Sunday, March 25, 2012

Worf's Pointless Incentive Card: Diamond Select Tries Again To Enter The Card Market (Poorly).

The Good: It is from a set-worn costume
The Bad: Not terribly limited, Not at all interesting, Back is dull, From an overused costume.
The Basics: A pointless, out-of-context trading card, Diamond Select again tries to offer more value for their figures by putting a Worf costume card in with their new series of DS9 figures.

As a trading card dealer, I often find myself being asked to appraise trading cards at conventions by dealers who have no real clue as to their value. That's a good idea because sometimes trading cards come in weird forms from companies not used to making trading cards. Last year, the big mystery card for Star Trek trading card collectors was the Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan costume card (reviewed here!) which was released as an incentive card from Diamond Select Toys to promote their line of action figures. Toy dealers were thrilled because the card was limited to 1,500 pieces and in action figure terms, that is quite rare. It is not, however, rare by any means in the realm of trading cards. So, the market plummeted on the incentive cards as toy dealers realized they weren't going to make a killing off the boring, black-swatch trading card that they were given for buying their toys.

So, it is somewhat surprising that with the new line of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine action figures from Diamond Select that the company is once again bothering with a costume card. This time, it is a costume card of Worf from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (reviewed here!) and that fits the subject of the toys, but is a remarkably boring card that has not found its niche with either trading card or toy collectors.

Just as with their prior incentive card, Diamond Select Toys and Collectibles made the costume card as an incentive to dealers for purchasing their new Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Series 2 action figures. There is some irony to this as one of the prior series' of Diamond Select figures focused exclusively on Worf! Still, the toy collectors are given a little bonus for preordering the cases of these new figures. For purchasing a cases of action figures via preorder from Diamond Select, the company threw in a trading card, a costume card, which are now hitting the secondary market because most of the toy dealers don't know what to do with them and most toy collectors do not want them.

For those unfamiliar with costume cards, the principle is rather simple: a set-worn costume 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 second venture into the trading cards is with this Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Worf 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 The Complete Star Trek 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 black fabric from one of Worf's uniforms. There is nothing on the card stating or showing which one of Worf's costumes the card is from. Is it from the fourth season uniform? The fifth and beyond season uniforms? It doesn't matter ultimately, because the giant window reveals only a big swatch of black fabric and either uniform was primarily black. 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. Add to that, Worf costume cards in the "Quotable" Deep Space Nine and "Quotable" Star Trek: The Next Generation and Complete Star Trek: Deep Space Nine sets all look better as they have a nice, big image of Worf on them. Add to that, most of them have the same color fabric swatch, so one feels more connected to Worf through the other card. Sadly, this card is identical to the Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan incentive card, save the fabric swatch and the text on the back. From the front, the cards are identical, save the color of the fabric embedded in the card.

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 are wisely unloading these cards at around ten dollars and they seem to be happy to get even that for them. Unlike the novelty of Diamond Select's other costume card, dealers looking to unload this are coming at a disadvantage; with three other Worf costume cards (that come easily to my mind!) on the market, there are better choices for fans of Worf than this bland card.

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! Card collectors will find this to be a boring card which is not at all limited and toy collectors will wonder what this has to do with toys and tend to avoid it as well.

For other Worf merchandise, be sure to visit my reviews of:
Legends Of Worf trading cards
Star Trek: Nemesis Worf figure from Diamond Select
Worf In StarFleet Rescue Outfit figure


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

© 2012, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
| | |

No comments:

Post a Comment