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Old 11-11-2013, 11:07 AM   #1526 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by finfangfan View Post
Alvin,

Thanks for fielding suggestions from collectors. Not too many people in your role ask for collector input. This thread made me join the Blowout Card community, and I really appreciate your love for the set, and your desire to improve things even further with the next set.

It seems like a lot of the suggestions above are being shot down for either being too costly (original art redemption), or too difficult (having original sketch cards printed out as a subset), or both (having A list actors sign).

Maybe you could consider going back to a tactic that worked for Topps in the past to gain a broad range of collectors... Specifically, how about including diecut sketch cards in the next Mars Attacks sets? You could maybe get Sucklord (who gathered the artists for the Star Wars Galaxy 4 and 5 sets), or Simeon Lipman (who did the same for Star Wars Galaxy 6) to round up the artists to complete these sketches.

Not coincidentally, Star Wars Galaxy 4 and Star Wars Galaxy 6 were incredible hits among collectors and box breakers (with unopened boxes now selling for around $200 for each of these sets).

These diecut sets proved to be a great way to broaden the collector base because they used many artists that were outside of the realm of the normal pool of artists that do sketch cards. Your "normal" sketch cards will bring in your bread and butter sketch card collectors, and the diecuts will bring in a separate collector base (a lot of the artists Sucklord and Simeon brought in had their own established collector base via the underground and/or toy art scene). It would probably be best to have the diecuts as an extra hit (as in SWG4 where they came 2 per case) as opposed to being a replacement for the normal sketch card in the boxes they are packed in.

The diecut image would most likely be an alien head which I think would be a cool addition!

What do you think? Is a diecut set doable for the next Mars Attacks set?
Thanks, Fin. Your appreciation is gratifying!

Yes, that suggestion is a reasonable concept-- not too cost prohibitive or difficult to achieve. One of the key things I wanted to do with this set was to do "tiered" sketch cards, which we achieved in a more limited fashion with the creator sketches.

My only concern with die-cut would be if fans really dig them. As a fan myself, I like being able to easily fit them in a binder or a frame for display. The shapes also make it more difficult to draw on as an artist.

Something to consider, for sure.
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:38 AM   #1527 (permalink)
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Die Cuts, yes please. I really enjoyed doing them.

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Old 11-11-2013, 11:50 AM   #1528 (permalink)
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Instead of die cut, what if there were sketch card subsets, like "comic covers" (this one was done by scratch).

Others could be blank 'propaganda' posters -

(TRADEMARK ChrisM)
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:13 PM   #1529 (permalink)
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Here's my first Artist's Return from this set.

I was allowed to keep one blank, due to time constraints; so I can go ahead and post this for sale while I wait for the rest to come back.

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Old 11-11-2013, 12:22 PM   #1530 (permalink)
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I personally don’t like the die-cut sketch cards. Looking back on the Wacky Packages die-cuts, too many artists ignored the shapes and produced images that just didn’t fit within the constraints of the card.

Also, way too many Martian head and torso sketches already = I don’t think a Martian shape would be a good thing.
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:32 PM   #1531 (permalink)
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I personally donít like the die-cut sketch cards. Looking back on the Wacky Packages die-cuts, too many artists ignored the shapes and produced images that just didnít fit within the constraints of the card.

Also, way too many Martian head and torso sketches already = I donít think a Martian shape would be a good thing.
That's the issue right there:

Propaganda sketch cards, die-cuts, things like that-- they're all REALLY cool ideas, but there's no way to control the artists from taking full advantage of the concepts and winding up with a bunch of sketches that are no better or different than... regular sketches.
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:00 PM   #1532 (permalink)
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I thought as a whole, Invasion was great. Plenty to collect, with varying levels of difficulty and $$ for all types of collectors. I think there are way too many sketches of the same images floating around already though – I wouldn’t mind seeing the quality bar raised a tad, and sketches at 1 or 2 per case.
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:23 PM   #1533 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by PitViper View Post
I personally donít like the die-cut sketch cards. Looking back on the Wacky Packages die-cuts, too many artists ignored the shapes and produced images that just didnít fit within the constraints of the card.

Also, way too many Martian head and torso sketches already = I donít think a Martian shape would be a good thing.
You bring up a good point. One of the difficulties with the Mars Attacks property is the lack of depth in recognizable characters. You have one A+ character (the martians), and then a bunch of d-list characters (civilians, soldiers, centipedes, and mutants).

One possible idea is to allow the subject matter for the diecuts to be a bit broader. Remember SWG4 when artists like Katope were drawing birds and dogs on cards shaped like Darth Vader and Stormtrooper helmets? I have attached 9 cards of his that are in my personal collection if you haven't previously seen his work.

