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2011 Breygent The Tudors: Seasons I, II & III Review

The Tudors isn't your typical show that screams trading cards, at least on the surface. However, once Breygent announced their initial plans some months ago, it started to make more sense. Fancy designs, a fairly deep cast of characters ripe for autographs and the costumes. Oh, the intricate articles of clothing worn in every scene of every episode, perfect for this day and age of costume cards. This could work, I thought, and it does.

While The Tudors might not be a mainstream ratings hit, it held its own on cable, going four seasons and going out on its own accord. The show revolves around King Henry VIII (played by John Rhys Meyers) and his tumultuous European reign, taking on other kings, the church and his wives. Obsessed with his legacy and making sure he has a son to carry on the family rule, King Henry is a larger-than-life figure. Like a lot of popular cable shows, The Tudors got a lot of initial attention due to its frequently racy content. But bare boobs don't get you beyond the first season. Relying on upper-class drama rooted in history, The Tudors rose above the sex and made for one of the best character dramas on TV.

Just as the show isn't a conventional choice for the hobby, Breygent opted for an unconventional release format. Mixing premium packs with factory sets, each box of The Tudors: Seasons I, II & III contains a base set, nine basic inserts, one costume or prop card and an autograph. Sketch cards were also randomly inserted, however they're extremely rare.

The 72-card base set is broken down into the following: character profiles (17 cards), episode recaps (41 cards), quotes (13 cards) and a checklist. Card fronts are largely full-bleed save for the filigree text bar and key art logo at the bottom.Character and synopsis cards offer detailed card backs. Quote cards fit the same front design, while card backs are limited to the key lines they're intended to highlight.

Images are both one of the strengths of the set and its greatest weakness. The pictures taken from promotional shots, which includes almost all of the profile cards, are sharp and dramatic. I particularly like card 5 of Anne Boleyn. She's seated with her neck on full display. Given the context of how her famous story plays out, it's both seductive and foretelling. Unfortunately, a large number of the cards using screen grabs, although dramatic, are very soft and blurry.

The foil comes out for the four basic insert sets. Heads Will Roll (nine cards) features the more high profile executions from the show. Nine On Location cards look at the reach of King Henry's vast kingdom. The Leisurely King (six cards) highlights his extracurricular pursuits. Finally, the three-card Henry's Legacy set adds to the king's family tree. In each boxed set you get nine of the 27 total inserts. While the designs are sharp and the holographic foil adds some pop, some of the cards suffer from the same soft images as many of the base cards.

As for hits, each set comes with one of 11 autographs and one of six prop cards or 14 costume cards. Almost all of the main cast members from the show have signed including Rhys Meyers, Natalie Dormer (Anne Boleyn), Sarah Bolger (Mary Tudor) and Maria Doyle Kennedy (Queen Catherine of Aragon). My set came from supporting player Joanne King (Lady Rochford), who, although not one of my top choices, does offer one of the most legible autographs I've ever pulled. Having appeared in 14 episodes, she's not exactly a one-scene or one-episode wonder common in many entertainment card sets.

The big draw for me with the set were the costume and prop cards. Like any show or movie set in old-time England, you know there's going to be lots of frills, smooth fabrics and fancy designs. Take any article of clothing from the show and you've got any number of possible variants. While that's true, I must have gotten one of the few plain swatch cards available in the run. I got a dress piece of Jane Seymour (the historical figure, not the actress who played Dr. Quinn) worn by Annabelle Wallis.

Overall, I'm impressed with The Tudors: Seasons I, II and III for its unconventional pack out that limits duplication and keeps the base set collectible. The autographs are phenomenal as all are from characters with meaty roles and most of the costume cards are fantastic. The soft images are the only things I'm not overly stoked about, although when you look at the grand scheme of a release, this is a fairly major thing (although becoming far too common in a lot of sets).

Box Set Breakdown:

 


Tudors authentic Prop card Jewel P4 88/125
$19.79
Time Remaining: 10h 14m
Buy It Now for only: $19.79
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THE TUDORS SEASON I II & III PROMO CARD #UK -UC
$5.00
Time Remaining: 11h 50m
Buy It Now for only: $5.00
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THE TUDORS I, II & III Breygent/2011 Costume Card #JSPD ANNABELLE WALLIS #030
$34.00
Time Remaining: 13h 29m
Buy It Now for only: $34.00
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2011 Tudors seasons 1-2-3 Jonathan Rhys Meyers as King Henry autograph -akc
$19.51
Time Remaining: 14h 52m
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The Tudors Seasons 1-3 Autograph Sketch Art Card Jason Potratz Jack Ham Breygent
$49.00
Time Remaining: 15h 37m
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The Tudors Seasons 1-3 Autograph Sketch Art Card Denae Frazier Breygent
$49.00
Time Remaining: 15h 37m
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The Tudors Seasons 1-3 Autograph Sketch Art Card Jason Potratz Jack Ham Breygent
$49.00
Time Remaining: 15h 37m
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The Tudors Seasons 1-3 Autograph Sketch Art 2 Panel Card 2 Cards Potratz Ham
$99.00
Time Remaining: 15h 37m
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The Tudors Seasons 1-3 Autograph Sketch Art Card Jason Potratz Jack Ham Breygent
$49.00
Time Remaining: 15h 37m
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The Tudors Seasons 1-3 Autograph Sketch Art 4 Panel Card 4 Cards Potratz Ham
$99.00
Time Remaining: 15h 37m
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The Tudors Seasons 1-3 Autograph Sketch Art Card Jason Potratz Jack Ham Breygent
$49.00
Time Remaining: 15h 37m
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The Tudors Seasons I, II, III Wardrobe Costume Card KHBC Meyers 112/200 GPC
$8.99
Time Remaining: 20h 1m
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