Beavis & Butthead Trading Cards

Beavis & Butthead packaging 36 ct. Box
Beavis & Butthead packaging 36 ct. Box

Beavis & Butthead originally aired on MTV in 1993 to great fanfare and popularity.  The license was one of the most coveted in the entertainment cards sector.  Due to the enormous popularity and sales success of X-Men Ultra and Flair Marvel, Beavis & Butthead went to Fleer.

This card  set remains very popular, with boxes selling on ebay for 3-4 times their original price.  This is quite rare for trading cards from this period as this was the greatest period of trading card sales and production in history.

At Fleer, John produced a set of 150 Beavis and Butthead cards, the front of each card containing an image from the original footage of an MTV Beavis & Butthead episode.  Each card also featured card names stamped in gold foil.

The back of each card contained the card’s number and uses one of several different graphic layout designs. The back of each card also has assorted rambling text written in the style of Beavis & Butthead, and the text generally relates to the image on the front.

Scratch and Sniff Trading Cards

Beavis & Butthead Scratch & Sniff Trading Card Chase Set
Beavis & Butthead Scratch & Sniff Trading Card Chase Set

One of the highlights of the set, and a first for the trading Card industry was the integration of “Scratch and Sniff” Trading cards. John had previously worked with “Scratch and Sniff” printing applications while merchandising of the Marvel Licensed Comic, “The Ren & Stimpy Show.”

There are 10 scratch and sniff chase cards. These cards are copies of selected cards from the main set, however each contains a small area that releases a fragrance when scratched or rubbed. The backs of these cards use a different graphic design from the main set and contain smell-related commentary written in the style of Beavis & Butthead’s speech. The smells are cataloged in this table:

Card #  Card Title Image on Card Scent Utilized
0690 Buff ‘n’ Stuff Bare chests, shower in background  stale cheese/smoke
0691  Citizen Butt-Head (Part I) Standing in cafeteria line in front of tacos tacos/herbs/garlic/tomato
0692 Beavis and Butt-head Clean House Butthead talking on phone, standing in kitchen Pine
0693 Our Offices Two bathroom stalls Sulpher
0694 Drive In II Drive in theater, sitting on ground dirt/smoke/chocolate
0695 Born to Hog Wild Sitting on back of motorcycle   grease/smoke
0696 Chicks in Glasses Are Cool  Butthead dressed as a woman, sitting in cup smoke/sulpher
0697 Chemicals Are Cool Young B and B playing with chemistry set burning plastic
0698  Sometimes Art Doesn’t Suck Butthead posing with grapes in front of his groin area grape
0699 Friday Night Hot dogs on a convenience store hot dog warme smoke/herbs

Each pack contains 10 cards. Scratch and Sniff cards were packaged randomly in packs.

A huge press and advertising campaign accompanied this trading card set, which again broke all previous Fleer Trading Card release sales records.

Promotional items

The most common promotional item for this card series is a 7.5″ x 10.5″ sheet featuring 9 “cards”. The center card is unique and the other 8 are cards from the main card set. This promo sheet was released in two different fashions.

The first version was attached inside an issue of Previews Magazine. Previews Magazine is a magazine dedicated to, “Comics, games, trading cards, and more.”

The promo sheet was also released as an unattached card which was given out at the 1994 Sports Cards Collector’s Convention.

The promotional sheet itself is made of 14 pt. card stock that feels similar in thickness to trading cards, and is printed on one side with nine trading “cards” which are reprints of these numbers from the set: 5769, 8069, 6909, 6907, 6908, 5969, 5869, and 6069. The center card is unique and is labeled as “1994 First Inogural Edition” (spelled incorrectly purposefully for B&B syntax).

Fleer-Ultra-Beavis-and-Butthead-Animation Cell Card
Animation Cell Promo Card

A key promotional item for this card series is a clear plastic “Seri-Cell.”  Beavis & Butthead’s connection to animation helped elevate the perceived value of this card, and thus the entire set in consumers minds.  The term “Seri-Cell” comes from animation cell collecting, a “Seri-Cell” being a manufactured cell that never actually was utilized in the production of the animation.

The low cost of the card (four color process on acetate), coupled with the high perceived value got got collectors and retailers talking.  The rarity of the card, and the fact that it preceded the set by two months set the sales stage.  By the time B&B shipped consumers were primed and ready to purchase.

The “Seri-Cell” concept was additionally used in Fleer Spider-Man 1994, as the concept was enormously popular, and a Spider-Man Animated series was in development.