Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Lack Of Information Sinks A Collector's Interest In Family Guy Cards With The P1!

The Good: Good image, Inexpensive enough, Necessary for collectors
The Bad: Not terribly informative, It’s just one card and can usually be found for free!
The Basics: A disappointingly uninformative promotional card, the Family Guy P1 promotional card is vague and does not entice fans to buy the set.

The goal of a good promotional card is to provide potential consumers with a hint of what the trading card series one is about to release with a tease of what is coming. Generally, the best ones feature artwork styled similar to how the actual set of cards is intended to be. The worst completely fool the consumer with a format that is not, then, followed. In the case of the Family Guy P1 promotional card for the first set of trading cards Inkworks produced, the card looks good initially, but is so vague on details about the card set it presages, that it is easy to let this one pass you by. In fact, I was so unimpressed by the promotional card, I did not invest in the cards when they were released! I've never regretted that decision.

Every Sunday night, my wife and I spend time together watching Family Guy (“It’s A Trap!” is reviewed here!) and even before she came into the picture it was one of only two shows that I watched religiously. So, when I got my stack of promotional cards - as a dealer - I was initially intrigued. But, then I turned the card over and found myself underwhelmed. Even so, as I attended science fiction conventions, I was happy to distribute these cards freely when they first came out. While a few people picked them up for the nostalgia of the cards, most people I encountered saw little point to cards from Family Guy. Inkworks, which is pretty ambitious about what it produces for non-sports trading card, had been banking on the die-hard fans coming out for the trading card set. Even with minimal merchandising surrounding Family Guy in 2005 when these were first released, few fans were interested in the trading cards. The P1 promotional card was more than enough for most fans, even those who helped get the series resurrected by purchasing the DVD sets.

To prepare collectors for the release of the Family Guy 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 Family Guy 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 Family Guy promotional card prepares fans for the style of the common card set for the first set of Family Guy trading cards. As such, this is a standard trading card size and there is no gimmick to it. It has the Inkworks UV protective coating to prevent fading and after half a decade, mine shows no wear (though mine is nicely protected in a binder's poly pages!).

The front of the trading card features the entire main cast of Family Guy, the Griffin family. The artwork is not from a specific episode (it's actually identical to the DVD cover for the first DVD boxed set) but it has the recognizable characters Peter, Lois, Chris, Meg, and Stewie Griffin with Brian the dog as well. 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 pretty incredible, which prepares collectors well for the actual set. The card set has very vivid coloring and the artwork looks like each card is an original piece, as opposed to looking like screen captures.

The back of the card features a picture of Stewie (yelling at the consumer) and it includes very basic sales points for the Family Guy trading card set. Here, the consumer learns that there will be autographs, that it would have 72 common cards, there would be sketch cards and indicating that it would be available in 2005 (and it was)! But 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. As well, details are unclear from the outset: who would be doing the sketch cards? How many would they be? How about autographs? Who is signing? What does the format look like? The promotional card is annoyingly vague and many fans, like me, were turned off by this.

In the end, this card did not get me to invest, mostly because it did not do what promotional cards are supposed to do. The Family Guy P1 card inadequately prepares the consumer for the actual full trading card set. Inkworks gave a slew of these away and it is not very collectible at all. As a result, those looking to purchase one of these ought to avoid overpaying. Many dealers throw promotional cards in for free (usually with a purchase) and this card only has a guide value of $2.00. Be sure not to pay more than that; it's one card and it is not truly worth more!

For other trading card reviews, please check out my takes on:
Twilight P1 promo card
Star Trek Season One trading cards
Batman Returns Movie Photo cards


For other trading card reviews, please click here to visit my index page!

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

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