Saturday, July 30, 2011

Not Exactly The Most Compelling Card Of All Time: The Spider-Man 3 P1.

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: Simple and truly only necessary to collectors, the Spider-Man 3 P1 is a promotional card most people can get free, even now.

Virtually every major blockbuster film that is released these days comes with an accompanying release of a trading card set. This is not entirely a bad thing, but as a trading card dealer, it did not take me long to realize that there is an exceptionally small window of time one has to sell such things. After all, while many people might enjoy this weekend's latest blockbuster film, it takes a seriously devoted fan to buy merchandise associated with it, especially the more expensive collectibles like complete trading card sets. Films like Spider-Man 3 (reviewed here!) followed that trend, but despite selling out at the manufacturer level, dealers have tended to find their sales of the product pretty much died two months after the film's release.

To prepare collectors for the release of the Spider-Man 3 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 Spider-Man 3 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 Spider-Man 3 promotional card prepares fans for the style of the common card set for the Spider-Man 3 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 two and a half years, mine shows no wear (though mine is nicely protected in a binder's poly pages!).

The front of the trading card features the original promotional poster for Spider-Man 3. As a result, it has Spider-Man in his classic red and blue costume crouching back-to-back with the black-suited altered Spider-Man. The dark mirror image was intended to tease the film's themes and fans of Spider-Man were appropriately hooked. The front also features text at the bottom which advertise the Spider-Man 3 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, though this was a very common promotional image and not an actual screen capture. Those looking for something different to get signed should they have a chance encounter with Tobey McGuire will find this works nicely. Having only the one dominant character on the cover is nice for fans, collectors and autograph hunters.

The back of the card simply announces the Spider-Man 3 trading card set, illustrating that it will be a set that includes two autograph cards per box, and indicating that it would be available in May of 2007 (and it was)! The back features images of the two high-level chase cards and mention of sketch cards. 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 is underwhelming but nice looking. The Spider-Man 3 Trading Card 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. There is no reason to pay more than that.

For other promotional card reviews, please be sure to visit my reviews of:
Revenge Of The Sith P1
Garbage Pail Kids Batty Brad promo
The Clone Wars Season 1 San Diego Comic-Con P1


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

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