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Friday, December 10, 2010

Review: G.I.Joe 30th Salute Cards (Comic Images 1994)

The set is about the G.I.Joe merchandise and media from 1964 to 1994. I bought 2 boxes and open one (see Figure 1). Like some of the products of Comics Images of the ‘90s there is sometimes a disclaimer indicating that if you get and Insert or Chase you are lucky (it doesn’t said literally, but it what you understand). The box 48 packs with 10 cards in each one.

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Figure 1- The G.I.Joe 30th Salute card box.


The base set is composing of 90 cards. The series has 4 types of inserts sets: Chromium Cards, Comic Anthology Subset, Autograph Card, and Medallion Card. I don’t wrote any ratio because by my experience with Comic Images. It doesn’t work. From this box I got 2 basic sets, 3 Chromium Cards (C1, C5, and C6) and Comic Anthology Card #1 (Figure 2).

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Figure 2- Chromium Cards (C1, C5, and C6) and Comic Anthology Card #1.


The cards from base set (see Figure 3) are photos or illustrations for merchandise like toys produced or prototypes, comic books covers, and some conception artwork. It is Comic Images so I wasn’t expecting in the front a great design or something like that. It isn’t good for the eye see the mix between photos and drawings. The ones whose designed it looks like they weren’t thinking about displaying the cards. Not even the checklist has the classic subdivisions when cards have different contents. The only interesting part of the set and the only good thing I like from Comic Images is the way they add in the back of the card interesting info of the front illustration (contrary to some sets like JLA Archives). In the back you will find the explication or info of the illustration plus extra info in the left of the card of some G.I.Joe characters or vehicles. The Chase cards aren’t so great. The differences from the base cards are the material and back design. The Chromium cards are just some G.I.Joe dolls in a relate term scenario and the Comic Anthology Card is just a normal card with a comic book fact and a front illustration not directly related to the info in the back. Card #1 is about the death of General Flagg, but the front is Lady Jade, Roadblock, and Flint.

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Figure 3- The base set.


Now I’m going to talk about the great problem of the products of Comic Images from ‘90s, the “Card Condition”.  I have some of their 90’s products and it is a miracle to find a series or box with cards in great condition (I mean a lot of Near Mint cards). From 480 cards, only near 150 are in Near Ming Condition. I’m not a specialize grader, but there weren’t “Mint” condition cards in this box. And something more get to my attention when I was grouping the cards. The cards aren’t cut the same height. The maximum different I found was 1 millimeter. You can see what I refer looking Figure 4 and 5. This manufacturer error is very rare to see in cards and in special in the base cards. I saw it with some chase cards that the material isn’t cardboard like Marvel 70 Years Clear Chase Cards, but as I said before is very rare.

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Figure 4- A lot of cards. Left side cards are technically parallel. Look difference in right side.

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Figure 5- The max different in height between some cards is 1mm.


My final thoughts

If you are G.I.Joe fan the set will be good in your collection. If you are a non-sport collector the set will not be very interesting because the lack of design and condition of the cards.


The Good
-          Back of the cards have interesting info.

The Bad
-          Buy a box don’t guarantee get a Chase card.
-          Condition of the cards.
-          Design of the cards.





If you are interesting to buy G.I.Joe 30th Salute (Comic Images 1994)
sets, single/base/common cards or chase cards check my store:

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Review: DC versus Marvel (Fleer/Skybox 1995) Jumbo/Rack Pack Box

I bought 2 boxes (1 normal and 1 jumbo) of DC versus Marvel (by Fleer/Skybox 1995) from this I opened the Jumbo Box (see Figure 1). For my surprise and for first time I saw a long jumbo pack (see Figure 2). The box has 24 packs of 11 Cards plus a Ballot to vote for the winners of the crossover.

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Figure 1- The jumbo box.


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Figure 2- The jumbo pack.


