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LOTR Masterpieces 2 (Topps)
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Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of Arvin Sloane
posted
I've just finished busting 2 cases and here are the sketch cards. There are 32 of them and half I like and the others, well at $50 a box, they leave alot to be desired.
Does anyone have a clue what the left card on the second row is supposed to be?
The double Aragons, third row down aren't that bad, but two of them, arrrgh. The scan of the female elf doesn't do justice to the card. It's very simple but very attractive. The Gould Nazguls, well maybe I should buy every color variation Big Grin
Love my 2 Ents, and am happy with the Ring on Sauron's severed finger. Anyone have an idea as what the far left card on the next to last row is? The artist put alot of work into it. I say its an orc, my wife says it's Gandalf on top of the White Tower. The Mines of Moria scene is stunning and again, this is a case where the scan doesn't do the card justice, a very nice card.
The base set is just as nice as the previous, the foil cards are ok, and the etched foils are exceptional. Only scored one GOLD.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Arvin Sloane,
 
Posts: 2206 | Location: SD6 Headquarters | Registered: April 01, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of steve j
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I would love to know what you think Arvin after busting two cases!!

I love the Patdata sketch though.
 
Posts: 1774 | Location: Wales, UK | Registered: June 10, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Batman
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The Patrick Hamill and Dan Cooney cards are nice, and while it's obvious that there will be some less detailed sketches, getting 5 duplicate sketches out of only 2 cases isn't good. There is also a lot of duplication within the two cases for artists, as well. With all large number of artists participating, that's not good, either.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Batman,

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Posts: 5750 | Location: Brielle, NJ | Registered: April 03, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of mintoncard
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Wow.

Maybe 5 of those sketches are good. I can't even tell what some of the images are supposed to be! It's a shame that Topps has chosen quantity over quality. I regret ordering my two boxes now (and I don't even have them yet!)

(Right now there is an "artist" drawing a single letter "S" representing a sketch of a snake for the Indy series. I just know it!)
 
Posts: 858 | Location: Golden Valley, MN | Registered: August 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of Arvin Sloane
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quote:
Originally posted by steve j:
I would love to know what you think Arvin after busting two cases!!

I love the Patdata sketch though.

Read above Wink
 
Posts: 2206 | Location: SD6 Headquarters | Registered: April 01, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of Arvin Sloane
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quote:
Originally posted by mintoncard:
Wow.

Maybe 5 of those sketches are good. I can't even tell what some of the images are supposed to be! It's a shame that Topps has chosen quantity over quality. I regret ordering my two boxes now (and I don't even have them yet!)

(Right now there is an "artist" drawing a single letter "S" representing a sketch of a snake for the Indy series. I just know it!)

WOW you're hard to please Smile
 
Posts: 2206 | Location: SD6 Headquarters | Registered: April 01, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of dillndill
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quote:
Originally posted by Arvin Sloane:
Does anyone have a clue what the left card on the second row is supposed to be?


It appears, to me anyway, that it's a leg from the knee down???

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Mike
 
Posts: 84 | Location: Roseville, CA | Registered: December 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of Arvin Sloane
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quote:
Originally posted by dillndill:
quote:
Originally posted by Arvin Sloane:
Does anyone have a clue what the left card on the second row is supposed to be?


It appears, to me anyway, that it's a leg from the knee down???

LOL my wife said the same thing Big Grin
 
Posts: 2206 | Location: SD6 Headquarters | Registered: April 01, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of mintoncard
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Not hard to please.

I just expect better quality.

Topps is a huge publicly traded company with the means to produce better, higher-end quality products and hire better sketch artists. I would much rather have 1 good quality sketch per box than 2 mediocre sketches. Even if that means paying a slightly higher price.

Smaller companies like Rittenhouse, Inkworks, Breygent and Artbox manage to release great products from well-known licenses. (When was the last time you saw a signature on a foil sticker from any of these companies?) Unlike Topps, it seems to me that the smaller card companies take more time and care in production of a series. Topps just doesn't care about quality. They just care about saturating the market with the product as fast and cheaply as they can. Unless it's a sports product...

Topps will go to the ends of the earth to find the last stitch of fabric from a jersey of an old sports hero. They slap that between cardboard with a nice design (matte, gloss, holo, foil and embossed TOGETHER), put that into a polished wood box and sell it for $600+.

Now, I'm not saying that I would pay $600+ for a single card. I'm just saying that if Topps put as much time, attention, detail, and money into the non-sport products as they do the sports properties.... I maybe would have bought 2 CASES of LOTR Masterpiece II cards instead of just 2 BOXES.

Topps may hold some good licenses, but they need to respect those properties AND the consumer by delivering a better quality of product.

I'm sorry, these days... there is NO EXCUSE.

That is just my opinion.
 
Posts: 858 | Location: Golden Valley, MN | Registered: August 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Arvin Sloane
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quote:
Originally posted by mintoncard:
Not hard to please.

I just expect better quality.

