Mario Quiz Cards (partially lost educational flashcard designs based on game franchise; 1995-1997)
The Mario Quiz Cards are a set of educational flash cards that were officially licensed by Nintendo. The cards were produced by Atlas Editions and Newfield Publications in 1995. The art was created by cartoonist Gary Fields. The cards are all part of different decks; each of which has 20 cards from 18 different categories.
Atlas Editions/Newfield Publications
Atlas Editions is no longer active, as seen on their website. Atlas Editions acquired Newfield Publications sometime during the production of these cards. This is seen by the 2 box variants (one with the Newfield logo and the other one with the AE logo). The 1998 website of AE/Newfield does not list the quiz cards, which implies that they stopped selling them sometime in 1997/1998.
Illustrations for all of the quiz cards were done by cartoonist Gary Fields. Interestingly, older cards do not credit him at all, whereas cards from 1996/1997 have illustration credit in the bottom left-hand corner on the front of the card. Each card has unique art not seen elsewhere, inspired by Super Mario World. Many of these cards are infamous for their unusual depictions of the Mario universe (Ex: Luigi reading about Hitler, Bowser worshiping Al Capone, Mario and Luigi protesting nukes, etc).
Certain sample packs of the quiz cards were mailed at random to promote the cards. When opened, they have a red paper with a promotion, in which one can get the box, manual, dividers, 40 cards, and tattoos for 24.95. This was then mailed to the company. It also includes prices for the monthly card packs. A different purple pamphlet also exists, but it’s unknown what this one contains.
There is currently no documentation of the cards in magazines such as Nintendo Power. This makes sense considering the little documentation there is about them. Children's magazines from 1995-1996 are a possible lead as to where these cards could have been advertised.
Numerical codes can be found on the back of each card, around the bottom right corner. The card drafts also have these codes. New information reveals that they indicate deck and card numbers. Each deck had 20 cards, so the highest number of decks x 20 may reveal the total card amount. Sometimes decks were skipped, so the amount may be inaccurate. It’s unknown if any decks were skipped for this set. The D2 or D3 parts of the code usually reflect languages. The existence of 2 different codes could suggest a connection with a different Tintin quiz card set that was made by Atlas. The existence of codes in draft cards suggests that deck numbers and card numbers were decided early on during production.
Based on the existence of sample packs and an ad for Star Trek Universe cards found in a magazine, it's assumed that the company operated primarily through mail services and magazine adverts to promote their products. There are currently no known TV commercials from the 1990s regarding these cards. Sales could have begun as early as 1994 and most likely ended in 1998. New information suggests that calls could be made to order the cards (as one could call AE and ask them for other quiz cards not related to Mario).
|Deck 1||Partially Found|
|Deck 2||Partially Found|
|Decks 11-22||Existence Unconfirmed|
|Deck 23||Partially Found|
|Deck 24||Partially Found|
|Deck 25||Partially Found|
|Decks 29-31||Existence Unconfirmed|
|Decks 68-73||Existence Unconfirmed|
|Decks 80-91||Existence Unconfirmed|
- ↑ Ad done by Newfield mentioning the Mario Quiz Cards. Retrieved 27 Dec '22
- ↑ Link to the website with information on the cards. Retrieved 27 Dec '22