Non-Sport Update - The magazine for the discriminating collector of non-sports cards

Time Capsule

NSU Time Capsule: Feb/Mar '06

A Galactic Grade

by Scott Thomas, Curator


It's time to move forward toward another non-sport year and to roll backward for another memory-jogging six entries of Time Capsules. We have a potpourri of items this time that do not share a linking theme. So come back to the winter of 2006 and enjoy NSU's first top stories of the year.


It's generally agreed that the so-called re-imagining of Battlestar Galactica had been a more successful enterprise both in technical and narrative forms than the original ABC series. The 1978 Battlestar, captured by a Topps issue that year, was criticized as television's obvious Star Wars clone. Nearly two months after the Sci-Fi Channel's premiere of the mini-series reboot, Rittenhouse Archives published The Complete Battlestar Galactica in early 2004. The Philadelphia-area firm then turned its attention toward the new series, which ran for four seasons. Season One offers 13 autographs, a dozen costume cards and nine different ArtiFEX character cards by Sean Pence.

Time Capsule

NSU's first issue of each new year looks into manufacturers' planned projects for the 12-month period. The Topps Company continued exploiting its most popular licenses such as Lord of the Rings (Evolution), Wacky Packages (All New Series 3) and Garbage Pail Kids (ANS 5). A Topps summer release introduced an old character with a new face with Superman Returns. It was an off-year for the Harry Potter film franchise (Order of the Phoenix premiered late in '07), but Artbox stoked hobby flames with the Goblet of Fire Update issue. And Rittenhouse forwarded its James Bond coverage with Dangerous Liaisons in February, while furthering the Stargate Atlantis (Season Two) saga in the fall.

Time Capsule

No doubt card grading continues as our hobby's double-headed monster. Professional grading companies have existed for over 25 years. They act as arbiters by settling arguments over card conditions. An unintended consequence is the fostering of skyrocketing values for encapsulated high-grade pasteboards. NSU publisher Roxanne Toser penned an exhaustive, unbiased account of professional graders by interviewing executives from PSA, Beckett Grading and Sportscard Guaranty. Also included are reactions from veteran dealers and their views on how grading affects their business in both positive and negative lights. Further, the opinions of selected non-sport collectors and hobby observers offer a wide berth of observations. Even though Roxanne's study was composed 10 years ago, its data remain virtually unchanged today.

Time Capsule

Inkworks specialized in promoting television series that featured youth-based casts. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Smallville, and Charmed are chief examples. Allan Caplan referred to these shows as "teen-angst" stories. Here, now, is Veronica Mars, with the eponymous character as a high school/college student assisting her father as a private investigator. The series ran for three seasons; Inkworks covered the first two years. Lead performer Kristen Bell provided signatures for Season One, and 10 other autographs packed out with the product. Twelve Pieceworks and the usual Inkworks chase configuration of puzzle and foil cards supported the 81-card base.

Time Capsule

The 1966 Green Hornet television series is a rare example of two competing gum card manufacturers going head-to-head simultaneously with similar products. Reasons for this have been apparently lost to hobby history, but given the fact that trading cards were a children's product during the 1960s, perhaps licensing rules and protocols were looser at the time and exclusivity not an overriding factor. Topps' Green Hornet release encompasses 44 stickers. Today, some of these may be found as high-graded specimens. Arnold Bailey's story discusses the 44-card Donruss issue, providing imagery of the show's stars Van Williams and Bruce Lee. The extant population of the Donruss collectible suggests Green Hornet enjoyed similar distribution rates as its Topps counterpart.

Time Capsule

NSU notes: Among titles such as Inkworks' Smallville Season Four and Rittenhouse's Star Trek TOS: Art and Images, an emerging trading card manufacturer made its bow in NSU's New Card Review department. Breygent Marketing, helmed by hobby marketing veterans Tom Breyer (Brey-) and Stewart Sargent (-gent) entered our field in 2005 with a pair of Hollywood star-based sets. Breygent's Three Stooges is a fun and rather instructive set (Breyer played a role in the development of DuoCards' Stooges set in 1997). John Wayne captured the actor's essence on-screen and also aspects of his private life, including fabric swatches from the Duke's personal wardrobe. Wizard of Oz would become Breygent's next project.

 

 

NSU Time Capsule recounts articles and events that appeared in previous Non-Sport Update editions. Recent back issues of Non-Sport Update may be acquired here online. The Vol. 17, No. 1 edition detailed above is not available for direct purchase from the publisher.

 

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