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Sets with the most and best chase cards?
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I was wondering what everyone thinks are the top sets for having the most and coolest chase cards in them, both from the past and modern day?
 
Posts: 25 | Location: USA | Registered: February 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I like the Simpsons Down Under set from Tempo Australia, 1997. It had some very cool chase cards including a set of 7 with Homer as Famous Australians, a Die-Cut beer bottle-shaped "7 Duffs" insert set, and a couple of really cool redemption cards. The easier one said WOO HOO, and was individually serial numbered and could be mailed in to Tempo who would punch a hole in it and return it to you along with a very nice "prize" card of the Simpsons family in the style of the Brady Bunch TV show opening credits and a third "Cool, Man" Authentication card saying exactly what the 3 cards were, plus the three card set had matching serial numbers, so it's just a very handsome trio of cards.
The tougher to find redemption card was the "Bartarang" card, limited to only 50, and redeemable for an amazing Native Australian Simpsons-themed hand painted boomerang. There were also four different oversized box cards, each limited to only 625 of each. They came in every sixth box and there was no way to know if you got one, unless you opened the box and looked under the packs.
It was just a great set. Tempo only existed for a few years, unfortunately, but in that time, they made several other sets pretty much just as nice as this Simpsons set I'm lauding. They were really one of the first companies where the originality of the insert cards were backed up with high quality presentation of them, luckily we have a few companies like that now, Breygent comes immediately to mind.

The Tempo "Beatrix Potter/Peter Rabbit" set is another favorite of mine and their "May Gibbs/Gumnuts" set looks just as nice, but I wasn't familiar with that authors characters the way I was with those of Beatrix Potter. Some of their stuff was understandably Austral-ocentric, considering they were based in Australia. They even made two superb sets focusing on Mattel's "Barbie" dolls and a nice set based on the "Rug Rats" cartoon series.

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Posts: 3347 | Location: California | Registered: December 23, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hm, cool. I didn't know that Simpsons set existed. I knew about the Skybox one and the first one with stickers, but not this Australian one. I have to say though, I don't find the chase cards that impressive. The Homer as Famous Australian chase cards just seem like normal cards. I think the best chase cards have some special quality to the card itself. Like being foil, or glow-in-the-dark, or a hologram etc. The 7 Duffs set seems a little better.
 
Posts: 25 | Location: USA | Registered: February 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm also a big fan of the Simpsons Mania set from Inkworks set from 2001. Beside the "regular" insert sets, one of which was printed with fluorescent "day glow" ink, it also boasted beautifully designed autograph cards from most of the regular voice cast, and best of all, a remarkable series of hand drawn sketch cards. There were 9 different artists in total, and these weren't the random artists who had nothing to do with creating the original subject merely hired to do the sketch cards as is usually the case these days. Rather, 7 of these 9 artists on Simpsons Mania sketch cards were actual directors of the Simpsons TV series, and between them, they directed a big majority of the first 10 years of the show, widely considered to be the series "Golden Age". And the other two artists who contributed, while not episode directors, both had plenty of experience working on the Simpsons in other ways and each created a fantastic selection of cards in their own right. As a result of that, the Simpsons Mania sketch set is one of the two best sketch card sets ever issued, if the main judging criteria is the importance of the average artist who contributed cards to the subject at hand. (The other is the sketch card set from Skybox 1998 Marvel Silver Age, since those cards were likewise drawn mostly by artists who actually worked on Marvel during it's beloved 1960's era.)

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Posts: 3347 | Location: California | Registered: December 23, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That Inkworks set does look cool.

I've changed my mind about the Homer as Famous Australians chase cards also, that's kind of unique.
 
Posts: 25 | Location: USA | Registered: February 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by ewok7:
That Inkworks set does look cool.

I've changed my mind about the Homer as Famous Australians chase cards also, that's kind of unique.


What's really great about almost any illustrated card set that is great is when the art used was created especially for the cards, and those Australian drawings were definitely made especially for the set, something for the Australian collectors I'm sure they were hoping to sell a big chunk of the 15,000 boxes of packs they made. That is a very healthy amount to be produced in the modern day, but back in 1996, that was an unusually low print run, especially for something with widespread popularity like the Simpsons.

The Simpsons creators were really disappointed with the original 1990 Topps sets which featured screen grabs and grey backgrounds on front. What saves it for fans is the puzzle backs drawing of Krustyland, a big piece of new painted artwork made especially for the card set.

