The new Star Trek movie has been adapted as a novel, but it is also adapted as a trading card set from Rittenhouse. Today TrekMovie has its reviews of the trading cards. Plus, we have a discussion of the autographed cards and a sneak peek at the Star Trek content in the June issue of Autograph Magazine.
REVIEW: Rittenhouse Star Trek Movie Trading Cards
The Rittenhouse Star Trek Trading cards offers a visual record of the film on the front and text on the back of each card. Star Trek films have a long tradition of being featured as trading cards beginning with the Topps 1979 set for The Motion Picture. Every film has been a card set (either at the time of its release or afterward) and the Star Trek 2009 set from Rittenhouse is the best of the group with everything from costume cards to autographs of the entire cast. As with many trading card sets, there are different types of cards.
The basic set contains 81 cards, each with an image on the front and some text on the back. The secretive nature of the film limits the text somewhat on the back to generic descriptions, yet the set is attractive and the pictures are very nice. One of the fun aspects of trading cards is getting to see either unusual images or deleted scenes. Rittenhouse doesn’t disappoint here. For example, there is a card featuring JJ Abram’s father who has a cameo in the bar scene (he is one of the older patrons watching the fight between Kirk and Cupcake). There are also cards of deleted scenes from Vulcan. What is nice is that the set doesn’t just give images of Kirk and Spock, yet the entire cast is represented, from elder Spock to Nero.
Sample of card from base set
The ST09 cards have been very popular, selling out at the Rittenhouse website. However, Digital Heroes, a company that specialized in comic books and trading cards, offers the cards. The basic set is $15 (it includes only the 81 base cards).
Some of the fun of collecting trading cards is the almost lottery aspect to buying either a box of cards (which will include chase and autograph cards) or individual packs in the hopes of "winning" a special card. There are three of these kinds of "chase sets" featuring limited cards in the new ST09 set. The first set of chase cards are six behind the scenes cards of JJ Abrams directing various sequences. It would have been nice to have cards of others, too, such as Michael Giachhino scoring the movie. However, these are very cool especially because there is no behind the scenes book on the schedule yet so these are some of the few images of the making of the movie available to fans. These are available in the ratio of one card in every nine packs. The second set are nine character cards featuring the main crew, Pike, and Nero, available one in every six packs. Appropriately, there is also a set of six USS Enterprise cards (one in every nine packs). With the Enterprise being treated as its own character again in the new movie it is good to see it represented with its own special subset of cards.
Some of the BTS chase cards
It took about four boxes of cards to get a complete set of all these chase card sets for us. If you are interested in collecting them, there are various ways. One is to buy several boxes of cards from Digital Heroes (available for $65). The box includes a complete set of basic cards (plus almost an entire second set of duplicate cards), some of the chase cards, and autograph and/or costume cards (see below for more on these). You could also buy individual chase cards to complete your collection from Digital Heroes for $3-4 a card.
Autograph and Costume Cards
The main reason for buying a box of cards though is that Rittenhouse guarantees that in every box there will be either one autograph and one costume card, or two autograph cards, or two costume cards. The autograph cards are marvelous considering that they are the only guaranteed authentic autographs available from the entire cast and some of the crew of the film. The signers for the set are: Chris Pine, JJ Abrams, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman (all very limited in the number of cards available) and Zachary Quinto, Anton Yelchin, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Bruce Greenwood, Eric Bana, Jacob Kogan (Young Spock), Simon Pegg, and John Cho (all limited), and Faran Tahir (Captain Robau) and Chris Hemsworth (George Kirk) which are more common. Unlike other companies, Rittenhouse doesn’t use stickers with the signatures attached. You could be assured that your autograph card was signed by the celebrity. In our four boxes we purchased, my family got four autographs and four costume cards. Our autographs are Faran Tahir, Jacob Kogan, John Cho, and Chris Hemsworth. The autograph cards are nicely presented with a good sized area for the signature and a quality image of the actor. This is the first time ever that fans could get the autographs of every main Enterprise crew person in the same set.
You could get some of the autographed cards individually at Digital Heroes (with prices from $20 to $95 depending on the limited quality of the card). However, the serious collectability of these cards are at Ebay where the Pine and Abrams cards are commanding more than $250 in most auctions. Orci and Kurtzman are slightly less than $200 and most of the main cast is about $90. While an investment, these are the only guaranteed autographs available from everyone from the film. These are by no means the most expensive Rittenhouse trading cards have sold for, as certain DeForest Kelley and William Shatner cards are worth an estimates $1000 at auction because of their limited quality and the guaranteed natures of the signatures. However, these prices for the new crew are, to quote Darth Vader, impressive.
The costume cards feature a swath of material worn during the filming of Star Trek 2009 from Spock, Uhura, Sulu, Chekov, older Spock, McCoy, Pike, Nero, and male and female cadet’s costumes. These are more common than the autograph cards and command about $20 to $25 at Digital Heroes and at ebay. From our boxes, we got the costume cards of McCoy (which is awesome because of the delta insignias), Nero (another awesome costume that feels almost like it is rubbery), older Spock, and that Russian wiz kid Chirpoff, er Chekov. Costume cards are a great way to own a tiny prop from the making of the movie.
Rittenhouse Archives also offers a very nice binder to keep the cards in. Each binder includes an exclusive promotional card of the USS Enterprise. This is a great way to store your collection if you buy nine-card sleeves from your local comic book store because you could enjoy the front of the cards and read the backs without touching them. The binders are also selling out, so Ebay is probably your best bet.
More From Rittenhouse 2009
There are more Star Trek trading cards from Rittenhouse in 2009 featuring the various incarnations of Star Trek. Available this June are the B’Elanna Torres, Quark, and Hoshi Sato "Legends of Star Trek" sets (these are an ongoing special edition, limited to 1701 each, of 9 card sets featuring characters from various shows). Then later this year is the "Women of Star Trek" set. This will include an amazing Autograph cards and costumes are guaranteed per box. For more about Rittenhouse Archives Star Trek sets goto scifihobby.com.
The June 2009 Autograph Magazine – what kind of fan are you?
Speaking of autographs, my wife Maria Jose and I write an article each month in Autograph Magazine and we were given a sneak peek at the June issue’s Star Trek content. The June issue features our article about "What Kind of Fan Are You?" based on our 2006 study of 8,000 science fiction fans from 54 nations. The articles helps dispel many of the myths about Star Trek and other genre fans. The June issue also features two pages of images of a fan’s amazing collection of Star Trek 2009 autographs that he obtained at the movie’s premiere in May. For Eric Bana fans, there is a discussion of his autograph as Nero in the issue. Also, there is an article about Ray Wise, frequent Star Trek guest star who is on the show Reaper now. Autograph Magazine is not available in stores, yet individual issues are available from the publisher as well as subscriptions at autographmagazine.com.