Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Continuing My Reviews Of Things You Shouldn't Pay For, The Twilight Zone P1 Promo Card.

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: A disappointing promotional card that cannot even be autographed at conventions, The Twilight Zone Premiere Edition P1 card fails to sell the first set.

The other day, I was writing about a Battlestar Galactica promotional card (reviewed here! ) and I found myself amused that I would likely make more off the review than customers would pay for the actual card. Having found a similar product in the database, with The Twilight Zone Premiere Edition P1 promotional card, I could not resist the urge to pan this even-less useful card than the Battlestar Galactica one. While there is minimal merit in the Battlestar Galactica promotional card, because the subjects of the P1 The Twilight Zone card are dead or unrecognizable, they make for poor autograph fodder, which lessens one of the only uses of a promotional card.

When I was younger, I voraciously watched The Twilight Zone, though that was quite some time ago. As a result, I had a minimal attachment to the stack of promotional cards I received as a dealer. However, 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 The Twilight Zone. Rittenhouse Archives first non-Star Trek trading card experiment was not off to a great start. Even with minimal merchandising surrounding The Twilight Zone, few fans were interested in the trading cards. 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 The Twilight Zone 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 The Twilight Zone 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 The Twilight Zone Premiere Edition promotional card prepares fans for the style of the common card set for the The Twilight Zone 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 two alien characters from one of the first episodes of The Twilight Zone. There is minimal wording on the front of the card including The Twilight Zone logo at the bottom and along the top front of the card are the words “Premiere Edition.” 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 black and white contrast is decent, which prepares collectors well for the actual set, which was able to have clear images despite the prevalence of dark colors (the original The Twilight Zone series was in black and white).

The back of the card simply announces the The Twilight Zone Premiere Edition trading card set, illustrating that it will be a set that includes two autograph cards per box, that it would have 72 common cards and indicating that it would be available in November of 1999 (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.

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 The Twilight Zone 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:
Twilight PW1 Bella Swan Pieceworks card
Family Guy P3 promotional card
Spider-Man Archives SD09 Comic Con promotional card


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

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

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