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Sequels rarely live up to their predecessors. The strength of the original and the follow-up’s inevitable build-up often combine to make for a major letdown. It’s true in both the movies and in the hobby. But that’s not the case with The Big Bang Theory Seasons 3 & 4 trading cards from Cryptozoic.
The comedy’s first set was a huge success. Led by autographs from all of the main cast, several popular costume cards and an overall feel of fun, the debut release was one of the best received non-sport sets of 2012.
So how could Cryptozoic make lightning strike once again? Simple. By sticking with what made the first set work so well and adding to it.
Not only are all the main cast back with more autographs, but they’re autographed costume cards. Wardrobe cards return as well, focusing largely on the most popular of the central stars. Then there’s the supporting autographs, which feature some memorable signers from outside the show, dual costume cards, printing plates and more.
Yup, The Big Bang Theory Seasons 3 & 4 trading cards are on par with The Empire Strikes Back, The Godfather II, Toy Story II and The Dark Knight — sequels that are worthy, if not better, than the original.
Leading the chase are seven autographed costume cards. Sheldon, Leonard, Penny, Raj and Howard are all there. They’re joined by Amy and Bernadette, who weren’t in the first release. These aren’t the easiest cards to find (Cryptozoic has said there’s approximately one per case), but those that land them are getting big returns. Penny (Kaley Cuoco) autographed costume cards have been selling online for $600 to $750. Sheldon (Jim Parsons) is moving in the $500 range. The other five are all changing hands for $300 and up. With boxes currently selling for $100-120 a piece, if you combine that across a 12-box case, nearly 25% of the cost is covered with a single card. And that’s a worst-case scenario. And you’ve still got 11 more autographs, 12 costume cards and who knows what else.
Click here for a complete visual guide to the entire autograph set.
Outside of the autographed costume cards, there are 13 additional autographs. The most popular so far has been Danica McKellar, best known as Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years. After the first couple went for more about $200, the card has quickly settled into a more realistic $40-50 price tag on eBay. Sports fans can look for an autograph from former Lakers standout, Rick Fox. Other notable signers in The Big Bang Theory Seasons 3 & 4 include Wil Wheaton and Levar Burton of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame.
While basic memorabilia cards may not be as popular as they once were with sports cards collectors, Wardrobe Cards here are doing quite well. The addition of a handful of dual swatch cards has been well received, adding further value to an already potent lineup. The most popular single-swatch cards once again belong to Penny. She’s featured on five of the 29 pack-inserted costume cards.
And while all these cards are doing great, they’re not the most valuable cards in The Big Bang Theory Seasons 3 & 4. The release has a pair of special redemption cards, each good for a costume book card. Each is limited to just 25 copies and are being chased by master set collectors. One has costume swatches from the show’s four leading men. The other focuses on Penny, Amy and Bernadette. So far, three of the 50 total redemptions have sold on eBay. Two copies of the men’s booklet were bought for $1,100 and $899. The first ladies’ booklet went for $800.
With a stated print run of 7,000 hobby boxes, collectors are already discovering that The Big Bang Theory Seasons 3 & 4 is in somewhat short supply. With so much demand and such great return, it’s likely that box prices will continue to rise so sitting back may not be the best approach.