The Good: Archive box exclusives, Generally good collectibility, Some truly spectacular autograph card signers, Metal cards are neat, Cool relic cards
The Bad: Orientation issues,
The Basics: The 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards make a decent trading card set out of an unfortunately bad James Bond film!
Like many people, yesterday I awoke to the sad news that Sir Roger Moore had died. Roger Moore frequently was underrated and undervalued by James Bond fans, which is ironic because Moore had the most "canon" James Bond films under his belt (Never Say Never Again has licensing issues due to its distribution and its authenticity within the James Bond canon is frequently challenged and counting that film only makes a tie for Moore and Sean Connery having equal quantities of James Bond films). Sir Roger Moore was the James Bond whose films I grew up on and because it was the work I had seen him in the most (other Bond actors having effectively branched out from James Bond or came to Bond later in their careers), I most closely associated Roger Moore with James Bond. His death left me saddened and it seemed fitting that the day after he died, completely coincidentally Rittenhouse Archives released its 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards. As the name suggests, the 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards are Rittenhouse Archives's last James Bond trading card set for the foreseeable future (unless they do some form of In Memoriam exclusive set for Roger Moore) and so James Bond fans are saying a lot of "goodbyes" over the last twenty-four hours.
The 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards are actually an incredibly fitting way for fans of the James Bond franchise to say goodbye to Sir Roger Moore, as the trading card set is very heavy in Roger Moore material - the set features four autographed trading cards by Roger Moore and bonus sets from three of Moore's James Bond films - Octopussy, For Your Eyes Only, and A View To A Kill.
The 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards allow James Bond fans to complete their Rittenhouse Archives James Bond trading card collection with a lot of flair and some truly impressive cards.
Fully assembled, the 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading card set has 387 cards and is essentially four (or five) sets in one. As well, there is an oversized binder produced by Rittenhouse Archives that holds the entire set, with all of its associated chase cards, which has not always been the case for some of the bigger James Bond trading card sets! The set consists of 83 common cards and 304 bonus cards. The chase cards are mostly available in the packs of cards, though eight of them were incentive or promotional cards and could not be found in any of the packs. The 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards were released in boxes of twenty-four packs of five cards each.
The common card set for the 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards consists of eighty-three modern-looking trading cards. The entire common set recaps the plot of Die Another Day (reviewed here!). Sadly, the common set for the 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards are inconsistently oriented. While the backs of every card are portrait-oriented, the fronts of the cards vary between portrait and landscape orientation. That makes the cards something of a pain in the butt to place in the binder as there is no organic way to make the set look good from an orientation point-of-view.
That said, the photograph and writing for the Die Another Day common set in the 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards is universally wonderful. The 2017 James Bond Archives cards have the traditional UV-resistant coating which is flawlessly applied. The 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards feature a great range of vibrant pictures that have not been overly-promoted (and are different from the shots from the Inkworks Die Another Day set from when the film was theatrically released). Interestingly, Rittenhouse Archives included the image from the promotional card within the common set, which is not a usual thing for their trading card sets. The cards have a fresh look to them that makes it a visually-interesting trading card set. The backs are well-written and the cards detail the plot of Die Another Day quite thoroughly. The writing for the 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards common set is very entertaining and follows the plot of the film with a lot of detail.
The 296 chase cards that can be found in packs and boxes of 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition essentially create three additional "common" sets and one bonus parallel set, in addition to more traditional James Bond chase cards. As is the habit in many of the newer trading card releases, there are no bonus card sets that can be completed with even a single case of trading cards; most require at least two cases with ideal collation to assemble the chase sets. The higher-end sets require three to six cases to complete.
