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Published February 15, 2023 Updated February 15, 2023

Smash Hits playing cards

Pack of playing cards with pop stars offered free with the Smash Hits magazine.

1999 United Kingdom Smash Hits Cartomancy Music Pop Culture Add to Collection

Smash Hits was a British music magazine which ran from 1978 to 2006. In their issue of 16 June 1999 they offered as a free gift this set of smaller than usual playing cards featuring different pop stars who were ‘big’ at the time. These include Adam Rickitt, Will Smith, Ronan Keating, Kylie Minogue, and Robbie Williams. Heads of more stars are superimposed on the pips. Unfortunately, the stars are not named – will they all be remembered or recognised in years to come? Adam Rickitt, a former star of the TV soap Coronation Street, appears on the cover of the magazine and also in a 3-page spread inside. On another page there are instructions for telling fortunes with the cards  see more

Packs issued (usually free) with magazines are a neglected area of collecting. More often than not they are designed to appeal to the younger generation or to a ladies’ market. They may take the form of actual packs (as here) or of sheets ready to press out or cut up. Sets with Disney characters or pop stars, and packs for fortune-telling are particularly popular. See the box

Smash Hits playing cards,issued June 16, 1999. Maker unknown Smash Hits playing cards,issued June 16, 1999. Maker unknown Smash Hits playing cards,issued June 16, 1999. Maker unknown

Above: Smash Hits playing cards, issued June 16, 1999. Maker unknown. 52 cards + 2 Jokers in tuck box. Size: 50 x 79.5 mm.

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By Roddy Somerville

Member since May 31, 2022

Roddy started collecting stamps on his 8th birthday. In 1977 he joined the newly formed playing-card department at Stanley Gibbons in London before setting up his own business in Edinburgh four years later. His collecting interests include playing cards, postcards, stamps (especially playing cards on stamps) and sugar wrappers. He is a Past President of the Scottish Philatelic Society, a former Chairman of the IPCS, a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards and Curator of the WCMPC’s collection of playing cards. He lives near Toulouse in France.


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