1934 POPEYE Playing Card Game (R112-11)
Whitman Publishing Company, Racine, Wisconsin, USA

Series Title: POPEYE Playing Card Game
ACC No.: R112-11
Manufactured by: Whitman Publishing Company, Racine, Wisconsin, USA
Packaged: Boxed Set
Number of Cards: 35 game cards plus 1 "Directions for Playing" card
Numbering: unnumbered
Card Dimensions: 2¼ × 3½ inches with rounded corners (Playing Card Format)
Circa: 1934
Checklist: Download


During the 1930s, Whitman Publishing Company, Racine Wisconsin, issued a series of Comic Character Sets. Whitman made card games for both Popeye and Dick Tracy. The POPEYE Playing Card Game was issued by Whitman Publishing Company in 1934. This popular set included: (a) 27 sectional cards depicting eight different Popeye comic strip characters; (b) 8 Scooner cards; and (c) a two-sided Directions for Playing card, for a total of 36 cards. The fronts of the cards feature split-sectionals of the eight Popeye comic strip characters. The Scooner Cards show Popeye’s adopted son, Swee’ Pea, in a crib. The generic card Backs are in red and feature Popeye at his fighting best. Sample cards are shown below.

Since the set was not a Gum issue, it was sold in variety stores as a stand-alone game. The game was packaged in at least four different boxes. The green box we have shown below measures approximately 4½ × 6¼ inches. We have included black and white images of the other three box designs. This set has been included in the CARD-O category because of its playing card format. The American Card Catalog reference number for the set is R112-11.

Directions for Playing

Popeye the sailor man is on deck! In fact, you’ll find him all through this deck. Not only the lovable old salt that eats his spinach but also his many comic friends. Here is your chance to show how well you know these famous characters by assembling complete figures of each as you play this interesting Popeye game.

Two, three, or four persons may play. Start by shuffling the cards thoroughly. One of the players deals the cards, one at a time, face down, until each player has four cards. The remainder of the deck is placed face down in the center of the table, and players draw from this pile.

The object of the game is to assemble a complete drawing of a character, plus a Scooner Card to place over the lower half of the card that contains the feet of the character. The person to the left of the dealer plays first. If he is unable to complete a character or has no Scooner Card, he draws one card from the pile, then discards any one card he chooses, placing the discard face up in the center of the table. The player on his left then draws and discards in a similar manner, except that he may, if he chooses, pick up the card laid down by the first player instead of drawing from the pile. When a player can complete a character and has also a Scooner Card to put at the bottom, he lays his four cards in a vertical line, face up, the second card covering half the first; the third card covering half the second and the Scooner Card&rdqup; covering half the third, so that the completed character is shown. At his next turn he draws five cards from the pile and then discards any one card he chooses. When the pile from which the players draw is used up, the discards are turned face down to form a new pile.

The above images show the completed 4-card panels showing the 8 game characters: Bill Squid, King Blozo, Lucy Brown, Oliveoyl, Oscar, Popeye, Rough House & Wimpy.

In this game scores should be written down as soon as made and each additional score added to the previous total. Scoring is as follows:

  1. In each hand, the first character (complete with Scooner Card) laid on the table counts 10 points for the player who laid it down.
  2. The second character laid down scores 8 points.
  3. The third character scores 6 points.
  4. The fourth character scores 4 points.
  5. The fifth character scores 2 points.

As soon as the fifth character is laid on the table and scored, the cards are collected and shuffled thoroughly. The player to the left of the first dealer deals the second hand, and the play continues. The first player to score 50 points wins the game.


The images of the fronts of the 35 Popeye Playing Card Game cards plus the front and back of the Directions for Playing card are shown below. The generic card backis shown above.


POPEYE Playing Card Game
Whitman Publishing Company, United States, R112-11
xTop SectionalBottom Sectional
Bill Squid (head)Lucy Brown (feet)
Bill Squid (head)Popeye (torso)
Bill Squid (feet)Oliveoyl (torso)
King Blozo (head)Bill Squid (feet)
King Blozo (head)Rough House (feet)
Lucy Brown (head)King Blozo (torso)
Lucy Brown (head)Popeye (torso)
Lucy Brown (torso)King Blonzo (feet)
Lucy Brown (feet)Bill Squid (torso)
Oliveoyl (head)Bill Squid (torso)
Oliveoyl (head)Oscar (feet)
Oliveoyl (torso)King Blonzo (feet)
Oscar (head)Wimpy (feet)
Oscar (head)Wimpy (feet)
Oscar (torso)Popeye (feet)
Popeye (head)King Blozo (torso)
Popeye (head)Oliveoyl (feet)
Popeye (head)Oscar (feet)
Popeye (head)Wimpy (torso)
Popeye (torso)Oliveoyl (feet)
Popeye (feet)Rough House (torso)
Popeye (feet)Lucy Brown (torso)
Rough House (head)Popeye (torso)
Rough House (head)Wimpy (torso)
Rough House (feet)Oscar (torso)
Wimpy (head)Popeye (torso)
Wimpy (head)Rough House (torso)
 Title or Description
Scooner Card
Scooner Card
Scooner Card
Scooner Card
Scooner Card
Scooner Card
Scooner Card
Scooner Card
Popeye Game Card - Directions for Playing
Box Design 1 - Fighting Popeye (landscape)
Box Design 2 - Popeye facing right (portrait)
Box Design 3 - Popeye facing left (landscape)
Box Design 4 - Popeye head shot (portrait)


  1. John A. Shupek: Card images via the Skytamer Archive Digital Image Database.

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