Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Box Break: Gargoyles: Series One (SkyBox, 1995)

Gargoyles was one of those shows that came out when I was a teenager who avoided cartoons at all costs if for no other reason than they simply weren't cool. At least that's the attitude I gave off. In reality, I'd watch cartoons somewhat regularly, albeit I didn't have the TV schedule memorized like I did when I was six. I caught this more mature-minded show that brought those creepy gothic cement figures to life a few times but not enough that it left a huge impression on me. Oddly, though, I ended up having half of a set of cards in my collection and an option to buy a retail box quite cheaply. The results were a mixed bag, although I suspect that if I'd opened this box back when they were first released in 1995, my opinion would be much higher.

This particular had 12 packs of seven cards plus a gorgeous over-sized box topper that features the main Gargoyle Goliath swooping down from a rooftop on the front and an overview of the show on the back. The base set has 90 cards so I knew going in I wasn't going to have a full set but I was hoping to plug some holes in my partial set that had been collecting dust for several years prior.

The checklist breaks down as follows:

1 Header
2 - 54 Story Cards
55 - 69 Character Cards
71 - 75 Good vs. Evil
76 - 79 Statistic Cards
80 - 88 Origins Puzzle
89 - 90 Checklists

Basic card fronts are simple but affective. They feature a full-bleed picture without any logos, borders or captions. As much as I love the often corny captions that come with a Topps non-sport set, the show had a lot of cool art to it and by going minimalist, Topps allows the cartoon to shine. In fact, when they get into the later subsets such as Good vs. Evil and the Statistics cards, the attempts at design take away from the overall affect. Granted, style changes but they haven't aged well.

Overall, I got 54 base set singles. Not too bad, I guess, but 14 doubles and three triples aren't excusable for a small box such as this.

Each pack also had one Pop-Up card, which were popular with SkyBox non-sport sets of this era. There were 12 in the set and I fell one short. Ironically, the one I was missing just happened to be the one that I had sitting in my monster box of singles to that set's done.

The remaining inserts are pretty sparse and none were guaranteed in the box. Double-Sided Spectra cards were inserted 1:24 packs. I didn't get any so I have no idea what they look like. There were also two possible redemptions. The first was for a 3D SkyMotion card (1:90 packs) and the second was for a Gargoyles video (1:180 packs). Wouldn't you know, I got the Skymotion redemption that is useless now but still a card with some nice artwork. Should I decide to go for the master set of everything, redeemed Skymotion cards can be found for around $20 on eBay.

Overall, a nice and simple box break for a straightforward product. I liked the base card design of the story cards a lot and I also love the lost art of the simple set composition, inserts included. However, the numerous duplicates and unredeemable redemption card did bring this box down a notch, though.


  • Pop-Ups (1:1): 12 (P1, P2, P3 (2), P4 (2), P5 (2), P6, P8, P9, P10)
  • Skymotion Exchange (1:90): 1
  • Oversized Box Topper: 1


William Noetling said...

I collected this set back in the day, I think because in my first couple of packs I pulled the Skymotion Redemption, so I figured that I'd need the entire set. The redeemed card is absolutely cool too, I wish I still had it.

Oh and if you ever decide to go for a master set, be aware there was an additional insert set for jumbos IIRC.

Mark said...

My wife made a backwards puzzle that no one talks about it was a misprint taht sky box said if you send them back they would send you the right card,but she said no and made a complete backwards puzzle. Does anyone know about this puzzle???? if so you can email me at reapermccoy@yahoo.com and tell me about this puzzle????Thanks

Mark said...

My wife made a backwards puzzle skybox told her to mail the backwards pices back and they would replace them, but she kept them and completed a backwards puzzle does anybody know anything about this backwarfs puzzle? please let me know at reapermccoy@yahoo.com Thanks