Batman: The Animated Series and Its Trading Card Legacy

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Batman: The Animated Series Trading Cards

Batman has seen many incarnations over the years. And it’s not just in comic books but in movies and television as well. When it comes to the best Batman cartoon, it’s hard to argue against Batman: The Animated Series. Its noir vision, smart stories and colorful characters have made it an iconic take on the Dark Knight. Comics and toys are the natural collectibles for the show, but Batman: The Animated Series trading cards are also out there.

Here’s a look at what you can collect.

1993 Topps Batman: The Animated Series Trading Cards

Split into two releases, 1993 Topps Batman: The Animated Series is the definitive release for the show. Series 1 dedicates itself largely to characters, both good and bad.

This includes the first Harley Quinn trading card. It may be surprising to some as non-sport “Rookie Cards” aren’t really a thing, but it can sometimes command a premium. This is likely from buyers who are more fans of the character versus traditional card collectors.

1993 Topps Batman: The Animated Series trading cards Harley Quinn Rookie Card

Vehicles, gadgets are also on the Series 1 checklist along with recaps from a couple of episodes.

Series 2, which came out not too long after, is a little bit smaller at 90 cards. Numbering continues on from where the first set left off. Three stories are summarized in the first 70 of these cards while the theatrical Mask of the Phantasm animated movie gets the remainder of the checklist.

Inserts are on the light side. Both releases have Vinyl Mini Cells. Six are in Series 1, landing 1:12 packs. Series 2 has just four of the inserts but they’re 1:18 packs.

As far as money cards go, Series 2 has a high-profile autograph, although it has nothing to do with the cartoon. Danny DeVito, who played the Penguin in Batman Returns signed 2,000 copies of a base card from the movie’s set of Stadium Club cards. While most of today’s certified autographs have some sort of note for the autograph, this one doesn’t.

1995 SkyBox Adventures of Batman and Robin

After a few years, Batman: The Animated Series became The Adventures of Batman and Robin. While the title changed, the style didn’t. It evolved like most every show does, but they’re essentially the same.

With the license now with SkyBox, the 1995 Adventures of Batman and Robin base set has 90 cards. The approach is simple with screen grabs from the show accomplishing character profiles and recaps.

Batman: The Animated Series Trading Cards: 1996 SkyBox Adventures of Batman and Robin

SkyBox, who was also doing a lot with Batman Forever at the time, expanded the inserts a little bit. But they’re still a far cry from what has become the norm today. Every hobby pack of 1995 SkyBox Adventures of Batman and Robin has one of 12 Pop-Up cards. Retail packs have one an exclusive Color-In card.

The product’s other two insert sets are both hobby exclusives. Nine Foil cards land 1:11 packs each while three Dark Knight Thermal cards are 1:36 (one per hobby box).

1996 Fleer/SkyBox Batman and Robin Action Packs

1996 Fleer/SkyBox Batman and Robin Action Packs is the final major release for the show. And even it takes a somewhat different approach. It’s a product that emphasizes play over building traditional sets.

The base set has just 12 cards. These double as playing cards for a game called Arkham Escape.

Inserts, if you want to call them that, are just as easy to get as the main set. Twelve Pop-Outs are inserted two per pack, just like the Arkham Escape cards. Each 1996 Fleer/SkyBox Batman and Robin Action Packs pack also has one Coloring Card (six in set) and one of six card-sized Puzzles.

Perhaps the greatest bit of all, this set also has gum in every pack.

DC Collectibles Batman: The Animated Series Promo Cards

While they may not be a mainstream release, DC Collectibles put out some of the most attractive Batman: The Animated Series trading cards ever to help promote their premium action figure line.

In 2015, it looks like there were five cards given away at San Diego Comic-Con: Batman, The Joker, Catwoman, Robin and Harley Quinn. The following year, it was a sheet of nine cards highlighting more characters in the growing line.

