Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mostly Publicity Shots Guts The Legends of Geordi, Wesley, and Yar!

The Good: One interesting shot, Limited edition nature of set, Cardstock
The Bad: Too many publicity shots!, Cost/value imbalance, Condensing characters
The Basics: When Geordi LaForge, Wesley Crusher and Tasha Yar are crammed into one nine-card Legends Of Star Trek set, all three characters suffer.

When the Legends Of Star Trek set began, I had high hopes for it. My goal had originally been to get the center card of each set autographed by the celebrity who portrayed the character from each set because with only sixteen pages in the original binder, it became clear that not every character would be considered a "Legend." My hopes were first dashed when the "Legends Of McCoy" (reviewed here!) set was announced as DeForest Kelley had been dead for years. Then, Rittenhouse Archives, who produces the trading cards, announced a set that put together Scotty, Sulu and Uhura. When the "Legends of Chekov, Chapel and Rand" (reviewed here!) was released, the concept was pretty much dead.

With the Star Trek: The Next Generation characters, the supposed "legends" to get the similar treatment were Lt. Commander (misidentified as "Commander") Geordi La Forge, Ensign Wesley Crusher and Lt. Natasha Yar.

Basics/Set Composition

The Legends Of Star Trek sets are nine-card, limited edition, individually numbered sets that - traditionally - focus on a single character. In the case of the "Legends of Geordi, Wesley and Yar," the set grants three cards per character and as a result the entire legendary history of each character is crammed into six images. This is not a problem for Tasha Yar and not that bad for Wesley Crusher, but considering Dr. Crusher got a nine-card set, one wonders why Geordi was condensed into this set (as opposed to having a "Legends of Wesley, Tasha and Guinan" set later!).

The L9 card in each of these sets is individually numbered out of 1701 and is visible through the cellophane wrap of the package. This is where is helps to have a good relationship with one's dealer. So, for example, all of my sets are numbered 0440/1701! When complete, I will have the complete set with that limited edition number.

The Legends Of Star Trek sets are printed on a thicker cardstock - 20pt. - and utilize a state of the art UV resistant coating to prevent fading and color bleeding so this very collectible set will stay pristine either in its cellophane wrapper or when taken out and put in a binder.

The basic concept of the Legends Of Star Trek was to provide images that were not the typical ones that were already in the marketplace on every 8 X 10 and t-shirt and in this way, the "Legends of Geordi, Wesley and Yar" is a bit of a letdown.

Common Cards

There are no bonus cards in this set and the complete set comes packaged together, so there is nothing to hunt down. Unfortunately, the eighteen images that make up the "Legends of Geordi, Wesley and Yar" are a disappointing mix, largely because six are obvious publicity shots and two others are publicity shots to those who know the business well.

Geordi, in addition to suffering from a lack of material, is given bland images that hardly represent the range of his character's journey. To be fair to Rittenhouse Archives, all viewers truly know about Geordi LaForge after seven years of Star Trek: The Next Generation is that he's blind and he constantly strikes out with women, which puts him in the company of Data quite a bit. But for six images that utilize two publicity shots (second season and Star Trek: Nemesis) it is disappointing that the set did not begin with his earliest shot. There are no images of Geordi in his red uniform from when he was ship's navigator. On an equally weird note, three of the images have Geordi without his iconic VISOR, which does not capture the majority of his time on the series. The only remotely imaginative shot is of Geordi as Dr. Watson from "Elementary, Dear Data."

But Geordi had other moments that would have made for more interesting images. Where is Geordi as altered from the parasite from Tarchannaen? How about Geordi when he was plugged into the "Interface?" And Geordi had natural eyes in Star Trek: Insurrection and "Hide And Q," why not an image from either of those? Or his get-up from "Q-Pid" would have made for a more interesting shot. Instead, it's three shots of Geordi in his gold uniform, two in his Star Trek: Nemesis outfit and the one holodeck adventure outfit; what a letdown. And, oh yes, where is the Geordi from "All Good Things..." shot?!

At least with Wesley Crusher, Rittenhouse chose some imaginative shots. Sure, there are three publicity shots, from the second, third and fourth seasons - neglecting HIS first season image - but the others make good use of the film-capture material. As a result, there is a Wesley Crusher in Cadet outfit, a moment captured from his appearance in "The Game" and his rendering from "Journey's End." Outside something from the very first season, all the fans could truly wish for that is not here is a shot of him from Star Trek: Nemesis.

Tasha Yar appears with the only genuinely interesting shots of the collection. Outside the obvious publicity shot and the very common "this isn't a publicity shot" publicity shot from "Yesterday's Enterprise," Yar is given two images from "All Good Things" with her weird collapsed hairstyle. But the gems are the back of L7 which has her in a shot from "Code Of Honor" and the even better outfit from "The Naked Now." Yes, the legendary moment before Tasha seduced Data is captured in this set!

Chase Cards

There are no chase or other cards in this set that are not in each and every cellophane wrapped pack.


The "Legends Of Geordi, Wesley and Yar" is a disappointment, despite the beautiful shot of actress Denise Crosby's navel on the L9 card. The set is geared toward fans looking for something different and this set woefully underwhelms on that front. Fans of Levar Burton will be disappointed by his second-teir presentation alongside two characters who did not make it the entire series!

Fans of any one of these characters will likely resent shelling out $20 for a set given that their favorite only has three cards. But for the person who watched Star Trek: The Next Generation largely for Geordi, Wesley and Yar, this is the only set to gobble up. For the rest of us, it's easy to say "pass."

This set culls images from Star Trek: The Next Generation, most notably:
"Elementary Dear Data"
"Journey's End"
"The Naked Now"
"All Good Things . . ."
and Star Trek: Nemesis

For other Legends Of Star Trek cards from Star Trek: The Next Generation, please be sure to read my reviews of:
Legends Of Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Legends Of Data
Legends Of Riker
Legends Of Counselor Deanna Troi
Legends Of Lieutenant Worf
Legends Of Doctor Beverly Crusher


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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