Wednesday, June 30, 2010

To buy Heroes or to not buy Heroes...

I have a love/hate relationship with the television show Heroes. When it first came out, I thought the concept was a bit interesting and decided to give it a shot. I enjoyed season one.

Now, I must admit that I usually enjoy most everything I watch, TV or movies. At least, I'm not normally very critical. I go in with a completely open mind, and because of that I'm able to enjoy it. That is unless, in my opinion, it's just really awful, but that is rare.

So, I enjoyed season one. Season two suffered if for no other reason than the writer's strike. Cut down to just 11 episodes, I think it suffered from trying to fit too much story into too few episodes. Of course, a number of shows on cable adequately tell a story in 12-13 episodes, but in this case, I feel like there might have been a story they originally wanted to tell that ultimately was hindered by the shortened season. Of course, I could be wrong.

Because of that, I decided to move on to season three and give it a chance. Honestly, I don't know why, but the writing continued to suffer, in my opinion. But I kept watching, hoping it would improve. It didn't. Then season four rolled around. I watched every episode, hoping upon hope that it would get better and I would enjoy it again. Season four was a mess. Midway through it became a mission to keep watching just so I could see how bad it could get.

Two things that bothered me the most about the show - In general, I think it is difficult to maintain a time-traveling storyline without screwing up the rest of the story. So many things could change because of the time-traveling scenario. And specifically, one instance in particular in season four bothered me. The scene had Peter Petrelli (played by Milo Ventimiglia), his mother Angela (played by Christine Rose) and Emma Coolidge (played by Deanne Bray) in Peter's apartment. I believe there was an argument between Peter and his mother and Emma was exiting the apartment. The character Emma was deaf. Her power was that she could actually "see" sound, the vibrations of the sound became colorful waves in the air. As she exits the apartment, she's looking away from Peter, and Peter says, "I'll call you later."

Oh, and don't get me started on how they misused the characters of Daphne Millbrook (played by Brea Grant) and Elle Bishop (played by Kristin Bell).

So, why am I reviewing a TV show I didn't really like? Well, because Rittenhouse is issuing a trading card set based on the now-canceled show, Heroes Archives. Here's what I like about Rittenhouse, while the subject matter of their comic-related cards hasn't been super, the inclusion of high-quality sketches has been a great addition to the hobby of non-sport trading card collecting. The sketches in Batman Archives helped get me hooked. Also, in their TV/movie issues, they like to include autographs. I'm not a huge autograph collector, but I like to get things autographed when I have the opportunity. And having a chance to find a nice autograph from one of my favorite actors in a pack of cards has an attraction to it. And Rittenhouse has been doing a good job of getting many autographs, including the top names, in their card sets.

However, when this set was initially announced, the sell information indicated that each box would contain two autographs and two relic cards. Now, relic cards are kind of cool, too. The best set I've seen of this so far was Artbox's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince set. Yet, having a piece of the shirt that Matt Parkman (played by Greg Grunberg) wore in an episode of Heroes, wasn't really inviting. And having two autographs per box didn't present enough opportunity to get the autographs I would want. So, my initial reaction was that I'd probably just wait and try to find the autos I was interested in on eBay.

Then it was announced that the allocation would be different: four autographs and one relic card. So, now my chances had doubled and there was confirmation that some of the autos I would be interested in would definitely find their way into the set.

Then Rittenhouse blew me away last week.

According to an e-mail to dealers and now posted on their Website, in every box of Heroes Archives trading cards, there would be SIX autographs and one relic. This is seven hits for every box. I'd say pretty decent odds of getting a decent auto. The information also indicated that there would be more than 40 signers. Okay, so the odds go down a little bit. But having more than 40 signers opens the door to a lot of interesting actors and actresses.

According to Rittenhouse's Website:

6 Autograph Cards and
1 Relic Card Per Box!

Only 4,500 Sequentially-Numbered Boxes!

Partial list of the more than 40 different autograph signers include:
  • Hayden Panettiere (Claire Bennet)
  • Kristin Bell (Elle Bishop)
  • Jack Coleman (Noah Bennet)
  • Adrian Pasdar (Nathan Petrelli)
  • Greg Grunberg (Matt Parkman)
  • Sendhil Ramamurthy (Mohinder Suresh)
  • Malcolm McDowell (Linderman)
  • Jessalyn Gilsig (Meredith)
  • Richard Roundtree (Charles Deveaux)
  • James Kyson Lee (Ando)
  • Zeljko Ivanek (Emile Danko)
  • David H. Lawrence (Doyle)
  • Jimmy Jean-Louis (The Haitian)
  • Madeline Zima (Gretchen)
  • Cristine Rose (Angela Petrelli)
  • And Many More to be announced soon!
Chase sets include:
  • 9 The "Quotable" Heroes Cards (1:8 packs)
  • 8 Heroes Generations Cards (1:12 packs)
  • 15 Heroes Relic Cards (1:24 packs)
Each case will come with a Bruce Boxleitner (Governor Malden) Autograph Card!
1st Tier Multi-Case Incentive Card: (1 for every 3 cases ordered):
Autograph card signed by George Takei (Kaito Nakamura)
2nd Tier Multi-Case Incentive Card: (1 for every 6 cases ordered):
Autograph card signed by Eric Roberts (Thompson)
3rd Tier Multi-Case Incentive Card: (1 for every 12 cases ordered):
HEROES Archives archive box
Set Configuration:
72 Base Cards
5 Cards Per Pack
24 Packs Per Box
12 Boxes Per Case
SRP: $3.50 per pack

So, other sites and commenters have done the math, but what it comes down to is a total of 27,000 total autographs, which is a lot. However, if you divide that by 40 signers, that's 675 autos from each signer. Of course, some might sign more than others, so that number might be skewed a bit. Say, Hayden Panettiere might only sign 400, while Jimmy Jean-Louis signs 750, thus making some less available than others. And the list above includes a couple I'd definitely want, namely Kristin Bell (I'm still looking for her Veronica Mars autos) and Malcolm McDowell. In addition, if the final list of signers includes Milo Ventimiglia, Zachary Quinto, Ali Larter, Brea Grant, Ray Park, Elisabeth Röhm, Jayma Mays, Seth Green and Breckin Meyer then I might not be able to resist buying a box of the stuff.

Now, over the past year as I've gotten back into the non-sport hobby, I've developed a bit of a gambling streak in that I often will take my chances with a box purchase rather than just trying to find what I'm most interested in on eBay. This trait of mine will be discussed in more detail in another post, but with the current allocation of autos for this set, another gamble might be in order. Who knows, maybe I'll make a couple of big pulls and if it's a card I don't want, I can sell it. But maybe a box will include a Kristin Bell, which would make it more than worth it. Then again, maybe I buy a box and get six autos of actors/actresses who are unrecognizable and may have only appeared in one or two episodes.

Of course, that's the gamble. And with this set it's got a hold on me.

Initially my dilemma was - do I buy a box or just get the auto(s) I want on e-bay? Now with the quantity of autos in each box and the possible signers list, my dilemma is - do I buy a couple of boxes or splurge on a case?

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