Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Box Break: 2010 Rittenhouse Lost Seasons 1 Thru 5

Hurley Base

Rittenhouse is the second company to have the Lost license with the first being Inkworks.  I wasn’t a big fan of the Inkworks products as the boxes seemed too expensive to me for what you got.  Rittenhouse took over the license and they seem to have gotten things right.  For just about the same price per box, you get three autographs instead of just one and there aren’t any redemption cards.

Rittenhouse as a company puzzles the heck out of me.  They don’t take advantage of new media at all.  They barely have a website.  You won’t find Rittenhouse Archives or on Twitter or Facebook.  You won’t find any sponsored breaks to check out before you buy.  The company does have a rewards program, but the amount of points needed to get any of the rewards are ridiculous.  You have to buy 6 boxes and some loose packs just to qualify for one rewards.  They may as well not even have the program since it’ll really only benefit dealers and case breakers.  Just put that money towards some nice box toppers and you’re all set.  That’ll save the postage on mailing in the wrappers and reward normal collectors.

Rittenhouse makes some high quality cards.  They aren’t glossy, but once you’ve held them in your hands and looked at them, you won’t mind at all.  The pictures look great on the sturdy, bright white card stock.  The fact that there’s no gloss makes them perfect for autographs.  I wish that I had the Hurley card pictured above when I sent my autograph request to Jorge Garcia because I would love to have this card signed and in my collection.

The set consists of 108 cards (kudos Rittenhouse for that little detail) with one card for every episode of the first 5 seasons.  Header cards for each season that double as checklists fill out the rest of the set.  This set makes me wish that Rittenhouse had this license from the beginning and had done 108-card sets of each season as they aired.  Those sets would have been beautiful.


There are insert card for another ABC show to be found in packs.  While I am watching FlashForward, I wouldn’t be extremely upset if it were to be cancelled.  It has taken what could be a very interesting concept and gone almost nowhere with it.  It started off well, but the hiatus killed it and it hasn’t regained the momentum since coming back.  I would have much rather seen promo cards for another show that J.J. Abrams helped create and that’s Fringe.  That’s quickly become one of my favorite shows and I look forward to seeing what ridiculousness Walter Bishop is going to do and see each week.

LenticularThere are some fun inserts to be found in these packs.  There’s a six card set of the Oceanic Six printed on acetate with clear sections.  It looks like there’s a picture of the character off of the island in color with a picture of them on the island ghosted in the background.

The other two cards pictured here are lenticular cards.  They really don’t scan well, but they look good in person.

The middle card pictured here is of the Smoke Monster.  This season, the Smoke Monster aka The Man in Black is spending most of his time in the form of John Locke.  Popular theory says that in the past the Smoke Monster took on various forms such as Christian Sheppard, Dave and possibly even a black horse.  Hopefully they’ll explain why it could do that then, but is unable to now.

The bottom card shows Hurley’s Mr. Cluck’s Chicken Shack restaurant as it is struck by a meteor and destroyed.  The explosion killed reporter Tricia Tanaka who was covering the grand opening.  This was just another example of the terrible luck that followed Hurley around off of the island after winning the lottery with the cursed numbers muttered repeatedly by another patient in the mental hospital Hurley spent time in.

PaintingsRittenhouse jumps aboard the painted card bandwagon with their own insert set.  These cards would definitely appeal to fans of Topps Gallery, Turkey Red or Upper Deck Masterpieces.

You won’t find any gloss on these cards either and these would be beautiful cards to get signed.  This is a set that I could definitely see myself tracking down if some of them show up online at a decent price.

The theme for my box seemed to be deceased characters as three of the four characters are no longer on the show.  Shannon was shot by Ana Lucia.  Boone died after being crushed by a plane while tagging along with Locke.  Juliet died due to injuries suffered while detonating a hydrogen bomb back in the 70s.

Enough about these cards though.  The main reason that people buy these boxes is for the autographs.  Who did I pull?  Let’s find out…

FischlerMy first autograph card is of Patrick Fischler as Phil.  Phil was a member of the Dharma Initiative back in the 70s.  I can’t say that I was too impressed with this autograph, but these autograph cards are great.

All of the autographs are on-card and there’s a nice, big, white area for the actors and actresses to sign in.  The front of the cards are not glossy, but the backs of the cards are.  I like this decision because it prevents things like eBay idiots adding a “1/1” notation to a card and then trying to find a sucker to buy it.

Before I go any further, I have to warn you not to buy these Lost cards by the pack.  These packs are extremely searchable.  In my box, packs without an insert contained 6 cards and packs with an insert only contained 5.  You might not be able to tell the difference by holding them or looking at them, but anyone with a caliper could easily tell the difference.

RothMy next autograph was of Andrea Roth as Harper Stanhope in “The Other Woman.”  They had to include the episode title for this autograph card because otherwise no one would have any clue who this character was.  She appeared in one episode as Juliet’s therapist

It’s nice to see that crappy autographs aren’t confined to athletes.  Actors and actresses can have terrible autographs as well.  Seriously, what the heck is that supposed to be?  Was she drawing a picture?  Getting an autograph of a minor character is even more disappointing when the autograph looks like this.

So, I had pulled two out of my three autographs and wasn’t feeling all that great about the box.  The autograph cards are easy to pick out when you open a pick due to the borderless design.  So, when I saw the next borderless card I slid the card above it aside slowly.  I saw a cursive T and then a printed T and then a familiar bald head.

OQuinnTerry O’Quinn autograph!  My second favorite character on the show behind Hurley.  This card totally saved the box in my opinion as I think this is the best autograph there is to pull out of the box.

This set has a great design and the insert sets give you a little bit of variety as you open the packs.  I got a complete set out of my box which should always be the case with a non-sports box.

You can’t beat the value since you get a handful of inserts, a complete set and three autographs per box.  Even if you get three of the lesser autographs the box is worth it.  If you pull one of the bigger stars, they go for close to the cost of a box.  This Terry O’Quinn has sold on eBay from anywhere between $35 and $50, but this one won’t be making it’s way to eBay as it will find a permanent spot in my collection.

I would give this set an A- just because the autograph checklist is a little weak and you could very possibly get three clunkers who have each only been in one episode of the show.  The set itself is beautiful and the inserts add a lot of fun.  I have no choice but to give my box an A+ for a grade.  The only way that it could have been better was if I had pulled O’Quinn, Michael Emerson and Nestor Carbonell in the same box.


Play at the Plate said...

I'm not a big non-sports card guy, but I'd love to bust a box of that.

Pop Startled said...

I've been on the fence with buying a box, as I'm a serious Lost fan but also not a fan of wasting money. After reading this, I think I'll have to try and pick up a box. Where'd you get your box? Also, would you consider trading the Phil auto card?

Offy said...

I picked up my box from Blowoutcards (probably should have put that in the original post) on one of their weekend specials. It was well worth it at that price.

I would definitely trade the Phil.

I loved busting a box of this, but for the Inkworks sets a purchased complete sets online.

Pop Startled said...

What do you collection? I have my trade lists on SCF, here's a link to my profile. My lists are in my signature. Also, if you want, I can send you cards for your wants (favorite team/player if you're like Beardy)...

Here's the link for SCF (I'm Hanleytrader):

Also, here's my blog:

Thanks, and thanks for the great blog. Chuck

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