Thursday, December 18, 2008

1982 Donruss The Dark Crystal


I watched The Dark Crystal many times as a kid, but it's been a while. The movie was directed by Jim Henson and I guess was groundbreaking in terms of puppetry and animatronics. It's a bit darker than the Muppets obviously. Apparently Donruss was impressed enough to release a set of 78 trading cards in 1982 commemorating the movie.

I'll do my best to sum up the plot quickly here, but you'll have to go elsewhere if you want a full (or more accurate) synopsis. It was a classic story of good vs. evil. The movie takes place in a far-off world and is based on the premise that 1,000 years ago the "Crystal of Truth" was cracked and became the Dark Crystal. After this happened, two races were formed; the gentle Mystics and the evil Skeksis, who look sort of like vultures. The basic storyline is that the hero, a male character named Jen (?), who was raised by the Mystics after his family was killed by the Skeksis, has to find the shard that is missing from the Dark Crystal and replace it, thereby stripping the evil Skeksis of their power and restoring order to the world. If you're not totally bored yet, here are the cards...

#4 - The Valley of the Standing Stones - This was the valley where Jen grew up, and where he learns of his quest at the beginning of the movie...


#5 - The Mystic Scribe - Here's one of the Mystics.


#11 - A Grab for Power - I remember this scene scared me quite a bit as a child. The old decrepid monster on the bed is the dying head of the Skeksis (the Emperor), and looking on is another Skeksis eager to become the leader. Shortly after this the Emperor dies and dissolves into dust. Pretty corny now but surprisingly scary for a PG movie at the time.


#21 - Aughra's Observatory - Aughra is the character pictured on the wrapper, who provides the crystal's missing shard to Jen. The observatory had the huge machine that is pictured here, which was supposed to be a model of the planets and stars in this strange world.


#23 - Selecting the Shard - Here Jen has to select the shard that he thinks is the correct one from the pile of shards that Aughra had. Interesting fact...the man who did the voice of Aughra, Frank Oz, is also the same guy who did the voice of Yoda in the Star Wars movies...


#31 - Kira's Dreamfast - Kira was a woman that Jen met up with on his quest and maybe becomes romantically involved with? Can't remember...


#41 - The Making of a Pod Slave - III - The hit follow-up to the card "The Making of a Pod Slave - II". The evil Skeksis would suck the life out of these cute little Pods, lengthening their own lives and turning the Pods into slaves in the process.


#50 - Jen and Ydra - Here's Jen talking with one of the Pods. Don't remember much about this scene.

So, what's the verdict? The movie is nostalgic for me, but these cards suck. The purple border occupies way too much space, which should be used for larger photos. On top of that, rounded corners should be reserved for playing cards, not trading cards. I won't be picking up any more of these...

4 comments:

Jeffrey Wolfe said...

Thanks for posting these. Cool movie but yeah the cards aren't that great. They still have some nostalgic charm though.

madding said...

I absolutely hated that movie when I was kid, but I don't really know why. I might have just been too young to understand what was going on. The cards look hideous.

shanediaz82 said...

Yes, this is a terrible set of cards. I cannot stress enough that nobody should ever buy these things.

PunkRockPaint said...

I kinda want that set... sad, but true.