The 2017 James Bond Archives trading card set features three extensive bonus sets that require multiple cases to complete. There are retro sets that retell the stories of For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy and A View To A Kill with 36, 32, and 30 cards each. The retro sets in the 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards illustrate an overall problem with the way Rittenhouse Archives approached their throwback sets (as a holistic collecting issue). Prior retro Throwback sets had up to 102 cards and the detailing on the plot of each movie was as detailed as for the common sets, the films for which Rittenhouse Archives was able to yield less material made for smaller sets. The three retro throwback sets in the 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards are well-written, though they have somewhat more condensed plotting than the common sets (the Octopussy set, for example, devotes a single card to the teaser mission whereas the Die Another Day common set has eight cards for the mission that came before the opening credits in that film!). Rittenhouse Archives did the best they could with the material they were able to cull from the three films in the 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards, but James Bond trading card collectors are likely to feel like they are getting less for their money on the throwback sets in the Final Edition cards. If Rittenhouse Archives had produced all of the throwback sets at the same time and more evenly distributed them through the last six Archives releases, the throwback sets in the 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards would not have been so anemic by the numbers.
That said, the photograph and the writing for the throwback sets maintains the high standards of quality that the other retro sets have embodied. The throwback sets, like many of the prior Throwback retro sets are inconsistently oriented and are more problematic to try to put into binder pages in any sensible way. All three of the Throwback sets in the 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards are made of a more retro cardboard stock to make the cards from the older films seem like they were from the period in which the films were released. The For Your Eyes Only and A View To A Kill sets features black and white photography on some of the card backs, but this is nowhere near as problematic as the Throwback sets for the color films that have black and white images on the fronts.
Two per box there are gold parallel cards for the Die Another Day set. The gold parallel set was limited to only 250 of each of the cards. The gold parallel cards are a particularly boring parallel card; they are distinguished from the common versions of their cards by limited gold foil lettering for the title on the front of each card and an individual foil-stamped number on the back, at the bottom of the card. While they are substantively similar to prior James Bond parallel cards, the parallel cards lack any real flash quality to them.
As part of finishing the James Bond trading card line, the 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards feature 24 SPECTRE and Skyfall Expansion cards. Found one per box, the twenty-four Expansion cards continue the common card sets from prior releases as bonus cards. The 9 SPECTRE cards for The Complete James Bond come together to form the movie poster for SPECTRE on the back, just like every nine-cards in the common set did. The other fifteen Expansion cards extend the Heroes & Villains, Bond Girls Are Forever, Bond Villains and James Bond Archives sets from prior releases with content from SPECTRE and Skyfall, perfectly continuing those sets and concluding them in a fashion consistent to the original releases.
The 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards concluded the 007 Double-Sided (Mirror Cards) card set that was begun early in 2016. The eight cards found in this subset in the 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards work together with cards found in the two prior sets to create a 24-card bonus card set. These beautiful trading cards feature the incarnation of James Bond on one side and the primary villain on the obverse for each of the James Bond films. The eight cards in the 007 Double-Sided set found in the 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards are every three Bond films starting with the third M3,M6, M9, etc. While this might create a weird ultimate collation the cards themselves are stunning and cleanly printed on a vibrant-looking mirror board that is very fresh looking.
Also found only two per case are two of the twelve Metal cards for the 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards. Featuring the movie posters for each of the last twelve James Bond films, the Metal cards are individually numbered on the back and they concluded a very cool set that was begun in the 2016 James Bond 007 Archives - SPECTRE Edition trading cards. Rittenhouse Archives has recently gotten into metal card production and the metal cards in the 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards reinforces the argument that Rittenhouse Archives knows exactly what it is doing with that technology!
The 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards feature fifteen Relic cards, split between fairly traditional costume cards (albeit in an uncommon portrait orientation) and relic cards of James Bond props. Rather cooly, the Relic card set features a dual relic card with prop materials from two different props from Quantum Of Solace. The costume cards are limited to 200 each and they are pretty typical costume pieces - James Bond suits, a top from a Bond girl and a supporting character or two's costume pieces. Unlike something like a Star Trek costume that has a variety of fabrics or colors, the James Bond costume cards with costume materials from Casino Royale, Quantum Of Solace and Skyfall have fabric swatches that are very consistent and unimaginative. Fortunately, the rarer relic cards are much more variable and intriguing for card collectors and James Bond fans.
