The Brothers Hildebrandt Collector Cards, cards #76-90 (1994)

Released by Comic Images in 1994 The Brothers Hildebrandt Collector Cards was a set of 90 trading cards that showcased the work of fantasy artists Greg and Tim Hildebrandt. Here is the six and final batch of cards from the collection.

The front cover to the 1976 J.R.R Tolkien Calendar — notice the misspelling of ‘illustrations’.

Twin brothers Tim and Greg Hildebrandt where illustrators who came to prominence when their 1976 JRR Tolkien calendar became a huge international bestseller. And painting one of the first Star Wars posters didn’t do their reputation any harm either. The brothers went on to illustrate two more Tolkien calendars, wrote and illustrated their own bestselling fantasy novel, Urshurak (published in 1979), collaborated on one more calendar, based on the legend of Atlantis (1982), and then parted ways for the rest of the 80’s and early 90’s. The brothers would eventually reunite for Marvel Masterpieces 1994 Edition, a trading card collection published by Fleer in 1994.

The Brothers Hildebrandt Collector Cards comprised of 90 base trading cards, hard-to-find foil chase cards as well as 500 hand-autographed cards. The 2½ x 3½ inch colour cards were sold in blind packs of ten and each card featured one of the brothers’ paintings along with a short, but informative caption on the reverse. 

Although most of the paintings in this last batch are divided between the Brothers’ Tolkien calendar work and their own Atlantis calendar, it’s the Tolkien stuff that really jumps out. At the Prancing Pony (card #80) aptly captures the ominous dread of the scene, while The Golden Hall of Rohan (#85) and The Dark Tower (#88) are atmospheric examples of world-building. The Gift of Galadriel (#89) subtly leans into the solemnity of the scene, while Bilbo at Rivendell (#84) captures the serene hobbit in the process of writing his own story. But for my money Eowyn and The Nazgul (#83) is the clear winner here: apart from being wonderfully dramatic and beautifully posed, the colour work is just gorgeous.

So here at last are the final batch of cards from The Brothers Hildebrandt Collector Cards, both front and back. Cards #1-15 can be found here, #16-30 are here, #31-45 are here, #46-60 are here, and #61-75 are here.

Card #76:  The Living Winged Space Ship

Card #77:  Urshurak (cover)

Card #78:  Meeting of the Minds

Card #79:  Girl and White Beast

Card #80:  At the Prancing Pony

Card #81:  Ekedadhim

Card #82:  Aerial of Solan

Card #83:  Eowyn and The Nazgul

Card #84:  Bilbo at Rivendell

Card #85:  The Golden Hall of Rohan

Card #86:  Solan at Night

Card #87:  The Burial of Tutankhamen

Card #88:  The Dark Tower

Card #89:  The Gift of Galadriel

Card #90:  Checklist

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