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First Card Designations for Fictional Characters in Beckett DB and NSU Mag
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Hello everyone,

I thought I would drop by here in between spreadsheets to let everyone know that I am developing a rookie card-like designation for all the fictional characters for possible notation in the Beckett Non-Sport Database as well as all Beckett publications (Non-Sport Almanac, Star Wars Almanac, and NSU Magazine).

Rookie card is sports-specific so we won't using that. We want to go with something more unique to non-sport cards but somewhat familiar to collectors. Currently, the front runners are First Card or First Appearance (as a complement to comic book nomenclature). Of course, with things like this there is going to be all sorts of issues and red tape (for example, live-appearance first cards vs. animated first cards, etc.) but I just want to get this mapped out so I can have a general foundation on which to build.

I would love to hear everyone's feedback and suggestions. After all, you guys are the fuel to this industry's fire and I want to make sure I do the best job I can to make listings a bit more unique while providing solid information to the collector, both seasoned and novice. Thanks!

Matt B.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: BeckettBible24,
 
Posts: 282 | Location: Dallas, Texas | Registered: June 02, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You are kicking a hornets' nest. Non-sport card collectors never reach a consensus on any issue and, to be consistent to my own standards, I would be remiss to not tell you that I think the whole thing unnecessary. Whether First Card or First Appearance, I can't see where that would carry the automatic premium of the sports rookie card that is traditional to that market.

So now that that's off my chest, I'll play the game. Wink

My opinion would be for First Appearance if you are doing a character, but First Card if you are focusing on a living or dead person (i.e. autograph card). I know you mention fictional characters only and that's fine, but then you are probably dealing with mainly base cards. I would prefer an effort to identify First Card autographs. The question of First Card autographed actually comes up a lot for various signers and the cards have a higher value, which would potentially result in a higher premium. So please consider it a little. Smile

Back to "First Appearance" of a fictional character, if release dates are accurately kept, it should be pretty simple to find the set. However which card or cards get the designation will require you to devise rules. That character may be pictured on many cards in the set, either singularly or with others. What are you going by, card number? Photo type? Or are they all First Cards, since the manufacturing date is all the same? Are you including inserts, parallels or other hits or are they ignored even though they may be regarded as better cards?

Finally are you confining yourself to ALL fictional characters in a set, or just the main ones, because ALL can be a lot of characters? Since you mention both animated and live, I take that to mean anybody pictured, be it live or as a drawn form. So Season One of "Game of Thrones" for example would be filled with First Appearances for every character and First Cards for every actor playing every character. Star Wars sets are even worse, given that they likely bring in even more new characters.

Maybe I'm making it too complex, but if you really want to do this as official record, you are going to have to lay down specifics for what is in and what is out, or else you will be overwhelmed by the exceptions. I wish you luck. Big Grin
 
Posts: 10514 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Beyond fictional characters, I think a designation for the first time popular celebrities appeared on a pack-pulled card would also be most welcome.

Great idea, Matt, looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

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Posts: 3353 | Location: California | Registered: December 23, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sounds like a LOT of extra work but more info is good info.
 
Posts: 4479 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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How will you handle situations where the first appearance is in a foreign set that you don't list?

And you'll need accurate set release data that doesn't exist -- for example, which set did Han Solo first appear in:

1977 General Mills Star Wars Stickers
1977 O-Pee-Chee Star Wars
1977 Scanlens Star Wars
1977 Star Wars Tokyo Queen
1977 Star Wars Vending Machine Stickers
1977 Tip Top Star Wars Stickers
1977 Topps Star Wars
1977 Topps Star Wars (Mexico)
1977 Topps Star Wars (UK)
1977 Wonder Bread Star Wars
1977 Yamakatsu Star Wars
 
Posts: 2252 | Location: Huntsville, AL United States | Registered: November 30, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In addition to previous comments, are you going to start from a specific year of issue. How are you going to deal with those cards issued with plain backs and/or no captions. Will you exclude cards issued in periodicals, food products etc. As I have mentioned on numerous occasions, I am a member of the Cartophilic Society of Great Britain which ever since its inception in the 1930's has tried to list every card issued in the UK albeit Sport or Non-Sport. Currently members receive a bi-monthly magazine in which new issues are recorded as well as updates on previously recorded items. All this information has relied on the members providing it, how are you going to get such information on past issues?

Note in the UK card collectors have traditionally separated cards into different categories than Sport or Non-Sport i.e. Cigarette or Trade cards with a third category evolving in the 1990's as Commercial, a category which todays' issues embrace.

regards

John

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Posts: 2135 | Location: United Kingdom | Registered: October 14, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Seems like something being doing to appease sports card collectors who fundamentally collect differently from entertainment card collectors.

Are we really going to embrace collecting individual cards rather that complete sets? Looks like 'we' are, which is a sad day for what once was the entertainment card hobby. I guess that shouldn't be a surprise since NSU is owned by a sports card magazine publisher.

