Vampirella Box Break (Breygent, 2011)
Product Rating: ****
Box Rating: ****
Up front, Vampirella won't be for everyone. The risque and sometimes graphic content and themes aren't exactly everyone's thing. It's actually not my thing. That being said, this set is fantastic. Brimming with beautiful art and oodles of care, Breygent's resurrected Vampirella is pretty much all fans could ask for.
This set (or something like it) was intended for release by Dynamite Entertainment several years ago. Known more for their comic books than trading cards, the set was met with delay upon delay. In a prime example of where companies can help one another out, Breygent stepped in and made Vampirella happen. Sticking with Breygent's recent format of premium box sets, the release's configuration comes as a 72-card base set, nine inserts, one sketch card and either a second sketch or autograph.
The base set is stunning. And we're not just talking about Vampirella's amped up chest and slinky clothing either. Bringing together several artists' styles and interpretations, it's very similar to the Star Wars Galaxy line. Card fronts come in both horizontal formats. Card backs state the artist and, when applicable, give the background or source of the art. Don't expect to learn a lot about the comic vampire with the set. Rather, it's a celebration of the character and the varied takes she's had.
Equally stunning are the inserts. The lenticular cards feature some of the best 3D I've seen on cards. The artwork selected for the set has great depth and makes them pop. The Best of Jusko cards don't use fancy technology or shiny foil. Instead they celebrate the art of one of the most iconic Vampirella artists. Although I'm not a huge fan of cards that are just puzzles (I like puzzle backs), the backs of these inserts offer lots of great Vampi trivia.
Finally, there's the hits. The sketch cards feature a massive list of artists, almost all of whom poured a lot of time and effort into their creation. Like the base set, they highlight tons of different styles. It also shows how high the bar has been set in sketch cards. Many of the artists could have saved time and done simpler and more repetitive works. Instead, almost all of them are little masterpieces. The autographs are a fun mix of Vampirella models and notable creators. Most, if not all, seem to have black and red ink variations. Hits fall two per box, one of which is a sketch. Some sets get additional sketches as Breygent has kept all multi-piece sketch sets together.
The set I opened went exactly as expected. Besides the base set and nine inserts, I got a full-color sketch by Kimberly Dunaway that's a lot of fun. The one card I was hoping for prior to ripping the set open was a Joe Jusko autograph. Although plentiful and reasonably priced, the guy's a legend. What do you know? I got one. In red too, which, at a glance, makes Miss. Vampirella look as though she's just had some lunch.
Even though the subject matter is close to my thing, Breygent's Vampirella is a fantastic set. Sure, the appeal may be a little more limited than most, but so is the print run. Breygent sold out of these at the factory level very quickly.
Box Set Breakdown:
Base Set (72 cards): 72
Sketch Cards: 1
Autographs (6 cards): 1
Best of Jusko (3 cards): 1
Lenticular 3D (15 cards): 4
Puzzle (9 cards): 4
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