Fleer Ultra X-Men 1994 was the first product “Marvel Card” product released by Fleer.
The editorial content for this set was not handled by the Fleer team. Marvel Editorial provided the character selection artwork and card design. Marketing and sales were handled by Fleer. This was the first, and only Fleer Marvel Cards release with content provided by Marvel Editorial. All releases thereafter the editorial, art and writing were handled in house by Fleer.
Promotions & Marketing
“Bind In” promo cards were inserted into all books in the “X-Men Brand” of Comics including X-Men #30, Uncanny X-Men #310, and X-Factor #111. The bind in cards included an offer to receive a set of Fleer Ultra Prints by mail. The promotion:
- Increased sales of the comics, as collectors purchased one for the mail in promotion, and a second to leave intact.
- Introduced the collecting world to the new collectors product, “Fleer Ultra Prints.”
- Demonstrated the high quality production values of “Fleer Ultra” treatment, a premium trading card product famous in sports card collecting, but yet unknown to comic card and entertaining card collecting.
Collectable Promotion Sheets
Over twenty thousand uncut 9 card promo sheets were distributed at consumer trade shows, retailer trade shows, and in bagged editions of industry trade publications such as Wizard: The Guide to Comics, and Hero Magazine.
The X-Men Ultra ’94 Promo Sheets were printed on the same high quality 12pt card stock, and featured the same metal stamping that would appear on the actual cards. It was important to utilize the same quality materials in all promo items in order to show off the “Fleer Ultra Production Values,” which is considered a “Premium” manufacturing process, and arguably the very best production values in the overall trading card industry.
Including mass market outlets, and added value “Pack-In” with consumer products, the Fleer Team Sampled over 3 Billion Fleer Marvel Trading cards.
Retailer Incentives Drive Sales
Hobby Shop retailers also received the aforementioned Fleer Ultra X-Men Promo Sheets with their monthly distributor order forms during the month of product solicitation. These were often placed in a collectors showcase, or displayed on a wall behind the register, and eventually sold as collectables. It was not unusual at the time for such promo materials to sell for $20 or more. The display of these items allowed retailers to gauge interest in their stores.
Fleer Ultra Prints
In order to to inspire case purchases over individual box purchases we created the “Case Pack-In Incentive” – Fleer Ultra Prints. A complete set of Ultra Prints would be packed in every sealed case. Retailers that ordered by the case were treated to “Case Pack-In” bonuses. An retailer exclusive complete set of Fleer Ultra Prints.
The sales of Fleer Ultra X-Men exceeded all previous entertainment and comic card sales – a trend that would continue with each successive Fleer release for the following three years.