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The First Avenger: Captain America

Captain America: Cards of Victory

Learn more about Upper Deck's 'Captain America: The First Avenger' trading cards!

By Craig Tello

Captain America throws his mighty shield in theaters nationwide, but Cap’s most anxious compatriots can take the Sentinel of Liberty home today in a 90-piece trading card set courtesy of Upper Deck Entertainment.

"Captain America: The First Avenger" trading card by Upper Deck

Following up on their marvelous memorabilia release earlier this year for “Thor,” the trading card gurus capture the second Avenger-based feature film of 2011 with their “Captain America: The First Avenger” series. In one of their proudest presentations in their continued partnership with Marvel Comics, Upper Deck’s efforts have proven worthy of the incomparable Steve Rogers.

“Captain America is not only one of the most iconic figures in comics, but the Captain America film takes place in an era that resonates throughout the history of the world,” explains Bubby Johanson, Marvel product manager at Upper Deck. “Both of these aspects make Captain America a tremendous honor and challenge to create.”

But such a venture--arguably top secret, comparable to a covert S.H.I.E.L.D. operation--was far from easy, even for the veteran collectible card sharks at Upper Deck. Especially given less than a three-month window between “Thor” and “Captain America: The First Avenger,” Upper Deck had to connect two core elements of the massive Avengers magnum opus being assembled on the big screen in 2012.

"Captain America: The First Avenger" trading card by Upper Deck

“While both the Thor and Captain America films can easily stand on their own, they are both pieces of the puzzle that is leading up to the release of ‘Marvel's The Avengers,’” Johanson says. “There are countless references between the films; the same can be said with the cards sets. If you are an astute Marvel fan, you will be able to pick up on some of the cards that contain elements first brought to light in the ‘Thor’ film.”

The connections, however, just scratch the red, white and blue hued surface of this peerless card collection. In addition to the base set displaying film scenes and characters, Upper Deck stacked the deck with autograph, printing plate, artist sketch and rare memorabilia cards, which feature everything but the alloy from the very shield of Cap a.k.a. Chris Evans.

“Unfortunately we weren't able to rip Cap's shield from his grip, but we were able to obtain pieces of the costumes from various characters in the film,” Johanson says. “Some of the costumes include Captain America (both his USO costume and battle suit), Red Skull, Peggy Carter and Bucky Barnes. These cards are also extremely limited with many variations having less than 50 in print.”

"Captain America: The First Avenger" trading card by Upper Deck

The most outstanding addition to the chase offerings incorporates iconic symbols seen in the film directly into the commemorative series. Known as “insignia patch cards”--the first-ever subset of its kind--these six unique pieces bear the most prevalent emblems of Cap lore.

“We took images such as the HYDRA insignia and Captain America’s shield, created embroidered patches of these symbols, and embedded them into cards,” describes an enthusiastic Johanson. “These cards have a 3D and textured element that is rarely seen in entertainment trading cards.”

According to Johanason, the visuals and characters of Marvel Studios’ cinematic masterpiece are both well represented. In addition to Steve Rogers, the set features the likes of the Howling Commandos (Bucky Barnes, Dum Dum Dugan, Gabe Jones and Dernier) and the actors who played them (including Neal McDonough), as well as Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) and more. Essentially, there’s something for literally every Cap or Marvel Universe fan.

"Captain America: The First Avenger" trading card by Upper Deck

“The overall card set will show fans what a great job that Marvel and Marvel Studios did in transitioning Cap from the comic pages to the big screen,” adds Johanson. “Fans of Captain America art will love the rare original art sketch cards created by a number of talented comic artists and diehard comic fans will love our 12-card chase set featuring classic Captain America comic covers from the past.

“We hope that Upper Deck can help enhance the indomitable legacy of Captain America.”

"Captain America: The First Avenger" will focus on the early days of the Marvel Universe when Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) volunteers to participate in an experimental program that turns him into the Super Soldier known as Captain America.  As Captain America, Rogers joins forces with Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) to wage war on the evil HYDRA organization, led by the villainous Red Skull (Hugo Weaving).

Check out the official "Captain America: The First Avenger" official site as well as its hub page right here on Marvel.com for the latest on Cap's big screen adventure, now in theaters!

In addition to "Captain America: The First Avenger," Marvel Studios will release a slate of films based on the Marvel characters including "Marvel's The Avengers" on May 4, 2012, and "Iron Man 3" on May 3, 2013.

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