SkyBox

At this point in Trek Collecting history, according to FTCC, Paramount wanted to use a larger company for a 25th Anniversary set, and though FTCC had kept the flame alive through the 1980’s, Impel, soon to be SkyBox, was given the opportunity to produce the 25th Anniversary card set. SkyBox owned an exclusive license for Star Trek cards (2 1/2 x 3 1/2 size) from 1991 through 2000.


Star Trek 25th Anniversary Trading Cards

 

 Impel Star Trek Card The 25th Anniversary set was a large 310 card set that actually came out in two releases.
 

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Star Trek TNG Behind the Scenes Card Set

 

 btsf SkyBox worked with Paramount to give collectors/fans a close up view of the people who made ST: TNG to create this behind the scenes card set.
 

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Star Trek Inaugural Edition Card Set

 

 inagcard  Released in 1992, this set was the first card series dedicated solely to TNG. In a 120 card set, it covers the show up through the 5th season.
 

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DS9 Premiere Boxed Set

 ds9boximage The first DS9 trading cards appeared in the form of a boxed set released in 1993.
 

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Deep Space Nine Card Set

 

 Malibu This was the first full pack card set released for DS9. It covers season one of DS9.
 

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Master Series I and II Card Set

 

 ms2gowron SkyBox commissioned original artwork from several science fiction artists for their Master Series I and II set.
 

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Making of Star Trek TNG

 

 mofst3d1b In 1994, SkyBox released a set of 100 cards created from photographs they commissioned during the filming of the All Good Things episode.
 

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TNG Seasons I -VII

 

 tng1 SkyBox released a series of trading cards based on an episode format for each of the 7 seasons of TNG, starting in 1994.
 

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Cinema Collection

 

 cinema Set of 6 widevision cards based on the first 6 movies. They come as factory sets in sealed boxes.
 

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Generations Card Set

 

 genpro Released in 1994, this widevision set consisted of 72 cards based on the feature film ST Generations.
 

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Voyager Seasons Card Set

 

 voy1 In 1995 SkyBox released the first of several Voyager sets. This set was based on the first episode, the Caretaker, in a 98-card set.
 

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ST Card Set

 

 phase
 

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Ken Baroff was the Entertainment Director through 1996 and offers this history of Impel. Impel began as a marketing company hired by Pro Set to market Pro Set cards. They then started making cards of their own. Impel was formed out of Liggett-Myers tobacco company and was stationed in an old tobacco warehouse in Durham, NC. They changed their name to SkyBox around 1993. Marvel purchased Fleer in 1993 and in 1995 Marvel bought SkyBox forming FleerSkyBox. In January, 1999, SkyBox is was owned by Martin and Alex Grass, founders of Rite-Aid Pharmacies. In 2005, following Fleer’s bankruptcy proceedings, the Fleer brand name was acquired by Upper Deck.

Ken sums up his years at SkyBox this way; “I loved the relationship with the Paramount people and I held the job that my product team did in the highest regard, but the relationship with the collectors and fans is what really kept me going. I felt like we connected with what they wanted and consistently delivered. That was the most gratifying thing about those six years of my life.”
When asked if there was something that he hadn’t gotten a chance to do, he said, “My one sadly unrealized idea was the Klingon anatomy set. We sat with key people at Paramount and actually created (since there is no manual) a comprehensive Klingon anatomy set that had a subset that when pieced together made a large portrait of a “visible” Klingon (like the old Leonardo renderings). It was way cool. It would have been a killer!

Ken’s 5 least liked Trek cards/ideas

  • Cinema Collection
  • 25th Anniversary production quality
  • Subsets for store chains
  • TOS CCG
  • Chakotay Tattoo-It was too small

Ken’s 5 favorite Trek cards/ideas

  • 30th Anniversary Set
  • Episode Collection- continuity idea
  • Skymotions
  • Master Series
  • Full motion hologram- Voyager

 


Miscellaneous SkyBox Cards

 

 score SkyBox produced several cards that don’t fit into a trading card set category.  They were either single cards or premium cards included with a product.
 