The base set is composing of 100 cards. This box has 3 types of inserts sets:  Impact Cards (1:4 packs), Holo F/X Cards (1:8 packs), and Mirage Cards (1:360 packs). From this box I got 1 basic set, 7 Impact Cards #5,10,11,12,13,16, and 18 (Figure 3 & 4) and 3 Holo F/X Cards #5,6, and 9 (Figure 5).


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Figure 3- Impact Card #5.


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Figure 4- Impact Card #10,11,12,13,16, and 18.


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Figure 5- Holo F/X Cards.


The base set (see Figure 6) illustrations has combination of drawings and paints. The paints show the important battles in the cross-over like Superman vs. Hulk. The first card is paint then every nine you will see one in the set. Like the classics base sets of the 90’s. The artwork is from the actual comic’s artists of the time like Joe Quesada, Kubert Brothers, John Byrne, etc. In the back of each card you can see the names of the artist, inkers, and CGI designers for each card. For example the Sabretooth by Joe Quesada (Figure 7). The Impact Cards are part of 2 puzzles based in 9 cards. The Impact cards #1-9 are JLA vs. Avengers and #10-18 X-Men vs. Teen Titans. The Holo F/X cards are the paints you see in the base set.

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Figure 6- The base set.


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Figure 7- Sabretooth Card.


The condition of the cards is great. From 264 cards, only 16 base cards and 1 Impact Card were in Very Good condition. Also I found near 30 cards with a little rollover defect. The design and artwork for the base card and the chase cards is great. The only disappointment is see some of the artwork of the base set recycled for the Holo F/X chase set.

The Good
-          Base set illustrations are and made by famous artist.
-          The artwork is great, but I see better artwork in other sets.
-          Condition of the cards. Expect to find 15% to 20% of the cards with a defect.

The Bad
-          Artwork was recycled to create one of the chase sets.




If you are interesting to buy DC versus Marvel (by Fleer/Skybox 1995) sets, single/base/common cards or chase cards check my store:

Monday, November 8, 2010

Review: Fleer Ultra X-Men: Wolverine (Fleer/Skybox 1996) Jumbo/Rack Pack Box


I bought 3 boxes of Fleer Ultra X-Men: Wolverine by Fleer/Skybox 1996 some months ago. The box looks like a classic Jumbo Box (see Figure 1), but it only has 6 cards by pack and the box had 36 packs. I bought 3 boxes of this series because is really rare and scarce to find this series.

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Figure 1- The classic jumbo box, like this 1994 Fleer Spider-Man.


The base set is composing of 90 cards. It has 2 types of inserts sets:  Holoflash (1:4 packs), and Mirage/Lenticular (1:24 packs). Every box I got 1 basic set and Foil Set, and a Lenticular card. I got lucky to complete the Lenticular set and I get one extra in other box. So from 3 boxes I got 4 Lenticular Cards (see Figure 2), 3 Holoflash Sets & 3 base sets.

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Figure 2- The Lenticular Cards.


The base set (see Figure 3) illustrations is great paints from different artists. I can’t see the artist firm in the artwork like other series of cards, but it is found in the checklist. Base set “Weapon X” by Glenn Orbik, “Department H” by Ken Kelly, “Second Genesis” by Tom Kuffin, “Japan” by Julie Bell & Boris Vallejo, “Allies” by Dave Dorman, “Madripoor” by Mark Texeira, “Mojoworld” by Tom Fleming, “Enemies” by Cliff Nielsen,  “X-Men” by Joe Jusko, “Age of Apocalypse” by Marc Sasso, and “Savage Beast” by Brian Stelfreeze. And 9 Chase Cards or Holoflash Cards by Greg & Tim Hildebrandt. Contrary to the past X-Men Fleer Sets were you find the Bio or background of the story. In the back panel of the cards you are going to find a little comic book story of Savage Wolverine & Elektra in the Mojo’s World.

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Figure 3- The base set.


The Holoflash Cards (Figure 4 & 5) are a big puzzle that looks like the Fatal Attraction moment when Magneto pulls out the Adamantium from Wolverine. In the back is a little adventure of Lil Wolverine getting ready for a Halloween Costume Party.

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Figure 4- The Holofash Set (front view).

