Recently while upgrading the F285 webpage on Skytamer.com. I had the 3-Minute "Airplanes" 42-aiplanes card set ready to publish. Then, all of a sudden ... dark clouds appeared directly over my house and a blinding flash of lightning brightened the night sky. Then a voice from the heavens said "John, use the Kalk"! Lee Kalk had recently send me his nine 3-MINUTE "Plane-Pack" airplane cards with two lines of branding and no box. This meant that there were actually two 3-MINUTE "Plane-Pack" sets of 42-airplane cards each. Once again that same voice thundered from the heavens and said "John look at the 3-MINUTE advertisement ... so I did! What I saw in the advertisement was startling! The advertisement reveled a third set of 3-MINUTE "Plane-Pack" 42-airplane cards with a single line advertising 3-MINUTE POP CORN. This of course meant that there were actually three 3-MINUTE "Plane-Pack" 42-airplane card sets (NOT ONE) issued by the National Oats Company via their trademarked "3-MINUTE" product line.
I have a complete set of 600-dpi original scans for the 3-line F285-3 series, 9 original card scans for the 2-line F285-2 series, and 0 scans for the single-line F285-1 series. I had to generate a simulated card image for the F285-1 card back from the below advertisement. If anyone has any additional information, or F285-1 cards, your help would certainly be appreciated. The write-up you see below was extracted from the Skytamer.com website and is only a partial write-up. To view the entire article, go to www.skytamer.com/F285.html. The article on the Skytamer.com website includes the original scans, enhanced presentation images, checklists, etc.
Series Title: 3-Minute “Plane-Pack” Series
American Card Catalog No.: F285 (Generic)
Manufactured by: National Oats Company, Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Obtained via Mail-Order: 3-Minute Oats, 3-Minute Raisin Oats, 3-Minute Pop Corn
Variation 1: F285-1: Back with single line of branding (3-MINUTE POP CORN)
Variation 2: F285-2: Back with two lines of branding (3-MINUTE OATS/3-MINUTE RAISIN OATS)
Variation 3: F285-3: Back with three lines of branding (3-MINUTE OATS/3-MINUTE RAISIN OATS/3-MINUTE POP CORN)
Number of Cards: 42-airplane cards per series
Card Format: PLC (Playing Card) format with rounded corners
Card Dimensions: 56 × 87 mm
Checklist: F285 Checklist
3-MINUTE “Plane-Pack” Airplane Cards (F285)
During the mid-1950s, the National Oats Company issued their first series of 42-unnumbered airplane cards. Throughout the years, these cards have commonly been known as 3-MINUTE OATS “Airplanes” cards. However … SURPRISE … the official name of these sets are actually 3-MINUTE “Plane-Pack” airplane cards. The cards were available via mail order by redeeming 3-MINUTE trademark labels from their three main products. See the newspaper advertisement and mail order instructions for the initial 42-airplane card set below.
Full-size 600-dpi Image
Now let's take a very close look at the above 3-MINUTE “Plane-Pack” newspaper advertisement. Notice the card back in the advertisement. It has only one line of branding … 3-MINUTE POP CORN. This indicates that there was an initial 42-airplane card set of 3-MINUTE “Plane-Pack” Series 1 (F285-1) with only a single-line of branding. As of 12/30/2016, to the best of our knowledge we have been unable to physically obtain or receive any scans of these F285-1 airplane cards … this just means that they are very scarce … if not rare! Skytamer Images enlarged a section of the above advertisement that contained the image of the card back. The image was then resized and overlaid on the same image from the F285-3 set. It was a perfect match except for the single-line of branding versus the three-lines of branding. We therefore concluded that the set does indeed exist, and seems to be exceptionally rare. Any help with scans of these initial F285-1 cards would certainly be appreciated. For talking purposes, computer enhanced sample card fronts and backs of the three F285 42-airplane card sets are presented below.
As noted above, the initial series of 3-Minute “Plane-Pack” Series 1 (F285-1) of 42-airplane cards was issued to promote the National Oats Company's 3-MINUTE most popular trademark product … 3-MINUTE POP CORN and contained the following single line of branding … 3-MINUTE POP CORN on the card backs. Evidently the 3-MINUTE “Plane-Pack” Series 1 promotion worked well for the National Oats Company's 3-MINUTE POP CORN product line, and a second series was issued. The second series of 3-MINUTE “Plane-Pack” Series 2 (F285-2) 42-airplane card set shared the same card fronts and backs as the F285-1 initial series, with the exception of the branding on the reverse side. This second series of 3-MINUTE “Plane-Pack” Series 2 (F285-2) 42-airplane cards contained the following two-lines of branding on the reverse sides … 3-MINUTE OATS/3-MINUTE RAISIN OATS. It appears that both the single-line F285-1 and the two-line F285-2 airplane card sets were being issued during the same timeframe. Between the two sets, the National Oats Company was able to promote all three of their most popular 3-MINUTE trademarked products. Later, the first two series of the 3-MINUTE “Plane-Pack” were discontinued in favor of a third 3-MINUTE “Plane-Pack” Series 3 (F285-3) set of 42-airplane cards. Again, this third set used the same fronts and backs as the previous two sets with the exception of the branding on the reverse side. This third set of 3-MINUTE “Plane-Pack” Series 3 (F285-3) utilized the following three lines of branding surrounded by a rectangular box … 3-MINUTE OATS/3-MINUTE RAISIN OATS/3-MINUTE POP CORN. This third set (F285-3) was most likely issued due to financial considerations. The issuance of this third set (F285-3) allowed the National Oats Company to consolidate and promote all three of their 3-MINUTE trademarked products at one time. Essentially, they “put all of their airplane card “eggs” into one basket”, thus reducing the costs of printing, advertising, shipping and handling of multiple airplane card sets. The 3-MINUTE “Plane-Pack” Series 3 (F285-3) set of 42-airplane cards is the set that we have all been familiar with over the last 60+ years, and assumed that it was the only airplane card set associated with the National Oats' 3-MINUTE trademarked products. At this time, the original issue dates of the three F285 42-airplane card sets appears to be lost in history.
The fronts of the cards show only American aircraft from the early to mid-1950s. The aircraft artwork is the same that was used in several contemporary aircraft card sets of that era and are later in this article. The backs of the cards are also the same as their contemporary sets with the exception of the product branding on the reverse side. The backs of the cards were printed in a portrait (vertical) format with black ink and arranged in a vertical stack of the following four segments: (1) The card title (aircraft designation); (2) A brief descriptive text of the aircraft; (3) A simplistic 3-view OML (outer mold line) drawing of the aircraft (Note, in some cases the drawing was not included since it was “CLASSIFIED”; and (4) Product branding at the bottom of the card. The cards measure 56 × 87 mm. The generic American Card Catalog reference number for the 3-MINUTE “Plane-Pack” 42-airplane card series is F285.
The 3-MINUTE “Plane-Pack” Series Image Guides
The photo-Guide for the series is at www.skytamer.com/F285.html