Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The answer lies in the cards...

Yesterday, I mentioned how the concept of holograms became a such a 90's craze, so much so, that everything from comic book covers to trading cards all featured holograms. It was a true craze in the whole sense of the word, as investors and fans alike all bought into how much money these hologram-ed items would bring them.

And it wasn't just the comic world that went hologram-crazy; sports cards and sports memorabilia also had holograms in or on them.

As I mentioned yesterday, even I wasn't immune to this fad. I wasn't Beanie-baby nuts/gotta' have it about them, but that didn't mean if I saw a trading card or cool cover with one on it, I'd buy it.

I guess that brings me to briefly discuss the one element of my childhood that I really was into for a while: The Comic trading cards.
I was hooked after seeing my 1st one when I moved to the states. I'd briefly seen the 1st and 2nd series of trading cards, but it wasn't until I was in 4th and 5th grade that I became addicted.

 Everybody, well almost everybody, that I knew at my elementary school had them. We often traded them around, 'cause that's why they're called Trading Cards, and sometimes got into fights because of the no take-back rule being broken. We'd often debate who was stronger or out right better, then defer to the stats on the back of the card to either agree or disagree, and just you know, play with them. Sometimes you'd have to worry about the teacher confiscating your trading cards, as what happened to me and a couple of other friends of mine, but we'd wind up just stealing them back anyhow.

I liked series 1 and 2, but really loved series 3 and 4. The the dark night background on series 3 really stood out to me. The art was sometimes hit and miss, depending on what artist was drawing whatever character they were working on. But usually more often than not, you have great artwork to look at.
These trading cards were also good/great ways on learning more about your favorite or possible new favorite Marvel Superhero; all you had to do was look on the back and you could read their whole origin story and what super-powers they had. You also had the stats on the back that showed the power scale of the character that helped you learn or clarify things like: Who was stronger The Hulk or The Thing? To find out the answer, you'd just look on the back of the card, read that the Thing's strength rating was 6 while the Hulk's was a 7, and you'd have your answer. Stuff like that was a nice way to introduce Marvel fans to new characters they'd never seen before or just learn more things about the ones they already knew. Plus there would be little things thrown in there, like seeing new characters like Sleepwalker or Darkhawk labeled as rookies, which told you that they new to the MU. Yes, this format seemed to take a lot of elements from sport trading cards, but it all seemed to work regardless.

Series 4 quickly became a favorite to me simply because of the overall gimmick: you collect a certain number of cards and you make an interlocking puzzle.
See how cool that is. And yes that meant you had to constantly buy a bunch of packs until you completed all the puzzles, but then isn't that the underlying genius to stuff like this; you have to keep on buying more of the product? That's just good marketing right there.

Of course Marvel didn't just stop there. Nope, like any good business that sees their product flying off shelves, they decided to flood the growing market with more trading cards.
Soon they were pumping out card sets like the X-Men ones by Fleer and other companies. Yes they looked just as good, and just as collectable.

Remember the X-Men card set drawn exclusively by Jim Lee? That was a sweet one. They were so popular that they earned their own 4-issue set of comics that were basically pin-ups.
Or how about the set drawn exclusively by the famous Kubert Brothers Adam and Andy? Oh and in case you didn't know, they gave their dad Joe, whatever character they didn't want to draw. How cool is that?

Oh, and no I didn't forget about DC.
They produced some cool card sets too, but I'll be honest, Marvel was better. That's my opinion anyway.
Here's some to show you just what DC was working with:

Not bad though huh?

On a side note, Pookie bought another camera and you know what that means? Finally, I'll be able to as my wife so elegantly puts it "Take pictures of your stupid action figures."

You've been all warned!!!!!!

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