cards in that excellent of condition is definitely a find.

  • Wow, if animation classic DVD’s were still selling, I’d say that these could be unearthed and the animations added on the respective DVD sets devoted to the specific character, but “ROCKY & BULLWINKLE” have already been released as complete as I suppose we’ll ever see ’em, and I really don’t see chances for the otehr characters mentioned, but really, keep these in mind for those little glimmers of hope that might come in the future. Sure sounds like an interesting special feature or at least an interesting graphic to adorn the boxes as representative art.

  • Glad you enjoyed my article enough to link it here. For another, and more unusual, use of one of these decks, see . It’s not an animation of the backs, but it’s cool. The author linked scans of the old Ed-U-Cards Mixies deck to her X-box Kinect!

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