Issuing Company: Lambert and Butler
Country of Issue: New Zealand
Year of Issue: 1927
Color/B&W: B&W
Number of Cards in Set: 50
Card Size: photo size 8" x 10" on a 9" x 12" mount
Issued as insert with what product: Cigarettes - Mail-in Offer

Notes: These cards were issued as a mail-in offer for sending 30 Varsity cigarette packet fronts.

Wayne King of New Zealand is the world's expert on these cards, and this is what he has to say about them:

"In 1927, the Lambert and Butler tobacco company in Great Britain introduced a scheme (only in New Zealand) where the smokers of their Varsity cigarettes could collect photographs of their favorite film stars.

This is how the scheme worked - brochures were printed and distributed to tobacconists who stocked the various photos customers could choose from.

There are two distinct types:

Type 1 - photographs about 5 1/2" x 7 1/12" on a cream mount measuring 8" x 10". On the back is printed "With the Compliments of the Proprietors of Varsity Cigarettes." The photographs are portraits of film stars in sepia color. 49 different cards have been recorded.

Type 2 - These apart from two are on the whole film stills or scenes from films, photo size 8" x 10" on a brown mount measuring 9" x 12". On the back of the mount is a gum label (same wording as Type 1), except the description of the photograph is in the form of a hand stamp. 50 different photographs are known to have been available, but only about 30 have actually been recorded.

Orders were sent to Crown photographic studios in Wellington via postoffice box address. Customers would only receive a photograph of their choice if they sent 30 Varsity cigarette packet fronts to the P.O. Box address.

The scheme seems to have lasted just under two years. Later additions to the scheme were New Zealand-related subjects, so 1 1/2 years would be more correct for the movie stars.

Today these photographs are extremely rare."

*Renee Adoree - "A Certain Young Man"
*Dale Austin (Miss New Zealand) with Marion Douglas and "King" - "The Bushrangers"
*Vilma Banky and Ronald Colman - "Two Lovers"
*Madge Bellamy - "Mother Knows Best"
*Clara Bow and Charles Rogers - "Wings"
*Mary Brian
*Nancy Carroll - "Abie's Irish Rose
Lon Chaney - "Laugh, Clown, Laugh"
*Lon Chaney and Loretta Young - "Laugh, Clown, Laugh"
Charlie Chaplin - "The Circus"
Joan Crawford and John Gilbert - "Four Walls"
*Bebe Daniels - "She's a Sheik"
Marceline Day and Flash - "Under the Black Eagle"
*Dolores Del Rio - "Ramona"
Dolores Del Rio and Ralph Forbes - "The Trail of '98"
*Reginald Denny and Barbara Worth - "On Your Toes"
*Billie Dove - "Adoration"
Greta Garbo and John Gilbert - "Anna Karenina"
Shale Gardner and Alice Terry - "The Three Passions"
Janet Gaynor and George O'Brien - "Sunrise"
*Dorothy Gulliver - "Honeymoon Flats"
Jack Holt - "Sunset Pass"
Buster Keaton - "The Camera Man"
*Norman Kerry and Lillian Gish - "Anne Laurie"
*Laura La Plante - "Home James"
*Laura La Plante - "Silk Stockings"
Sir Harry Lauder - "Hunting Tower"
Ken Maynard - "Cheyenne"
Patsy Miller - "The Gate Crasher"
Colleen Moore - "Love Never Dies"
*Ramon Novarro and May McAvoy - "Ben Hur"
*Our Gang
*Mary Philbin - "The Drums of Love"
*Mary Pickford
*Esther Ralston - "The Case of Lena Smith"
*Esther Ralston and Gary Cooper - "Half a Bride"
Rex - "Wild Blood"
Rin Tin Tin
*Rin Tin Tin appearing in Warner Bros. Productions
Rin Tin Tin - "The Dog of the Regiment"
Rin Tin Tin and Monkey - "Rinty of the Desert"
*Charles Rogers - "Abie's Irish Rose"
*Norma Shearer and Ramon Novarro - "The Student Prince"
*Milton Sills - "The Sea Hawk"
The "Southern Cross" and Crew
Norma Talmadge
*Ruth Taylor - "Just Married"
Alice Terry and Ivan Petrovich - "The Garden of Allah"
*Fred Thompson and "Silver King" - "Kit Carson"

*indicates photograph that has actually been seen

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