Inkworks - USA - Family Guy Presents Episode IV A New Hope - 2008
For Star Wars card collectors, this card set represents something a little unique; a Star Wars themed card set not produced by Topps. Inkworks is the card company with the license for Family Guy card sets. When the Family Guy television show did a special Star Wars episode, Inkworks suddenly had an opportunity to create a card set specifically for that show. Previous Family Guy card sets had included a few sketch cards that transformed Family Guy characters into Star Wars characters. Now, an entire card set would feature the Family Guy cast re-enacting the first Star Wars film. In the process, card collectors would see a card set focused on Star Wars that was done by a company that wasn't Topps.
Overall, the set, produced in an extremely short time-frame to coincide with the release of the episode on DVD, is a well-made quality card set. The main cards faithfully reproduce the episode, capturing most of the really great funny moments. The cards are printed on high quality stock, and have bright colors. Card images are well selected.
The initial promotional cards released by Inkworks were two cards which each formed half of a classic poster image recreated with Family Guy characters. P-i was released on the Internet for collectors who sent in a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope. P-1 was released through card dealers. The promotional cards featured the classic 'Topps' blue starfield border. It was a bit of a surprise then when the cards were released without the blue border. Character cards featured a red border (oddly missing a top border) and other cards featured a black starfield border. The black border, though unexpected, gave the cards a terrific appearance, and helped frame the images nicely. Because these cards were produced on a short schedule, card backs appear to have been largely neglected. Although each card back features a secondary image related to the one shown on the front, text is limited to reproducing dialog from the television episode. Card collectors used to in-depth behind-the-scenes information or expecting new joke material wouldn't find them in this card set.
A large number of different types of chase cards were included with the set. With a time crunch for producing the set, typically high end card types like autographs and sketch cards were not included. For many card fans, this lack of higher end collecting cards is a bonus. These kinds of cards can often devalue the basic card set, or create a collecting problem for the more modest collector without a big budget. Having a large number of types of chase cards to look for however did create a challenge for some collectors with this card set. To collect all of the chase cards, excluding the case card, a collector needed to purchase the equivalent of four boxes of cards. Fortunately, the Inkworks card boxes seem to be extremely well sorted in terms of collation, so that anyone purchasing four boxes was likely to create their set of chase cards without much difficulty.
One of the best chase card types included for the set were the nine puzzle cards which created a foil recreation of a classic Star Wars poster. The poster image is well done, and the characters look terrific in foil. Positioned in traditional 9-pocket card pages, the poster looks terrific. With reasonable odds (1:7 packs) the poster set is not difficult to achieve, and just looks terrific.
The spaceships and transport cards were found at odds of 1:9 packs and are slightly different. Also done in foil, the ships are actually cut outs of the various transports they display. The cartoon images are not as broadly cartoonish as the characters, and the cards contain very brief descriptions of the vehicles that are humorous (bad guys fly these). While fun, and a change of pace from normal chase cards, these card might disappoint some collectors.
A subset of six 'What Happens Next' cards were inserted at odds of 1:11 packs. With higher odds for acquiring these cards, the expectation is that they will be a higher quality card, worth the extra chase. Unfortunately, these cards are essentially standard cards from the set, with a different border (a nicely done yellow starfield). Card backs, like those of the main set, simply explain the scene. While these are scenes from the episode that highlight moments from Star Wars captured with a different flair, they are not extraordinary, and neither are these chase cards.
A slightly more ambitious effort was put into the 'Scenes From Space' chase cards, which were also available at 1:11 packs. Three of these six cards provide background scenes from the film, and three of these cards are clear cards featuring characters from the episode. Promotional flyers tell you that you can mix and match to create your own scenes. The idea is spectacular, and the use of clear cards in this way is a wonderful idea. Unfortunately, the execution of the idea was a little less brilliant. Whether due to a lack of time to prepare the card set, or a lack of imagination, the cards are fairly dull. And because one card features characters in the garbage chute, complete with surrounding garbage, placing them against any of the other background scenes simply hides the background scene from view. Placing Darth Stewie and Obi-Wan fighting in the garbage chute, is a bit like placing their fight in any brown room. Placing it on the Tantive IV hallyway is not significantly different from placing it in the Death Star hallway. While these cards were imperfectly executed, the potential in this idea is terrific, and hopefully can be better executed at a later time.
At odds of 1:23 packs, the holographic foil droid chat cards should have been incredible. Collectors have an expectation that hard to acquire cards will be worth searching for. Instead, these cards are a bit more shiny and have a different border, but are otherwise no more special than any other card in the set.
Anyone purchasing a case of cards (10 boxes) received a bonus card featuring Darth Stewie. While a fun looking card, most collectors will do without. Of more interest to many collectors may be the ability to purchase a binder directly from Inkworks. And some collectors will be pleased to pick up one of 199 uncut posters of the A New Hope poster art. The availability of binders is something that many collectors have long missed in Star Wars card collecting, and while there is no special binder card with the Family Guy binder, the artwork on the cover does provide a nice place to keep your card set.
Quick Card Info
· set value: $5-10
· unopened box: $45
· single: $0.25
· promos: $1
· New Hope Puzzle: $1-2
· Spaceships and Transports: $1-2
· What Happens Next: $1-2
· Scenes from Space: $1-2
· Droid Chat: $1-2
· Case Cards: $35-45
· Album: $20
· Uncut A New Hope Poster: $70
· Video Bonus Card Set: $15
Images can be seen at Andy's site
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|Card Number||Card Description|
|4||R2-D2/Cleveland and C-3P0/Quagmire|
|9||Grand Moff Tarkin/Mayor West|
|10||The Story Begins|
|11||Recording A Message|
|14||In The Desert|
|16||Life On Tatooine|
|18||Call For Help|
|22||Message Is Delivered|
|25||To Mos Eisley|
|34||The Time Of My Life|
|36||Into The Garbage Chute|
|38||Saved By The Button|
|40||Save The Couch|
|43||Planning The Attack|
|47||Use The Force|
|Foil Puzzle A New Hope|
|NH-1||Deathstar Corner |
|NH-2||Vader's Head Center|
|NH-3||Edge of Vader's Head|
|NH-4||X-Wings in Flight|
|NH-5||Vader's Face and Leia|
|NH-6||Luke's Upper Body|
|NH-9||Droids and Luke's Leg|
|Spaceships and Transports|
|What Happens Next|
|WN-1||Lost and Found|
|WN-2||Why'd They Separate?|
|WN-3||You Thought It|
|Scenes From Space|
|S-1||Blockade Runner Hallway|
|S-2||Leia and Troopers w/Vader|
|S-4||Garbage Monster and Escapees|
|S-5||Death Star Hallway|
|S-6||Vader and Obi-Wan|
|Holographic Foil Droid Chat|
|Case Loader Card|
|P-i||Right Half of Poster Image|
|P-1||Left Half of Poster Image|
|Fox Video Collector Edition Bonus Cards|
|1||Your powers are weak old man. |
|2||All I'm trying to do is make an mpeg.|
|3||Alright, go, go, go, go,go.|
|4||Hey, when we get out of here, maybe you can show me around..|
|5||Hooray! I have your sandwhich.|
|6||C'mon, id, we're not outta the woods yet.|
|7||Hey, I'm gonna do some crosswords..|
|8||Mom? Yeah, yeah we won. |
|9||Hey, Darth Vader's gonna be here.|
|10||Hey, it could be worse. It's worse.|
|11||We need your help again ...|
|12||Ha! You guys seem like crazy morons to me.|