Ink Vault marks Razor's second release heavily featuring Inkworks autographs. The first, Ink Archives, offered collectors one random autograph per pack in an encapsulated holder. As tempting as it was, I stayed away largely because of the $15-20 price tag per pack and some uncertainty over the level of autographs found inside, especially after it was discovered a partner of Razor's was selling singles of some of the best cards Inkworks made over the years.
Ink Archives went over well and Razor upped the ante with Ink Vault, which offers a box-within-a-box gimmick. First off, each sealed box contains three random Inkworks autographs placed in a top loader with a Razor seal. The box also contains an unopened non-sport box, most likely of which will contain further "hits." At first I figured this would be a way to get rid of a lot of junk and even at $50 per box, it would be something of a letdown.
But then I started looking at the breaks. The boxes, which I figured would be mostly old Inkworks retail boxes like Tomb Raider and Godzilla turned out to be fairly solid. Razor also emphasized that not all of the boxes were from Inkworks. I've seen others such as Batman Archives from Rittenhouse and Star Wars and Indiana Jones boxes from Topps.
As for the autographs, the breaks seemed to be yielding better results than Ink Archives. Of the three autographs, there appeared to be at least one that I wouldn't lump in as a "common." Combine the good liklihood of a solid box and at least one autograph worth getting excited about and I decided to give a box a try.
Here's what I landed:
First the autographs:
Alien vs. Predator
A6. Ian Whyte as Scar (the Predator)
This is a set I've been planning on tackling. I love the Alien series (although I do not acknowledge the existance of Alien Resurrection) and there's not a lot of pricey cards in the set. I'm very pleased with this one.
S4. Stan Winston
Outside of Ray Harryhausen, Winston was probably one of the best known special effects artists in history. He sadly passed away in June, 2008. I already had a Winston autograph from Terminator 3 but I like this one much better. Plus I already have the Kirsten Dunst from the set so I might have to track down the couple of others that I'm missing one day.
Smallville: Season Three
A17. Camille Mitchell as Sheriff Nancy Adams
I made it through half a season of Smallville and couldn't take any more. Of the three autographs in the box, this one definitely goes onto the trade list if anybody is interested.
With those three autographs, I'd be fairly happy. But there's still the box inside the box. So no matter what it is, I consider it a bonus in this case. And it's a good thing too because here's my box:
The Seeker: The Dark is Rising
There is one card in this set that I want but the rest I would love to avoid as much as possible. The box does promise an additional autograph (no redemptions here) and a Pieceworks costume card.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of my Razor Ink Vault box break.