Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
The Sportsmen of Oz looks at Australian footy and cricket through sepia coloured glasses, with a proposed trading card set featuring sixteen of Australia's finest athletes from the pre-WW2 era launching on popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter and running until  June 9. The goal is to capture the spirit of the golden age of Australian sport and vintage trading cards - without the health risk of turn-of-the-century cigarettes.  

"I wanted to do something unique, something that not a lot of people were pursuing... everyone is doing zombies and ninjas now" says illustrator E.R. Driscoll, owner of Acheron Mint, which has produced a multitude of trading card series in a variety of genres since 2006. "The turn of the 20th century to the mid 1930's was a great era for sport worldwide and I wanted to celebrate that. In an age where intangible digital items have replaced the book, CD and DVD, people still like things they can hold in their hand, especially original art."

Scans of the Football Record from the State Library of Victoria helped in getting likenesses of less photographed players. "Bob Pratt was a challenge, few clear photos of him exist" states Driscoll. He adds "This would have been impossible 15 years ago. The internet has made these types of projects in the global marketplace much easier."

Acheron Mint has produced several card series depicting golden age cricketers and footy players in the past. Reception has been fantastic. "This is my first proposed wide release in Australia, due to great reception and requests for more cards." Acheron Mint chose Kickstarter.com to crowd-fund the project. "There is close input from fans and experts, and the set can be made the best possible before release... it's not only the funding aspect." This Kickstarter campaign lasts until the ninth of June. If the funding goal is met, enough money will be raised to print 250 sets of sixteen cards depicting the greatest Australian athletes of the first three decades of the 20th century.

With Kickstarter's various tiered funding levels of $5, $28, or $75 come more backer "rewards", which can range from a PDF download to postcard to a set of the cards once they are manufactured. With higher funding levels come things like original card art, prints and commissions, which would be unavailable with a regular card pack purchased at a retailer at a fixed price.

"But perhaps the greatest thing about the trading card is the same today as it was 80 years ago." says Driscoll, "They still make a sound when placed in the spokes of a bicycle. Try doing that with a digital download."

To learn more about the Sportsmen of Oz or to support the project visit www.thesportsmenofoz.com

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Acheron Mint

Acheron Mint was founded in 2006 with a series of autograph/sketch cards. In 2007 the first sketch collection, 87 card “Five Hundred Years of Dracula”, was published. Since 2008 over eighty different sets have been produced, from Blade Runner to Sexton Blake to Fu Manchu. Acheron Mint's emphasis is on vintage, retro-style card design and subjects.
Evan R. Driscoll
P: 0011 1 480 970 1658
W: www.thesportsmenofoz.com


cricket, footy, AFL, VFL, cards, collectables, gum cards, cigarette cards, Kickstarter



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