Monday, July 2, 2012

Simple And Almost Lame, Star Trek: Voyager Season Two Trading Cards Underwhelm

The Good: Interesting chase, Nice looking cards, Well written
The Bad: Far too easy to complete, Simple chase cards, Value, Organization
The Basics: This Star Trek: Voyager card series is a remarkably average trading card series that did not retain its value because of its exceptionally easy completion.

Star Trek: Voyager was a tough show to market for the merchandisers. After all, until Seven of Nine popped up, there was a show where the ship wandered aimlessly and fell into predictable patterns of recasting Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes. Half the time, the series forgot that it was supposed to be about a ship attempting to get home, the other half of the time, the characters remember this integral fact, but are thwarted from their attempts with little compounding of consequences. Say what you want about Seven Of Nine - and I've been one of the biggest critics of her - but at least when she popped up, there was something obvious to sell: sex appeal.

Back in the second season, though, those trying to exploit the show for a buck found themselves in a bind. There was nothing quite so interesting going on in the second season. As a result, things like Star Trek: Voyager Season Two trading cards ended up as something lackluster.

Basics/Set Composition

Like the some of the earliest SkyBox Star Trek releases, this set was a bit overproduced and as a result all of the bonus cards that can be found in the standard hobby/retail boxes - as well as the common card sets - have been severely devalued. The Star Trek: Voyager Season 2 boxes, were released only in the standard hobby release with forty-eight packs featuring eight cards per pack. Unlike virtually every other trading card release, Star Trek: Voyager - Season Two was a remarkably easy set to assemble and SkyBox made it surprisingly low on frills.

The Star Trek: Voyager Season Two trading card set consists of one hundred common cards and 13 chase cards available in the packs. Only the manufacturer-produced binder is not available in boxes of these cards. For those unfamiliar with trading card collecting, "chase" cards are bonus cards inserted into random packs that fall outside the regular numbering system. Usually, there is some special (and usually more-expensive-to-produce) quality to them which is why they were made rare in the first place. Strangely, the Star Trek: Voyager Season Two set utilizes the same numbering system as the common cards, making it harder to differentiate between the cards because when this set was released, chase cards were not especially.

A box of Star Trek: Voyager Season Two trading cards consists of forty-eight packs of cards, with eight cards per pack. A box of cards ought to contain at least one complete set of common cards and collation in these boxes was so good that most will yield a second common set and almost a third one. In addition to a common set, each box ought to contain all three of the Xenobio sketches, 24th Century Technology cards, and Strange New Worlds insert cards. One per box were the acetate Holodeck cards and these are the only cards most fans still search for from this set.

Common Cards

The common card set consisted of one hundred cards and one of the nice things is, like its predecessor set, this set is generally a sensibly oriented set! All 100 cards and all of the chase cards are oriented in a landscape orientation. This is especially nice for those who put the cards in a binder as everything is oriented the same direction, making it very easy to see all of the images in a consecutive order and read the backs of the cards in order as well.

The 100 card set focuses on the entire second season of Star Trek: Voyager. This set provided a great collection of images from the second season and contains some images not captured outside the series elsewhere (like on 8X10 photographs or collector's plates). Each episode is explored in detail with three cards devoted to the plot. The images on the front are full-bleed (one image per card, no borders) and the backs are generally well-written explorations of the episode plots, the technology, and the worlds of the first season of the show. It is a nice, collectible compendium of images and information for fans of Star Trek: Voyager!

This set follows as the logical continuation of Voyager Season One Series Two (reviewed here!) and as a result continues with the numbering and style from that set.

The 100 card common set is broken down as follows: 91 - 99 Star Trek: Voyager Season 2 timeline illustrating the order of the episodes and charting the course of the season, 100 - 177 detailing the story behind each episode from the second season, 178 - 179 Checklist cards, 180 Production Credits card (card detailing the complete cast and crew for the season), 181 Fan club advertisement card, and 182 - 190 Significant guest characters cards.

The cards in the common set are pretty standard with the episodes being well-detailed across the three cards per episode and the set generally looks good up until the end. The Fan club exclusive card throws off the mural that ought to cap the series off well. As a result, if put in the binder by the numbers, the set is thrown off and the mural does not come together as the background (front and back) suggests it ought to.

Chase Cards

The bonus cards to this set include a three-card Spectra card chase set focusing on aliens encountered for the first time in the second season, another three Spectra foil cards focusing on 24th Century Technology, still another three Spectra etched foils of the Strange New Worlds from the second season and finally a set of three acetate cards featuring characters from Star Trek: Voyager in holodeck scenarios. While not strictly speaking a chase card, this set also includes a 1997 Star Trek preview card, which is a testament to card sets that went uncreated.

The Spectra cards are nice, etched foil cards varying from the ugly green Xenobio Sketch cards each with one of the important aliens from the second season of Star Trek: Voyager on it. The 24th Century Technology cards are perhaps the least inspired foil cards ever featuring images of such things as the Hibernation pods from "The Thaw" and the landing struts from the U.S.S. Voyager. The Strange New Worlds cards at the very least have interesting images to them and that almost makes up for the fact that the Spectra etching foil makes them look almost like common cards.

The only truly distinct chase cards in this set are the holodeck cards. Printed on a transparent plastic, these silk-screened images feature memorable moments from the second season's episodes involving the Holodeck. Numbered in sequence to cap off the set (200 - 202) these cards feature Janeway in her 18th Century novel get-up, Chakotay and Paris playing pool and The Doctor in his convertible on Mars. Because every other card but these is available in EVERY box, with only one of the Holodeck cards per box, these are the cards people continue to chase after, even now.

Non-Box Cards

This set had no promotional cards, nor exclusives that were not available in the boxes and packs.


By today's standards, the savvy card collector is likely to find this set quaint and somewhat simple. It is downright frustrating to collectors because it is simple to collect, save the holodeck cards. Many dealers do not carry these cards for the simple fact that everything is available - on average - in each and every box save those cards and it leaves dealers with a lot left over after the holodeck cards sell.

On the plus side, it is inexpensive to assemble. Boxes sell regularly for $10 - $25 in the market, but the value of the sets tends to reflect that low cost. This is an excellent set for those just getting started in Star Trek card collecting, but those who want something good, something that will appreciate in value over time would do best to avoid this one.

It's just too simple, capped off by three cards that are disproportionately difficult to find, especially given all of the leftovers one is left with when buying these boxes.

This set uses material solely from "Star Trek: Voyager - The Complete Second Season" reviewed here!

This is a set of trading cards I sell in my online store!  Please check out my current inventory and buy!

For other card sets that focus on episodes, be sure to visit my reviews of:
Star Trek: Voyager Season 1 Series 1
The Complete Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek Season Two


For other card reviews, be sure to check out my Card Review Index Page for an organized listing!

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