A box from North Carolina arrived today. Had I missed the announcement on Scoundrel that Treasure Chests and Booty shipped early I would have had no idea this was coming. I should be shocked that in this day and age a set shipped early, but really, that’s just how Axebone has treated everything on this set. As a manufacturer he’s been available, involved, willing to answer questions and consider suggestions. Everything you could possibly wish for in a manufacturer Axebone has delivered, and the fruits of Bad Axe Studios’ labor were at my door.
My 10 sets arrived wrapped up in clear plastic boxes. These are similar to the boxes that Sad Littles uses (which are similar to what playing cards are packed in). Each box was ‘sealed’ at the top with a Bad Axe logo skull sticker — which was a nice touch. A word of warning though, these can easily be opened from the bottom, so the sets aren’t really sealed. If buying ‘sealed’ sets make sure you are buying from a reputable seller.
The base set is very nice, the art is top notch as you would expect, and the cards themselves have a nice matte finish to them giving the set a high quality feel. On the flip side you’ll find the artist’s name and a ‘pirate code’ motto. Pirate codes are interesting, but I would much rather have seen information about the artist, or the artist’s inspiration for their work. . . especially on Gooneytoons’ card. Personally I really would have liked to see more of Axebone’s art in the set. Randomly inserted into the set are photo cards of some gals (Axebone’s models) dressed up in Pirate garb. True to odds my 10 sets contained one of these cards. This is an interesting idea for a chase card, but I’m not sure how much appeal these are going to have to collectors. As gorgeous as these ladies are I think a foil Axebone subset would probably generate more interest. The sketch cards were placed in penny sleeves before they were inserted into the sets, the photocards weren’t, so you’ll have to thumb through every set you bought to find ‘em all.
On to the reason these sets sold out — at full MSRP — sketch cards. . . Over 50 artists worked on the set, with most contributing about 25 cards (3 artists contributed about 50 cards each, and 13 artists did under 20 — the artist list is on BadAxeStudios.com, and the artist numbers are on Scoundrel.) Extra sketches and photocards were inserted in a few lucky sets.
My 10 sketches were by: Jen Mercer, Daniel Campos, Jessica Hickman, Doug Riggsby, Butch Mapa, John Jackman, Remy “EISU” Mokhtar, Benjamin Glendenning (x2), and Trev Murphy. For the most part I’ll leave you to judge the sketches on your own. I toyed with reviewing each one, but art is extremely subjective so I won’t go down that path. I was really hoping for an Axebone, as this is his set. It was a bit of a bummer to pull a duplicate artist, but it’s hard to complain about Glendenning sketches. He has a really great style in everything he does. I especially like the sword perspective and clever placement of the TC&B flag on the Glendenning card on the right. My sets held 2 ‘rare’ artists (Murphy and Hickman), and one 50-card artist (Jackman). The Murphy card has been censored, as blog is meant to be safe for work.
Treasure Chests and Booty is an excellent first outing for Bad Axe. I sincerely appreciate how responsive Axebone has been with collectors. The set is excellent, and the overall sketch quality is really excellent too. Unfortunately, as excellent as these sketches the market is really starting to feel saturated, so we’ll see how the secondary market treats this new entry — will TC&B blow other sets out of the water like a raging pirate wench? Until we find out enjoy the booty from my treasure chests.