Koala Swapcard

An Iconic Swapcard
Koala swapcard
Trading pictorial swapcards was a very popular activity among primary school children in Australia the 1960s, particularly for girls. In fact it was a pastime almost exclusively enjoyed by girls. Although boys may have trading football cards, the pretty picture cards were girls territory.

Single cards with plain backs could be purchased for 2 or 3 cents at the Newsagency but often the cards in circulation would have players marks on the underside, having at some point been commandeered from a deck.

Every recess, the swapcard girls would form a concentrated huddle in the playground and flip through their card stack - some girls had piles three or four inches thick, which they sometimes kept in purpose designed boxes or more rarely, in albums.

Deciding whether or not to swap was a serious business and of course, some cards were more desirable than others. Horses were very high on the list followed by cats, puppies and other cute furry animals. There were literally hundreds of designs in circulation - animals, people, places, toys, novelty pics etc.

The mother and baby koala card featured here, from a mid-century deck, was one of the desirables and widely traded on the swap card circuit in the 60s. It's significant in that it was one of the few designs that was uniquely Australian and likely to stir a nostalgic ripple in the memory of  anyone who was into swapcards in the 60s.  The koala card is still floating around on ebay and various places - selling for around $3.