Misc SkyBox Articles

Archive of SkyBox Q and A’s

August 1998

A Canadian collector feels Canadian dealers are not getting good access to promo sheets and promo cards. Is there a way to get them direct from Skybox? How can I get on their mailing list to receive them direct.

Anyone can send me a SASE and I will do my best to send back a promo card. If coming from Canada, make sure the postage is US and enough to return to Canada.

Sybox has in the past inserted cards as promotional into products..laserdiscs, credit card, videos, etc…is there a way to
find  out where these cards will be showing up so we will know where/when to
look for them!!

There is no good way, but we haven’t done anything lately. We may run a cross promotion with Playmates for the new Star Trek movie. If so, the cards will likely be motion cards.

I would like to know, based on the extreme popularity of the TOS Annuals, is  there any chance that the TOS CCG will be resurrected?

No. We do not make any more card games.

Why can we not obtain exact print run numbers of all cards and sets made by SkyBox. Wouldn’t it be great to know exactly how many singles of each card were printed and how many sets are possible.

You’re not using your head. If we announce a print run of 22,000 boxes (ala Star Trek TOS II), and list the insertion ratios for all the chase
cards on the boxes and packs, then you can calculate the numbers of all of the cards. It’s actually pretty easy to do, especially if you have Lotus or Excell. The math is very straightforward.

What was the best set you think you ever produced and what do you consider the worst? (not in terms of sales, but responses and such)

If we limit it to just Star Trek, then TOS I was the best, because it was my first Trek set personally and represented a major change in our approach to marketing the cards (i.e. autographs in every box, etc.). As a fan of TOS, I also made that set as much for myself as a collector as I did for the company in terms of marketing a product. That’s the beauty of a job like this. I love Star Trek, as I am sure you do too. The difference is that I can actually make my living by determining what
goes into these products. When I was asked to take over the Trek card line, the first thought I had was that we have to make a TOS set with
the best images and copy possible. I like to think I lived up to that. In general, as a fan and collector, I want all of the sets I work on to
have long-term value (not just resale value, but collectable value, if you get my “drift”). I want collectors to feel like they have to have these sets in their collections forever because they are so good.

What is the hardest part in  creating/producing a card set?

Several things come to mind. First, getting enough quality images. You would be surprised at how sparce the resources are. You can’t make a good set without good images. Take the new Star Trek movie as an example. We will not have many special effects shots, except for what appears in the trailers. The reason is that the studio works on the effects up to the last minute before the film is released, and we
need these images at least 6 weeks ahead of time, preferably more. The timing doesn’t work out too well. Also, our needs in making a trading card set are about 20 times greater than all of the other licensees combined. Remember, the action figures, t-shirts, keychains, etc. use a lot of the same images and maybe only a half-dozen or so at that. We
need 100-200 images, but we are also not the studio’s top priority. As a result, we must make do with what we get. However, as a result, we
are more inventive and resourceful than most, in that we will scour the pre-production art (storyboards, concept drawings, sketches, etc.) and other behind-the-scenes material to give you images which you don’t see ANYWHERE else. This leads to the second hardest part in producing a set. That is coming up with a checklist, including bonus cards that
will be interesting to collectors. This becomes a chicken-and-egg sometimes, in that we will develop certain subsets and then look for the
art/images and other times we will take what is available and create a subset out of that. In the new Star Trek movie set, we will have some
fantastic costume sketches in a subset along with an interview with the designer (why did he design a costume a certain way, etc.). We are
doing this because the material simply became available. We had no way of knowing if the art existed until it was shown to us. In this sense,
we have to be very flexible and creative. We have to be able to look at something that might seem like trash to the studio and think “Hey,
collectors/fans would really like to see this,” and then go for it.

***Season VII****

Question: *When* will TNG Season 7 be out??? I’d really like to get that finished.

Request: Regarding TNG Season 7… Please, please, PLEASE don’t change  the format!!! I understand you (Skybox) has a good thing going with all  the (high price) autograph cards and inserts. But, we’ve had six very good card sets around the first six seasons will only minor changes. Six inserts and two holograms was the way the first six went. It only seems right that the seventh should “match” it. Just because over a year has elapsed and you’ve come up with some new things is no reason to change the format. Leave that to TNG Profiles or somesuch.

