Following foreign trends, Heraclio Fournier released a collection of small sized card decks for children. All games were quartets consisting of 24 cards (instead of 32, which is the most common number of cards –that’s 6 families instead of 8–). These new format was more appropriate to children’s pockets and easy to take with. Due to their low prices, they were also sometimes used as give-aways or promotional articles. As a matter of fact, some of these small card decks have several versions including an advertisement on the back of the cards.
Almost at the same time, FX Schmid released a similar collection called “Super Minis”, and other German and Austrian cardmakers had the same idea. For example, Berliner released “die Liliputs” and Pelikan the “Mini-Quartett”.
Ass had the “Maxi Minis”, which counted up 26 references from 1977 to 1983. That´s where Heraclio Fournier got the license to reproduce some references and to sell them under their own brand. Take a look for example at this first deck “Coches Deportivos”. In the cover card, we can read: “ASS Leinfelden/ Stuttgart”. This card set is identical to “Rassige Sportwagen” (3302/9) made by Ass around 1977. All cards are the same in the same order, but the table has been reordered for unknown reasons. The power of the car is only given in horsepower (HP).
Other licensed card decks are number 2 “Motos Veloces”, which is really “Feuerstühle” (3304/7) and number 4 “Coches de Carreras”, which is “Heiße Rennwagen” (3306/5). In exchange (see comments to this entry), ASS got "Mount Everest Expedition" (63547366), "Foto Safari" (63547357) and "Weltreise" (635 47375), which are numbers 5, 6 and 7 in the HF reference list.
I cannot say much about these sets, since their quite ordinary quartets. The first one mixes quite ordinary cars with supersport cars, making the game a bit unbalanced, similarly to set number 4, which mixes formula 1 with other racing categories like formula 2, although this time cards are divided in (almost) equally big groups.
The decks licensed from Ass (numbers 1, 2 and 4) are technical quartets, but the other 17 “Minis de Fournier” I know are normal quartets, like for example the next example “Bravura en Moto” (“Bravery on a Motorbike”).
This set is quite special because it is copyrighted by Fournier, but the pictures are courtesy of Bultaco, a legendary motorbike maker from Barcelona. The deck has 6 families: Children, Trial, Motocross, Dirt Bike, Great Feats and Champions. Each card show a big picture with a short text. In this case, there is much more to comment, for example we can see people (also children) riding motorbikes without a helmet, what today would be unthinkable in a game for children. Card A1 depicts Francisco X. Bultó riding a bike with a boy, who could be his grandson Sete Gibernau. A lot of famous riders from the 70s are also depicted, but all of them run for Bultaco, like Vesterinen, Lampkin, Everts, R. Tormo, A. Nieto, T. Elías, N. Casas, “Bimbo” Pomeroy, M. Soler, J. M. Lladó or Schreiber.
After these first sets, HF looked for other themes to extend the “Minis”-line and then they included a mixture of comic characters and adventure or sport themed decks. Here’s the complete list (Number – Name – Copyright)
- 1 COCHES DEPORTIVOS © ASS LEINFELDEN/STTUTGART
- 2 MOTOS VELOCES © ASS LEINFELDEN/STTUTGART
- 3 BRAVURA EN MOTO © FOURNIER (CORTESIA DE BULTACO)
- 4 COCHES DE CARRERAS © ASS LEINFELDEN/STTUTGART
- 5 ATAQUE AL EVEREST © EXPEDICIÓN TXIMIST AL EVEREST
- 6 SAFARI FOTOGRÁFICO © FOURNIER
- 7 PAISES DEL MUNDO © FOURNIER
- 8 ARTES MARCIALES © FOURNIER
- 9 FLASH GORDON © KING FEATURES SYNDICATE, INC.
- 10 EL HOMBRE ENMASCARADO © KING FEATURES SYNDICATE, INC.
- 11 EL PRINCIPE VALIENTE © KING FEATURES SYNDICATE, INC.
- 12 MANDRAKE EL MAGO © KING FEATURES SYNDICATE, INC.
- 13 AVENTURAS DEL PATO DONALD © WALT DISNEY PRODUCTIONS
- 14 ESTRELLAS DE WALT DISNEY © WALT DISNEY PRODUCTIONS
- 15 DISNEYWORLD © WALT DISNEY PRODUCTIONS
- 16 AVENTURAS MICKEY MOUSE © WALT DISNEY PRODUCTIONS
- 17MORTADELO Y FILEMÓN © EDITORIAL BRUGERA S.A.
- 18 ZIPI Y ZAPE © EDITORIAL BRUGERA S.A.
- 19 PEPE GOTERA Y OTILIO © EDITORIAL BRUGERA S.A.
- 20 EL BOTONES SACARINO © EDITORIAL BRUGERA S.A.
The last two card decks today are “Flash Gordon” (Nr. 9) and “Mandrake el Mago” (Nr. 12), both copyrighted by King Features Syndicate, Inc. Each family of these sets presents one character: For example, cards A1 to A4 are dedicated to Flash Gordon, B1 to B4 to Dale Arden, and so on. The cartoons are great and beautifully coloured, as the comics were. Mandrake the Magician is a character I have never read, but looking at the cards, and reading the information, it looks quite interesting.
FACTS AND FIGURES:
- Name: LOS MINIS DE FOURNIER: COCHES DEPORTIVOS (Nr. 1), BRAVURA EN MOTO (Nr. 3), COCHES DE CARRERAS (Nr. 4), FLASH GORDON (Nr. 9) and MANDRAKE EL MAGO (Nr. 12)
- Year: 1979
- Company: Heraclio-Fournier (Spain)