The SWG4 diecut set was a lot of fun for its WTF-factor. It was surreal picking up KaToPe's wonderful sketches that were inserted into a Star Wars-licensed product. I think a lot of collectors are drawn to these types of WTF collectibles that sometimes find there way into sets (see also Goodwin Champions Animal Kingdom inserts). Toward the end of the SWG4 life-cycle on eBay (i.e. when the pulls were drying up), Katope's cards would routinely sell for $150+).

With the right group of artists, a MA diecut set could be a home run!

At any rate, it is worth thinking about.. the SWG4 and SWG6 diecuts are some of my favorite cards in my collection. It would be nice for Topps to revisit the concept again with many of the artists that made SWG4, 5, and 6 so successful. I think the key is to get artists that already have a following in another artistic field (toy art, graffiti art, etc), as they serve to spark a broader collector base. If you fill the diecut set with traditional sketch card artists, then the concept risks simply becoming a normal sketch card on a different shaped card stock... which would likely be met with a thud with the collector base.
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:24 PM   #1534 (permalink)
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But if you look back at the Die Cuts from Galaxy 4, some pretty great little non-traditional pieces were produced.

Topps got artists that didn't do traditional "sketches" intentionally. Look at it outside of the box.

You either hated the Die Cuts or you loved them. Either way, they were pretty dang creative. And Mars Attacks would be perfect for something like a die cut type of card.
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:26 PM   #1535 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by finfangfan View Post
You bring up a good point. One of the difficulties with the Mars Attacks property is the lack of depth in recognizable characters. You have one A+ character (the martians), and then a bunch of d-list characters (civilians, soldiers, centipedes, and mutants).

One possible idea is to allow the subject matter for the diecuts to be a bit broader. Remember SWG4 when artists like Katope were drawing birds and dogs on cards shaped like Darth Vader and Stormtrooper helmets? I have attached 9 cards of his that are in my personal collection if you haven't previously seen his work.

The SWG4 diecut set was a lot of fun for its WTF-factor. It was surreal picking up KaToPe's wonderful sketches that were inserted into a Star Wars-licensed product. I think a lot of collectors are drawn to these types of WTF collectibles that sometimes find there way into sets (see also Goodwin Champions Animal Kingdom inserts). Toward the end of the SWG4 life-cycle on eBay (i.e. when the pulls were drying up), Katope's cards would routinely sell for $150+).

With the right group of artists, a MA diecut set could be a home run!

At any rate, it is worth thinking about.. the SWG4 and SWG6 diecuts are some of my favorite cards in my collection. It would be nice for Topps to revisit the concept again with many of the artists that made SWG4, 5, and 6 so successful. I think the key is to get artists that already have a following in another artistic field (toy art, graffiti art, etc), as they serve to spark a broader collector base. If you fill the diecut set with traditional sketch card artists, then the concept risks simply becoming a normal sketch card on a different shaped card stock... which would likely be met with a thud with the collector base.
Amen, and those are AWESOME cards! Absolutely fantastic.
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:29 PM   #1536 (permalink)
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Never saw those (don't collect), but I agree they're awesome.

What if s subset of sketch cards were clear / acetate cards? That may yield interesting results.
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:36 PM   #1537 (permalink)
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But if you look back at the Die Cuts from Galaxy 4, some pretty great little non-traditional pieces were produced.

Topps got artists that didn't do traditional "sketches" intentionally. Look at it outside of the box.

You either hated the Die Cuts or you loved them. Either way, they were pretty dang creative. And Mars Attacks would be perfect for something like a die cut type of card.
Right... they were definitely polarizing, but there was a rabid collector base for them too (I invite newer collectors to browse the old Scoundrel SWG4 and SWG5 threads sometime to see what Jason and I mean).

And I agree MA makes a perfect property for the return of diecuts since Topps owns the property outright and would conceivably be more willing to allow for a broader range of subject matter in the diecut subset.

I reiterate going back to SWG4's formula of making the diecut an extra hit, would help prevent some of the backlash Topps might get from box breakers that fall into the "hate diecut" camp.
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:37 PM   #1538 (permalink)
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To each his own I guess. finfangfan examples are nice, but it's certainly not something that I would like in a “Star Wars” release.
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:38 PM   #1539 (permalink)
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I think overall the set was good. The biggest problem (and its been addressed many time's) was the puzzles being separated. That needs to be corrected, if, puzzles are in a future set.

