Saturday, 25 July 2015


Last week in Great Ghosts of the Shelves, I reminisced about the wonderfully lurid Horror Top Trumps of the 1970s, and as promised we now start our epic journey uncovering the secret history of the packs. This entry #0 in the series details the basic important facts about the Horror range of Top Trumps, and provides a full rogue's gallery of both packs of cards.

In 1978 Dubreq launched the Horror Range of Top Trumps, and they were re-released in 1982 when Waddingtons acquired the rights to Top Trumps. Both packs consisted of 32 cards for game play, plus several additional cards - a title card whose reverse had the rules of the game printed on, another showing the title card of the other Horror Top trumps Pack, a Top Trumps reference card listing the other packs available (with handy tick boxes to keep track of your collection), and a Special Offer card.

Both packs came in clear plastic cases, and both packs of cards featured a vampire bat design on the reverse. In rarer editions of the packs released both by Dubreq and Waddingtons this beastie is printed in blue rather than black. The card stats for both packs were -

  • Physical Strength
  • Fear Factor
  • Killing Power
  • Horror Rating
And the rules of the game were -

And the card listings for both packs are as follows -


  • Alien Creature
  • The Beast
  • Colossus
  • Creature From Outer Space
  • Creature From the Black Lagoon
  • Cyclops
  • Death
  • Devil Priest
  • Diablo
  • Dr. Syn
  • The Fiend
  • Fire Demon
  • Frankenstein
  • High Priestess of Zoltan
  • Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • The Jailer
  • Killer Rat
  • The Living Gargoyle
  • The Living Skull
  • Lizard Man
  • Martian Warrior
  • Mistress Vampire
  • The Mummy
  • The Slime Creature
  • The Sorcerer
  • Talon
  • Terror of The Deep
  • Thor
  • Venusian Death Cell
  • Wolfman
  • Zetan Priest
  • Zoltan


  • Ape Man
  • Cannibal
  • Circus of Death
  • Dracula
  • The Executioner
  • The Freak
  • Fu Manchu
  • Gargantua
  • The Ghoul
  • Godzilla
  • The Gorgon
  • Granite Man
  • The Hangman
  • Headhunter
  • Incredible Melting Man
  • King Kong
  • Lord of Death
  • The Mad Axeman
  • The Mad Magician
  • Madman
  • Maggot
  • Man Eating Plant
  • Phantom of The Opera
  • Prince of Darkness
  • The Risen Dead
  • Skeleton
  • The Sorceress
  • The Thing
  • Two Headed Monster
  • Vampire Bat
  • Werewolf
  • Zetan Warlord

NEXT TIME on TOMBS OF THE TRUMPS, we begin our quest to discover where the art on these iconic cards was shameless ripped off from, I mean, *ahem* was inspired by! 


Chris Stacey said...

Both of the Horror Top Trumps packs have been re-released as part of the retro collection by Winning Moves. Disappointingly, each pack consists of 30 cards rather than the original 32. The Dracula pack is missing Man Eating Plant and The Sorceress. The Devil Priest pack is missing Death and Martian Warrior. Not sure why... should please owners of the original packs though.

Fionn said...

I bought several of those classic card packs from winning moves and they all had 30 cards. I used Winning moves contact page to ask why there are cards missing but so far I have been ignored.
As I remember it all the top trumps decks had 32 cards.
The Winning moves fantasy deck is missing the (rare) demon card, but I am not sure what else it is missing.
Have to say I was a bit disappointed to be missing the cards. And also to be ignored.

Jim Moon said...

Yes, I recently picked up the reissued packs too, and yes each deck is missing two cards -
The Devil Priest deck is missing Death and Martian Warrior, and the Dracula deck is missing Man-Eating Plant and The Sorceress.

Also compared to the originals, the artwork is slightly cropped ie missing a little bit at the bottom - however in nearly all cases you'd hardly notice, but you do se the difference on the Maggot card where the victim's head is now missing his eyes.

So far there been no real explanation offered why the decks are missing cards :S