As with most media-based trading card sets, the 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards feature autographed trading cards. This set of trading cards features a whopping fifty-six autograph cards, which includes awesome autographed materials like autographed costume cards and a gold signature card. The bulk of the autograph cards in the 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading card set are split between the familiar format of the 40th Anniversary set – which had very small pictures of the character’s head and were oriented in a landscape format – a single Women Of Bond autograph card and the vastly more popular full-bleed style which was portrait oriented with giant images of the characters and a minimal signing space at the bottom. The seven 40th Anniversary style autographs are highlighted by autographs by three different Roger Moore autographs and one extremely limited Daniel Craig autograph. I was pretty psyched that Ben Whishaw signed another card for this set.
In the full-bleed autographs, the 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards Rittenhouse Archives included one of the most incredible autograph line ups of all Rittenhouse Archives James Bond card set releases. In addition to a full-bleed Roger Moore autograph, there is yet another George Lazenby signature card. Rittenhouse Archives included first-time signer Tula alongside highly-coveted celebrities like Judi Dench, Halle Berry, Dave Bautista, Michelle Yeoh, Berenice Marlohe, Lea Sedoux, and Jeffrey Wright. Rather impressively, Rittenhouse Archives had held an incredible autograph card from fan-favorite villain Jaws portrayed by Richard Kiel before he died, which they released in the 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards. Most of the autograph cards in the 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards are from recognizable actors and characters from the James Bond films. This is one of nicest-looking autograph card sets for James Bond trading cards that Rittenhouse Archives has ever produced.
The 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading card set has eight cards not found in any of the boxes or packs. There are three promotional cards – the usual general release, an exclusive one that Rittenhouse Archives is distributing at conventions, and the binder-exclusive promotional card.
The casetopper for the 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading card set is a pretty cool Die Another Day movie poster metal card. The Die Another Day variant movie poster cards are not individually numbered, but it is a metal card and it features artwork from the most recognizable movie poster for the film.
Then there are the incentive cards and they are split between the average and the incredible. For every six-cases ordered, collectors of the 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards received a Gold Signature Maud Adams as Octopussy autograph card. This card, predictably, looks amazing, though the value of it is not likely to be on part with prior 6-case incentive cards. The nine-case incentive card is an absolutely wonderful Christopher Lee full-bleed autograph card, posthumously released. This Scaramanga autograph card might well be the rarest Christopher Lee autograph card from Rittenhouse Archives and they look incredible!
The final two cards in the 2017 James Bond Archives set were exclusive to the Archive Box. Filling in one of the gaps in the Women Of Bond autograph card set is a Yvonne Shima autograph that was released as an exclusive. As well, Rittenhouse Archives released a true grail card in the form of a Sean Connery cut signature card, which could only be found in the Archive Box. The cut signature cards - the ones I've seen - look absolutely amazing with vibrant, clear signatures from Connery and they represent the only Sean Connery James Bond autograph card from Rittenhouse Archives.
The 2017 James Bond 007 Archives - Final Edition trading cards might not be flawless, but they are a fitting tribute to Roger Moore and the final James Bond films that Rittenhouse Archives had yet to make card sets for. Collectors will want to hunt down everything they can from this set as it closes the book on James Bond - at least for the time - with a very high level of quality.
This set culls images from the James bond films Die Another Day, Octopussy (reviewed here!), For Your Eyes Only (reviewed here!) and A View To A Kill (reviewed here!)!
These cards are available in my online store! Please check them out here: 2017 James Bond Archives - Final Edition Trading Card Current Inventory!
For other James Bond trading card reviews, please check out my reviews of:
2009 James Bond Archives
2015 James Bond Archives
2016 James Bond Classics
2016 James Bond Archives - SPECTRE Edition
For other card reviews, please visit my Card Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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