The Shadow (1994 film) Celebrates It’s 25th Anniversary

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?

What’s the problem?  Isn’t this movie jogging any memories?  That’s alright.  Many people have forgotten about this one.

The Shadow is a superhero created by Walter B. Gibson in 1931.  He’s actually older than both Batman and Superman.  When placed side-by-side you can clearly tell that The Shadow was used as a heavy influence on the creation of Batman.

In 1994, Universal Pictures gave The Shadow his very own feature film simply titled – The Shadow.  It starred Alec Baldwin as Lamont Cranston a.k.a The Shadow.  Other supporting characters in the film were played by John Lone, Penelope Ann Miller, Peter Boyle, Ian McKellen, Jonathan Winters, and Tim Curry.

The film follows wealthy playboy Lamont Cranston over in Tibet shortly after World War I.  He decides to stay in Tibet, change his name to Yin-Ko, and sets himself up as a drug warlord.  While running his empire, he is kidnapped by servants who work for Tulku.  Tulku knows Cranston’s true identity, and shows off his otherworldly powers.  Cranston is offered a chance to change his life and be an agent of good.  The offer is refused, and he stays under Tulku’s watch for the next seven years.  In that time, Cranston undergoes massive amounts of physical training, learns how to hypnotize others, read minds, and warp the perception of others so he cannot be seen, besides his shadow.  Once the seven years were up, Cranston moved back to New York and resumed his old life.  At night though, he fights the criminal underworld as the vigilante called The Shadow.

Every superhero needs a villain.  That’s where Shiwan Khan comes in.  He’s a former student of Tulku, and a descendant of Genghis Khan.  Of course Khan wants to fulfill the destiny of his ancestor, and dominate the world.  I won’t spoil how it ends.

Released on July 1, The Shadow was planned to be a big summer blockbuster.  Unfortunately it faced tough competition among other movies like The Lion King and The Mask.  It never made it passed #2 at the box office.  It started off strongly, but quickly lost momentum.  Since it’s release on VHS and DVD, The Shadow has gained quite the cult following among fans.

Universal Pictures had plans for The Shadow to be the start of a new franchise.  Once it didn’t make enough money, that went out the window.  Despite that, merchandise for The Shadow was all over the place.  I distinctly remember owning four action figures.

Guess what else The Shadow had?  You got it.  Trading cards.  Topps created a 90-card set for this movie.  A majority of the set consists of photos from the film.  These cards have a very Stadium Club-like look to them.  Other than The Shadow logo in the corner and two green lines going across the bottom, the main focus is on the photographs.

In addition to the movie photo cards, there are (10) Shadow Legend art inserts.  (4) Topps Finest inserts are by far the most difficult cards to pull.

Not a whole lot of value can be found here.  It was mass produced, and even the “rare” cards aren’t in demand.  Alec Baldwin autographs should’ve been included.

I was eight when The Shadow came out.  At the time I wasn’t old enough to see it in the theater.  I had to wait for it on VHS.  The toys stick in my memory more than the actual movie itself.  The hype for it was unbelievable.  I think I watched it a few times, and moved on.

The Shadow drew me in because he reminded me so much of my favorite superhero Batman.  It wasn’t until years later that I discovered Batman was actually inspired by him.

Card of the Day: 1956 Gum Products, Inc. Adventure – The Groundhog’s Shadow #73

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Card of the Day: Brian Bosworth 2013 Upper Deck SP Authentic Shadow Box Art

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Card of the Day: John Elway / Jerry Rice 2013 UD SPx Shadow Box Duos

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Interchangeable Shadow Box Cards Coming To 2012 SPx Football


Upper Deck introduced the Shadow Box insert to collectors back in 2009.  Collectors gladly welcomed them into the hobby and consider them to be some of the nicest looking insert cards to date.  In most cases they are case hits and quite difficult to pull.  The autographed Shadow Box cards are even harder to find.  The Shadow Box card is a perfect example of the type of innovation Upper Deck can bring to the table.  Cards like this beat out any card that might contain built in video or anything along that line.  The other week I got my first look at a Shadow Box card in person.  I’ve seen them online before.  It was of Tim Tebow and it looked really cool.

This June, Upper Deck will release 2012 SPx Football.  Collectors can look forward to finding more Shadow Box cards, except this time they will be a little different.  Upper Deck is introducing interchangeable acetate slots (that sounds scientific) so you can create your own Shadow Box cards. There will be all kinds of different rarity levels and autographs.  I think its a decent upgrade.  At least they didn’t try to include video in them.

When something becomes popular in today’s hobby, its usually overproduced to the max.  One day jersey cards are found (1) per case and the next you start finding them in every pack.  That’s just how things go.  With the popularity of the Shadow Box card, I’m surprised a product hasn’t been released where you find one per box or one per pack.  Upper Deck has kept the production of Shadow Box cards low from product to product helping them to retain their value.  Creating a non-autograph/relic insert and having it become popular is something almost unheard of today.

As for the rest of 2012 SPx Football, you will find (4) autographs or memorabilia cards on average inside each box.




Card of the Day: Tiger Woods 2011 UD World of Sports SPx Shadow Box


Card of the Day: Gordie Howe 2010-2011 UD SPx Shadow Box Signatures