While doing research earlier on the previously mentioned A&BC/Topps Footballer cards I stumbled upon information on the Australian trading card company Scanlens. Apparently, they had an agreement with Topps to provide artwork for their Victorian Football League (that’s Australian Rules Football to me and you) cards to be sold in Australia and New Zealand from the sixties to the early-eighties. But more on that another day. Further and further down the rabbit hole I went, eventually landing on an ebay auction for a 40 card set of cricket cards they produced back in 1965. Unfortunately, the auction is a bit pricey–pushing $2,000. If you think vintage Topps Baseball and O-Pee-Chee Hockey is expensive, take a lot at what old Scanlens cards are going for. Nevertheless, the seller had the whole set neatly organized and scanned so, in the interest of posterity and knowing how ephemeral ebay auction photos tend to be, I saved them and uploaded virtually the entire set for your viewing pleasure.
Like most Americans, I know nothing about cricket but all I can say is about these cards is wow. The photography is fantastic, a nice mix of (staged) action shots and portraits where the athletes are in a shirt in tie.
The design is very minimal; they remind me of old Polaroids. The font seems to be some variation of Futura and give the set a real Wes Anderson feel. Come to think of it, these cards are very Anderson-esque: an obscure posh sport, check; vintage and formal clothes, check; interesting insignia, check; ties and tweed jackets, check. All that’s missing is the sixities folk and garage rock soundtrack.
Two Bobs, a Graeme, and a Graham all on one page. For some reason, all these names seem fake to me, like characters from an old, British novel. Or fictitious golfers.
The green grass, white jerseys, and red logo all go really well together. A+ for overall composition.
Similarly, Garfield Sobers and Basil Butcher are two of the greatest names I’ve ever heard. Some great sweaters here as well. And Doug Walters’s photo is just perfect.
Lastly, the backs. They’re bright and garish and feature a comic/trivia, how very O-Pee-Chee.