Monday, January 23, 2012

SkyBox Tries To Cut Out The Middlemen And Fails With Star Trek: The Cinema Collection!

The Good: Nice images, Complete sets
The Bad: Vastly overpriced when originally released, No bonus cards, Overproduced
The Basics: Essentially six glorified common card-only sets, the Star Trek Cinema Collection was overpriced, overproduced and a huge disappointment to fans and collectors.

We've all heard the phrase "cut out the middleman," right? The whole point of cutting out the middleman is to save money to the buyer (usually). Fleer/SkyBox, back in the days it was producing Star Trek trading cards, apparently never got that memo. They produced a series of Star Trek cards based on the films, the Star Trek: The Cinema Collections and sold them directly to fans at the outrageous price of $24.95/ea. ($124.95 if you wanted all six!) and then seemed surprised when the product bombed.

As a dealer of Star Trek trading cards, I say "good!" As a collector . . . well, I wish very much that I had waited on these cards instead of buying them from Fleer/SkyBox. Fortunately, that is no longer an option so trading card collectors and Star Trek fans have the opportunity to get the Star Trek: The Cinema Collection trading cards cheap!

Basics/Set Composition

The Cinema Collections is actually a collection of six boxed sets of trading cards, representing each of the Star Trek (the original series) film adventures. So, there is an individual set of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search For Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Each set comes individually boxed in a box that was made special for the set.

Those who bought directly from Fleer/SkyBox when the sets were originally released were given the opportunity to purchase the binders for the set (at the same price as each set!). Those who purchased all six binders were given a slipcase for it as well and that remains more valuable in the secondary market than the actual sets of cards are!

Each set is comprised of seventy two cards and a survey card. That every box of Cinema Collection cards came with a Survey card makes Fleer/SkyBox seem incredibly insecure about the product (or really interested in fan opinion!). As it was, SkyBox never again released a Star Trek product direct to consumers like this, so perhaps they actually listened to what they read on the survey cards.

Common Cards

More than likely, though, they simply didn't sell as many as they hoped. After all, this is essentially a series of six common card sets being offered at a price about two and a half times the price fans are used to paying for trading cards at! All seventy-two cards in each set are created using the widevision (theatrical framing) size of trading cards. All of the cards are oriented in landscape orientation.

Usually, I praise any set where they are all organized in the same direction. With the Cinema Collection cards, this would have been fine, save that the set includes a card of each movie poster for each movie. All of the movie posters are laid out in portrait format. As a result, the movie poster card that has the credits for the film on the back is severely truncated. The Star Trek V movie poster seems almost like a parody, then, as it is essentially just Kirk and Spock's eyes!

Each set is comprised of a card with the credits for each movie, seventy trading cards plotting out each film and a checklist card.

The cards look phenomenal. To be fair to Fleer/Skybox, the cards utilize an incredible array of uncommon images, making them ideal for finding characters played by obscure actors who appear at Star Trek conventions! There are a few special effects shots and most cards have an additional - much smaller - image on the back. The writing is concise, accurate and incredibly detailed. In other words, for a set that was considered not strong enough to be released as a proper release, it sure has a lot going for it.

Chase Cards

But bonus cards are not it. The closest thing to a bonus card this set has is the Survey card. Those who purchased originally from Fleer/SkyBox also were treated to an exceptionally rare set of Behind The Scenes cards for Star Trek: Generations. But in the sets proper, there were no bonus cards; these are sold as fully assembled common card sets.

Non-Box/Pack Cards

Because the cards were sold exclusively as boxed sets, there were no promotional cards or cards not available in the boxes.


Terribly overproduced and blown out right before Fleer/SkyBox lost the license, the Star Trek Cinema Collection cards remain one of the big failures of Star Trek trading cards. They are nice, but this is one of those series' of trading cards that will likely never appreciate in value. Most dealers are able to get them in still at approximately $5.00 a box and they aren't able to turn them around for much more.

For fans of the Star Trek movies, they make an amusing and enjoyable keepsake, but not much more than that.

For a very different Star Trek movie trading card set, please check out my review of the

For other trading card collections based upon the Star Trek films, please check out my reviews of:
Star Trek: The Motion Picture Topps card Set
Star Trek Master Series
Star Trek 1994 Edition Master Series
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier Cinema Collection
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country Cinema Collection
Star Trek Cinema 2000
Star Trek Movies In Motion
Star Trek (2009 movie) cards

These sets cull material from the first six Star Trek movies, reviewed here!


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

© 2012, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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