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Glossary of Terms

Autograph Cards: A card signed by a person involved in the trading card set from directors and actors to writers and costume designers. They are normally randomly inserted into packs and tend to be highly collectable items. An autograph card can also be used to describe a card that has been signed after production, i.e. at a show.

Basic Set: A complete set of trading cards from a specific title. A set normally has either 72, 90 or 100 cards and generally does not include special insert or bonus cards.

Box Topper / Loader: Some manufacturers place these in display boxes as an incentive. These cards are normally found inside the lid of the box, not inside the packs of cards.

Binder Pages: These go inside collector‚s storage binders to hold, protect and display the cards. They can come in various sizes to fit different sized cards. They are most commonly sold as 9 card binder pages.

Case: Holds as many display boxes as a manufacturer packs into it. Most cases contain between 10 and 24 display boxes.

Case Topper / Loader: Some manufacturers place these in cases as an incentive.

Chase Cards: These cards do not come in every pack or even in every box, they are randomly inserted. They can be any card which is not part of the basic set. They are also referred to as bonus or insert cards. Chase Cards are of a higher demand than the basics and often take the form of superior card quality.

Checklist: These come with a basic set and list all of the cards in the basic set with their numbers and titles. They are not necessarily part of every basic set.

Collectors Storage Binder: These tend to be released with each trading card series featuring related pictures on the front and back. They are used to safely protect, preserve and store your trading cards while displaying them beautifully. They are usually printed in limited numbers and often become more collectable than the actual cards.

Costume Cards / Prop Cards: These can also be referred to as pieceworks or memorabilia cards. They tend to contain a piece of material worn by the characters in the movie, or a piece of used prop from film or a television series.

Display Box: or unopened box that hasn‚t been altered since it came from the manufacturer. A standard display box tends to contain 18, 24 or 36 packs.

Die-Cut: A card that has been cut from its original shape.


Embossed Card: Has a raised image printed on the card.

Factory Sets: These are card sets that are not made from display boxes; they come ready as sets straight from the manufacturer.

Film Cells: These cards have an image from the film or TV programme on an acetate base contained in the card.

Full Run: This is used to describe everything there is to collect from one trading card series including the basic set; binder; chase cards; autographs; costume cards etc. You could also use this term for a certain aspect within a set, i.e. a full run of autographs.

Lenticular / Action Flipz: 3d movement card.

Pack: A wrapper with cards or stickers inside. A pack tends to contain 6 / 8 cards or stickers.

Parallel Basic Set: These are slightly different from the standard basic set, they normally have an extra effect on them ranging from foil to embossed.

Pop-Up Card:
A card which changes into a 3d image when a tab is pulled.

Preview Set: Used to promote a new series of cards that are soon to be released. They are a valuable tool for manufacturers to introduce a set of cards to the market and to gauge a collector‚s response. They are produced in limited quantities so many are highly sort after and increase substantially in value.

Promo Cards: These are single cards used by manufacturers to promote their forthcoming releases.

Redemption Card: A randomly inserted card which can be redeemed for a specific item such as an autograph or costume card.

Sales Sheets: Also known as sell sheets these are promotional flyers, though people like to collect them to fully complete their collection.

Sketch Cards: These refer to cards that have been hand-drawn on by a specific artist.

Stickers: Usually have a paper backing that can be removed and the sticker can then be stuck to a sheet.

Team Bags: These are protective packaging for up to 15 cards.

Top Loader: A protective plastic holder suitable for one card.

Variation: A card or sticker with more than one picture, title or storyline appearing on the same number.

Wax Pack: A wrapper with a waxy finish containing stickers or cards. Usually containing a piece of bubblegum

Wax Box: Another name used to describe an unopened display box. In the past most trading cards boxes were produced in this format.

Widevision: These cards are longer than the normal cards, measuring approx 4.74 x 2.5 inches.