That being said, as a kid collector back in the 60's I put together numerous complete Mars Attacks sets (sold a few to help put my kids through school). The packs were 5 cents a pop! I know its not the 60's! But, the cost of these new packs (sets, boxes and cases) are really up there! Sure there are artist costs, production costs, etc. I cannot see a 10 year old boy or girl (or even myself) putting together one of the patch or medallion (maybe make more) sets together!! Look at the friggin cost of some of these on ebay!! There needs to be a medium. Sure, the sellers love this stuff and the true adult collectors do the turkey dance over the stuff. But again, I believe the items need to be "somewhat" attainable by all, including kids. Not sure how to do this in this day and age but that's my 2 cents (and that use to go a long way). The Old Coot!

Last edited by Arch; 11-11-2013 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 11-11-2013, 02:42 PM   #1540 (permalink)
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Is there only one version of a parallel concept card for each story card? i.e. if card X has a color concept parallel card it won't have a pencil concept parallel card and vice versa?

Or are there some cards with several different parallel concept cards?
Just going to bump this in case it got lost in the discussion for the next series...

--
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Old 11-11-2013, 03:33 PM   #1541 (permalink)
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All my sketches are still traditional - pencil on paper. Call me an old fart. I must throw away hundreds of sketches each month for jobs. Some of my sketch pages and books have layered thumbnail sketches for multiple jobs.
...have considered using them for wrapping gifts?...

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Old 11-11-2013, 03:39 PM   #1542 (permalink)
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Here's my first Artist's Return from this set.

I was allowed to keep one blank, due to time constraints; so I can go ahead and post this for sale while I wait for the rest to come back.

...NICE!!!...
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:22 PM   #1543 (permalink)
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Yeah JRC, I am all about the traditional as well...putting pencil to paper(in this case, card stock!)...I like the idea of having/keeping the "evolution" of the image in all it's various stages of development...(I won't throw even the smallest scratchy scribble away if it relates to a larger piece)...
...In the case of this project, for me, there was no time to do preliminary sketches prior to working on the card blanks...what is on the sketch card(s) started on the card blanks...I did however make scans of all of the cards at the pencil stage(before kolorizing) to "preserve" them as digital b&w pencil sketches...
...here are some side by side comparisons of pencil to kolor...
MMF
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:27 PM   #1544 (permalink)
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Beautiful, in both stages!!
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:30 PM   #1545 (permalink)
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Beautiful, in both stages!!
...thanx again PV!



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Old 11-11-2013, 04:32 PM   #1546 (permalink)
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...thanx again PV!



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so rad. just rad.
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:36 PM   #1547 (permalink)
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Beautiful, in both stages!!
...a couple more pencil to kolor comparisons...

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Old 11-11-2013, 04:37 PM   #1548 (permalink)
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...thanx J.A.!!!...
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:39 PM   #1549 (permalink)
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HA! That mutant crab is out-FN-standing!!!

and I snaged the one below it off eBay :turkey:
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:39 PM   #1550 (permalink)
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I have broken enough (case and a half) and pretty much seen everything that has crossed Ebay and posted here on this forum to provide my thoughts:

Overall impression: I think this is a great release. The new art for the base cards stands out to me as fresh and exciting. There is plenty of new hits to pull in the boxes which added to the entertainment factor. This is probably the first time I ripped a product and didn’t lose my a$$ money wise as I have been able to sell quite a bit of what I pulled. So from that sense, I appreciate that.

Some general comments on set specifics:

Sketch cards – This is what I collect so it is most important to me. I haven't kept any of my sketches but that is because art is so personal to me and I really have to buy what I like. I think the overall quality was improved over Heritage. There seems to be less filler type sketches but sure, there are still quite a few that I would call duds. No offense to the artists, and I can barely draw a stick figure myself. But I would rather see a product that did not have the simple line drawing doodles of a Martian head. I am sorry but more Little House Designs sketches? I saw some Sawyer #2 pencil sketches that would make me cry a little to pull. However, I really do think the overall quality was stepped up and great to see some new artists like Pepe, Hamill, Chalker, Finneral etc. For those artists out there that think a sketch card isn’t a viable medium for them, then I will just personally say that I never head of El Gato Gomez before until I saw her sketches. Now I am a fan and am actually buying some of her other art. So I really appreciate and respect those that are able and willing to put time, effort, and creativity into their work.

Dare I say this, but I actually like puzzles less now. It is funny, but seeing so many together make them less special to me, and then seeing many broken up and incomplete seems like such as waste. But with that said, I always liked the concept of incredible art and scene done on one card, so that is what I like best anyway. Was the card stock thinner than Heritage for artist preference? I almost bent a sketch putting it into a holder.

Enough Martian heads. We seem flooded with them. Even when the art is detailed and incredible, it still feels like I have seen the same sketch over and over.

