These cards were extremely popular when they were issued. According to Swedish card collector Mikael Hoffsten, "every child was collecting these cards."
Identifying the many Dutch movie star card sets poses a big problem, since there are very few, if any, identifying marks on the cards to distinguish the different sets from one another. For most of the sets, the only distinguishing marks on the cards are a small letter or "Serie" followed by a letter. For example, there was an "A" set, a different "Serie A" set, and sets with many other letters. There were also other sets which contained numbered cards and unnumbered cards, with nothing major to distinguish them from each other.
These are important movie star card sets since they heavily cover the 1950s and on into the 1960s, generally a sparse time for movie star cards. England and countries related to England issued hundreds of movie star card sets during the 1920s and 1930s, but issued only a handful of movie star card sets in the 1940s and 1950s. The USA never really issued very many movie star card sets in any era. These Dutch gum cards are probably the best trading card record of the movie stars of the 1950s that exist in the world.
Collectors have always liked the Dutch movie star gum cards, since they are colorful and feature many stars not found in too many other sets. Doris Day is one star that is heavily featured on Dutch gum cards, while she can only be found in a handful of other card sets. The main drawbacks for collectors of these cards is the lack of biographical text about the stars and the difficulty in figuring out what exactly is out there.
Making these sets even more difficult to understand, the Dutch gum companies didn't just issue the cards themselves, they also licensed the rights to many of these sets so that they were also sold in other countries. That's why there is a blank-backed Dutch version of the "Serie A" card set and an identical version of "Serie A" cards issued in Finland with Hellas gum backs. It is also known that these cards were issued in other countries as well. The licensing aspect might explain why the Dutch gum cards so often came with blank backs - that made it easy for other companies to add their own advertising information to the card backs. By not including biographical text on the backs, the original card maker also eliminated any potential conflicts when selling them to countries that spoke different languages.
Sometimes the same Dutch gum card can be found with different paper thickness or other minor differences. While most of these cards are on thin cardboard, there are some that were printed on paper. The Number in Circle set can be found without the number or the circle on a version of that set that was issued in Malta. Two other versions of that set, both showing the number in circle, were printed with either a blank back or the words "Printed in Holland" on the back. These types of differences were most often caused by the cards being printed separately for issue in different countries.
Some of the Hellas cards issued in Finland now show up occasionally with punch holes. According to Finnish collector Jari Rannikko, this was because full sets of cards could be returned to the company for presents. When Hellas returned the cards, they punched a hole in them so they could not be sent in again.
The checklists presented in this section are an attempt to bring some order to these card sets. To make it easier for collectors to identify their cards, I am putting all cards of the Dutch gum style in this section of the checklists on the Movie Card Website. I am organizing this checklist section with the sets issued in The Netherlands and Sweden listed first, followed by the Hellas sets from Finland. It is possible that some blank-backed sets listed in the Dutch section may have been issued elsewhere instead of The Netherlands, as their lack of identifying marks makes it difficult to state with certainty where they originated.
Dutch Movie Star Gum Cards Sales List
Dutch Movie Star Gum Cards Checklists | Movie Card Website Front Page