Thursday, December 8, 2011

Rittenhouse Archives True Blood Legends Series 1 Trading Cards Break Recap and Review

HBO’s True Blood, based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels, shot to popularity soon after its debut. Rittenhouse Archives has secured the license and will be producing a variety of trading cards based on the show.  The first set of cards to be released is called True Blood Legends.  The first cards in the Legends series feature the characters Sookie Stackhouse, the half fairy lead of the show, Sam Merlotte, the shape-shifting bar owner and Hoyt Fortenberry, a local road worker with a thing for a certain female vampire.

True Blood Legends Series 1 is classified in our trading cards category.  Series 1 comes in a celo pack and contains 9 cards for each of the 3 characters for a total of 27 cards.  Card number 9 in each character’s individual set is numbered.  Only 500 limited edition sets were made for series 1.  All sets are identical except for the sequential numbering.

Here are some of the cards.
 Sookie Stackhouse #3, front and back

  Sookie Stackhouse #1, front and back
As you can see, the basic design is a photo, front and back with 
Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse on the back of all of her cards.

 Sookie Stackhouse # 7 and #8

Sam Trammel as Sam Merlotte # 9, front and back
Card #9 for each character is numbered on the back to 500

Sam Merlotte #7 and #8

 Jim Parrack as Hoyt Fortenberry #1, front and back

 Hoyt Fortenberry #3 and #8

Overall Look
Legends is a portrait only card set.  The photography is really nice.  Clear, sharp images with your favorite characters in different looks throughout the entire run of the show.  It is fun to see how the actors have physically changed from the early episodes to present day.  But other than the photos, there isn’t much else in the way of design.  One minor design point is a different look for the numbering on each card 9.  In the past, the foil stamping used for numbering the cards to 500 was placed directly over the glossy stock of the card.  In a move to provide better quality numbering, a small rectangle of gloss has been omitted so the foil stamping can make full contact with the surface of the cardboard.  In the right light the rectangle is quite visible and detracts a small bit from the overall look of the card.  Definitely a minor point, but a noticeable one.

Quality and Variety of the checklist
Series 1, as will be the case with all future series releases, is limited to 3 characters, but they are good picks to get Legends started.  Of course you are not going to have Sookie Stackhouse, Bill Compton and Eric Northman in the same pack.  They will be spread out over several series releases.  But having Sookie the lead, Sam, the B Story lead, and Hoyt in the same pack is not too shabby.  Plus, having 9 cards of each character will make for a nice complete page in a display binder.

Do the hits hold up?
No hits here and none planed for future Legends series releases.

Will you want to collect them all?
Considering the entirety of Series 1 is contained in one pack, this question is more about collecting the entire Legends set.  Rittenhouse plans to create new series for Legends on an ongoing basis, introducing 3 different characters each time essentially until they run out of main characters.  There has not been announcement yet as to who will be in series 2, but certainly if you purchase series 1, you will want to add future series to your collection as they become available.

4 out of 5

If you are a big fan of the wacky events in Bon Temps, you will drink up all that Rittenhouse Archives True Blood Legends Series 1 has to offer like a nice, body temperature bottle of Tru Blood, the synthetic nourishment beverage of choice.

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