Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Not Making A Stampede Of Battlestar Galactica Fans, The Season One Promo Underwhelms!

The Good: Good image, Informative, Inexpensive enough, Necessary for collectors
The Bad: It’s just one card and can usually be found for free!
The Basics: An underwhelming single trading card, the Battlestar Galactica Premiere Edition P1 is not a card one should have to pay for, even now.

Having seen only a single episode of Battlestar Galactica, I had absolutely no attachment to the stack of promotional cards I received as a dealer. However, as I attended science fiction conventions, I watched how many people took this promotional card (and accompanying sell sheet) and I was unsurprised to discover that Battlestar Galactica has a tight core of viewers, but very few of them are actually interested in the peripheral merchandising needed to justify shelling out for the card sets and the high-end cards. As such, the P1 promotional card was more than enough for most fans (even those who would later go on to buy the DVD sets!).

To prepare collectors for the release of the Battlestar Galactica Premiere Edition trading cards, Rittenhouse Archives produced a promotional card. Promotional cards are designed to give collectors a tease of the new set and generate enthusiasm for forthcoming card releases. Rittenhouse Archives gave away tens of thousands of Battlestar Galactica Premiere Edition 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 Battlestar Galactica Premiere Edition promotional card prepares fans for the style of the common card set for the Battlestar Galactica Premiere Edition trading cards. As such, this is a standard trading card size and there is no gimmick to it. It has the Rittenhouse Archives standard 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 four members of the Battlestar Galactica crew posed for a promotional shot. Against a wall looking dramatic are Admiral Adama (Edward James Almos), Captain Adama (Jamie Bamber), “Boomer” (Grace Park) and “Starbuck” (Katee Sackhoff). The quartet is staring at the card face with a hallway behind them. The side had a faint outline of other characters and across the bottom front of the card are the words “Premiere Edition Trading Cards.” 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, which was able to have clear images despite the prevalence of dark colors. Those looking for something different to get signed at conventions, though, will find this is not the ideal cards for that. Having gotten a P1 card signed by Jamie Bamber at a show he was attending, the celebrities seem confounded by the small size of the card and the fact that there are multiple characters on it; none seem to want to be the person who signs over the other two characters. Because no one character on the card is dominant, it is a tough sell for autograph hunters.

The back of the card simply announces the Battlestar Galactica Premiere Edition trading card set, illustrating that it will be a set that includes two autograph and two costume cards per box, and indicating that it would be available in Spring of 2005 (and it was)! The back features images of the two high-level chase cards, as well as an image of the very popular Number Six (Tricia Helfer). 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.

In the end, this card did not get me to invest, despite the fact that it did what promotional cards are supposed to do. The Battlestar Galactica Premiere Edition P1 card prepares the consumer for the actual full trading card set. Rittenhouse Archives 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 reviews of single cards, please check out my reviews of:
Family Guy 2005 P1
Twilight P1
Twilight PW-7 Taylor Lautner costume card


For other card reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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