Celeb Rookie: Michael Keaton

Over the last few years The Flash movie has seen it’s share of development hurdles.  Despite having at least two more years to go before its released (unless there are more delays) things have started to take shape for now.  For awhile it has been rumored that Michael Keaton will reprise his role of Bruce Wayne/Batman for the film.  Fans saw Michael Keaton play Batman twice in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman and 1992 Batman Returns.  After that Tim Burton and Michael Keaton clashed with the movie studio on how the third film should go.  Everyone went their separate ways and we saw Val Kilmer and George Clooney come in for the third and fourth films.

The exact story line of The Flash isn’t completely known.  We’re fairly certain the movie will pull stuff from the Flashpoint story.  Somehow Barry Allen a.k.a. The Flash will travel so fast he’ll jump over to an entirely different dimension and meet up with Michael Keaton’s Batman.  It’ll be interesting to see what his Batman has been up to since 1992.  Lots of DC characters are suppose to be in this one, including Ben Affleck’s Batman.  The DC Extended Universe (DCEU) has a bunch of movies under it’s belt with many more on the way.  Some of these movies take place in the same world while others are in a dimension all on their own.  The Flash is suppose to tie them all together and act as a restart while not forgetting the past.  It can be a little confusing.  Everything is quite fluid right now.  Studios are keeping a lot close to their chests.  So much could potentially still change.

Michael Keaton’s official rookie card can be found in the 1989 Topps Batman Series 1 set.  I consider card #3 to be his rookie.  Sure, the Title Card #1 and Darknight Detective #2 picture him as Batman, but card #3 just shows him as Bruce Wayne.  Its the first card in the set to do so.  I’m making an executive hobby decision and calling it his rookie card.  Thanks to the era of overproduction you can easily find this card in mass quantities.  It would be great if they made some buyback autographs using cards from this set.

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) Michael Keaton plays Adrian Toomes/Vulture.  Upper Deck produced a Spider-Man: Homecoming set in 2017 which contains Michael Keaton’s first pack inserted autographs.

Celeb Rookie: Phillie Phanatic

He is the mascot of all mascots.  He is the Great Green Goliath from the Galápagos Islands.  Since 1978 the Phillie Phanatic has been at the center of all kinds of antics all to entertain Phillies fans.  Whether he’s dancing on top of the dugout, riding his ATV, or shooting hot dogs into the crowd, people can’t take their eyes off of him.

The Phillie Phanatic’s first pack-inserted card comes from 1992 Donruss Triple Play Baseball #133.  But if were’re going to be specific, his official rookie card arrived almost ten years earlier.

Some Phillies fans who sent-away for autographs in 1983 received team-issued postcards sponsored by Tastykake in return.  Within that set you will find the Phillie Phanatic’s very first trading card.  Not only does he have one card, but for you die-hard OCD set collectors he’s got at least three.

The most common version you’ll find features the Phillie Phanatic riding his classic ATV.  Two versions of this card exist.  Both feature the same photograph.  Its the back that can differ.  One back says “Dear Fan: Thanks for your letter.  The Phillies and I appreciate your interest.  Unfortunately, we can not always answer each letter we receive individually so these photo cards have been prepared for your enjoyment.  Thanks again for writing and hope to see you at the ballpark.  Best Wishes, Phillie Phanatic”

The other back reads “Tell your parents to fasten their seat belts when driving.  Phillie Phanatic”

Another version pictures the Phillie Phanatic stirring up trouble on the field.  The back reads “Family fire drills and smoke detectors save lives.  Phillie Phanatic”  Of the three types, this one is more difficult to find.

Celeb Rookie: Rick Moranis

Sequels and reboots of popular television and movie franchises from the 1980s and 1990s is all the rage today.  If you were a kid during that time period there is a good chance some of your most beloved childhood characters are in the spotlight again.  While its not uncommon for new actors to take on these roles, bringing back the original people to play them happens a lot too.  I guess it all depends on the franchise, and who’s running the show.

An actor who I remember being on my T.V. a lot as a kid is Rick Moranis.  He’s right up there with Michael Keaton.  GhostbustersGhostbusters IIHoney, I Shrunk the KidsThe Flintstones, and Spaceballs are all key films I watched him in.  Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is probably where I saw him the most mainly because I owned a copy of it on VHS.

In 1997, Rick Moranis went on a bit of an acting hiatus.  He hasn’t acted in a live-action film or show since.  Behind the scenes work and doing some voice acting are all we’ve seen from him recently.  The reason for his hiatus is a mixture of wanting to focus more on being a single parent, and deciding to be selective about the roles he takes.

On February 12, it was announced that Rick Moranis would be reprising his role of Wayne Szalinski in Disney’s upcoming live-action Honey, I Shrunk the Kids reboot/sequel Shrunk.  I know a lot of fans are happy to hear this news.  He’s an icon from so many people’s childhood.  Eager fans can’t wait.

One of Moranis’s legendary roles is that of Seymour Krelborn in Little Shop of Horrors.  Seymour is a very nerdy florist who is interested in unusual plants.  His mutant-like plant named Audrey II tricks him into feeding it humans.  Upon the film’s release the studio considered it to be an underperformer at the box office.  Despite that, it has developed quite the cult following.  Other key cast members include Bill Murray, John Candy, and Steve Martin.

Looking for a Rick Moranis rookie card?  You’ll find it in 1986 Topps Little Shop of Horrors.  This 44-card/sticker set features various characters and scenes from the iconic film.  Rick Moranis is on many of the cards/stickers.  I consider card/sticker #1 to be his true rookie.  Copies can easily be found.