I understand that the TNG and Voyager episode sets were not all well received, so they are now doing a Voyager Profiles set instead of season 3. Why not continue episode sets for Voyager (and DS9) but include autos in the sets, which seem to be what the collectors want?

TNG VII will be issued in 1999, separate from the new movie cards. Expect autographs in every box, but do not expect more holograms and subsets of third-rate characters. The last set (TNG VI) featured Q and Chief O’Brien. Who’s next? The core cards will remain consistent with the other sets. I haven’t finalized the chase cards, but there are some
good possibilities using the final episode in particular.

***Misc specific card questions***


I would also like to know for sure how many different two (2) card promos were issued for Star Trek TNG Season Two. I believe there were as many as 9 different pairs. Is this correct. I have only seen 5 though and own only four. Also on this subject, I would like to know how many of each was produced. I believe they are rather scarce. I
believe that only one pair was sent to most dealers in the US. That would make them about as hard to get as the numbered “Phase” series ships gold plaque uncut sheet,(approx 200). Is there someone who keeps  track of all this information?

No. I don’t know.

I have 3 cards I got from one TOS2 box that have been mis-cut, apparently the whole sheet was mis-cut. Do they have any extra value?

Value is in the eyes of the collector or buyer. What do you think?

Of the 32 boxes of Star Trek TOS2 cards I’ve opened so far, 7 of them had 2 autographed cards in them. Thanks for the extras, but how about the boxes with no autographed cards in them?

You need to contact our collector support dept. Ask for Carmen.

I opened one packet of TOS2 cards & there were 2 Mirror Mirror cards in it, an M3 (McCoy) & an M4 (Scotty). The autographed card was a James Doohan card. Does this happen often, or was I just lucky?

Consider youself very lucky.

In the basic card set of Star Trek TOS2, there are 2 versions of card #l24, one that shows Kirk in a green shirt, another version shows him with  blood on the shirt in 3 different places. Why is there that difference & is there any extra value on the bloody shirt version?

Seems like an inadvertent printing “blotch”. Nothing that I would
concern myself with, but collectors may have a different take.

On the Star Trek TOS2 A38 Arlene/Tasha Martel card with 2 different
signatures, how many of each one did the actress sign?

About 500 of each.

Why isn’t there a price listed in the most recent trading card price
catalogs for voided “V” cards or non voided “V” cards?

You have to ask the people who put out the price guides. Beats me.

Why isn’t the Scotty M3 Mirror Mirror even listed? Tuff Stuff’s
COLLECT doesn’t list it.

Same answer.

****Set suggestions****

Of course, this is all just my opinion!
another set I might be interested in is a …best of star trek memorobilia set…start with some things you could get at the first con…maybe profile the biggest collectors that have actual props…right up the the ST experience…? a stray thought…

Has skybox looked at the possibility of doing a cards set for the animated series???

Give us a chance to get through TOS III. The future is wide open.
How many Data Autographs were there for First Contact?

200 is the answer, although I know that a few were damaged during the
pack out so the actual number in circulation is slightly less.


Sept Q and A with SkyBox

**Voyager Profiles**

1. Which autographs, if any, will be short runs for Voyager Profiles?

Nobody is very short. The shortest is about 800 cards. The average is 1000.
Those with 800 cards: Robt. Picardo, Robt. McNeill, Josh Clark, John Delancie, Jennifer Lien, Garrett Wang, Tim Russ, Ethan Phillips.
The most plentiful are: Kate Mulgrew and Michael McKean.

2. What is the box run for this set?

20,000 boxes numbered.

3. What caused the delay for this set?

Late autographs

5. Does Skybox get to meet the stars during the signings and who was the easiest to work with?

Yes, and everybody was great, especially the cast regulars.

6. Do any of the stars get to have a say in what is going on with the trading cards?

No

7. Would you ever consider doing a card set with facsimile autos (copies of the actual ones) so that those who can’t afford high end
cards can still see what the ‘biggies’ look like?