So. . . how many FAs does Batman get?

I mean. . . I'm sure there are some old animated Batman cards . . . so there will be a FA there. Does each actor who played Batman get FA cards too? So for like the first 1966 Batman set -- how many cards are a FA? The first one with Batman on it? Or the first one that identifies Batman specifically? What if Batman happens to appear in the background of another character's card (probably more likely with secondary characters)? Does Adam West get 'FA Adam West as Batman cards' as well as 'FA Adam West as Bruce Wayne cards?' Are all of the cards that feature Batman in the first set considered FAs? What about well known vehicles? Do they get FA?

What about sets like Americana/Pop Century -- do actors get FAs there? Pop Century is unnumbered with dozens of variations of each card -- are they all FAs?

If you do acknowledge actors like that then do you list like 1966 as 'Adam West as Batmans' FA, but then list like Pop Century 2012 as Adam West as Adam West's FA? What about animated Adam West in Family guy. . .

To Bills point -- most of the FAs that people seem to really be hyping (hype is what this is all about right?) are odd foreign releases that I've never heard of or have seen discussed on Card Talk (or really anywhere).
 
Posts: 5429 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ohh Jeez, I forgot. . . What about fictional characters who are played by other fictional characters? I mean. . . I think Batman has always been Bruce Wayne, but several people have been Robin -- Wikipedia lists a bunch. . . So are you going to end up a card that's like 'FA Chris O'Donnell as Dick Grayson as Robin'

What if O'Donnell plays multiple 'versions' of Robin? Do each get an FA?
 
Posts: 5429 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This is great stuff so far! Believe me, I'm aware of how insane this task is which is why I'm going to be taking a full year to map out the criteria. There won't be any adjustments/changes made until 2025 at the earliest.

The basic template right now is to utilize some of our rules regarding sports cards (e.g. products must be officially licensed) and combine them with new rules specifically fit to non-sport cards. Just the posts in this thread so far has given me a lot to work with but I'm sure there are ton more ideas, combinations, criteria, exceptions, etc. Keep the suggestions coming!
 
Posts: 282 | Location: Dallas, Texas | Registered: June 02, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by BeckettBible24:
The basic template right now is to utilize some of our rules regarding sports cards (e.g. products must be officially licensed) and combine them with new rules specifically fit to non-sport cards.


That should be . . . interesting. As you can quickly see, don't be surprised if it initiates strong responses. Big Grin

Non-sport card collectors may not agree on too many of the details, but one thing we all agree on is that our objectives don't align with the objectives of sports card collectors or their products.
 
Posts: 10514 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by webjon:

What about sets like Americana/Pop Century -- do actors get FAs there?


See the introductory post in the thread -- only fictional characters are being considered, not actors.
 
Posts: 2252 | Location: Huntsville, AL United States | Registered: November 30, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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quote:
Originally posted by Bill Mullins:
quote:
Originally posted by webjon:

What about sets like Americana/Pop Century -- do actors get FAs there?


See the introductory post in the thread -- only fictional characters are being considered, not actors.


Ohh geez. . . not sure how I missed that.

Doesn't seem to make much sense when at least half the FAs people seem to be chasing are celebrities . . .
 
Posts: 5429 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by webjon:

Doesn't seem to make much sense when at least half the FAs people seem to be chasing are celebrities . . .


May have something to do with the fact that so many celebrity FAs are in un- or poorly-documented foreign sets.
 
Posts: 2252 | Location: Huntsville, AL United States | Registered: November 30, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by webjon:
I think Batman has always been Bruce Wayne


Wrong. There have been a few people who have been Batman in the comics.
Go to comicvine.com and check out Azrael (Jean-Paul Valley), Dick Grayson and Terry McGinnis. If you want to add the multiverse then there's Thomas Wayne.
 
Posts: 3261 | Location: Luton, UK | Registered: October 07, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Bill Mullins:
See the introductory post in the thread -- only fictional characters are being considered, not actors.


Yes, but then the post also says "live-appearance first cards" and that has to mean actors playing those roles, doesn't it? And then from there we are right into first licensed cards of celebrities, no? To be honest, I think more card collectors would be interested in that, especially if you broke it down further to find First certified autograph cards.

But this is part of everything that has to be worked out by Mr. Bible and Beckett, if they want to attempt to compile an official record of first appearances or first cards in non-sport, and it will be like going down the rabbit hole, because this was never a determination that non-sport card collectors needed.

This nonsense of "rookie cards" for fictional characters and living or dead celebrities kicked in heavy around the time of the pandemic and the big Marvel card surge. All of a sudden Bieber had "rookie cards". Drake showed up on one and that was his "rookie card". Then we had to find the "rookie" Batman and the "rookies" for all his friends and foes. As for other fictional characters, you yourself accurately noted, go ahead and figure out which 1977 Han Solo card is his "rookie". Maybe they all get to be First Cards or First Appearances, if Beckett eventually says so. Wink

This was all done to boost the prices of these cards and hype some of them that were made pretty long ago and were getting dusty. Now they became hot because someone said they were "rookies", and somebody else believed them. And they went cold when somebody else tried to keep selling them. It's always about the money, but non-sport cards have always trailed behind sports cards and that was a good thing.

