JAMES BOND ARCHIVES FINAL EDITION (Rittenhouse)
The release date for the Final Edition of the James Bond Archives trading cards appeared on the 22nd of March 2017 on the Rittenhouse webpage. With a time span of only six months, the fans didn't have enough time to complete the previous trading card set. The eighty-three base cards are completely devoted to the 2002 blockbuster "Die Another Day". I don't know why, but it's the second time that Rittenhouse releases a trading card set for "Die Another Day". The first throwback chase set is a thirty-six card displaying the 1981 blockbuster "For Your Eyes Only", the first movie directed by John Glenn. The second throwback is "Octopussy" were Bond has to prevent a nuclear war and the last chase set is "A View To A Kill", the last movie with Roger Moore as James Bond. The complete checklist was online on the 1st of May, about three weeks before the release. A few days later the first card pre-sells popped-up on eBay with never seen before price tags, see some listings here below.
I guess the main reason for the high price is the Sean Connery cut autographs. Sean is not the person that jumps to sign cards for Rittenhouse, so in order to produce cards with an autograph of Sean Connery; Rittenhouse bought some items that have been signed by Sean in the past. The autographs were cut from that item and inserted into the cards. From there the name cut autographs. A complete master set holds three hundred and eighty seven cards including a Sean Connery cut autograph.
There are three promotion cards to collect, P1 displaying a picture of Jinx wearing here dark red leather cat suit, P2 is James Bond during his training session in "Die Another Day" and the P3 again displaying Jinx in an action scène. The promotion card P3 is only available when purchasing the binder
“The Promotion Cards”
The counter display box is finished in silver grey only displaying the title "James Bond Archives Trading Cards Final Edition", mentioning a "Die Another Day" base set and the bonus sets that can be found. As always each box includes two autograph cards. A box holds twenty-four packs each containing five randomly selected cards. The design for the wrapper just follows the box design.
The James Bond Archives Final Edition 2017 trading card set features three extensive bonus sets that require multiple cases to complete. There are throwback sets that retell the stories of "For Your Eyes Only", "Octopussy" and "A View To A Kill" with only 36, 32, and 30 cards each. The three throwback sets in the James Bond Archives Final Edition trading cards are well-written, but James Bond trading card collectors are likely to feel like they are getting less for their money on the throwback sets in this Final Edition. As I mentioned in the page on the "James Bond Archives 2015" that it was still a long way to go for covering all the James Bond movies in the throwback style, well today Rittenhouse did it. The list below shows the release date of the cards and the movies covered in full colour or black & white. "Die Another Day" can be found in the throwback style and as a regular card set issued during the movie premiere in 2002.
“Golden Parallel Cards”
Two per box there are gold parallel cards for the "Die Another Day" basic set. The gold parallel set is limited to only 250 of each of the cards. The gold parallel cards are a particularly boring parallel card; they are distinguished from the basic versions of their cards by limited gold foil lettering for the title on the front of each card and an individual foil-stamped number on the back, at the bottom of the card. To me these parallel cards are much too expensive and there is no additional quality to them.
“The Complete SPECTRE”
Now it's the moment to complete some missing cards, Rittenhouse designed twenty-four expansion cards to update the previous card sets. With only one expansion card per box it will be difficult to get you're missing cards. The first expansion set is nine SPECTRE cards to add to "The Complete James Bond" trading card set. When you place the cards in the famous nine-pocket sleeves, then the reverse composes a nine-card puzzle of the original movie poster. The new cards are numbered from #208 thru #216, following the numbers were the last set ended.
“James Bond Archives”
The second addition is a six card set holding three "SkyFall" and three "SPECTRE" cards. The cards are numbered from #67 thru #72. The cards are an expansion to the first "James Bond Archives" issued in 2009.
“James Bond Heroes & Villains”
The third expansion is a three card set to complete your "James Bond Heroes & Villains" trading card set. This card set was issued in 2010 and already got an update in 2015 and now to finalise they added three "SPECTRE" cards, Daniel Craig as James Bond, Léa Seydoux as Dr. Madeleine Swann and Christoph Waltz as Blofeld. The cards are numbered as #88 thru #90.