Yes.

**Misc**

1. Why did Skybox do paper promos for TNG Episodes 5, and what other Trek sets had these paper promos?
I don’t know.

2. How many “I” cards have been redeemed?
3. How many “V” Cards have been redeemed?

****Customer service reports only 5 of the I card sets are left and only 12 or 15 of the V card sets have been redeemed****
4. When all is over, what will Skybox do with extra sets of autos?

Use them for promotional purposes.

5. Will there be a binder for Season 7?

Yes

6. What is the future (if any) of the binder program?

To keep it going.
**ED NOTE** There is a company who is willing to act as the distributor point and guarantee quantities purchased, which should keep the binder program going now. They are in a good position to advertize and support the product.

7. Will the next movie follow the ‘widevision’ format of the other 8?

Yes.
**ED Note** There was a time when Season VII and Movie set were going to be combined, at that point, there was going to be a regular sized set, but now that the two are separate, each should maintain it’s own previous format.


October Q and A

Not sure what happened to the first question.

ST Insurrection….
2. Any ideas which autographs will be scarce? How scarce?

The main cast will be scarcer than the others. Print run 25,000 boxes approx.

3. Do you know if any case toppers or other dealer incentives are planned?

None

4. Will the Insurrection cards have the Picard Captain’s Card?

No, although we were going to originally. The oversized format makes this impossible. Look for this card in TNG VII next year.

1. Were the autographs from DS9 Profiles inserted in essentially equal amounts? How many of each were done?

Quark was about 40% of the other 2.

2. In the First Contact set, I noticed that the character card C5 lists Troi’s rank as Lieutenant. Do I have an error card or did someone at Skybox goof and make all the C5’s like that?

It was a goof. (an uncorrected, all have the Lt on them)

TOS 3
1. Can you give us a preview of who will autograph cards for TOS Season 3?

1. Nimoy, Doohan, Koenig, Kelley, Frank Gorshin, Yvonne Graig, Lee Meriwether, Jack Donner, John Winston, Herb Solow, Matt Jefferies, Michael Ansara….etc. 26-27 in all.

2. Why didn’t Robert Walker, Jr. give his rights to appear in Season One cards? Will anyone major guest star be missing from Season 3?

2. Robt. Walker Jr. doesn’t want to have anything to do with Star Trek or show biz. Spoil sport. I am not sure yet if we will have any problems with actors. So far, no.

4. Will there be a collector’s album for TOS Season 3?

Yes

5. Will TOS 3 have the Kirk Captain’s card?

Yes

***Also, the press/sell sheet says 9 gold cards for the movie set, but the checklist says 7. I asked Steve, he says there will be 7.***


Nov Q and A with Steve Charendoff Archived
1 – Who will be the low numbers in the Insurrection autographs? How low will the low numbers be?

The first 7 cards are in the 800-1000 range apiece. The others are 1,500-2,000 apiece.
2 – Is TOS III still expected in January?

We just moved it back to Feb. 10 to give dealers and collectors some extra time to recover from Insurrection.
3 – Who will be the low numbers in the TOS III autographs? How low will the low numbers be?)

Don’t have a final tally yet, but expect at least Nimoy, Doohan, Kelly to be a little harder than the others.
4. How did Voyager Profiles sell on your side? As well as the TOS series?

Fabulous. Very quick sell outs and a lot of positive feedback. Only collation problems were a negative, but we are working hard to fix that. People need to understand that the packaging is done mechanically, and sometimes the people at the facility don’t set up the machines properly. If that happens, and we don’t find out until the product is out there, well…. Heads have rolled, and I am taking names, too. Look for better collation in the future. I personally oversaw the collection on the autographed cards for Insurrection, so those should be more evenly dispersed.
5. If you had to do one thing differently in respect to ST card sets, what would it be?

