by Ralph Muscarella (AKA Rack Card King)
Rack Cards are probably the hottest thing to happen to postcard collecting in ages! What is a Rack Card? Let me tell you.
long searched for ways to reach the public. Billboards, newspapers and
magazines, followed by radio and television, and now the Internet are
all ways advertisers use to put their product or service in the public
eye. Rack Cards first came upon the scene about ten years ago and
mirror many of the ads you see in magazines or on billboards today. In
the United States they are published by two major companies (GoCards
and m@xRacks) and other smaller publishers (BonCards and
1-800-Postcards). They are distributed in mostly in major cities. They
are also produced in Canada and Mexico, as well as many European,
Asian, and South American countries.
continental-sized postcards, measuring approximately 6” x 4
¼”, are very professionally printed on heavy stock, and,
best of all, there
are new ones issued every month! They advertise things we all use every
day including toothpaste, candy, soft drinks, clothing, alcoholic
beverages, toys, cars, computers, etc. They are also issued to promote
movies, local shows such as Broadway plays, various events, social
causes, and local venues such as restaurants, museums, art galleries,
and the like. These local venue cards seem to be the most desirable
since their circulation is limited to a particular city, or perhaps are
available only in the venue itself.
Even if you
don’t collect traditional postcards, these Rack Cards may fit
into other collections. Let’s say you are a Disneyana collector.
How would you like a Rack Card which advertises Beauty and The Beast on
Broadway? If Star Wars is your area of interest, how about a Rack Card
showing C3PO at the Smithsonian? Sports? Plenty of sports stars are
shown on Rack Cards including Joe Torre, Tiger Woods, and Michael
Jordan. Some other popular themes are movies, gay and lesbian-related
subjects, sexy women and men, animals, TV shows, tattoos, and many
others. In one way or another, Rack Cards picture or advertise just
about any topic you can imagine.
who are fortunate enough to live in or near a city where Rack Cards are
distributed will engage in a practice which has become known as
Racking, trying to locate Racks and scoop up the new cards as they are
issued. Racks are most often found in restaurants and bars, but may
also be found in record shops, book stores, museums, or even some
There are literally tens of thousands of cards in existence, and
probably several hundred new ones published every month! Of course, not
everyone lives in or near a city where there are Racks so they must
rely on friends who are, or dealers who usually sell these cards at
prices ranging from $.50 or $1.00 each to as high as $3.00 each for the
unusual or hard to find cards.
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