While it has been said here a few times that collectors “expect” a sketch a box I still disagree with the thought. Especially since this product introduced other hits. With the thousands of sketches between Invasion and Heritage, I’d suggest Topps go back to making them special. 1 or 2 a case perhaps. Isn’t that what Wacky Packages does? Those sketches are tough to pull, seem greatly detailed and command big bucks. Now that we got so many sketches, I just don’t want them watered down further. I’d rather get one or two thoughtful sketches in a case.

Autos – I guess a good addition to the set as they add interest for others. Only problem with me is I honestly don’t really care too much about getting the signature of these guys and gals. Sure I respect Brown and McCrea and such, but I just don’t get excited. I know that Mars Attacks is fantasy and so it isn’t like there are high profile celebrities or historical figures but I would be interested in a higher end sig, even if it is harder to pull.

Parallels – I get the golds were two a box to make them more plentiful. I also know that 1 case with Heritage and only 50, still makes them only a $25-$50 pull. What I would do is number the parallels and other inserts. Do a #5/25, #2/100 etc. Numbering of them not only adds interest, but shows how tough and rare a card can be. I can’t think of an easier marketing aspect to show a tough pull and limited collectible than serial numbering. With that said, don’t then overwhelm a set by numbering everything and having 25 different limited versions of inserts, otherwise it defeats the purpose. That just adds confusion and frustration with a collector thinking they need to “get everything”.

Medallions/Patches – I don’t collect this stuff. A manufacture trinket doesn’t appeal to me. I guess if it was numbered and perhaps signed by someone that would add interest. What if there was an insert you could that was more realistically tied to space? Space exploration to Mars is a very real event. Yes, Mars Attacks is fantasy but tying real life Mars isn't a stretch. You could have inserts related to Mars Rover and introduce real-life NASA into insert hits.

Acetate Anatomy – The plastic cards never excite me. Filler and something I just make a stack of.

Asplode game cards – Sadly considering they were actually tough to pull, nobody seems to care including myself. I think the smaller size makes them seem less significant?

Join The Fight – I like them and cool idea. Beyond the graffiti parallel, there was nothing else added to them to make them more interesting or unique.

Extra Gore – Very cool idea and naturally fit well with the whole Mars Attacks genre. Knowing though how limited they are would help out the insert. So I think back to serial numbering is a good idea.

Concept sketches – I liked them, I think they were hard to tell though they were concept sketches (beyond the obvious black and white ones). So in hindsight, they could have been distinguished better.

Buyback stamped cards – At first at concept, I didn’t think it was a good idea. But in seeing how most of these were Ex, I think it is cool they got stamped and made special again.

Base Cards – The new art was fantastic! But beyond that, you are always still left with giant stacks of base cards. If fewer base cards were printed then obviously there would be less. I know that would mean less cards in a pack, but wouldn’t that make them more special? Sure, you have the other hits and pulls, but when it is all said and done and you ripped open your boxes, you always have a huge stack of base cards and they seem like a waste. Thus they get blown by the Ebay guys and gals. This art was so good, it would have been nice to get just one base card in a pack. A lot of people could complain that they were unable to complete a set, and I get that. But it would avoid the flood and make them more special.

Heritage Parallel – Really liked them and thought it was fitting for the MA brand. I think you missed out on making gold foil versions though.

When opening my packs, I was really confused at times at what I was pulling. Or if something was a base, or concept, or parallel etc. I think a checklist would have been great, or the set structured or designed better to distinguish base from inserts better.

Overall good experience. I have personally learned that I never like the sketches I pull and am the type of person that really needs to buy what I like. Does Topps really think they can keep this Mars Attacks thing going for other sets? That Martian head is so flooded in my mind, it seems played out. MA is cool to me because it captures my imagination and love of space. But there is no real story line, or identifiable characters. While the new art was imaginative and well-done, how many times can you keep showing aliens and soldiers fighting each other? Where was the story? There was the Zoo, CIA, a vampire, Stonehenge, etc. all awesome art, but hodge podge at the same time.

If it were me, I would create Mars Attacks: Earth Invades. I’d flip it all around and Earth goes to Mars and kicks Martian butt. That would create all new imagery with Mars as the backdrop. My favorite part of Mars Attacks are the spaceships, landscapes, space and planet images. So having the red planet Martian civilization and the travel there as a main subject theme would be the ultimate. If done right, you could have MA 3 and 4 already planned out. For MA 3, the Martians do a bit too much damage here on Earth and Earth prepares and travels to Mars to retaliate. Then MA 4 is full out mayhem on Mars! Create a real story behind the sets!

Last edited by MarsAttacks; 11-11-2013 at 04:59 PM.
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