Non-Sport & Entertainment Trading Card News from Non-Sport Update

Valiant Announces Movie Plans

Written By: Harris Toser - Apr• 23•15

Valiant Entertainment logoValiant Entertainment has announced it will bring two of its most successful titles to screen via a deal with Sony Pictures. Bloodshoot and Harbinger will come to the big screen over the course of five feature films culminating in the shared universe crossover film, Harbinger Wars.

Comic titles from Valiant have not been prevalent in non-sports, most recently coming to the hobby via a small nine-card set from Rittenhouse Archives in 2013. Prior to that, Upper Deck released two series in the mid-90s.

Bloodshot, the first Sony movie will arrive in theaters in 2017 and will be directed by David Leitch and Chad Stahelski (John Wick) from a script by Jeff Wadlow (Kick Ass 2) and Eric Heisserer (Story of Your Life). Neal H. Moritz and Toby Jaffe from Original Film (The Fast and the Furious franchise) and Dinesh Shamdasani from Valiant Entertainment will produce the film. Matthew Vaughn and Jason Kothari will serve as executive producers.

Valiant

Following Bloodshoot, Harbinger will follow shortly thereafter from a script by Eric Heisserer (Story of Your Life). Sony and Valiant have not announced a director on this one. Neal H. Moritz and Toby Jaffe from Original Film (The Fast and the Furious franchise) and Dinesh Shamdasani from Valiant Entertainment will produce.

Once movie fans are introduced to Bloodshot and Harbinger, Valiant and Sony plan to release Harbinger Wars inspired by Valiant’s 2013 comic book crossover.

“Valiant is one of the most successful publishers in the history of comics, and Neal is one of the best action producers in the business today. This is a formidable partnership that will bring two incredibly commercial franchises with global appeal together on the big screen,” said Sony Entertainment Motion Picture Group President Doug Belgrad. “The long-term plan that begins with Bloodshot will be a considerable priority for Sony in the months and years to come.”

Valiant is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2015 and has sold over 80 million comics with a library of over 2,000 characters such as  X-O Manowar, Shadowman, and Archer & Armstrong.


My Favorite Autographed Cards

Written By: Bill Mullins - Apr• 21•15

A recent thread on NSU Card Talk asked people to list their 10 favorite autographed cards. Most of the cards described were autographed inserts, reflecting the state of the hobby as it exists today. My own autograph collection predates the now-expected inserts. Back in my day, if you wanted an autographed card, you’d have to get it autographed yourself. And I did. Mostly, I collected autographs by mail (see an article I wrote in NSU on the subject in Vol. 4, No. 2). I also picked up a few in person over the years. Some of them have a story behind them. A few of my favorites (in no particular order):

Mark Hamill

When Mark Hamill was filming The Night the Lights Went out in Georgia near Chattanooga, I was working at The Great Escape, a comic book/trading card/record store in Nashville. We were all surprised one day when Hamill walked in, looking for Beatles memorabilia. I believe he bought some Tiger Beat magazines and some Beatles 45s. We had a few Topps Star Wars cards for sale, and I quickly bought one and got him to sign it for me. It was the first autographed non-sport card I ever got.

Dave Stevens

From 1990 until 1994, my job required me to go to California every couple of months (I’m a research engineer for the U.S. Army). Once I was there through the week, and finished things up early on Friday. My flight home was Saturday, so I had the afternoon to kill. There was a pretty big comic convention going on (I can’t remember if this was in the Bay area, or San Diego, or LA) so I went to it. In the artists’ alley Dave Stevens had a table, and there wasn’t much going on at it. I bought a set of Topps cards from theRocketeer movie in the dealer’s room and brought them to him. He had done the artwork for a couple of stickers in the set and signed them for me. And we had a nice conversation about the comic and the movie and Bettie Page.

James A Lovell

The first big card show I ever went to was the National Sports Collector’s Convention in Atlanta in 1992. One of the vendors there was the card company Space Ventures, which had just released one of their SpaceShots sets of cards with astronauts and NASA missions in it. They brought shuttle astronaut Bruce McCandless, Jim Lovell, and Russian cosmonaut Vladimir Dzhanibekov to their booth as guests to sign cards. Lovell was not as well-known as other Apollo astronauts, having never made it to the moon’s surface despite flying on two separate Apollo missions. His fame soared, however, after the Tom Hanks film Apollo 13 was released in 1995, starring Hanks as Lovell. But that summer of 1992 in Atlanta, he was modest and happy to meet anyone who dropped by the booth.

Admiral Frank B Kelso II

Admiral Frank Kelso was Chief of Naval Operations during the first Gulf War, and as such, had a couple of Desert Storm cards. His family has roots in Kelso, Tennessee, only a few miles from where my father was born, and I’ve always had a soft spot for cards with a Tennessee connection. We had a Pentagon phone book in our office, and it was easy to look up his “official” mailing address and send him a Pro Set Desert Storm card for a signature.

Peter Cushing

Peter Cushing was best known for his work in the British Hammer Studio horror films of the 1960s when he was cast as Grand Moff Tarkin in the first Star Wars film. But actors have hobbies, too, and Cushing was a trading card collector. When I sent him this card for an autograph, I mentioned our shared interest and got back not only the signed card, but a nice note from him as well.