Even so, when the next Simpsons set was made by Skybox in 1993 (with a followup in 1994), the Simpsons creators insisted on all-new artwork, and those sets are fantastic as a result. The "Lucky Day" and "Art D'Bart" card you could exchange it for both remain among the highest valued pack issued non-sports single cards, plus there were Temporary Tattoos, Glow in the Dark cards, set of three partially clear cards that could be placed on top of each other to make an animated scene just like the ones on the show. Those were all series 1, but Series 2 brought scratch-n-sniff cards, disappearing ink cards, and 4 very cool Arty-Art guest artist cards which were found just one per 5 boxes.

There wasn't another U.S. issued set until the 10th Anniversary set from Inkworks in 1999 or so. That had a lot of recycled art on it, and pretty pedestrian chase cards (die-cut cards, and simple animated cel scenes that weren't as nice as the ones in Skybox series 1) but it did have a nice set of autograph cards, available by redemption. It wasn't the best set to start with, but luckily, Inkworks got another chance with Simpsons Mania in 2001 and just hit it out of the park on that one. Not only did the base cards features a new series in style of the fan-favorite Skybox sets from 8 years before, but there were Wacky Packages type parodies of Simpsons-related products, a subset of the Simpsons drawn as other famous families, and a new series of Simpsons characters drawn by popular artists not normally associated with the Simpsons (like the Arty Art cards from the 1994 Skybox set). Best of all were the superb autographs that were found very reasonably in every other box and there was one of those nifty sketch cards found in every fourth box. The run for the Mania set is estimated at 7,000 boxes, so less than half of the Tempo cards from just 5 years before, and Mania was a U.S set, so that's a great illustration of just how much production runs for the average card set plummeted within just a few years of the all-time highs of the early to mid 1990s.

Here's my set of sketches:





The Tempo set came out just prior to the first Inkworks set, but a couple of years after the second Skybox set, so we ran all over trying to find those, so happy were we to finally get more Simpsons cards. And finding those import cards back then wasn't easy. Ebay was just starting up, and even the internet was still fairly novel.

Here's a look (via an uncut sheet of them I'm delighted to have) at the "Woo Hoo" card I mentioned that you could send in for the Black Border Family Portrait card and the COA "Cool, Man" card, all of which would have matching numbers out of only 1,250 total sets. The fourth card on the sheet is the Binder card, the family on the couch. There were 1000 binders made, but only the first 500 came with a binder card, so single card versions of those are numbered on the back out of 500.



All this to say, Tempo really went the extra mile to give the collector something special. Unfortunately. the last few years of the 1990's when Tempo started, was a really terrible time for trading cards, with a big sales slump, especially compared to the unprecedentedly high sales figures of only a couple of years earlier. Tempo came and went within a span of just 2-3 years. Too bad. They would've made a lot more great stuff had they lasted, I have no doubt.

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

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Everywhere around this burg they're running out of verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. Everywhere around this town, they're running out of nouns.
 
Posts: 3347 | Location: California | Registered: December 23, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wow, thanks for sharing those beautiful sketch cards and uncut sheets.

Quite an informative and interesting post, the Simpsons were a big part of my childhood as were trading cards so I found that a fascinating read. The only cards I had as a kid were the 1990 Topps cards with stickers.

The Simpsons cards seem to be increasing in value moreso than other trading cards. I was looking on Ebay and it's hard to find boxes of the Skybox and Tempo sets.
 
Posts: 25 | Location: USA | Registered: February 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Skybox Simpsons II (blue box, red packs)aren't as tough because the most valuable card in one of them would be one of the "Arty Art" cards I mentioned, and those single cards sell for around $40 at the most, but usually closer to $20 each. As a result those boxes can still be had for pretty close to retail price, about $35, with some patience. The Series II cards also had a much higher print run than Series I and there were special 100 pack boxes made for Walmart (just 5 cards per pack, but with all of the inserts possible), so that put even more of those on the market.

The Series 1 boxes (red box, blue packs), however, could contain one of the "Lucky Day" redemption cards worth at least $1,000, and maybe more. They expired as redemption cards about 20 years ago, but they are very handsomely designed and hand-numbered out of 400. It's believed something less than half of them were redeemed for the sketch card it was worth. Those cards that were sent in weren't returned along with the sketch card to the winners and they were likely destroyed by Skybox, so that leaves the other 200 or so out there, and at least some of them certainly remain in whatever sealed packs that remain. Those boxes routinely sell for over $100 mainly on just the (very) slight longshot of finding one a "Lucky Day" in the packs. (The base sets and the other regular insert cards in the packs definitely have some value, but closer to $40 or $50 than $100+). The "Lucky Day" is a Holy Grail type card still on a lot of Simpsons collectors want list.

