Remember how awesome Marvel/Fleer trading cards were in the ’90s? For those who can’t quite remember Fleer cards, they were the creme de la creme of trading cards, showcasing stunning art and some truly iconic heroes – case in point: Fleer’s Marvel Masterpieces: The 1994 edition!

Produced by Fleer Corp, Marvel Masterpieces was a stunning set of trading cards, bringing together Earth’s mightiest heroes (and villains) in one neat collection. Cards featured icons such Spidey, Iron Man and Thanos and were sold in packs of ten at comic shops and convenience stores.

In total, the set included 139 base cards, ten holofoil cards, nine power blast cards and a checklist. An additional gold foil signature set also ran throughout the collection, where chase cards boasted the signatures of artists, Greg and Tim Hildebrandt.

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As you can see in the images on this post, the artwork on these cards was stunning. Absolutely stunning. The entire set was carefully considered, beautifully painted and lovingly put together. In short: a lot of money was invested in this set, which is quite surprising considering these were aimed at kids.

The Hildebrandts, famed for their fantasy and sci-fi illustrations, created dynamic compositions for each card, ensuring these weren’t just throwaway images plucked from an old comic. These were bona fide works of art – effectively a mini painting to fit in the palm of a collector’s hand.

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The images here seriously do not do this set justice (blame shoddy photography skills). Up close the artwork is incredible. Oranges and reds sizzle, blues and greens pop and characters seemingly leap from the cards.

And of course, this is just one of the many great Marvel trading card sets of the 1990s. Various sets were released throughout the decade – many of which featured the X-Men – and all were standout pieces.

Trading card art never gets the recognition it deserves and never is that more true than some of the Marvel card sets released throughout the ’90s.

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