Friday, January 21, 2011

How Rarity Makes The Mundane Valuable, Twilight P1 Promotional Card!

The Good: Good image, Informative, Inexpensive enough, Necessary for collectors, Rare enough
The Bad: It’s just one card and can usually be found for free, Light on release details/inaccurate
The Basics: A single Twilight card, the Bella and Edward Promotional card is unimpressive but has value to investors and collectors.

Collectibles are a funny thing in a lot of ways. When something has collectible value or appeal, it can entirely change a product. Promotional cards, for example, are rather mundane collectibles which prepare card collectors for an upcoming trading card release. However, when a merchandise-starved crowd finds something they love, they tend to pounce upon any and all merchandise associated with it. This is, arguably, the only reason for the inflated prices associated with the Twilight P1 card, as well as the entire card series from Twilight produced by Inkworks (reviewed here!). The crowd of young women who made Twilight an international phenomenon in books and film was eager for other merchandise and when Inkworks came out with its card set, the value of it exploded because demand for it was insanely high. The P1 promotional card preceded the main card release as well as the theatrical release of Twilight (reviewed here!). The P1 card has maintained an uncommonly high value in the secondary market since.

To prepare collectors for the release of the Twilight trading cards, Inkworks produced a promotional card. Promotional cards are designed to give collectors a tease of the new set and generate enthusiasm for forthcoming card releases. Inkworks gave away tens of thousands of Twilight P1 promotional cards to collectors (who simply asked for one and sent a self addressed, stamped envelope) and to dealers to freely distribute to potential customers.

Numbered P1 (on the back) the Twilight promotional card prepares fans for the style of the common card set for the Twilight trading cards. As such, this is a standard trading card size and there is no gimmick to it. It has the Inkworks standard UV protective coating to prevent fading and after two years, mine shows no wear (though mine is nicely protected in a binder's poly pages!).

The front of the trading card a film shot that has Bella Swan and Edward Cullen remarkably far apart. Set in the treetops, this is a fan-favorite scene from the film and it is no surprise that Inkworks went with it for their promotional card. With the landscape format, it prepares consumers for the common card set and it features the murky cloud border that the trading cards possessed. This is the format of the common cards and it accurately predicts how the set would look.

The photography on the front is very clear and the color contrast is decent, which prepares collectors well for the actual set. As well, this illustrated the clarity of Inkworks’ screen capture technology. Those looking for something different to get signed should they have a chance encounter with Edward Pattinson and Kristen Stewart will find this works nicely. Having only the both main characters on the front is nice for fans, collectors and autograph hunters.

The back of the card simply announces the Twilight trading card set, illustrating that it will be a set that include autograph cards and piecework (costume segment) cards, and indicating that it would be available in November of 2008! The back features no other images and so the style of autographs and costume cards is a mystery to those looking at the promotional card. Given that the autograph cards did not materialize when the set was released, the P1 card sets up expectations that were not met with the actual set. Outside the most expensive cards in the set, the card does not tease potential buyers with much information and it is only insinuation and retrospect which lead those looking at the P1 to know that the common card set followed this style of card.

In the end, this card is underwhelming but nice looking. The Twilight Trading Card P1 card prepares the consumer for the actual full trading card set. From a production point of view, this card ought to be worthless. However, because so many fans found this to be one of the few inexpensive ways to get even a single Twilight card, it has retained a value as a collectible which makes it worth picking up if one can find it cheap.

For other Twilight or movie-themed cards, please visit my reviews of:
PW-7 Taylor Lautner Pieceworks card
Twilight In Pursuit set
Batman Returns Movie Photo cards


For other trading card releases, please visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!

© 2011, 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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