A surprise to many collectors was the appearance of a rare “Tony Stark” patch card that was recently up for bid on auction site eBay. The official checklist from Upper Deck for the Iron Man 3 set does list a Tony Stark patch card, however little was known about what these cards looked like until the first one surfaced or how difficult these would be to find in the card packs. Upper Deck Product Manager Bubby Johanson was able to provide some cool information to Non-Sport Update regarding these elusive cards and we have images and information many will be seeing for the first time right here on the Non-Sport Update blog!
Upper Deck 3 Heroic Threads Stark Industries version
Upper Deck 3 Heroic Threads A.I.M. version
Bubby informed us that there are actually two versions of the patch cards, one with the “Stark Industries” logo and another version with “A.I.M. – Advanced Idea Mechanics” logo embedded in the card. The A.I.M. version is a true one-of-one card, while the “Stark Industries” version has at least two cards. The odds of finding any of the patch cards are 1 in 20,000 packs, so I wish everyone good hunting!
Bubby went on to explain some background on the origin of these cards which is as fascinating as the cards themselves. “These cards also nearly did not get produced. Re-shoots for Iron Man 3 went well into 2013. As a result there was quite some delay in obtaining assets from the film (which also caused a delay in the product launch unfortunately). It all worked out in the end, however, as we were able to get our hands on some amazing material from the film. Upon receipt of the material, our keen-eyed staff in North Carolina noticed some great looking pieces that would look amazing in a card. It was then determined that we somehow needed to get these in the product. Our design team quickly developed a card frame and at the last-minute, we were able to sneak these in!”
Iron Man 3 AIM Tank Top Movie Image
Iron Man 3 Stark Industries T-shirt Movie Image
The patch cards, as well as the additional memorabilia cards, “can be seen all over the screen. Pepper Potts full white suit. Rhodey’s green polo. Harley’s corduroy jacket. Tony Stark’s hoodie. Full suits from Happy, Killian and Savin. We even received a pair of Tony Stark’s plaid pajama pants! Amazing Stuff,” says Bubby. It’s clear that Upper Deck made it a priority to feature memorabilia cards that collectors spot while watching the movie which will be an extension to the cards collectors have in their sets. The accompanying photos in this article show the patch card pieces form the actual movie shots. The Stark Industries logo actually is on the back of the black and grey shirts that Tony wears in his lab.
Non-Sport Update inquired if collectors can expect future Marvel movie sets featuring exclusive limited cards. Johanson explained that cards such as the patch cards are generated based upon the material that they are able to secure from the studios. “In the past, we have not been fortunate enough to get items with logos on them. For example, Thor’s cape and Captain America’s pants aren’t built for logos. If we ever obtain special items such as these, however, you will be sure they will make an appearance into the associated set”.
It’s always fun and exciting for collectors to try to pull one of these rare cards. Who knows, all you may need is that one lucky pack! But as all card collectors know, it’s the thrill of the chase that’s most of the fun and we still all enjoy the cards in each pack, common or otherwise. Thanks to Upper Deck and Bubby Johanson for sharing another fascinating aspect of our hobby! For the record, the first card to surface finished up last night at an astounding $1,526.07. Heroic indeed!