Other than Seinfeld, it's doubtful that any TV comedy has made a big an impact in the last 30 years as The Simpsons. An entire generation and then some has been raised on the animated series that refuses to die. Simply put, The Simpsons and its dozens of characters are icons. However, collecting autographs from The Simpsons, particularly if you're a trading card collector, isn't the easiest.
Several Simpsons trading card sets have been released over the years. They date back to the show's beginnings when Topps produced a set of 88 cards and 22 stickers. SkyBox picked up the license a couple of years later, adding a pair of sets. However it wasn't until Inkworks nabbed the rights in 2000 that set came out with widespread autographs.
2000 Inkworks The Simpsons Anniversary Celebration was the first set of trading cards from the franchise to include actor autographs. The release has five signers, including Nancy Cartwright (Bart), Dan Castellaneta (Homer) and Yeardley Smith (Lisa). That set was followed up by 2001 Inkworks Simpsons Mania!, which has seven autographs, many of which are repeats. Each of the designs pay close attention to the characters the actors voice, picturing the main ones on the front.
And that's it. No guest stars, no "Homer at the Bat," no quad signatures with the main Simpsons clan.
Despite the lack of options, autographed Simpsons trading cards are relatively inexpensive. Most can be found online for $50 or less. Cartwright and Azaria are the exceptions, trading more in the $100 range. Part of this is because the market was flooded with Inkworks autographs when the company went out of business in early 2009.
For fans who have grown up with the show and even passed it on to their kids, these can be seen as a bargain. The actor names and faces may not be the most familiar, but their roles are a huge part of pop culture history.
Below is a complete visual guide for all autographed Simpsons trading cards. You can shop for singles on eBay by clicking on the card name.
Inserted 1:72 packs.
And while it's not technically an autograph card, at least primarily, this is perhaps the most important autographed Simpsons trading cards of them all:
This is an Art DeBart card found in 1993 SkyBox The Simpsons Series 1. Limited to 400 copies (extremely rare for the era) and only available via redemption, it's one of the most sought after modern entertainment trading cards. Not only is it the hobby's first pack-inserted sketch card, but all are done by Simpsons creator Matt Groening. These cards come with both a character drawing from Groening as well as his autograph.
1993 SkyBox Simpsons Series 1 Art DeBart cards are more valuable than all of the other autographed Simpsons cards combined -- much more. One sold on eBay on January 4, 2013 for $1,200.
Would you collect Simpsons autographs if new ones came out? Who would you want to sign?