Work on Spider-Man Ultra 1995, began immediately after the success of the Inaugural Spider-Man Trading Card Set in 1994. The success of the 1994 Spider-Man trading cards was strong enough to warrant multiple mass market Spider-Man releases in 1995, including a card set under the premium “Fleer Ultra” banner, a brand known for superior printing quality, gold foil stamping, premium paper, increased paper thickness, and UV coating. The Fleer Ultra brand had been well established in entertainment trading cards in 1994 by Fleer 1994 X-Men Ultra, which had won Trading Card Set of the Year.
One of the challenges from the start was that anticipation was at an all time high. The 1994 Fleer cards took the consumer and retailer base by surprise. Conversely, this time the quality and success was anticipated.
An innovation on this set was “Signature Series” chase cards. A complete set of cards that appeared identical to the Basic Set, with the exception of an addition gold foil stamped signature of the artist – trade named “Seri-Signature” from the terminology popular in animation cell collecting “Seri-Cell.” The “Seri-Signature” concept allowed Fleer to market the largest chase card set in history. This release broke all previous sales records, with so many cards produced and sold that prices in the aftermarket today remain “Relatively Cheap (see below) in comparison to John’s earlier Fleer projects which took the industry by surprise.
Spiderfan.org reviews Fleer Ultra Spider-Man as Follows:
“This series is huge, absolutely huge – the biggest Spider-Man card series ever produced as of 2004. There’s a whopping 150 cards in the base set (same as the 1994 series), but this time there’s also a parallel “signature series” of the same 150 cards but signed by the artist.
Add in five whopping chase sets, and this thing becomes a monster. There are some great cards in this set too… the only possible downside is that the sheer number of cards makes it a little hard to appreciate the individual pictures.
Considerable effort has gone into the backs of the cards, with more graphics, laid out with additional text providing context and facts for the card, e.g. clarifications of powers, descriptions of key events, villain profiles, etc.
Overall, the set is pretty cool. Spotlight on fan-favorites Venom and Carnage, plenty of chase sets. The cards are relatively cheap and are of good quality. Overall, this is an excellent set.”
Year of Issue: 1995
Distributed By: Fleer
Title of Series: Fleer Ultra Spider-Man
Number of Regular Cards: 150
Chase Set 1: 150 Signatures (Gold signature over regular cards)
Chase Set 2: 9 Golden Web (Metallic Embossed)
Chase Set 3: 9 Masterpieces (Metallic Embossed)
Chase Set 4: 10 “Clear Chrome” (Partially-Transparent Chrome)
Chase Set 5: 6 “Holoblast Cards” (Art over Holograms)
Extra Stuff: None
Packet Cover: 10 Cards/Pack. Four style, red/yellow foil.