Happy Valentine’s Day

As my kids prepped their Valentine’s Day cards for school this week, I noticed that the cards seemed incredibly generic. Two boxes from entirely different kinds of licensed properties, but they were essentially interchangeable. It got me wondering…

Didn’t the ones from my youth used to be much better?

We all know “better” is a subjective term. For example, I’d fight anyone who claims a better police drama than CHiPs. That’s just a no-brainer.

After digging through hundreds of samples, I’ve realized that the cards from the 70’s & 80’s were a bit bolder, a bit more unique and had more character. Let’s see if you agree. Many were straightforward:

Others, like me, enjoy a good pun:

Would any kids today even know Plastic-Man?
Or the Hamburglar?

Thanks for putting the “pun” in quotes, DC. We may not have gotten the joke otherwise.

Even as a kid, Batman seemed to me a strange choice as a Valentine icon. He was never the most successful finding his own special someone (excluding Robin.)

This was a surprise. Having Batman & Robin on a card that says ‘Sweethearts’ seems very risky for the 70’s. Don’t forget, this was the era where TV’s Incredible Hulk had to be renamed ‘David Banner’ because CBS executives felt the name ‘Bruce’ was “too gay”.

That’s better. Let’s just make them pals.

Better yet, rather than showing grown men fighting alongside others in ridiculous outfits, you could….. oh wait….

I should point out one observation here. Most of the old boxes were sold as 32 packs whereas now, most are 24 packs. Did classes get smaller nationwide in the last thirty years?

This seems like a rather suggestive pose for a child’s Valentine. Almost like the giver is saying, “Meet me behind the bleachers in five minutes. I’ll bring my rope, but you can use it.”

And there’s a fruit emoji on this one that’s completely inappropriate for a modern grade school.

Some characters certainly felt a bit more entitled than others:

Sorry, Mom. You placed second to Ronald.

But at least his friends were given a little love:

Remember Captain Crook?
Officer Big Mac?
Or Mayor McCheese?

Some were surprisingly violent for a Valentine:

Others, strangely aggressive:

And many were just strange:

What the hell is that thing? And is Batman calling it his Valentine or attacking it on behalf of a Valentine? Is he stabbing it with hearts or pulling out its three hearts? There are so many questions for just one tiny card!!

Batman used the Bat-Computer for matchmaking? Or did he create Tinder?

This is The Penguin. He doesn’t hiss. Why is that highlighted? What’s the joke? What am I missing?

Hold on a minute. This is Chewbacca, not Tony the Tiger. Where are his Frosted Flakes? And why is he so skinny? Looks like he’s just wearing a sweatsuit.

You can tell this is vintage. Any modern Yoda card would say something like “Best Teacher, You Are. Happy To Have You, I Am.” People often forget that Yoda only said a few things out of order in Empire Strikes Back.

They even had a card for the Principal? That takes sucking up to a different level.

I’ll leave you with this:

True love, indeed. You are wise like Yoda, my friend.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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