Inaugural Spider-Man Trading Card Set

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Basic Card Trade Dress 1 of 150 Cards in the Set.

Working at Fleer, John was involved in all aspects of the creation, marketing, production, manufacturing, packaging and marketing of this ground breaking trading card product.  In addition, John wrote the card front and back text throughout most of the set, and providing editing on art, coloring and subject matter.

Fleer Marvel Spider-Man was released in 1994 to record sales.  Unique to trading card sets, the entire collection was penciled by the actual Amazing Spider-Man artist on the comic book at that time – Fan Favorite Mark Bagley.  The ability to get the actual comic artist to draw the entire card set was an industry first.

An additional industry innovation were John’s “Animation Cell Cards”, known by the trade name, “Suspended Animation Cards.”  These cards were printed 4/4 on plastic acetate.  They remain some of the most sought after and popular entertainment cards ever produced.

 The website reviews this set as follows:

“These card are beautifully colored, and far more interesting than the sets that preceded them. The backs of the cards feature additional info, in different formats for each sub-set. Many of the cards combine in tiny sub-sets of nine to form a larger mosaic on the front, which looks fabulous in a 3×3 card folder.

“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.”

For the first time, we see a full range of chase sets, including 12 fully transparent plastic cards, four terrific holograms, and the six gold cards. Even the regular card set is larger than ever before, with 150 cards instead of 90. This is a huge set, and it’s several steps on from the various Spider-Man card sets which came before.


Amazing Spider-Man Package Design Box of 36 Packs.
Amazing Spider-Man Package Design Box of 36 Packs.

Year of Issue: 1994
Distributed By: Fleer Corp.
Title of Series: 1st Edition “The Amazing Spider-Man”
Number of Regular Cards: 150
Chase Set 1: 12 Suspended Animation Cards (Animation Cell Style)
Chase Set 2: 4 Holograms (Full Holograms)
Chase Set 3: 6 Gold Web (Gold Metallic, Jumbo Pack Inserts)
Chase Set 4: 6 Gold Web (Gold Metallic, Wal-Mart Exclusive)
Packet Cover: 8 Cards/Pack. Metallic gold, four styles (Spider-Man, Spider-Man, Carnage, Venom).
Boxed Sets: 36 packs/box. Red box (see picture).






Suspended Animation Card Example

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Suspended Animation Card, The Lizard, printed on plastic acetate to resemble Animation Cell.
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Suspended Animation Card, Mary Jane. The search for Suspended Animation Cards within packs of Spider-Man started a collector frenzy.
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Suspended Animation Card, Spider-Man. Suspended Animation Cards could fetch up to $25 each on the day of their release.