Johnny Carson

While Jay Leno has had a great run as host of the Tonight Show, there will never be another Johnny Carson. For 30 years, he was the host of the best talk show ever produced, and was a good at the job as anyone will ever be. For such an important figure in television history, he is surprisingly under-represented in the trading card world. This card is from a set featuring high-school yearbook pictures of stars. By the time it was released, Carson had retired from the Tonight Show, but he still received mail at the NBC studios in Burbank, where I sent this card.

robert-smigel

When the 1992 Star Pics Saturday Night Live set released, it featured not only big stars, but some of the extras and writers as well. Robert Smigel hadn’t yet created Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, and wasn’t particularly well-known, yet still he was on one of the cards. I sent it to him at 30 Rock for a signature, and was very pleased when it returned with three autographs. Smigel had not only signed it himself, he got Chris Farley and Mike Myers to sign it too.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Like many moviegoer of the early 1990s, I was a big fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger and saw Terminator 2 on opening weekend. I had enjoyed his work as far back as Stay Hungry, a modest picture he made in 1976 that I saw in college a few years later. I read in the paper that he owned a restaurant in Santa Monica, and sent him a T2 card care of that address.

Cal Ripkin Jr.

Forgive me for sneaking one sports card into the list, but this is a good one (and likely is the most valuable trading card I own). The Nashville Sounds were the Double-A minor league team where I grew up. When I was in high school, my father would buy minor league trading cards from mail-order dealers for me and I’d try and get autographs of the visiting players as they came through town. Baltimore’s Southern League affiliate was the Charlotte O’s. One of their infielders went on to a Hall-of-Fame career–Cal Ripken Jr. But at the time, he was just another guy trying to make it to the Show, and to be honest, I was just as happy to have gotten the signature of Drungo LaRue Hazewood and the other members of the team.

Dan Aykroyd

In 2010, Dan Aykroyd visited the army installation I work at to promote his Crystal Head vodka and to support the Wounded Warrior Project. He appeared at the base liquor store and a huge line of folks were there to meet him and buy vodka. There were more people than he really had time to meet with. As the time for him to leave drew near, his “handlers” told everyone who wanted to get an autograph to line up with their items in front of them, and Dan would quickly walk by and sign things – no time for photos or personalizations. Most people had Ghostbusters DVDs or Blues Brothers CDs. When Dan got to me and I held out a Coneheads trading card, he gave me a very puzzled look, then a smile, and then an autograph. I daresay no one else there had one.

Mantic’s Mars Attacks Wave III Lands Later This Month

Written By: Harris Toser - Apr• 14•15

Mantic Games announced in 2013 it would license Mars Attacks for its line of tabletop games. The company has been hard at work on Mars Attacks related products ever since and has just announced details for a new wave of products.

Mars Attacks: Extermination

Mars Attacks: Extermination is an expansion for Mantic’s Mars Attacks – The Miniatures Game and will contain 27 pre-assembled colored plastic figures including 11 Science Division figures, 10 Tiger Corps figures, and 2 Giant Mutant Bugs, each with handler, plus Craig and Tunga, heroes for the human faction exclusive to this boxed set. The expansion also includes a comic-book sized rulebook containing all of the rules for the third wave miniatures and ten new narrative scenarios. Note that a copy of Mars Attacks: The Miniatures Games is required to use this expansion. The suggested retail price for the  Mars Attacks: Extermination expansion is $64.99 (£39.99 in the U.K.)

Mantic Games Mars Attacks: Extermination

Mars Attacks: Giant Robot

Mantic tells us the Mars Attacks: Giant Robot is designed by the Science Division as a shock and awe vehicle. “Giant Robots are an inelegant but powerful weapon in the Martian invasion effort” notes the press release. It continues “Standing over twenty feet tall, their weapon arms are almost a secondary consideration on Earth, their size and bulk allowing them to simply stomp on or through most human forces with relative ease. When they do power up their arm weapons, the forces of humanity have learned to run, and quickly.”

The Mars Attacks: Giant Robot stands at 7” tall and comes with a choice of two pilots, a clear plastic dome and a variety of weapons, including Heat Ray, Freeze Ray, and Giant Claw. There is also a Shrink Ray arm and a set of miniaturized human soldiers includes in the kit as well. The suggested retail price for the  Mars Attacks: Giant Robot is $39.99 (£24.99 in the U.K.)

Mantic Games Mars Attacks: Giant Robot


[CONTEST] Win Topps Oversized Star Wars Celebration R2D2 Cards

Written By: Harris Toser - Apr• 13•15

Star Wars Celebration takes place this weekend (April 16-19) in California. With The Force Awakens opening this December, one can only dream of the news that will come out of Anaheim (let alone be lucky enough to actually attend!). Many exhibitors will be on-hand in addition to actors, movie exec’s, and so on. And as you might expect, Topps will be a major force (!) at the show.

Topps has announced several show exclusives including a Star Wars Illustrated Empire Strikes Back 10-card mini set and Star Wars character-themed oversized (5 x 7) card sets. There will be 15 different sets of these modernized-vintage beauties offered throughout Celebration weekend. Each set features one iconic character and contains five cards that are recreated from original Topps Star Wars trading cards. The 15 sets contain 75 cards in total with highlighted characters such as: Luke, Leia, Vader, Han, Boba Fett, R2D2, C3PO, Yoda, Obi-Wan, Lando and others.

Star Wars Celebration oversized R2D2 card #16

Star Wars Celebration oversized R2D2 card #16

Star Wars Celebration oversized R2D2 card #20

Star Wars Celebration oversized R2D2 card #20

Topps has joined up with several media outlets to offer competitions for those unable to make Star Wars Celebration. Non-Sport Update is offering one lucky blog reader a set of five R2D2 oversized cards to be mailed out shortly after the show has finished. Enter to win via our Rafflecopter plug-in below. While you may only enter once, our plug-in gives you an opportunity to multiply your chances up to four times by visiting and liking the NSU Facebook page, tweeting, and so on. See the plug-in below for details as well as the official contest rules. The contest will end April 19, 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Star Wars Celebration oversized R2D2 card #18

Star Wars Celebration oversized R2D2 card #18