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Figure 5- The Holofash Set (back view).


The condition of the cards is the bad story. In the middles ‘90s Skybox & Fleer began to implement glossy surfaces and gold ink to the cards. Many of these cards act like I was Magneto who designs them. The cards like to stick together and sometimes when you separated them, they loose parts (see Figure 6). The X-Men Wolverine set is a great example. Near 50% of the base cards were in that condition. The Chase Cards were fine because they don’t suffer this problem. They were always packed as the last card in the pack.

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Figure 6- The damage cards.


The set has excellent artwork and the Chase Cards aren’t something great, but like all cards from ’90s the focus was the base set. The design & illustrations are excellent. The condition of the cards is poor. Because if you open a “sealed box”. You expect to get near 70% of the cards in “Near Mint–Mint” Condition. As far the only “glossy” cards I found with the “Magneto Problem” are the 1994 Flair Marvel. 


The Good
-          Base set illustrations are and made by famous artist.
-          The artwork is fantastic.
-          Easy to made the Chase Set.

The Bad
-          Difficult to find the boxes.
-          Condition of the cards.
-          Mirage (Lenticular) cards aren’t the best Chase/Insert Cards.



If you are interesting to buy Fleer Ultra X-Men: Wolverine by Fleer/Skybox 1996  sets, single/base/common cards or chase cards check my store:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Review: Fleer Ultra 1995 X-Men All Chromium Hobby Box

Hello to everybody. My first review isn’t for a new set or box. I will dedicate it to a set of cards from the ‘90s, the Fleer Ultra 1995 X-Men All Chromium. I bought a 2nd box to complete the base set and the chase sets.

The Hobby box of 36 packs (Figure 1) is scarce, but can be found in eBay for more than a $100 in “buy now”. For my opinion that is too high. I always got them in auctions for no more than $50.

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Figure 1. The box.


The set is composing of 100 cards. It has 3 types of inserts sets:  100 Gold Foil Signature (1:1 pack), 20 Impact Cards (1:2 packs), and 9 Holoflash Cards (1:6 packs). In this box I found 39 Gold Foil (Figure 2), 17 Impact, 6 Holoflash (Figure 3), and base set (finally).

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Figure 2. Gold Signature Cards.


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Figure 3. The Holoflash Cards.


The illustrations in the base set are great drawings by the Kubert family: Joe Kubert (father), Andy Kubert (Son), and Adam Kubert (Son). The Impact Cards are 10 heroes and villains with their alternates’ characters from the Age of Apocalypse. The cards are embossed and contrary to the rest of the cards aren’t in glossy stock or with metallic inks.

The condition of the cards is fantastic. Even with box in bad condition. The base, Gold, Holoflash cards can be found in Near Mint condition. By my experience open sealed boxes. The best are the cards with wrappers packs in aluminum because in paper or plastic. If you drop the box even sealed by accident be prepare to lose maybe 10% to 20% of the cards. An example is DC Cosmic Cards (Impel). The Impact Cards in other hand get them in Near Mint is more difficult. Some of them get thick with other cards. And some has greases in the corners even when you found them in a center of a package surrounded by NM cards. When opening the cards you must be careful because this series suffers what I call the “Magneto Problem”. In other words cards get thick one to the other due to the pressure.

The set has excellent artwork and the Chase Cards aren’t something great, but like the cards ’90 the focus was the base set. The design & illustrations are good. The condition of the cards in general is fantastic. If you open a “sealed box” expects to get near 90% of the cards in “Near Mint–Mint” Condition. As far the only “glossy” cards of the 90’s I found without the “Magneto Problem” are the 1994 Flair Marvel. 


The Good
-          Base set illustrations were made by famous artist.
-          Condition of the cards.
-          Three levels of Inserts.

The Bad
-          Difficult to complete base set with some boxes.
-          Condition of some Impact cards.
-          Magneto Problem.



If you are interesting to buy Fleer Ultra 1995 X-Men All Chromium sets, single/base/common cards or chase cards check my store: