2011 Rittenhouse Archives True Blood Legends Series 1 Trading CardsBrand: Rittenhouse Archives
2011 Rittenhouse True Blood Legends: Series 1 Product Review
Reviewed by Ryan Cracknell
Good: Crisp photography, serial-numbered sets ensure limited nature for duration of run, mix of main and secondary characters leaves room for expansion.
Bad: No text on card backs other than names, all three characters carry same numbering.
The Bottom Line: True Blood Legends Series 1 is clearly for hardcore Trubies who may or may not be traditional card collectors. With little in the way of frills outside of serial numbering, the release focuses solely on three characters. While a welcome spinoff to the inevitable full True Blood releases, the lack of text on the card backs really hurts the overall appeal. However, it does leave room for another large portrait. Numbered to 500, the limited nature certainly adds to the collectability and should help long-term collectability.
Card Design: 2.5/5.0
The clean, full-bleed card fronts really do stand out. They're simple and feature tight character photographs. Lined up in pages, the balance stands out even more. Turn the page and something major stands out. Yes, there's another nice portrait.
But it's not what's there that stands out, it's what's missing. Other than the legal disclaimers and licensing logos, all you get is the character name and the actor. No bios, profiles or even trivia. If these were the backs for autographs, they'd be perfect. For a character-driven release like this, no text is a major disappointment. As a True Blood fan and card collector, I'd want to know a little more about who I'm collecting. If all I wanted was Sookie Stackhouse pictures, I could download them all day long.
Some may question how Hoyt Fortenberry got the call over Bill Compton, Jason Stackhouse, Eric Northman or about a half-dozen other characters. I actually like that Rittenhouse hasn't frontloaded the Legends line. Series 1 has a marquee character (Sookie Stackhouse), a main character (Sam Merlotte) and a supporting character (Hoyt Fortenberry). This formula can repeat itself over and over so that people will want to continue building sets. If Sookie was paired with Bill and Eric right away, a lot of people would likely drop the set afterward.
Despite being sold together, each character is numbered as though it were a set on its own. As a result, the number prefixes are the same in each (ie Sookie is numbered C1-C9, Sam is numbered C1-C9 and Hoyt is numbered C1-C9). Because this release targets those who might not normally collect cards, I could see this causing some confusion. One thing about this that I do like is that each C9 card is serial numbered to 500. An even nicer touch is that all three come with matching serial numbers.
True Blood Legends Series 1 is a break from the box busting norm. The 27-card pack runs a suggested price around $50. It seems a little steep, but the limited nature helps somewhat. Plus, a lot of the sets will be going to people hungry for True Blood collectibles and won't mind paying that much, even without an autograph or costume card. However, for the average collector, it's a lot to expect, especially when you add on another $25 for the set's custom binder. The lack of depth on the card backs also hurts. It's going to come down to whether a collector is interested in True Blood. The price is too high for a casual impulse buy given the straightforward contents, but it is on par with a Rittenhouse premium pack that comes with far fewer base cards but usually a couple of hits and inserts.
The Fun Factor: 3.0/5.0
True Blood seemed like a natural fit for trading cards as soon as it debuted. However rumoured licensor reluctance held it up until now. I enjoy that this set is a reminder of the show's better days, back when vampires weren't around every corner. Over the past couple seasons, the cast of monsters has become too big and I've lost some interest in the show. But seeing Sookie, Sam and Hoyt, I'm reminded of when I planned my Sunday nights around watching it right after Dexter. The images are extremely sharp and the basic front design is clean. However, without anything to ponder or dig into because of the lack of text, there's not much to do with these cards beyond putting them in pages and filing them away. Although it may hurt the overall consistency of the line, I would love to see future True Blood Legends sets take that small step and add bios on the card backs.
True Blood Legends Series 1 is like the trailer you see for a movie that's still months away. The 27-card factory set from Rittenhouse Archives focuses solely on three of the show's characters (Sookie Stackhouse, Sam Merlotte and Hoyt Foytenberry). Given the constantly fluctuating number of vampires, werewolves and other creatures in the show, there's still plenty of room for further releases that continue the line. True Blood Legends is also a holdover for fans in anticipation of future full-blown season-based sets, likely to start appearing in 2012. Collectors can also look for an album that will include an exclusive promo card.
Estimated Release Date: 11/23/11
Product Configuration: 27-card set
Price Point: Low-End Entertainment Card
Target Audience: Truebies, Entertainment Card Collectors, True Blood Collectors
- 27 Total Cards
- 27-card set includes nine cards each of Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) and Hoyt Foytenberry (Jim Parrack).
- Sold separately, a collector's album is being made to hold this and future sets in the True Blood Legends line. The album includes an exclusive promo card.
2011 Rittenhouse Archives True Blood Legends Series 1 Trading Cards,