With the Tempo set, the 15,000 boxes (all individually numbered) to start with means there are less of those than even Simpsons Skybox Series 1 (which was fairly short-printed for it's day, plus it was hobby boxes only on those, no retail Walmart boxes to pad the numbers), and like Skybox Series I, the Tempo box could hold a highly sought after card, the "Bartarang" redemption card. Only 50 of those exist, and they are likewise extremely valuable. They are no longer redeembable, either, but still highly desired. Less than 10 of those were redeemed for the handpainted boomerang, but unlike Skybox, Tempo actually punched a hole in the card and returned it to the winner with the boomerang prize, so it was the best of both worlds. It means there are about 10 of them out there with a hole punched in it, and 40 of them without it, and again, some of those surely remain in sealed boxes. I have the Sample version of one of those, but not an actual one, which would be numbered to 50 on the reverse side.

Tempo Simpsons also had some really nice box cards, four different oversized plastic cards that were inserted randomly underneath the packs in every 6th box, and numbered to only 625 of each. Those vary in value, but are worth anywhere between $25 to $75 each, and I've actually seen them sell for more than that at times.

Again, Tempo really knew how to add value to their cards, and the Box cards were just another example. During the 1990's you could get a box of the Tempo Simpsons cards for $60 or so, the retail price, basically, but that had already doubled to over $100 by the year 2000 and it's probably closer to $200 for one of them now. There are very few out there left, I'm certain. I must've opened at least 20 of them myself, and they were sold worldwide, while I'm just one dude in California, so you can imagine how many just the real Simpsons super collectors tore into back when they were new.

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Posts: 3347 | Location: California | Registered: December 23, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There are currently four Simpsons Skybox boxes on eBay and Amazon combined, the US version of those sites at least. Maybe the one on Amazon is the same as one of the Ebay boxes though, it's a Series 1 Skybox and on both sites is selling for $269 dollars. The other two boxes on Ebay are the 100 pack Skybox Series 2 boxes, one is $429 the other is $515.
 
Posts: 25 | Location: USA | Registered: February 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The price on the Skybox II boxes is insane. Those are somewhat rare in that configuration, since most of those 100 packs boxes were opened and the packs dumped in a big bin at Wal-Mart, but even so, the cards that you may find in them are exceedingly plentiful. The print run was large on Simpsons II for just the hobby boxes before the probable few thousand of those Wal-Mart boxes were made. If they had some sort of exclusive card in them (as is true with some non-sport boxes made especially for Walmart during that era, particularly Marvel Comics related cards), that could justify at least some of the price inflation, but as they are, with what's in them, there's just no way that a different style (longer) box and horizontally orientated pack wrappers (as opposed to vertical on the regular ones) can justify that kind of money. Those boxes will be available at that price for a looooong time before someone buys them, I think.

As for the Series 1 boxes, $269 is pretty steep considering the extremely remote chances of finding a "Lucky Day" card in them, but I could see those selling eventually. There were a lot less of them than Series II originally produced, plus there is a much better, albeit very rare, card in them, so it's is more of a seller's market on them.

Most of the ones I got, I paid retail for them way back when, about $40 or so. When I finally did decide I wanted to have a sealed one, around 10 years ago, I paid closer to $100 for it, but eventually, I even opened that one. I just couldn't leave it alone!

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Everywhere around this burg they're running out of verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. Everywhere around this town, they're running out of nouns.
 
Posts: 3347 | Location: California | Registered: December 23, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have never gotten the draw of a sealed box. How sad for those cards Wink Locked away never to see the light of the day.... Wink

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Posts: 4246 | Location: Pittsboro, NC USA | Registered: November 30, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Originally posted by STCardGeek:
I have never gotten the draw of a sealed box. How sad for those cards Wink Locked away never to see the light of the day.... Wink


Me neither, but the draw is that you can pretend that there might be that super rare hit in the box because you won't know until it is opened and busted. So it can be sold as though the potential is almost as good as the reality. Wink

I have even heard of people grading sealed boxes.

If you are a fan of The Big Bang Theory, it is the same concept as Schrodinger's Cat, but at least you don't have to kill a cat. Big Grin
 
Posts: 10504 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A sealed box contains not only cards, but also contains the experience of opening it. Busting open boxes and slabs is fun and produces a feeling of excitement. When you have sealed boxes you know you can have this feeling whenever you want. The mystery of what's in the box is an added bonus, though the more potential for rare and valuable cards to be in the box the bigger the rush of opening it. It's like gambling, it's a lot more fun when you have the potential to win big, regardless of if you actually do win or not, the potential for winning big makes it more fun.
 
Posts: 25 | Location: USA | Registered: February 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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