The first Ghostbusters film was released in 1984 and we got to see him play accountant Louis Tully.  Unfortunately, Ghostbusters fans didn’t have a set to collect until the second film was released in 1989.  In between those two films Little Shop of Horrors came out.

His return to acting is a huge deal.  I think its time he makes a return to cardboard as well.  Lets get an autograph of him in Allen & Ginter.

Celeb Rookie: Pierre Omidyar

Pierre Omidyar isn’t a famous musician, actor, or athlete.  But in the tech world though he’s considered a major celebrity.  Buyers, sellers, collectors, and flippers, use his creation on a daily basis.  I’m talking about eBay.

On September 3, 1995 Pierre Omidyar launched AuctionWeb.  At first it began as part of another site he ran.  A broken laser pointer became the first item to be sold.  One thing led to another and it quickly became the first online auction site which allowed person-to-person transactions.

Two years after it’s founding the company’s name was changed to eBay.  The story that eBay was created to help Pierre Omidyar’s fiancée buy/sell Pez dispensers is a complete fabrication.  eBay’s PR Manager came up with that story and the media outlets just ate it up.

Thanks to the popularity of Beanie Babies during the 90’s, eBay saw incredible growth.  I don’t know if eBay would exist today if it weren’t for Beanie Babies.  It probably would.  The site would’ve had a slower start though.  After eBay went public in 1998, Pierre Omidyar became an instant billionaire.

eBay held their first eBay Live! event in Anaheim, CA in 2002.  This was a get together of buyers, sellers, and various eBay employees.  Among the t-shirts, stress balls, and pins handed out there was also a 32-card set.  Each card in the set represents something or someone important to eBay.  A majority of the set consists of cards representing each major category on eBay at the time.

Card #26 is of eBay’s founder Pierre Omidyar.  Like all of the cards in this set, its an animation.

Celeb Rookie: Robert Pattinson a.k.a. The Batman

In order to follow the DC Comics movies today you almost need a diagram.  They started out like the Marvel films.  One taking place before or after another.  But apparently that format wasn’t working for them.  Instead of one movie depending on the next, they’ve changed things up.  Now they want to give key characters their own series of movies before they do anymore team-up stuff.  Little to no acknowledgment will be given to those previous team-up movies format.  I believe this new format started with 2018’s Aquaman.  Some actors will continue to play those characters under this new format, while others will be recast and rebooted.  In short, you need to know what’s going on behind the scenes in order to recognize what is and is not connected to each other.

One of those iconic characters getting a reboot is Batman.  I enjoyed Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batman v. Superman Dawn of JusticeSuicide Squad, and Justice League.  I wish we could’ve seen more of that version of Batman.  He seemed to have quite a rich history to him.  It would’ve been nice to know the story behind that beat-up Robin suit in the Batcave.  All we can do is take what we know from the comics and apply it to what might have happened to that Robin.

Actor Robert Pattinson will take over the title role in the Matt Reeves directed film simply called The Batman.  It will take place during the 90’s.  Other confirmed characters include Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz), Riddler (Paul Dano), and Commissioner Gordon (Jeffrey Wright).  More will soon follow.

Robert Pattinson has starred in a number of films.  Portraying Cedric Diggory in two of the Harry Potter movies, and Edward Cullen in the Twilight series are what’s given him the most notoriety.  The Batman will be his biggest role yet.  Whenever a new actor is announced that they’ll be playing Batman, almost instantly they’re hit with an unbelievable amount of backlash.  I’m one of those people who waits to see the final product before making any judgments.

In 2005, Artbox created a trading card product for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  This is the first film where Robert Pattinson plays Cedric Diggory.  Within this set he has a handful of different cards.  His base card and autograph are what I like to classify as his key rookies.  You’ll find the base card fairly easily, but the autograph isn’t something that appears often.

Celeb Rookie: Keanu Reeves

Nolan Ryan and Jerry Koosman.  Johnny Bench and Ron Tompkins.  Steve Carlton and Fritz Ackley.  Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter?  Sports stars aren’t the only people on the planet who can have rookie cards.  Celebrities and fictional characters can have them as well.  They don’t always get the same amount of attention though compared to their sports counterparts.

2019 sure has been the year of Keanu Reeves.  John Wick 3, Toy Story 4, Bill & Ted Face the Music wrapped filming, and a fourth Matrix movie being announced are just some of the highlights he’s had this year.  As popular as he is in Hollywood, I know its only a matter of time until we see him enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).  Figuring out the right character for him to play is all that’s needed.  We’ve already seen him play DC’s John Constantine.  I’m sure there is another comic book character he’d be great at portraying.

The first movie that I watched him in is 1994’s Speed.  Great film!  Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Daniels, and Dennis Hopper round out the main cast.  Don’t let that bus go under 50 M.P.H.!

Interested in knowing where you can find this Hollywood titan’s rookie card?  You’ll need to go back to 1991.  Pro Set’s Bill & Ted’s Most Atypical Movie Cards is where it will be.  This 100-card set features scenes from the film Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.  Its a movie about two slackers who need to travel through time collecting historical figures for their high school history class.  Keanu Reeves, who plays Ted “Theodore” Logan, is featured on many of the cards.  #1 shows Keanu Reeves and co-star Alex Winter blasting into space atop their time traveling phone booth.  I consider this to be Reeves’ true rookie card.  The same image was used for the movie poster.

You can easily pick this card up for next to nothing.  Sealed boxes are readily available.  A case containing (20) boxes will run under $50.  Mass overproduction is an understatement.