Batman: The Animated Series Trading Cards: 2015 DC Collectibles Action Figure Promo Harley Quinn

Batman: The Animated Series Autographs

Other than the Danny DeVito, you’re not going to find any autographs in any Batman: The Animated Series trading card sets. And even that one doesn’t have to do with the show.

However, if you look to other products, you can find signatures from a couple of key players from the show.

It starts with Mark Hamill, who voiced The Joker. Thanks to his starring role in Star Wars as Luke Skywalker, Hamill’s signature has appeared in dozens of sets over the years. Once you factor in parallels, his total number of unique signed cards numbers in the hundreds. And while that sounds like a lot, the majority of those are in very short supply.

2004 Topps Star Wars Heritage Mark Hamill Autograph

Another key signature belongs to the visionary behind Batman: The Animated Series, Bruce Timm. He doesn’t have an autograph connected with the show but he did sign a card for Inkworks’ series based on the Justice League cartoon that came along about a decade later.

2003 Inkworks Justice League Bruce Timm Autograph

Here’s a list of other Batman: The Animated Series actors (appearing in at least five episodes) with autograph cards and where to find them:

Click on the links to see what’s currently available on eBay for each actor.

Ed Asner – Roland Daggett

• 2002 Rittenhouse Outer Limits Premiere Edition
• 2008 Donruss Americana II
• 2008 Americana Celebrity Cuts
• 2008 Donruss Threads
• 2011 Panini Americana
• 2011 Leaf Family Guy Seasons 3-5
• 2013 Leaf Pop Century
• 2014 Leaf Pop Century
• 2015 Leaf Pop Century
• 2016 Leaf Pop Century
• 2017 Leaf Pop Century

Adrienne Barbeau – Catwoman

• 1999 SkyBox Babylon 5 Profiles
• 2007 Rittenhouse Quotable Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
• 2014 Rittenhouse Star Trek Aliens
• 2017 Rittenhouse Women of Star Trek: 50th Anniversary

1999 SkyBox Babylon 5 Profiles Adrienne Barbeau Autograph

Jeff Bennett – HARDAC

• 2014 Cryptozoic Adventure Time

Lloyd Bochner – Mayor Hamilton Hill

• 1999 Rittenhouse Twilight Zone Premiere Edition
• 2000 Rittenhouse The Wild, Wild West Season 1
• 2004 Rittenhouse Complete Battlestar Galactica

Robert Costanzo – Detective Harvey Bullock

• 2016 Rittenhouse Star Trek: The Next Generation Portfolio Prints Series 2

George Dzundza – Scarface

• 2006 Rittenhouse Stargate SG-1 Season 8

Melissa Gilbert – Barbara Gordon

• 2002 Rittenhouse Complete Babylon 5 (only a Dual Autograph with Bruce Boxleitner)

Richard Moll – Harvey Dent

• 2003 Inkworks Smallville Season 2

Diana Muldaur – Dr . Leslie Thompkins

• 1999 SkyBox Star Trek: The Original Series Season 3
• 2005 Rittenhouse Quotable Star Trek: The Next Generation
• 2013 Rittenhouse Star Trek TOS Heroes and Villains
• 2016 Rittenhouse Star Trek TOS 50th Anniversary

David Warner – Ra’s al Ghul

• 2001 Topps Planet of the Apes
• 2008 Rittenhouse Star Trek Movies In Motion
• 2016 Rittenhouse Star Trek: The Next Generation Portfolio Prints Series 2

Frank Welker – Isis

• 2003 Inkworks Scooby-Doo: Mysteries and Monsters
• 2013 Topps Mars Attacks: Invasion

2003 Inkworks Scooby-Doo: Mysteries and Monsters Frank Welker Autograph

Efrem Zimbalist Jr. – Alfred

• 1999 SkyBox Babylon 5 Profiles

Comments? Questions? Contact Ryan Cracknell on Twitter @tradercracks.

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Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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