“Bond Girls Are Forever”
The fourth expansion is three Bond Girls from the latest James Bond movie "SPECTRE". The girls are numbered from #BG76 thru #BG78 and displaying the beautiful Léa Seydoux as Dr. Madeleine Swann, Monica Bellucci as Lucia Sciarra and Stephanie Sigman as Estrella. A devoted a complete page to the lovely Bond Girls; check out the "Bond Girls Are Forever".
“James Bond Villains”
The list of villains is already counting eighty-three cards, to make things complete, Rittenhouse had to add three villains from "SPECTRE". Numbered as #F84 thru #F86 the cards are displaying Blofeld, Mr. Hinx and Max Denbigh. The list below gives us an indication of where to retrieve all our "Bond Villains".
“The Autograph Cards”
Seven new autograph cards in the 40th Anniversary style to update your huge 40th Anniversary card collection, still missing the following cards (A291 and A294). Two autograph cards in the Women Of Bond style, also here there is still a gap for card WA48. Card WA56 is signed by Yvonne Shima and only available when purchasing eighteen boxes. Forty-four full bleed autographs and three auto/ costume cards. The last autograph card is a gold signature card signed by Tanya Roberts. Full bleed card XXX-026 "Blanche Ravalec" was announced in the first checklist but didn't make it in the final checklist. The autograph cards can be found by two in a box.
“40th Anniversary & Women Of Bond Style”
“Full Bleed Style”
“Autograph & Costume Cards”
Again two types of relic cards (landscape & portrait). The landscape cards are very limited, especially card MR10 with only 91 printed cards is a difficult one to get your hands on. The cards printed in portrait style are relics from the first three Daniel Craig movies "Casino Royale", "Quantum Of Solace" and "Skyfall". The relic cards can be found in 1/144 packs or just one card in six boxes.
This set of twelve cards completes the Metal Movie Poster set that begun in the 2016 James Bond Archives trading card set. The metal cards can be found in 1/72 packs. The numbering follows the previous issued cards and begins at #M13 for "Octopussy" and ends with #M24 for "SPECTRE". An alternative movie poster from "Die Another Day" can be found as a case topper when purchasing one case. The card is numbered as CT1.
“Double-Sided Mirror Cards”
The double sided mirror cards were introduced with the "James Bond Classics" trading cards. This new type of card, a sort of flexible plexi is a hard series to complete because you could only find one card in one-hundred and forty-four packs (1/144). To complete your missing cards, Rittenhouse issued the following numbers M3 "Goldfinger", M6 "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", M9 "The Man With The Golden Gun", M12 "For Your Eyes Only", M15 "The Living Daylights", M18 "Tomorrow Never Dies",M21 " Casino Royale" and M24 "SPECTRE". This time the cards are easier to find because they are randomly inserted in only 1/72 per pack. Good luck hunting Mr. Bond.
The Case Topper card CT1 comes as a bonus when purchasing one case. The card is a variation to the "Die Another Day" metal poster card. The 6-Case incentive is a gold autograph card signed in person by Maud Adams as "Octopussy". The 9-case incentive card is signed by the late Sir Christopher Lee pointing his little golden gun to James Bond.
“Archive Box Incentive Cards”
An archive box comes as a bonus when purchasing eighteen cases, what is so special to the archive box of the "James Bond Archives Final Edition 2017"? Each archive box comes with a Sean Connery cut autograph card and an autograph card in the Women Of Bond style personally signed by Yvonne Shima, the card is numbered as WA56. Below some examples of the Sean Connery cut autograph cards, the card WA56 is added in the autograph section.
Prices for a single cut autograph are breath taking, here below a listing from eBay. This seller make a great profit, the card was sold for 1210,32 EURO. To me the fare is much too high!
“Binder & Case”
Rittenhouse created a three-ring binder only displaying the title of the trading card collection. A bit flew for a James Bond card collection; they should have done better here. The binder is large enough to hold and protect your precious cards. As a bonus when purchasing the binder, you receive the promotion card P3 displaying a picture of Jinx in action.
If your wallet can afford to purchases one or more cases, then just go for it. Each case holds twelve boxes, each box has twenty-four packs each holding five cards. This makes a total of 1440 cards per case.