Topps is a huge publicly traded company with the means to produce better, higher-end quality products and hire better sketch artists. I would much rather have 1 good quality sketch per box than 2 mediocre sketches. Even if that means paying a slightly higher price.

Smaller companies like Rittenhouse, Inkworks, Breygent and Artbox manage to release great products from well-known licenses. (When was the last time you saw a signature on a foil sticker from any of these companies?) Unlike Topps, it seems to me that the smaller card companies take more time and care in production of a series. Topps just doesn't care about quality. They just care about saturating the market with the product as fast and cheaply as they can. Unless it's a sports product...

Topps will go to the ends of the earth to find the last stitch of fabric from a jersey of an old sports hero. They slap that between cardboard with a nice design (matte, gloss, holo, foil and embossed TOGETHER), put that into a polished wood box and sell it for $600+.

Now, I'm not saying that I would pay $600+ for a single card. I'm just saying that if Topps put as much time, attention, detail, and money into the non-sport products as they do the sports properties.... I maybe would have bought 2 CASES of LOTR Masterpiece II cards instead of just 2 BOXES.

Topps may hold some good licenses, but they need to respect those properties AND the consumer by delivering a better quality of product.

I'm sorry, these days... there is NO EXCUSE.

That is just my opinion.
Shake Head
 
Posts: 2206 | Location: SD6 Headquarters | Registered: April 01, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Incarnadine
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Wow, 5 duplicate artists of duplicate characters from just 2 cases, not to mention the other duplication of artists but of different characters. Considering there are over 100 artists getting more than 1 duplication should be a very longshot. Shake Head

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Posts: 5142 | Location: Vancouver/B.C./Canada | Registered: October 13, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Bronze Card Talk Member
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quote:
Originally posted by mintoncard:
Smaller companies like Rittenhouse, Inkworks, Breygent and Artbox manage to release great products from well-known licenses. (When was the last time you saw a signature on a foil sticker from any of these companies?) Unlike Topps, it seems to me that the smaller card companies take more time and care in production of a series. Topps just doesn't care about quality.



Yeah ok, I understand that argument, but when is the last time Inkworks/RA/Breygent/Artbox had someone like Harrison Ford or Mark Hammill sign? George Lucas? Spilberg?

Oh thats right...it hasn't happened. The sticker autograph argument is old and worn out. I agree that they are 1/1000 as good as an on card auto, there is something much more personal about having an on card auto, but it also allows a whole lot more wiggle room in getting an actor to sign. Topps can send out the stickers a year before the set is planned to give big actors time to get these things signed.


Now back to sketches, while I feel your pain Arvin, I really do like a good amount of your sketches. Grants sketches really are great for him doing 2000 of them and there are 17 sketches that I would consider good-supurb quality.

I also agree with the leg from the knee down, it looks like the artist was trying to highlight the Rohan armor. I am not impressed with Ryan Waterhouse's work on this set though, some of his stuff from LOTRM1 is great but I have yet to see anything even up to that standard yet. I have two cases coming on Thursday, and while I am of course hoping for some MASTERPIECE of a card (i'll just take one of the six Russ Walks original puzzle cards Smile )
I would be very happy if my cases turned out like yours. Pretty much half of your cards are cards that I like Smile


Oh yeah and I don't think the Patrick Hammill sketch is of the Mines of Moria...it is the place where Frodo, Sam, and Gollum begin to climb the mountain up to the spider lair...I can't think of the name, but I know a bigger LOTR fan will be able to help me out.
 
Posts: 685 | Location: Daytona Beach, FL | Registered: January 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of steve j
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Yeh its the start of the climb upto Cirth Ungol (Tower of the spider).
 
Posts: 1774 | Location: Wales, UK | Registered: June 10, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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my only real concern here, other then of course some of the sketchs are lacking in effort, quality, and creativity, is that you only got 19 artists in 32 sketchs...i mean, wow, 13 of thoes sketchs are repeat artists? and there are over 100 artists in the set? How can you pull 4 sketchs of two seperate artists? This is starting to scare me, my first case comes tommorow, im hoping i get at most one repeat artist...This is making it look like waves though of this product, sorta like last time.

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Posts: 1882 | Location: michigan | Registered: September 09, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think the following autos are nothing to dismiss:

Toby McGuire
William DeFoe
William Shatner
Mickey Rooney
Patrick Stewart
Christopher Lloyd

Just to name a few.

You have a better chance of pulling ALL of those compared to finding a single Ford, Lucas, or Spielberg.

But, respectively it's not so much about the autos as it is about the sketch cards. There is no excuse these days for poor sketches. If you have ASK what the sketch is... then it shouldn't have been put in the set.

And don't even get me started about Topps not releasing binders anymore.
Shame on you Topps.... shame on you!
 
Posts: 858 | Location: Golden Valley, MN | Registered: August 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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you think any of the 6 you just named are better than the 4 I named?

Topps did the impossible. Lucas NEVER SIGNS ANYTHING. The only time I see his signature is for charity, the same with Ford. I have not seen much signed by Spielberg either. All of those people are not anywhere near the star calibur or rarity of Ford Lucas or Spielberg.


