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An introduction to the Prehistoric Life Collectibles Digest along with some statistics regarding what information is available

The Extinct Life Pictorial Encyclopedia

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1961 Nu-Card Sales Dinosaur Series Trading Cards
 
Regular Card
Source: The Dinosaur Fan Collection
Regular Card & 'S' Back Variation
Source: The Dinosaur Fan Collection
Two Uncut Card Sheets
Source: Auction Website
Wrapper (Back) with Album Offer
Source: The Dinosaur Fan Collection
Retail Box
Source: Auction Website
Retail Box w. Unopened Packages
Source: Auction Website
Two Uncut Card Sheets
Source: Auction Website
Two Cello Card Packs
Source: Auction Website
Card #65 w. 'S' Back Variation
Source: Auction Website
Two Cello Card Packs
Source: Auction Website
Wax Card Pack
Source: Auction Website
Card #3 w. 'S' Back Variation
Source: Auction Website

     
Set ID:31
Issuer:Nu-Card Sales
Year:1961
Country:United States
Product Category:Cards
Product Function:Collector Issues
Topic:Extinct Life
Size (Inches):87 @ 3-1/2" x 2-1/2"
Qty. Album Pages:N/A
 
Qty. Master Set *:87
Qty. Base Items **:80
Qty. Filler Items ***:0
Qty. Variations ****:7
Qty. Item In Scope #:87
Qty. Item Out Scope ##:0
Qty. Item TBD Scope ###:0
      * Master Set (i.e., all items including fillers & variations)
    ** Basic Advertised Set
  *** Filler Items (e.g., checklists, title cards, ad. cards)
**** Variations (e.g., different numbering, text, design)
    # Items directly related to extinct life
  ## Items that are not directly related to extinct life
### Items I have not seen so I do not know if they are relevant
 
One of the, if not THE, classic US-produced prehistoric animal-related sets. The fronts of the cards are an odd combination of black & white vignettes with aquamarine-like highlights and borders. Another unique feature of this set is its attention to prehistoric non-reptilian animals. A quick survey of the set reveals that the subjects of the 80 cards are pretty much split 50/50 with approximately 40 cards featuring reptiles (e.g., dinosaurs, pterosaurs, plesiosauria, pterosauria) and approximately 40 cards featuring non-reptiles (e.g., mammals, fish, amphibians, therapsida).

The backs of the cards, which are plain and uninformative, are the subject of a couple of on-going controversies associated with the strange symbols & single letters that are printed on them. Under the Apatosaurus image on the back of each card is a seemingly meaningless symbol. There currently is no definitive explanation for these symbols however the leading theory suggests that these may have been identification codes for each print sheet (e.g., sheet "X", sheet "||", and sheet "O").

The letters next to the "See wrapper for free album" box printed on some of the cards are slightly less of a mystery. The wrappers of this set (see image above) contain an offer for a "free" album to anyone who (a) sends in eight cards with the letters on the back that spell the name of this set (i.e., D I N O S A U R) or (b) sends in one wrapper and $1.00. The catch was that Nu-Card short-printed cards with the letter "S" making it extremely difficult to obtain an album which incidentally may or may not account for the associated scarcity of the album itself.

To date, I am aware of the actual or rumored existence of the following cards which supposedly have the "S" back as listed below.

  • #2 (Prehistoric Man) - rumored to have been sold in a public auction in October 2000
  • #3 (Wooly Mammoth) - e-Bay auction #330651768557 (December 2011) - See image above
  • #6 (Dimetrodon) - a photocopy of this card is contained in The Wrapper (Issue #230, Page 13)
  • #9 (Hoplophoneus) - in my personal collection (see image above)
  • #12 (Allosaurus) - a photocopy of this card is contained in The Wrapper (Issue #80, Page 7)
  • #16 (Gorgosaurus & Scolosaurus) - according to an article written by Jeff & Bob Marks contained in The Wrapper (Issue #230, Page 12)
  • #65 (Agathaumas Monoclonium) - in my personal collection (see image above)
 
In the checklist, cards with the letter "A" designation do NOT have the "S" and cards with the letter "B" designation do have the "S".
 
Base Set Checklist
Click Imageto Zoom DB IDNumberNotesQtyCaption/DescriptionSubjectFantasy LifeIn ScopeDF Collection
15651 1Phobosuchus crocodilla & Chamosuarus saurischia ceratopsiaChasmosaurus
Phobosuchus
 
