Sunday, November 20, 2011

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Memories From The Future: Almost A Perfect Set (I Thought!) Falls Well Short Upon Closer Review!

The Good: Great images, Decent autographs, Cool bonus cards
The Bad: Disorganized common card set, Use of redemption cards
The Basics: One of the better series' of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine trading cards holds up less well upon closer scrutiny, but it's still a cool set!

Back in 1999 when the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Memories From The Future trading cards were released, they were easily the best Star Trek: Deep Space Nine trading cards available. Now, though, as I look through the set prior to reviewing it, I find myself noticing the flaws a lot more: the use of redemption cards, the poor orientation of images in the common set, the difficulty in assembling a master set. But then, I look at my master set and it is hard not to enjoy the fact that I managed to assemble one of these sets for myself. That is still pretty cool and there is a lot to enjoy about these trading cards.

Basics/Set Composition

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Memories From The Future card set was the fourth Star Trek: Deep Space Nine release from Fleer/SkyBox. Produced during the seventh and final season, the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Memories From The Future charted the significant plot events of the story of Space Station Deep Space Nine. Focusing on the biggest events in the show's serialized storyline, the series prioritizes the middle seasons of the show, focusing on the lead-up and initiation of the Dominion War. This set was produced in fair quantities and was a 162 card set when properly assembled. It remains one of the most popular Star Trek: Deep Space Nine trading card sets, largely due to its image quality, as well as the quality of the bonus cards and the fact that there are so few Star Trek: Deep Space Nine trading card sets out there!

The 162 card set is made up of 100 common cards and 62 bonus cards- all but fourteen of which were found in the boxes of cards. Boxes of the "Memories From The Future" featured 36 packs of nine cards each.

Common Cards

The "Memories From The Future" set remains one of the best sellers in Star Trek trading cards because of the chase card sets, not the commons. With 100 cards, the common set had the potential to be great, but is an utter mess when put in binder pages. Images alternate without any sense of rhyme or reason between portrait and landscape formats, making for a confusing presentation when placed in a binder. Printed on a thin cardstock with a UV resistant coating, the "Memories From The Future" is a visual mess, as far as formatting goes, at least.

The images, though, do tend to be rare images from the show. Cards like #71, which shows Odo in bed with Arissa in "A Simple Investigation," an image virtually never captured in any medium! In fact, there are very few images in this set that were ever used in prior or subsequent trading card releases, making for a visually interesting set, save for the orientation issues.

The back of each card is a well-written description of the plot of the episode on the card. Some trading card releases phone in the writing, figuring that most collectors are just collecting the cards for the images, but this was not one of them. Some of the most important episodes, like "Sacrifice Of Angels" are given multiple cards to highlight the many important aspects of the episode (cards 78,79, and 80 in this case!). Bafflingly absent from the set, though, are any cards based upon "Improbable Cause" or "The Die Is Cast," two of the essential episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine!

The only real drawback within the common set comes in the fact that there is no consistency card to card in the orientation. That makes it difficult to pick good ones for getting autographed, especially of the supplemental characters who happen to appear on many of the cards.

Chase Cards

There are sixty-two bonus cards in the "Memories From The Future" set, with forty-eight appearing in the boxes! The first level of chase card is the least sophisticated: the Greatest Alien Races cards. Approximately nine per box, (one in every four packs), the Greatest Alien Races cards were simple cards featuring portraits of various aliens prominently featured in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. They include such obvious and popular aliens as Bajorans (Leeta), Klingons (Martok), and Cardassians (Gul Dukat). This set is great for autograph hunters, save that the orientations are wonky, just like the common set! Three of the cards are in landscape orientation, while the rest are portrait style. All that truly makes these cards chase cares (outside their numbering system and rarity) is the large foil stamp on the front that indicates that these are Greatest Alien Races cards.

Approximately five per box, (one in every eight packs), the Greatest Legends cards were simple cards featuring portraits of each crewperson from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine with Captain Sisko (L1 has Sisko by himself). Each of the cards are written from the perspective of Benjamin Sisko, giving his thoughts on each character. These are all in landscape orientation and the back of the L6 card has a picture of Ezri instead of Jadzia. Otherwise, all that truly makes these cards chase cares is a foil stamp on the front of Space Station Deep Space Nine.

Three per box (one in every twelve packs) are the Greatest Space Battles bonus cards and these are highly coveted by card collectors for their rarity and effect. Each card is a Spectra foil card of one of the best space battles from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine! At least this set has the climactic battle from "The Die Is Cast In" it! These foil cards capture well the explosions of ships depicted on them and it makes for a visually interesting set.

On top of the Greatest Space Battles cards, there are autograph cards. This was the first full set of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine trading cards to feature one autograph per box! All formatted in portrait style, the Memories From The Future has almost all of the main cast included in the boxes of cards! Unfortunately, Avery Brooks and Nicole de Boer were represented only by redemption cards (as was the Chase Masterson and the near-impossible to find Rick Berman) and Michael Dorn refused to sign for the set (we don't blame him; there were royalty issues that would take years for him to resolve with Paramount). Other notable signers included Nana Visitor (Kira), Andrew Robinson (Garak), Louise Fletcher (Kai Winn) and Marc Alaimo (Gul Dukat)! Fleer SkyBox embossed each of these autograph cards with its unique seal, making it easy to tell if one has an authentic autograph card from the set. Like most autograph cards, these are portrait orientation and the images on these are decent sized. They are, however, all publicity shots used, but that is pretty standard for autograph cards. In boxes of the Memories From The Future cards, it was possible to pull one of sixteen different autographs with the other four only being released in boxes as redemption cards (which many die-hard collectors consider necessary for a master set).

Non-Box/Pack Cards

For the Deep Space Nine Memories From The Future, there are fourteen cards not available in the boxes of trading cards. One was a very typical promotional card (featuring the sixth season cast shot). SkyBox produced a binder for this set, which is not available any longer. Also no longer available are the four autograph cards that needed redemption cards mailed in to get.

The final component of the "Memories From The Future" set that is no longer available was a limited edition gold card set. Limited to 999 of the sets, Fleer/SkyBox had fans vote (ballots were in one in every four packs) for their top nine favorite cards/episodes. Mine ("Duet," card number 8) did not make it, but the set features such wonderful card images as Jadzia Dax being killed by the Pah-wraith. This is a very cool set and is only available in the secondary market. Each set has a foil stamped number on the back of each card (mine, for example is 285/999) and the figures on the front are embossed as well, giving them a very special look.


The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Memories From The Future cards are comparatively expensive and most of the autograph cards have rather bafflingly not held their value in the secondary market. Despite the popularity of this product, it was not over produced and the common set prices have held to $6 - $10 each, and the box prices have steadied at around $50.00 a box and they remain one of the rarer SkyBox Star Trek products.

Despite the changes in card technology (better image capture, UV coatings), the "Memories From The Future" cards still look great today (outside the orientation issues!) and fans of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine continue to find it to be a set worthy of their attention and collecting.

This set culls images from all seven seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, reviewed here!

This is a set of trading cards I proudly sell in my online store! Check out my current inventory by clicking here!

For other Star Trek: Deep Space Nine trading cards, please be sure to visit my reviews of:
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Profiles
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Inaugural Edition
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Series Premiere 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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