Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Couldn't Make It To The San Diego Comic Con? Spider-Man Cards Did!

The Good: Good image, Informative, Inexpensive enough, Necessary for collectors, Rare
The Bad: It's a single card and fairly unimpressive at that
The Basics: A very basic promotional card, the animated “Spider-Man Archives” set from Rittenhouse Archives has a fairly valuable promotional card in the SD09.

When it comes to trading cards, rarity is definitely one of the elements that increases value. Sometimes, rarity is all that assigns value to a trading card, in fact. Take, for example, the “Spider-Man Archives” promotional card that was given out at the San Diego Comic Con in 2009. Because collectors had to be at a specific place at a specific time, this otherwise unremarkable trading card is now worth five times what the free promotional card, which is remarkably similar, is worth. Fans of Spider-Man will find this card is now a mild annoyance to try to find and collect, but it is necessary for collectors finishing off their “Spider-Man Archives” trading card set.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, “Spider-Man Archives” was a trading card set focusing on the comic book “Spider-Man” and all the various incarnations and storylines it went through over the past fifty years of its publication. This is not the cinematic Spider-Man and the animated Spider-Man depicted on the front of the card ought to be enough to keep most potential buyers from making such a mistake. That said, outside the rarity of this promotional card, there is nothing special that makes this of any real value to fans of Spider-Man or collectors of trading cards.

To prepare collectors for the release of the "Spider-Man Archives" 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 only about two thousand “Spider-Man Archives" SD09 promotional cards to collectors who turned up at the Rittenhouse Archives booth at the San Diego Comic Con on a specific day to ask for them. Unlike most promotional cards, these were exclusive, harder to find in the secondary market and were targeting the exact demographic they might appeal to.

Numbered SD09 (on the back) the “Spider-Man Archives" promotional card prepares fans for the style of the common card set for the "Spider-Man Archives" 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 none is evident on mine after a year.

The front of the trading card features an image of Spider-Man running along a wall. The card is in landscape format and advertises “Spider-Man” through writing in the upper right corner. The artwork on the front is very clear and the color contrast is decent, which prepares collectors well for the actual set. Because this is an artwork card, it is not ideal for getting signed, save by chance encounters with artists or writers who might have worked on the Spider-Man comic book.

The back of the card simply announces the "Spider-Man Archives" trading card set, illustrating that it will be a set that includes sketch cards in each box and indicating that it would be available in late 2009 (and it was)! The back features images of two high-level chase cards and mention of sketch cards as well as the number of cards in the common set. 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 SD09 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 Archives" Trading Card SD09 card prepares the consumer for the actual full trading card set. Rittenhouse Archives gave very few of these away and that is the only way I ultimately recommended this card. While I'm not much of a fan of comic book-based collectibles, this does a fair job at sparking interest in the trading card set it is associated with and those who do like Spider-Man will likely enjoy collecting this as much as anything else.

For other promotional card reviews, please be sure to visit my reviews of:
Spider-Man 3 P1
Revenge Of The Sith P1
Garbage Pail Kids Batty Brad promo


For other card reviews, please be sure to 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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