Friday, September 27, 2013

Trading Card Memories of Moonraker

After the $ucce$$ of Star Wars, everyone was going to outer space.... even James Bond!
Many cards, such as #77 (above), had plot
points related to the action photo on the
opposite side.
One of the most exciting activities of my childhood was scraping together what allowance I could earn, as well as money from my paper routes, and heading up to the local corner store, Kwik Stop, to buy trading cards. In the late Seventies, collecting trading cards was a very popular hobby for many of the lads in our neighborhood, and while some were into the popular football and baseball cards, I went for the collectible cards based on movies and television shows, most notably Star Wars cards.

Recently my mother came across a previously forgotten box of cards in her attic (sealed in a Ziploc bag) that included not just loose cards from collections of The Empire Strikes Back packs past, but also from a few less memorable entries in usually popular movie and television franchises. As a child of the late-Seventies and Eighties, Roger Moore was (and remains)  my  James Bond, and my entree to his adventures was the Star Wars influenced Moonraker (1979). While Moore's Bond was charismatic and debonair (at least to my 12 year old sensibilities), the villains were every bit as cool as Bond in my eyes.

The title of the card, in combination with the grimacing assassin's face, says it all.
While others, such as #22, had parts of a
larger poster that would be formed buy
collecting and combining the correct pieces.
Just as someone thought it was a good idea to send Bond to space (along with his primary Moore-Bond adversary Jaws), they also figured pre-teens would part with their pennies for trading cards, just as they had for the umpteenth Star Wars sets. They must have been at the very least partially correct, as I have the dusty collection of cards to prove it.

Much less interested in action shots of Bond performing static stunts, I kept mostly those few cards featuring either Richard Kiel's Jaws, Draxx (the film's mastermind villain), or Chang, played by actor Toshiro Suga. Like many fans I had an affinity for the colorful henchmen, likely because they were comic book-y in both name and purpose. Of the Bond adversaries over the decades, Jaws continues to be a favorite due to Kiel's indelible portrayal of the giant with stainless steel teeth. Both menacing and occasionally sympathetic, this latter element was never more present than in Moonraker, wherein Jaws found love in space with Draxx's diminutive daughter, Dolly (Blanche Ravalec).

One of my favorite cards: good to see Jaws happy!
Digging through the recently recovered trading card box has brought about nostalgic feelings of movies and performances that, while I once had great affection for, had until recently forgotten. If you enjoyed this brief glimpse at Moonraker (and Jaws) I can assure you that there is more were these came from...

Don't believe the hype, Jaws is hardly expendable!

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