Thursday, March 22, 2012

Jadzia Dax Makes A Tough Sell For The Next Batch Of Legends Of Star Trek Cards!

The Good: Limited quantity, Cardstock, Image diversity
The Bad: Cost/Value, Does not capture full history, Use of publicity shots.
The Basics: With only nine cards, the "Legends Of Jadzia Dax" disappoints die hard Star Trek: Deep Space Nine fans and collectors with its tired, bland images!

Perhaps one of the most interesting concepts - and most problematic releases - in the Star Trek trading card line would have to be Rittenhouse Archives' Legends Of Star Trek trading card set. When it was originally pitched to dealers and fans, it was going to be a continuing collection of limited edition nine-card sets that focused on the characters that were truly legendary in the Star Trek universe. It looked like it would be a collection that would assemble a super crew of StarFleet characters. Sadly, it has become a collection that highlights every principle character to appear on Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Following the last Star Trek: The Next Generation Legends Of Star Trek set - focusing on Geordi, Yar and Wesley Crusher - Rittenhouse seemed to be at a loss for what direction to go. Continuing the institutionalized fear of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Rittenhouse Archives decided to release the next three sets as "the science officers." In truth, the three sets capitalize on three of the sexiest women in the Star Trek franchise: Jadzia Dax, Seven Of Nine, and T'Pol. The first of these three new sets is "The Legends Of Jadzia Dax."

Basics/Set Composition

"The Legends Of Star Trek" set is a series of cards produced by Rittenhouse Archives and released on average twice a year over the last five years. The "Legends Of Jadzia Dax" set is the thirteenth in the ever-expanding series that is released in nine card, limited edition increments. There are no bonus cards in this set, they come as complete sets of nine cards sealed in a cellophane package. There are three things that make these sets truly special: cardstock, an individual limited edition number, and the images on the cards. The cardstock is a 20pt. (thicker than usual) cardstock with the standard UV resistant coating that all quality trading cards come with these days. To illustrate the truly limited nature of the Legends Of Star Trek cards, every set is strictly limited to 1701 sets and the L9 card (visible at the back of the cellophane pack) is foil stamped with an individual number for the specific "Legends Of" set. So, for example, my personal set is number 0440/1701! This is where it helps to have a dealer that you are loyal to; dealers were able to order all of the same limited edition collector's numbers each time, so every time I get an order in, they are the same limited edition numbers and I - and my customers - are assembling sets with matching numbers, which will presumably hold the value of the overall series better in the long run.

Finally, the Legends Of Star Trek series is characterized by wonderful, uncommon images that are not the typical shots that have been on 8x10s, t-shirts and collector's plates before. Instead, these cards capitalize on big rare images, vivid color contrast and cards that are uncluttered by pesky text! These cards are for the fans who know the accomplishments of their heroes! No need to write about them, the images speak for themselves!

Common Cards

Sadly, the "Legends Of Jadzia Dax" set undermines the original concept by including multiple publicity shots of Dax. This is a nine-card Legends Of Star Trek set that features eighteen images each of Jadzia Dax from throughout the six seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine that she was on. In fact, it is disturbing how little thought Rittenhouse Archives put into the "Legend Of Jadzia Dax" set. With eighteen images, four fronts and two backs are obvious publicity shots. With a third of the images being unoriginal, blandly-produced images, one has to wonder what Rittenhouse Archives was thinking. After all, the hallmark of this set has traditionally been the originality of the images.

Fortunately, not all of the images are unimaginative. Outside the obvious publicity shots, there is a decent mix of images of Jadzia Dax that are posed and in action. They captured the atrocious hairstyle from the third season premiere, as well as an image of Dax in her Klingon garb. There are two shots of her with Worf, and images that put her in the past and in the Mirror Universe. There is a good variety of shots with Dax looking at camera or sternly at another character. There is even one from when Jadzia was surgically altered to appear Bajoran in "The Siege!"

Perhaps the weirdest and rarest shot is the aged Jadzia Dax from "The Visitor," which acts as the centerpiece card. This is a truly intriguing image and one that will please fans. Sadly, though - and this is the true crime considering that Dax is up against T'Pol and Seven Of Nine, the two catsuit wearing breasts, er . . . women who were brought on the show to showcase their, um, unique sense of style - there are no shots of Jadzia in her bathing suit. It is always nice to see that the spots truly do go all the way down and fans are deprived of that in this set (leaving fanboys everywhere depraved). Actually, rather bafflingly, the set manages to completely neglect Dax's legs, which was pretty much the point of putting her in the miniskirt in "Trials And Tribble-ations." The shot from that episode tastefully - read: annoyingly - cuts the image off above the bottom of the skirt!

Fans of Jadzia Dax will be pleased to know that the set is not depressing though. Yes, there are no shots in this set of Jadzia being killed and that is nice for fans. In thinking of other images of Dax that could have been included, none truly come to mind, save Dax as Honey Bare from "Our Man Bashir," Dax in her holodeck outfit from "The Way Of The Warrior," Dax in her sparring outfit, and a full-body shot of Dax in her wedding gown. Come to think of it, there is also Dax in her white gown from "Equilibrium." Hmm . . . I guess there was a lot more they could have done for this set. Bummer.


Strangely, I don't think I realized how disappointed I was in this set until I sat down to review it. I love Terry Farrell as Jadzia Dax and in this set, she is given poor treatment. I mean, here there is a beautiful woman who is given nine cards to wow her biggest fans and we're given . . . blah. The images are largely familiar from publicity shots or the typical shots used for an episode in prior sets. Indeed, the front of L9 which has Dax at her wedding is the identical image that was used in the "Complete Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" set by Rittenhouse Archives for that episode!

I respect Rittenhouse, but this does appear to be one set of "The Legends Of Star Trek" that they phoned in. It's too bad, too. Because while the Legends of T'Pol and Seven Of Nine might sell themselves based on sex appeal alone, Dax - being a character of substance - needed a bit more than breasts to sell her set. The problem is, there is the sense that Rittenhouse didn't try to find truly great images of Dax and that bums out this Deep Space Nine fan.

One suspects in the future, the Legends Of Star Trek sets will be sold in the secondary market almost exclusively as entire series collections, but fans who love Jadzia Dax will likely find this set readily available in the future!

It's disappointing and it feels like less than many of the other Legends Of Star Trek sets that were released.

This set culls images from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, most recognizably:
"The Siege"
"The Visitor"
"Through The Looking Glass"
"Trials And Tribble-ations"

For other Legends Of Star Trek cards from, please be sure to read my reviews of:
Legends Of Captain Kirk
Legends Of Spock
Legends Of Dr. Leonard McCoy
Legends Of Sulu, Scotty And Uhura
Legends Of Chekov, Chapel and Rand
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
Legends Of Geordi, Yar and Wesley Crusher
Legends Of Benjamin Sisko


For other card reviews, please visit my Card Review Index Page for an organized listing of all the cards and sets I have reviewed!

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