In Review: Star Trek The Original Series: The Captain’s Collection Trading Cards

This is an outstanding set of cards for Star Trek fans to pick up!

I’ve been a fan of science fiction trading cards since Topps released the first Star Wars trading cards back in 1977, and, yes, I still have them. The trading card market exploded after Star Wars with every movie and show getting a series of cards. Among them was Star Trek. Yes, there were Star Trek cards produced when the series ran originally, but there have been several more sets and series since that time.

Rittenhouse has been publishing handsome sets of Star Trek cards for over twenty years and their newest edition, Star Trek The Original Series: The Captain’s Collection Trading Cards is no exception.

Released on July 25 of this year, this set focuses on every episode of the original series, featuring a Captain’s Log summary on the back of each card. Inside each unopened box is a complete set of Base cards, of which there are 80 cards, one for each episode. One the front of each are three images from the episode, and two additional ones on the back. The photos chosen contain the iconic characters of the episode and key moments. Looking at the picture atop this review, one can see several front images.

One of the key reasons I pick up Star Trek cards from Rittenhouse is the Autograph Cards and there are 45 in this set. Not every actor can get to conventions and neither can the fans, so getting an autograph card is one way one can acquire a signature. Some of the signers in this set include William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Joan Collins, Mariette Hartley, Sally Kellerman, and Lee Meriwether. The list is extensive. I was fortunate to pull a Sally Kellerman and Joan Swift in my box.

The Throwback Style Parallel to Base Set is the same as the Base Set of cards, but is printed on cardboard typical of trading cards from forty years ago. This is a neat idea, but one I’m not likely to collect. I’ve got the “shiny” cards, why would I want the same but on lower grade cardboard?

I really like the “Where No Man Has Gone Before” Uncut Set of 70 cards. These feature a complete retelling of the classic episode. I love that episode and I love these cards. This was a great idea for a set.

Another great idea are Star Trek The Original Series Lobby Cards. Juan Ortiz, who has created posters of the original series, and had them reproduced as a trading card set, created lobby cards one would find in a theater had the series been shown in the cinema. I got two of these of cards and they look so cool I’ve got to track down the rest. Ortiz can do no wrong when it comes to Star Trek.

Inside the Enterprise is a dud of a 9 card set that shows set pieces from the series. I got the Turbo Lift card. Seriously? This set seems to pad out the set.

Much better are the Bridge Card Duels, a 7 card set that features the television actors side by side with the actors of the 2009 film franchise. I got the Scotty card and it looks great. I’m very interested to see what other images were used on these.

The last three sets I wasn’t fortunate to pull from my box: Star Trek Movies Captain’s Log Cards, a 7 card series based on the seven films featuring the original crew, the Canada Post 50th Anniversary Stamp Cards, 10 cards that feature Canadian postage stamps for cards, and the 4 card Star Trek: Discovery Preview Cards, giving a tease of Rittenhouse’s upcoming next series.

There are also several series of bonus cards if one purchases one or more cases of boxes. These are neat, but well beyond my budget.

Overall Grades: Base Set A+,Autograph Cards A+,Throwback Style C-,”Where No Man Has Gone Before” A+, Lobby Cards A, Inside the Enterprise D-, and Bridge Card Duels A

The final line: This is an outstanding set for any Star Trek fan to pick up that contains fantastic images, cool chase cards, and outstanding autograph cards. I look forward to the next Captain’s Collection that should focus on The Next Genernation! Overall grade: A-

To see a complete listing of the cards and their images go to


Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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