’90s Trading Cards That Hit Our Nostalgia Button

Most of us know that hockey cards can be super valuable. But if you were a nineties kid, you probably remember basically every pop culture phenomenon being released as a trading card. ALF, Spice Girls, Beauty and the Beast—they all became cards. Here are some of the best, the rarest, and even the oddest cards we remember trading way back when.

Beauty and the Beast

The shining jewel of the Disney Renaissance, Beauty and the Beast was promoted with a line of trading cards aimed at young collectors. The set was anchored by 75 cards that are basically stills from the movie. They also made ten “colour-in” cards, which look like colouring book pages. They also released ten “magic mirror” cards, which are images of the magic mirror from the movie, except the mirror portion is scratch-off. Under the scratch-off part, you’d find a picture of one of the characters.


The X-Files was everywhere in the nineties and that included on trading cards. Each season got a massive set of cards, which would contain images from the show, descriptions of scenes, and maybe a bit of lore. They also released laser-etched cards and scratch-offs called “X-effect” cards.

Saved by the Bell

There were only seven main cast members of Saved by the Bell, but they still managed to put out a 110 base card set, along with ten or so foil cards.


It was a movie and Saturday morning cartoon, so of course it became a kind of strange trading card set. Packs also came with glow-in-the-dark stickers, which is pretty on-brand.

Spice Girls

Lots of musical acts released trading cards. Cyndi Lauper, for example, had a 33-card set, for some reason. But the Spice Girls were an entertainment force like no other, and nineties kids could buy hundreds (seriously) of Spice Girls cards. Of course, buying a pack not only got you cards and gum, but also the chance to win concert tickets, which must’ve been a pretty sweet deal. Think they’d still honour them if you bought an unopened pack from eBay?


ALF didn’t just infiltrate pop culture in pog form. The cat-eating alien got two sets of cards, each running around 40 cards. Cards had pictures from the show along with a fun fact or pithy line of dialogue. Packs also came with stickers, because why not put collectibles on top of collectibles?

Garbage Pail Kids

Okay, we’re cheating. Garbage Pail Kids came out in the late eighties, but they were certainly an obsession for many nineties kids. Unlike many other trading cards, they weren’t promoting another property. They were their own thing, and they were glorious. Mocking the cutesy Cabbage Patch Dolls, Garbage Pail Kids had names like Junky Jeff, Jay Decay, and Bad Breath Seth. Fun fact: one of the inventors was Art Spiegelman, writer of Maus.