Rittenhouse Parts Ways with Marvel Trading Card License


Rittenhouse Marvel

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

After a long run with the Marvel trading card license, Rittenhouse Archives won’t be making any more sets for the iconic comic franchise. At least, not any time soon.

“There was a mutual parting of ways with Marvel at the end of 2015,” confirmed Steve Charendoff, President of Rittenhouse Archives. “We are focusing more effort on our core business, particularly with Star Trek celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.”

2012 Marvel Greatest Heroes

For the past several years, both Rittenhouse and Upper Deck have been producing Marvel trading cards.

“This is not the first time we’ve had a stoppage with Marvel, and I suspect it may not be the last,” said Charendoff. “As far as the Marvel comic card business is concerned, it became clear that it was becoming too difficult for two companies to make these similar kinds of cards.”

He pointed to sketch cards in particular with what he sees as a large amount hitting the market in a short amount of time.

Deadpool Sketch Card

It’s not just comic sets that are not returning to Rittenhouse’s release calendar. The company has no current plans for any more Agents of SHIELD sets either. They released a pair of sets for the show in 2015, most recently one for season two in December.

“We would have enjoyed continuing to make those kinds of cards, but at a certain point, hard business decisions had to be made,” Charendoff said. “We wish Marvel well in this area, but I would not be surprised if we return to it at some point.”

He continued, “With all of that said, I take a great deal of pride in the fact that Rittenhouse produced many of the finest Marvel cards sets ever, and much of the finest sketch cards ever created. In fact, it’s really a misnomer any more to call these cards sketch cards, because the concept has truly morphed into fine art cards. We have produced oil paintings, water colors and all sort of other high-end media with our talented pool of artists.”

Over the years, Rittenhouse has released dozens of Marvel-themed products. They’ve covered plenty of different themes including the comics themselves and, in co-operation with Upper Deck, sets for some of the early Marvel movies like Spider-Man 3 and Iron Man.

2008 Iron Man Robert Downey Jr Autograph

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


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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  1. Kevin St. J 28 March, 2016 at 18:43

    It’s been a sweet ride Rittenhouse. Hopely we’ll see you return soon to the Marvel trading card world with renewed vigor soon!

  2. Richard 28 March, 2016 at 19:20

    And now look for Disney to license stuff out for larger fees and inferior products. Someone will put out a sticker auto set which will not appeal to many collectors the way on-card did.

    • Ryan Cracknell 28 March, 2016 at 21:32

      Marvel comic sets don’t have a lot of autographs. UD has used stickers for their Marvel movie sets in the last 5 years and many have been extremely strong sellers. That’s not saying that they might not garner more attention with on-card, but they have been received well over the years.

  3. Richard 29 March, 2016 at 11:25

    I observe sales on Ebay with regards to autograph. Yes, the UD autographs have in some case garnered large sums, but that is in part due to the relative scarcity of the product. The early Iron Man autographs from Rittenhouse and agent of shield autographs have continued to do extremely well.

    To put it bluntly, the collector’s market accepts the sticker autographs because alternatives are not available. Given a choice, all other things being equal, the on card autographs sell for more.

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