Monday, November 7, 2011

Reviewing A Single Card: The Pointlessness Of The Incentive Card From Diamond Select Toys.

The Good: Well, it was from a uniform...
The Bad: Not terribly limited, Not at all interesting, Back is dull, Meh
The Basics: Despite being (apparently) from a set worn costume, the fabric swatches on this anything-but-limited card from the toy company flops.

There are many different worlds in the field of collectibles. Stamp collectors, trading cards, coin collection, toys, and model trains all represent hugely different groups of people and there are few who overlap to have collections in all. For one, it's cost-prohibitive. It's impossible to make a formidable collection of everything worth collecting unless one is insanely wealthy and has an immense amount of space and a great deal of time. The insurance premiums alone on such a collection would be astronomical!

I mention this because largely in collections there comes a point where a collector declares "and never the twain shall meet!" We stop collecting cards AND plates AND toys and collectors draw their lines in the sand. So when Diamond Select Toys (and Collectibles) made the incentive to dealers for purchasing their new 25th Anniversary figures celebrating Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan a trading card, a lot of fans and collectors were miffed. For purchasing a cases of action figures via preorder from Diamond Select, the company threw in a trading card, a costume card!

Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (reviewed here!) is arguably the most popular of the Star Trek films and in addition to being a fan favorite, it started a whole trend of films where the solution to a conflict was to simply kill the villain (outside Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, for example, all of the Star Trek films are simply "kill-the-villain" stories). For those unfamiliar with costume cards, the principle is rather simple: a set-worn costume (or a bolt of fabric used to make costumes in the trading cards where original uniforms are either impossible to find or cost-prohibitive to destroy) is chopped up into fabric swatches. The fabric swatches are embedded in a trading card which is at least twice as thick as the standard trading card (making it difficult to find a toploader for them!). Costume cards traditionally have a window cut out through which the fabric swatch might be seen.

Diamond Select's sole - to my knowledge - venture into the trading cards is with this Star Trek II incentive costume card. The front clearly states that there were only 1500 of the card and while that might be considered rare in the toy market, it is ridiculously easy to find in the trading card market (for example, in Rittenhouse Archives' recent Star Trek The Complete Movies set, the most common costume cards were limited to 1901 and they tend to be readily available at prices from $10 - $15!).

All of the fabric swatches for this card appear to be the same, a light pink fabric from one of the uniforms. There is nothing on the card stating which character the costume came from, but Diamond let it be known through various press releases that it was fabric from an engineer's uniform and from the coloring one suspects it was one of the Cadets. The nice thing about Diamond Select's card is that has a nice, large window so fans get a lot of visible fabric for their money.

There are no variants and this is a pathetically boring fabric swatch. Moreover, because there is no clue from whom the swatch came from, there is little to sell it to fans with. I mean, it's one thing if the fabric swatch was worn as part of a uniform donned by William Shatner or a piece of cloth that draped Seven Of Nine's bosom, but this came from an unnamed engineer and it is indistinct and dull.

Moreover, the card has no context other than the 1 Of 1500 note on the front. That being not terribly rare to card collectors, this card ends up as more a novelty to the few toy collectors willing to shell out for it. Dealers seem to be sitting on these cards at $50 and one suspects the market will depress on even that price rather soon.

Furthermore, trading card collectors are unlikely to like this as it is packaged like a display piece: bolted in a solid plastic display case that makes it difficult to remove and put in a binder (the preferred storage method of most trading card collectors). As a result, this is likely to leave neither group satisfied.

One wishes there was more to write about this, but please do keep in mind: this is a single trading card, it lacks a context (there is no set that goes with it) and all of them are the same. One does not get much more boring all the way around than that! Well, except when one finds themselves trying to write about it.

Card collectors: this is a boring card which is not at all limited. Hold out until it plummets to $10. Toy collectors: Are you even seriously considering this piece?

For other costume card reviews or reviews of Star Trek card sets that have costume cards, be sure to check out:
Twilight PW3 Ashley Greene Alice Greene Pieceworks card
35th Anniversary Star Trek HoloFex Trading Cards
Star Trek (2009 movie) trading cards


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

© 2011, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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