Boy, that’s a hard one. Well, the only way I can answer that is to go back to early 1997. That’s when I did ask myself that question after taking over the Star Trek card line from the previous marketing team. My answer then was to add lots of autographs and guarantee one in every box. I also wanted to improve the photos and really improve the editorial content of the cards. My approach in general, since I have been a collector all my life and will continue to be one, is that I want to be proud enough of every card set I produce so that when I go to a show now or 20 years from now, the cards will hold up. I make card sets that I want to collect (Sounds corny, huh?).
I am always open to suggestions, if people have ideas. The real challenge moving forward is going to be making the future sets as exciting as the recent ones. There are only so many autographs/actors. But I can assure you that I have many ideas.
6. After the TOS season III is done, any future thoughts for what to do with the TOS line?

Yes, but I’m not telling yet. I think I do have some really great concepts, though.
7. Will Skybox be releasing any 23 k gold cards?
Maybe, but no plans yet.
8. Why release the movie card set before the movie releases, won’t that spoil the movie a bit?

Nah. Besides, sales are always best prior to the movie because everyone is so excited. Once the film is released, the momentum starts to slow (kinda like ticket sales).


Devember Q and A

1. What was the print run of DS9 Profiles?
About 800 cases.

2. Is there a TOS III sell sheet with a ll. the auto images similar to TOS I and II?

No. Tried to pull it together, but a couple of signers didn’t get their materials to us in time. Would have been nice, though. I wanted to frame all three sheets together.

3. How many (approx.) Spock autos will there be?
About the same quantity as Shatner.

4. How many autograph cards did Brent Spiner sign for Insurrection?
Less than 1,000.

5. Are there plans this year for “premium” Skybox Trek trading cards in Playmates Toys action figures or any other products?
Not yet, but stay tuned. Keep in mind that these kinds of cards are produced at the request of Playmates, etc. We do not make the decision, so if they don’t want them, there’s nothing I can do about it.
6. Like Robert Walker, Jr., in TOS Season One, are there any missing guest stars in TOS Season Three?
Only France Nuyen. Bad story behind this one. Believe me, I tried…and tried…and tried. No use. Some people don’t understand what we’re doing and are afraid to commit.
7. I would like to see more TOS cards after Season Three. How about an entire set on Star Trek’s pilot, “The Cage?” Or, a “behind-the-scenes” set on TOS, showing rare production photos, costumes, props, spaceship models, etc.
The rare materials are largely unavailable. Fear not, however, as we will continue with more TOS sets. I’ve never been at a loss for product ideas, and I don’t expect to let a good thing slip away. I love TOS, and the fans have really embraced the sets we have made over the past year. No reason to stop at TOS 3. Just need to be a little more creative with the subject matter.

8. Pick you one most favorite Trek card!
I’ve got a few. The card of McCoy from TOS I (City on the Edge of Forever) which shows him with his mouth open (deranged) and the card of Spock screaming (Devil in the Dark) are among my favorites. Susan Oliver as the Orion slave girl doing her dance (who doesn’t like that one?). In general, though, I am most proud of the
entire collection of 85 autographed cards. People have no idea how difficult (and enjoyable) it was to assemble all of these. When I look back on my work on Star Trek, I think that is the most gratifying aspect of all.

9. Can you give us a sneak peek at plans for Season VII and DS9 due out later this year?
DS9 will commemorate the 99 greatest moments in the show’s 7-year history, and will give you (the fans) an opportunity to vote for the top 9 moments of all time. There will also be autographs (one per box). TNG VII will follow the same basic pattern as the previous TNG sets, but the chase cards will be a little different (no specfics
yet). Also an autograph in every box.

