Enter the Menko

posted in: 4 - Collectibles | 0

I absolutely adore the Japanese equivalent of our “cigarette cards” – menko. These collectible cards featured all sorts of popular media, celebrity actors and athletes, historical and nature subjects, etc. I scored a pile of these in 2006 and 2007, many of which feature photos and illustrations of hooded swordsman and ninja.

menkos2.jpg

Menko have been big since the 1910’s, when photographic reproduction wasn’t exactly great, especially on a cheap mass-produced premium.

menkos1.jpg

One really strange thing you run across with vintage Menko is off-model illustrations. Hard to tell if it was a pirating issue or not, but companies often used their own in-house artists to portray hit animated and manga properties, rather than license the actual artwork from the source. You get some really goofy variants…

menkos5.jpg

menkos4.jpg

menkos3.jpg

menkos6.jpg

Leave a Reply