At the Office - Trading Cards with Rachel Valverde

By Christina Sims

In this week's blog, I talk with Rachel Valverde about her part in making our incredibly popular trading card sets come to life! Want to see what we have in store for some of our trading cards in the future? Read on and find out!

Name : Rachel Valverde

Title : Associate Production Manager (Trading Cards)

What do you do here at Cryptozoic?

I oversee all of the production aspect of trading cards from start to finish. Miranda will tell me that we would like, or a quote for a particular design. I'll talk to the vendors and see what our quantities are and how much it costs. Miranda starts the creative design. When designers get the card frames done, they send it over to me, and I send it to Miranda to review. Once it's okay internally, it goes to the licensors for another review. I get feedback from them, and then it goes back to the designers.

You have a lot of cool trading card things in your cubicle! Tell us a little bit about what you have here and there.

Over here I have some samples of different types of paper that we use throughout our trading cards. Here are some different types of foiling and designs. I have graphic patterns and samples, various different technologies. I also have some base sets of our trading cards in folders here. The folders have card samples of all of the sets that we do. They are full sets, complete with autograph and wardrobe!

You have something interesting on your screen there, tell us what that is!

This is the binder exclusive for The Vampire Diaries Season 2 Trading Cards: a triple wardrobe card! This part right here will be die-cut-out (she points to cleverly cut out sections of a large heart) and the wardrobe will be inserted and laminated. I have to review this before it goes to print to make sure the fronts and the backs of the cards match. This particular layout isn't approved since the designers are changing the file, softening the edges of this and that. Then it will go through editing again to make sure everything is perfect.

Each trading card set design is so unique and fun: The types of special cards like wardrobe from The Walking Dead for example won't be the same design as those from The Vampire Diaries. How do the special insert cards change from set to set?

There's a big variety of cards from project to project. For example, our DC Comic sets contain sketch cards. The Vampire Diaries doesn't, but it takes the place of a Wardrobe or Autograph card. You don't miss out on anything from set to set. Each project will have a different technology: In the DC Comics The New 52, we had lenticular cards, and we also are doing autograph and wardrobe cards combined, so the actors will get to sign a card that has a piece of their wardrobe on it.

There are a lot of things that can be done to a card to make it an awesome collectible; what else is out there?

Rainbow foil is one. The background may be very shiny. There are other technologies that are out there that we haven't used, but hopefully in future projects we'll take advantage of things like three-dimensional hologram cards or foil stamping. There is also triple wardrobe!

What's your favorite set that you've worked on so far?

The Walking Dead! Everyone loved the first set of The Walking Dead cards, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how people enjoy the season 2 set. The autograph additions of Andrew Lincoln and Sarah Wayne Callies are not to be missed.

I know I want to get my hands on any of the autograph cards from The Walking Dead Season 2! Don't miss out when the set is released on December 11th. Thanks for all that you do in making our trading cards the best in the business, Rachel!