These Should Exist: The Young Guns Edition

By Shawn Robare

I’m still toying around with the idea of making this a regular feature here at Branded, but after recently creating the sorely needed and non-existent Adventures in Babysitting cards a couple weeks ago I got to talking with my pal and Cult Film Club co-host Paxton about collaborating on a set of Young Guns and Young Guns II digital trading cards.  We both love those movies (as evidenced in our two-part double feature podcast from this past year), but I’d say that the love Pax has for the films is way, way up there, most definitely in the realm of my love of The Monster Squad.  So we hunkered down, traded notes on design and Photoshop secrets, and proceeded to create our own sets of Young Guns trading cards that we both believe should really have existed.

I’ll start off with series one, and as with any good set of 80s era trading cards we felt like we needed some rad wax wrappers.  For this set we created two, a hero…

Wrapper YG1 A

and a villain…

Wrapper YG1 B

As for the cards themselves, Pax and I are gonna split up the set we designed, each showcasing half.  If you want to “collect them all”, you’ll have to head on over to his bitchin’ site the Cavalcade of Awesome to get the rest.  Also, in terms of design, this Young Guns series one set provided the perfect opportunity to tap into a wonderful and wonderfully misused 80s era Topps card flourish, the mystifying real wood-bordered 1987 Baseball cards!


So, from my perspective, I both loved and loathed that ’87 wood border design back in the day.  That was the year I picked up the baseball card collecting bug and that Topps mega set (over 700 freaking cards) was my jam that summer and fall.  I mowed so many lawns to save up enough dough to collect that entire set one wax wrapped pack at a time, so I loved the entire experience collecting it and trading cards with my friends.

YG1_4_Chavez    YG1_6_Steve

Much like in the flick Big, there were plenty of “…need it, got it, got it, need it…” sessions with my buddies, but all of us were scratching our heads as to why Topps chose that weird ass border design.  Was it supposed to represent a close-up of a baseball bat?  Who knows.  What I thought at the time was that it made the set look like they were Bonanza cards, so when Pax brought up the idea of doing this Young Guns set I felt it was finally time to utilize this design in a way that it would truly shine…

YG1_8_Buckshot    YG1_10_Murphy


Though these sets are pretty damn time consuming to make, I love the challenge they present to try and nail that 80s aesthetic in the look and “feel”.  With each passing set I work on I feel like I’m getting better and better at nailing that vintage look.  While Pax and I were making these and passing them back and forth we were both feeling that need to have these printed up for real so we could stick them in binders and stare at them all day long…


YG1_16_Iron     YG1_18_Pals

As I mentioned above, these are only half of the cards Pax and I designed.  If you want to collect the rest (of course you do!) then head on over to the Cavalcade and unwrap his Series 1 pack!

Of course, like most fans of the Young Guns movies (as well as Billy the Kid on film fans that dig these 80s interpretations), it’s hard to consider the one flick without the other.  Though it’s considered a sequel, the continuing story of Billy the Kid and the Regulators of Lincoln County New Mexico in Young Guns II really is just the second half of a larger single story.  So when we set out to make these cards for the 1988 film it was a given that we’d also have a Series 2.  Here’s a tease of one of the wrappers for that series we did, and we’ll release the full set of cards soon!

Wrapper YG2 B

Once again, if you dig these digital trading cards, please head on over to the Cavalcade of Awesome and complete your set!  For those taking a close look at the numbering, you might see that there are some chase cards for these sets that we’ll be sharing elsewhere as well!

  • Paxton Holley

    I lovelovelove how this set turned out.

  • Rude Jaquez

    Amazing! The only thing that prevents them from looking totally like 1980’s is how sharp the photography and typeface is. Blur them just a little bit, and it’s a bingo.

    The wrappers look fantastic, but Topps had gone to this logo by 1990’s

    Amyway. small matters. This is great stuff! Keep ’em comin’, guys!

    • Rude Jaquez

      The logo is already right for the series 1 wrapper, now that I look again, and I just love that 70’s logo on the Series 2. Happily, Topps used it on the 75th Anniversary set and on their recent five retro series of Wacky Packages Old School (newly made, but designed to look vintage, and riffing on nothing but 1970’s products.)

      • Yeah, I went with the 70s/early 80s logo for the Young Guns 2 wrappers because I hate the art nouveau inspired font that Topps was using by the late 80s/early 90s….

    • Thanks, yeah, I did put a bit of noise on the photos, to my eye it looks about right, or at least close enough without getting too gimmicky. But it’s all a work in progress :)

      • Rude Jaquez

        They do look great, as are. Did you see the virtual cards that were made for the new Star Wars movie for Entertainment Weekly based on the first teaser trailer?
        They were done in the style of the 1977 Topps originals, but in the interest of verisimilitude, they did put a few too many scratches on them, and that was indeed a little gimmicky.

        • Yeah, I thought that was pretty clever of them in terms of the tone of marketing that new flick. If they were smart thay’d actually do a physical set of throwback-style cards for the movie. I’d buy them…

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  • puppatoons

    I am digging these too,and I have only one thing to add,something I’ve been seeing in articles and wiki entries lately: Using the words “the scene where” instead of “the scene in which” when describing a particular movie/show scene.The latter seems more professional and I think is the correct phrasing.
    There are so many movies I love to see given this card treatment; these are amazing.

    • Ug, yeah, that’s what I get for copying and pasting that Fun Fact from IMDB ;) We were 50/50 on writing/copying the Fun Facts on these because there isn’t a ton of info on the film hanging out there.

      Anyway, thanks! Glad you’re digging these cards.

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