15662A1Prehistoric ManHomo
Ursus
 
15673A1Wooly MammothMammuthus
 
15684 1DryptosauriDryptosaurus
 
15695 1BrontosaurusBrontosaurus
 
15706A1DimetrodonDimetrodon
 
15717 1TyrannosaurusTyrannosaurus
 
15728 1PhororhacosPhororhacos
 
15739A1Hoplophoneus & MesohippusHoplophoneus
Mesohippus
 
157410 1LycaenopsLycaenops
 
157511 1SmilodonSmilodon
 
157612A1AllosaurusAllosaurus
 
157713 1Pteranodon & TylosaurusPteranodon
Tylosaurus
 
157814 1Peteranodons Elasmosaurus & TylosaurusElasmosaurus
Pteranodon
Tylosaurus
 
157915 1PterodactylusPterodactylus
 
158016A1Gorgosuarus & ScolosaurusGorgosaurus
Scolosaurus
 
158117 1Giant ElkMegaloceros
 
158218 1Nothrotherium & SmilodonNothrotherium
Smilodon
 
158319 1MesosaurusMesosaurus
 
158420 1Neanderthan Man & Cave BearHomo
Ursus
 
158521 1IndricotheriumIndricotherium
 
158622 1Duck-Billed Trachodon & TyrannosaurusTrachodon
Tyrannosaurus
 
158723 1MachairodusDinohippus
Machairodus
 
158824 1ArsinoitheriumArsinoitherium
 
158925 1Monster FishesDinichthys
 
159026 1BrontotheriumBrontotherium
 
159127 1IguanodonIguanodon
 
159228 1RhamphorhynchusRhamphorhynchus
 
159329 1StyracosaurusStyracosaurus
 
159430 1TriceratopsTriceratops
 
159531 1Smilodon - Prehistoric ElephantMammut
Smilodon
Teratornia
 
159632 1DeinotheriumDeinotherium
 
159733 1CorythosaurusCorythosaurus
 
159834 1BrachiosaurusBrachiosaurus
 
159935 1Ceratosaurus & StegosauriCeratosaurus
Stegosaurus
 
160036 1PlesiosauridPlesiosaurus
 
160137 1Ornitholestes & ArchaeopteryxArchaeopteryx
Ornitholestes
 
160238 1Dire Wolf - ArsinoitheriumArsinoitherium
Canis
 
160339 1Saber-Toothed TigersSmilodon
 
160440 1Emperor MammothMammuthus
 
160541 1MammothsMammuthus
 
160642 1Sabre-Toothed CatSmilodon
 
160743 1Wooly MammothMammuthus
 
160844 1DinosaurTyrannosaurus
 
160945 1DimorphodonDimorphodon
 
161046 1MonocloniusMonoclonius
 
161147 1ProtoceratopsProtoceratops
 
161248 1Smaller DinosaursCynognathus
Lycaenops
 
161349 1PachycephalosaurusPachycephalosaurus
 
161450 1CorypihodonCoryphodon
 
161551 1StegosaurusStegosaurus
 
161652 1Saber-Toothed TigersDinohippus
Smilodon
 
161753 1MochopsMoschops
 
161854 1DiplodocusDiplodocus
 
161955 1Hesperonis RegalisHesperornis
 
162056 1Giant TylosaurusTylosaurus
 
162157 1Early ReptilesLystrosaurus
 
162258 1MischelkolkNothosaurus
 
162359 1Saber-Toothed Tiger & Giant SlothEremotherium
Smilodon
 
162460 1TyrannosaurusTyrannosaurus
 
162561 1Ground Sloth & Sabre-Tooth TigerEremotherium
Smilodon
 
162662 1Stegosaurus & CeratosaurusCeratosaurus
Stegosaurus
 
162763 1Giant BisonBison
 
162864 1Hyaenodons & ArsinotheriumArsinoitherium
Hyaenodon
 
162965A1Agathaumas MonocloniumAgathaumas
 
163066 1ProtoceratopsProtoceratops
 
163167 1TrachodonTrachodon
 
163268 1TriceratopsTriceratops
 
163369 1DiatrymaDiatryma
 
163470 1PlesiosaurusPlesiosaurus
 
163571 1MystriosuchusMystriosuchus
 
163672 1StruthiomimusStruthiomimus
 
163773 1BaluchitheriumBaluchitherium
 
163874 1Giant Sloth & Short Faced BearEremotherium
Ursus
 
163975 1DinornisDinornis
 
164076 1Prehistoric ManUrsus
 
164177 1Giant BeaversCastoroides
 
164278 1PhytosaurPhytosaurus
 
164379 1EntelodonEntelodon
 
164480 1What is it?Eryops
 
 
Variations Checklist
Click Imageto Zoom DB IDNumberNotesQtyCaption/DescriptionSubjectFantasy LifeIn ScopeDF Collection
287782B1Prehistoric ManHomo
Ursus
 
759683B1Wooly MammothMammuthus
 
575056B1DimetrodonDimetrodon
 
346989B1Hoplophoneus & MesohippusHoplophoneus
Mesohippus
 
218812B1AllosaurusAllosaurus
 
5750616B1Gorgosuarus & ScolosaurusGorgosaurus
Scolosaurus
 
7025365B1Agathaumas MonocloniusAgathaumas
 
 
 
 

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