Not anymore though, we're right up there with $1,000 hobby boxes and $10,000 plus cards and we're even getting new card designations. Whoopie for us. Big Grin
 
Posts: 10514 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would find a notation of a First Appearance on an autograph card of use. I personally wouldn't find it useful for fictional characters.
 
Posts: 383 | Location: Nova Scotia | Registered: April 26, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Since this is under the Beckett umbrella, it might be good idea to see what criteria is used on what constitutes a Rookie Card on the sports card side to give an idea what could be used as a template for this First Appearance or First Card endeavor. I can think of these:

- Base cards are considered. But not parallel versions of the base card.
- Insert cards are not considered.
- The set has to have a wide distribution. Which basically means that the cards come out of packs. Online exclusives such as achievements probably would not be considered.
- A player can have multiple “Rookie Cards” depending on how many different products are produced for a specific season/year. For example, there’s Topps, Topps Chrome, Topps Finest just to name a few products that could have a Rookie Card of the same player.

Since I favor Marvel trading cards, maybe considering some comic book criteria could be beneficial. Of course, there’s the First Appearance but then there’s also Cameo Appearance, First Full Appearance, First Cover Appearance among other terms that try to capture the importance of an issue.

So trying to factor those wide ranging things in for a character like Marvel’s Spider-Verse star Miles Morales aka Spider-Man could be interesting. Should his First Card/Appearance be the card that’s labeled Ultimate Spider-Man, Spider-Man, or Miles Morales? For the sake of argument, the first cards of Miles Morales came out in 2012 as the Ultimate Spider-Man. The first card to hit the packs was from 2012 Marvel Greatest Heroes in the form of the Ultimate Heroes insert set. Then months later 2012 Marvel Beginnings series 3 had Miles Morales in the base set and 2 insert sets (Breakthrough Issues and Prime MicroMotion) as Ultimate Spider-Man.

Which of those 4 cards would be Miles Morales’ Rookie Card and First Card/Appearance?

The 2012 Marvel Beginnings Series 3 has his only base card. But what of the 2 other insert cards that were also released in that same product? Then there’s 2012 Marvel Greatest Heroes insert Ultimate Heroes card that came to market first, but it’s an insert card.

Using Beckett’s sports card criteria, the the only Rookie Card of Miles Morales is the base card from 2012 Marvel Beginnings series 3 even though the Ultimate Heroes insert came out first.

Traditionally it seems since comic books come out on a monthly basis (actually more like a weekly basis when you include the multitude of titles being released) there has been more of an emphasis on which issue did a character first made a debut versus sports cards not as concerned to which rookie card was first to be released because the season has multiple products being made under that rookie season blanket of that player.

So should Miles Morales trading cards have a similar type Cameo and First Appearance comic book references like:

First Card - 2012 Ultimate Heroes inserts
Rookie Card - 2012 Marvel Beginnings 3 base card
Rookie Year - 2012 Marvel Beginnings Prime MicroMotion & Breakthrough Issues inserts

If a character appears in the background of another character’s card then that could be labeled as “First Appearance” similar to the “Cameo Appearance” for comic books Eek

There’s so many variations that could be done for this endeavor. I should probably watch the “Loki” series again to get some tips from the TVA (Time Variance Authority) before going any further Wink
 
Posts: 684 | Location: Long Beach, CA | Registered: October 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wait a minute. I thought Spider-Man was Peter Parker. Who the heck is Miles Morales? Big Grin

Sounds like fictional comic book characters are even more complicated than I thought. Beckett is going to have to publish a rulebook to go along with their First Card or First Appearance designations. Wink

As regards the sports card rookies, I believe the hobby may have tried to clean up their act for multiple rookie cards in multiple products, because there got to be too many for a while. I'm pretty sure that it was changed so that not every product in the rookie year could officially claim a rookie, if one was already released and called.

Of course, that may have changed again now too, as the license holders have been drastically reduced. Now there may only be one licensed card maker who gets to carry the entire pro sport without any competition.
 
Posts: 10514 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think, at this point after considering the preceding comments, it would be best to scrap the idea of designating a "first appearance." The research involved, if nothing else, is a huge time-killer. The time spent figuring out a first appearance would be better spent updating prices as many values as possible.

In the couple of years I helped check prices for the Almanac, my problem wasn't running out of cards to check. It was running out of time to check even half of what I wanted to check.
 
Posts: 4479 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by catskilleagle:
The time spent figuring out a first appearance would be better spent updating prices as many values as possible.

Clap Clap Clap Clap
 
Posts: 10514 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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