I'm sorry (and I am NOT an artist) but for around $1 a card, a sketch is a SKETCH. These aren't art cards, they are sketch cards. A sketch is defined as "a simply or hastily executed drawing or painting, esp. a preliminary one, giving the essential features without the details" and that is exactly what some of the artists did. Anyone who did more than that did it because of their love of the genre or licence. The artists are NOT obligated to create works of art on each card. The artists who are doing the "sloppy" looking cards are doing 2000+ for this set....and take someone like Grant, Yeah, he does a lot of repeats, but at least he takes the time to add some color to them to give them each a touch of personality. Not to mention, he usually does about 200 cards that are just grand slam out of this world great looking. Again, I am not an artist, and the funny thing is, I am not a big sketch card collector either. But I think that every person did the best they could with the time given. Do you think you could draw 200 highly detailed full color sketch cards, and 1800 repeat cards with color added in about 10 days? Because that is what some artists do.
 
Posts: 685 | Location: Daytona Beach, FL | Registered: January 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of mintoncard
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quote:
Originally posted by Bryan Shaffer:
you think any of the 6 you just named are better than the 4 I named?

Topps did the impossible. Lucas NEVER SIGNS ANYTHING. The only time I see his signature is for charity, the same with Ford. I have not seen much signed by Spielberg either. All of those people are not anywhere near the star calibur or rarity of Ford Lucas or Spielberg.


I'm sorry (and I am NOT an artist) but for around $1 a card, a sketch is a SKETCH. These aren't art cards, they are sketch cards. A sketch is defined as "a simply or hastily executed drawing or painting, esp. a preliminary one, giving the essential features without the details" and that is exactly what some of the artists did. Anyone who did more than that did it because of their love of the genre or licence. The artists are NOT obligated to create works of art on each card. The artists who are doing the "sloppy" looking cards are doing 2000+ for this set....and take someone like Grant, Yeah, he does a lot of repeats, but at least he takes the time to add some color to them to give them each a touch of personality. Not to mention, he usually does about 200 cards that are just grand slam out of this world great looking. Again, I am not an artist, and the funny thing is, I am not a big sketch card collector either. But I think that every person did the best they could with the time given. Do you think you could draw 200 highly detailed full color sketch cards, and 1800 repeat cards with color added in about 10 days? Because that is what some artists do.


I agree with your definition of "sketch" But when I pull a sketch card out of a box, I expect an actual sketch, not a doodle.

Doodle
noun
a rough drawing made absentmindedly.
 
Posts: 858 | Location: Golden Valley, MN | Registered: August 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Arvin Sloane:
Does anyone have a clue what the left card on the second row is supposed to be?

I vote for Legolas boarding down the stairs at Helm's Deep.

But as for the sketch-quality issue, it's the sketch cards that make up the biggest part of the attraction for the buyers. It's true that you shouldn't require much for a quick sketch, but lots of artists have slaved away and produced vivid artwork just for the love of it and to show off their craft. Personally I would rather see the cardmaker pay a little bit more for the sketches, even if it means that the box price is a bit higher. But maybe some of the sketches seem unmemorable because there aren't as many new things to draw, for the third in a series of sketch-laden products.

I'm looking forward to pulling a few Uruk helmets and Nazgûl shrouds when my stuff arrives. ...
 
Posts: 2424 | Location: North Augusta, SC, USA | Registered: November 28, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I also hope I won't pull too many 'G' sketches in my 1 case. Looking at the pulls so far, its a bit disappointing. Hope my case fares better...... Smile

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Posts: 1439 | Location: Singapore | Registered: January 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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. . . As far as sketch cards -- I personally feel that if I could draw what is on the card it shouldn't be in the set.

An artist should only do as many sketches as they have time for, and if they run out of time they should return the blanks instead of just cranking out cards with just anything on them.

Saying the artists get $1 a card, especially for Topps and Upper Deck isn't an accurate statement at all. Say an artist does 100 sketches -- and gets $100 cash for those. They also get 6-blank cards (or more) that respected artists can easily get $150 each for -- so that's an additional $900 -- or $10 per card. Obviously artist do more and less than 100 cards, but they often sell their 6-back cards for far more than $150 as well, and they all know what they are signing up for -- the payment -- in my opinion isn't an excuse.

Additionally -- how else are these artists going to get 100+ of their original pieces of art in the hands of the people at New Line Cinema, Topps, and whomever else might see these. Not to mention commissions, and massive amounts of credibility in being an 'official Lord of the Rings' (or Heroes, or Marvel, or DC, etc) artist.

Don't get me wrong -- as much as I love fully rendered cards, I also like the sketchy cards as long as they are quality -- and plenty of artists do quality sketch work: Leah Mangue is among my favorites, but also Grant, Katie Cook and many others, there are other people though that I wonder how they keep getting on card sets.

Jon
 
Posts: 5116 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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