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The Charendoff Era

We now enter the section of Trek Card History I call the “Charendoff Era”. Steve Charendoff, as the Entertainment Director, takes the reins and changed the look and direction of Star Trek cards and Entertainment cards. Though he was involved peripherally in earlier sets like First Contact, the sets produced from TOS I through TOS III are “pure Charendoff”.

clickhereto read more about Charendoff’s time at SkyBox.


First Contact Card Set

 

 fc1 Following the style of earlier movie sets, the First Contact card set was a 60 card set in a widevision format.
 

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DS9 Profiles Card Set

 

 ds9pfirst Released in 1997, this 82 card set was the beginning of changes in the format for ST cards. Rather than an episode format, they offered a Profiles format with in depth looks at the main characters, each with their own 9-card subset.
 

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TOS Season I-III Sets

 

 tos1 The full TOS set created by SkyBox is actually made up of three card sets released in 1997, 1998 and 1999.
 

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Voyager Profiles

 

 voyp1 Similar to the earlier DS9 Profiles set, the Voyager Profiles set featured cards based around the 10 most important series characters in Seasons One through Four.
 

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Insurrection

 

 insfirst Based on the 9th ST movie Insurrection, this card set released about a week in advance of the movie, helping to whet people’s appetite for the movie.
 

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DS9 Memories From the Future

 

 ds9moffirst Rather than a Profiles or Episode format, DS9 Memories From the Future features 99 of the greatest moments in DS9’s history.
 

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Voyager Closer to Home

 

 vcthfirst After a break from the episode format, SkyBox released Voyager Closer to Home, a set that squeezes Seasons 3, 4 and 5 into one card set.
 

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TNG Profiles

 

 tngprofilesfirst Released July 2000, this card set makes use of a character emphasis, rather than the usual episode format they completed with TNG 7.
 

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Cinema 2000

 

 cin20001 This 100 card set came out November 29, 2000. It is based on all 9 movies from ST:TMP to Insurrection. It was SkyBox’s last Star Trek Card Set.
 

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Though it wasn’t known at the time of the release, this would be SkyBox’s last Trek set. In 2001, the right to make standard sized trading cards was handed over to Rittenhouse Archives. SkyBox brought us from a simple card set with 4 inserts to a bonanza set with multiple insert levels, autographs and top of the line technology. Though a few concepts were not well-received, SkyBox did a great deal to turn card collecting from a kid’s passing fancy to an adult’s obsession. In the word’s of Jeff Feeney, the current Entertainment Director, their “only vision was to create new and exciting cards every time out.”
As a parting goodbye, Jeff Feeney looked back over his time with the Star Trek line. He had some likes and dislikes in what was produced while he was there. A few favorites were the Star Threads, “First time ever collectors could get authentic pieces of Picard uniform.” (He admits to closing the door to his office to try on the Picard Uniform before it was cut into pieces…don’t laugh, you’da done the same thing!), the TOS II Mirror cards (“not only because of their rarity but they’re so beautiful on both sides”) and the lenticular cards from Voyager Closer to Home (esp., the oversized ones) and McCoy Tribute cards. His favorite card set was Cinema 2000. “It’s beautifully designed, has clear colorful images and is loaded with a variety of really cool inserts! Honorable mention to oversized “First Contact” for great inserts and innovative packaging.”, he said. His least favorite insert set was “the Holodeck inserts from Voyager Season II (holograms didn’t meet my expectations)” and his least favorite card set was also the Voyager Season II “It needed more inserts and the Holograms mentioned before were disappointing”, he stated. The biggest mistake they made, he felt, was in the handling of the Voided cards from TOS and Voyager Profiles. “We tried to give the collectors a “Voided” letter card so they could complete their sets, but it turned into a fiasco with many people paying big dollars for a card they could get for free.” He notes they tried many, many times to include Michael Dorn’s signature for the autograph series and regrets they couldn’t offer wardrobe cards for Cinema 2000, “but the Wardrobe Dept. for the Movies didn’t want to give up any of the costumes or uniforms. He stated that if he had to do anything differently, he “would try to do more “Premium” sets like Cinema 2000. Where Quality and the Budgets are higher.”
SkyBox exits on a high note with Cinema 2000 being well received by both collectors and dealers.


Archive of Q and A’s with SkyBox

clickhere