10. Comment for Steve: Skybox’ collation problems with its “guaranteed” autograph cards is frustrating. I had an autograph card missing from TOS Season Two and Voyager Profiles. I had to spend more money to get the “make-good” from Skybox (i.e., mailing box to Skybox, certified mail fee, return- receipt fee, etc.). This doesn’t seem fair. I also have to wonder if I lost a possibility to get a “rare” autograph at random in my purchased box by having to get one through a make-good (i.e., I feel I got gypped with the least interesting autograph cards through your “make-good” program). Also, my Voyager Profiles “make-good” still hadn’t arrived two months after I sent the box (sent certified mail, return-receipt). I had to ask a second time to get the make-good! These problems don’t happen with other Trek products…I’ve never had a Trek action figure missing a phaser accessory! At any rate, I must say that these problems are adding to my fading interest in collecting Trek trading cards. In any case, your TOS cards have been your best product to date, by far.
Thanks for the comment, although I am sorry (really, I am) about collation. This has been a major source of frustration for me as well. I only suggest to people to contact me if they are having a particularly difficult time with one of our products. Remember, though, that there are a lot of unscrupulous people who pretend that
they don’t get cards and are looking for freebies (you know who you are and, for the most part, so do I). I try to personally help out whenever possible, but I ask that collectors only contact me if their problems are legitimate and solutions are manageable (i.e. don’t tell me that you bought 10 cases and are missing 50 autographed cards).Hope this helps. I really like these kinds of exchanges of ideas and questions from collectors. 1999 should be another great year for Trek cards. I am very optimistic. Also, if people have specific product ideas they want to see incorporated into our products, I do listen and encourage the input. What I do is for the
fans, and as long as the fans are happy, we stay in business (not the other way around).

l- Why aren’t Post Office boxes allowed as a return address for the   Insurrection redemption cards? The same services are offered at a  post   office  with P.O. boxes as with a street address. Besides, my wife & I are
usually working when the mailman comes around to our street, so we miss seeing him on a daily basis. Besides, Fleer/Skybox has sent replacement TOS2 Mirror  Mirror cards to my P.O. box in the past. MY P.O. BOX IS MY STAR TREK ADDRESS, THERE’S NO REASON NOT TO ACCEPT ANYTHING FROM ANYONE AT THIS ADDRESS.

The package must be signed for, to ensure delivery. Some people would complain that they didn’t receive their cards, even if they had. It’s the world we live in.

2- Why won’t the Insurrection redemption cards be returned to the person  who sends them in? The word “void” could be stamped on them just as the TOS1 “I” card, the TOS2 “V” card & the Voyager “Y” card or a hole could be punched in them (preferably in the shape of the Star Trek symbol) & returned. These
cards will likely be of no apparent value after April 30, l999 when  Fleer/Skybox ends the promotion. These cards are an integral part  of the Insurrection collection of Star Trek trading cards, there’s no reason to
exclude the from the set. The set would be incomplete without them.

Sorry. One of these silly company policies. I didn’t make it up, and I can’t even tell you the logic behind it. The difference, though, between the VOIDed game cards and the autograph redemption cards is simply that the real autograph card is the exact same card except to the redemption language (same photo, same design, etc.). So when you redeem it, you get back basically the same card with an autograph on it. Not true for the VOIDed game cards. Once you sent in the real game card, you were only supposed to get back the autograph card set,
which is totally different from the game cards. To make people happy, I created the VOIDed cards so that this totally different card could be a part of people’s collections. Make sense? Another answer is that I could have created VOIDed redemption cards as well, but just didn’t think of it in time, and it’s too expensive to go back to press for such a small number of cards.


Feb 1999 Q and A with SkyBox

Who is signing for DS9 MFTF

Bashir, Quark, Jake Sisko, Kira, Odo, Jadzia, Ezri, Garak, Nog, Koloth, Gowron Vash, Q, Kai Winn, Lwaxana Troi,Gul Dukat, Rom, Rick Berman, Leeta and Cap. Sisko.

2. What insert/subsets will there be.

Greatest Alien Races (1:4), Greatest Legends (1:6), Greatest Space Battles (1:8) Captains Card (Sisko) (1:720)

3. Who is signing for TNG?

So far the main cast (except Worf) and Sito Jaxa, Nurse Ogawa, Data’s mother, The Traveler, Gul Evek, and Lursa.

4. What inserts/hologram images will there be?

Character Murals, Picard and Data (from all 7 seasons)  Klingon Cards TBD, Character Cards, Hugh, Lursa and Tomalak Holograms will be Cast (flips back and forth from Season1 to 7) and Enterprise (flips from different angles)

5. Release dates for both products?

DS9 releases 4/28 and TNG 7 releases 7/21.