It’s been somewhat of a long wait for this product, but fans of Bates Motel will agree it was worth it! I wrote my article about Bates Motel in the Apr/May 2014 edition of Non Sport Update. In that issue, I stated collectors should look for a spring 2014 release. Breygent Marketing’s Tom Breyer pulled a little joke on us. He meant to say, December, 2015.
The delay was due to some errant signers returning cards, and you can’t be angry with Breygent—they’ve proved they love this hobby by giving us killer sets over and over and Bates Motel Season 1 is no exception.
What make this product unique is it is the first issued set with eight hits per box. We have seen Archive Boxes, loaded boxes and packs, and boxes with four hits. But never, as far as I can recall, eight hits in every box. That increases the price just a bit but in return, you get a truly limited run item, with less than 100 cases being produced. And did I mention eight hits per box?
My box traveled all the way from sunny Arizona to arrive at my house in Illinois in the middle of an ice storm. The box is the small factory set type, wrapped in cello. Inside collectors will find a cello wrapped set of 72 base cards plus a small stack of loose chase cards and hits.
The base set is beautifully done. All the photos are sharp, printed on a semi-matte finish. Subsets include several character cards and a series of quotes from the show. Cards 22 through 71 provide episodic coverage of the first season and card 72 is a checklist for the base set, inserts and prop cards.
There are three cool nine-card chase sets as follows. “The Making of Norman Bates” provides a look at what makes Norman…well, different. “Victims” covers a few of the various characters who won’t be showing up in Season 2. And “Postcards from White Pine Bay” looks at some of the scenes of various crimes around town. Boxes contain two cards per subset.
The chase sets are nicely done with a 3-dimensional clear gloss spot-print texture on each card. There is also a mail-in offer card for the Binder and signed relic cards from Freddie Highmore or Mike Vogel. Finally, and before I get to the inserts, there is a foil parallel card. Mine had a blue foil Bates Motel logo on it. My parallel card was damaged—it has dents on it from some kind of clamp. I’m sure Breygent would replace it, but it’s no biggie to me.
Now on to the hits! They include autographs, props, autographed props, and sketches. Breyer has been showing examples of these on NSU Card Talk and Facebook and I was really looking forward to some of these. It seems many of the signers were also writing inscriptions on the cards as well.
My first surprise was there wasn’t eight inserts—there were nine. First up, I received a prop card—BP1 The Shower Curtain. While this obviously isn’t the same one shown in the film Psycho, a shower curtain from the Bates Motel is certainly an iconic item. There were two signed prop cards—one signed by Jere Burns, an actor who has appeared in many shows over the years. I was very happy to get his card. The prop cards all have a photo of the uncut item on the back, a nice feature.
Bates Motel Season 1 prop card and autographed costume card
There were five autograph cards. I had really wanted one from Vera Farmiga (Norma Bates) and Nestor Carbonell (Sheriff Romero). I pulled both of them! Nestor had written inscriptions on most if not all of his cards. Mine says “Dial Romero for Murder”. My other autos included Ian Tracey as Remo, and Ian Hart as Will Decody (Emma’s dad). My ninth hit was a sketch. Sketch cards seem to be the hardest insert to find. Mine is a portrait of a tense Norma Bates done by John Sloboda. This was next to my damaged parallel card and the sketch also has a dent from a clamp on it. It’s not visible on the white sketch card front, however, and I like the sketch too much to part with it.
So I beat the odds, again! I love this show and the cards are super. I will have to pick up a couple more autographs and finish up those chase sets. Thanks to Breygent Marketing for (finally) releasing these. Keep ‘em coming!
Bates Motel Season 1 autograph cards
Bates Motel Season 1 sketch card