Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Very Best Enterprise Trading Card Investment: The Nine-card Preview Set Rocks!

The Good: Limited edition, Great images, Inexpensive enough, Unencumbered by dialogue, Easy to collect
The Bad: None, truly.
The Basics: With only nine cards, the Enterprise Preview set offers the best Enterprise trading card value with images of each primary character and nothing negative about the actual show!

For those who might not follow my many reviews, I am not a fan of Star Trek: Enterprise. To date, I have reviewed every episode of Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: The Animated Series, and the Star Trek movies, so it's not that I'm not invested or interested in the franchise. No, rather, by the time Star Trek: Enterprise came about, the franchise was in the hands of a cabal of people who didn't truly care about the franchise and as a result created a series that they didn't even want to initially acknowledge as Star Trek. Jerks.

As a result, the merchandising aspect of Enterprise suffered deeply and it left companies like Rittenhouse Archives in something of a lurch when trying to sell trading cards to the fans. Rittenhouse Archives actually came up with a fairly brilliant plan. Before the first season was over, they released a Preview set of nine cards focusing on the characters of Enterprise. Cunning in their way, the staff at Rittenhouse Archives produced something before most fans knew just how bad the source material was going to be. In the process, they produced a brilliant, limited edition pack of cards that becomes all of the Enterprise cards fans of the franchise, but not of that show, ever needed!

Basics/Set Composition

The Enterprise preview set is a nine card limited edition set that was sold directly from Rittenhouse archives. It was strictly limited to 2151 sets, each one hand numbered on card #1. 2151 is the year in which the series Enterprise begins in the show, so it made for a pretty natural limited edition run number. Each set was sold as an entire set in a cellophane pack. Each pack has all nine cards and the only difference between any of the packs is the number hand written on the title card.

The limited edition Preview set was originally sold direct from Rittenhouse Archives and they are long since sold out, making the nine-card sets a real find from dealers who might still be clinging to them. These sets have steadily increased in price over the years and fans are lucky to be able to find them for under $25.00 now, if they can find them at all.

Common Cards

Technically, all of the cards in the preview set are common cards because they are sold entirely as limited edition full sets. The nine common cards are a brilliant collection of publicity images framed next to a large, open space with the NX-01 ship in the background. This makes the set ideal for getting signed by the stars of Enterprise, which is why it was such a popular set to begin with.

The front of each card has a large image of each character and there is nothing special about the cards; no embossing, no foil, no frills. The card set includes a first season cast image, and one card each of Captain Archer, T'Pol, Charles "Trip" Tucker, Malcolm Reed, Ensign Hoshi Sato, Ensign Mayweather, Dr. Phlox, and the NX-01 Enterprise. The images take up about a third of the card with the other two thirds featuring an open spot with the ship and a starfield graphic that makes it ideal for getting signed (save on the crew shot and the NX-01 card).

The back of each card has a description of the character and this is part of what makes this such a winning set. The cards provide the initial characterization for each character, which is actually intriguing and well done. The problem with Enterprise was never with the setup, it was with the execution. As a result, having a set that simply describes how each character was supposed to be is ideal. There is no crappy dialogue, no poor execution of each character and no description of the terrible acting on any of the cards. The result is a set that is ideal for Enterprise, a decent setup before the poor execution.

The main reason for collectors to purchase this set is it offers the ideal collection of trading cards for getting signed by celebrities at Star Trek conventions. Less expensive than 8 X 10s, they have the same quality images, a great space for signing and capitalize on the best part of Enterprise: everything before the show actually began. As well, because Enterprise had the most stable of all Star Trek casts, this gets the entire main crew for the whole series in one place!

Chase Cards

There were no chase cards associated with this set.

Non-Box/Pack Cards

There were no cards for the preview set not in each limited edition pack.


Despite the ease of collecting this set, it has maintained its value well in the secondary market, making it the best possible investment for those who feel they need some trading card collectible for Enterprise.

This set culls images from Enterprise Season One, reviewed here!

For other debut Star Trek card products, check out my reviews of:
Star Trek 25th Anniversary Trading Cards
Star Trek: The Next Generation Inaugural Edition
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Premiere Edition
Star Trek: Voyager Season 1 Series 1


For other trading card reviews, please visit my Trading Card Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2013, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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