Mike Ploog is an artist best known for his work on 1970’s era Marvel Comics titles, including Werewolf By Night, Ghost Rider, Man-Thing, and The Frankenstein Monster. Ploog left Marvel in the late 80’s. He then contributed to the influential mature-audience science fiction and fantasy comic magazine Heavy Metal, before turning his attention towards design and production work on film projects such as The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Little Shop of Horrors (1986), and John Carpenters’ The Thing. Ploog has also provided the illustrations for a number of Magic: The Gathering game cards.
Released by FPG, Inc. in 1994, Mike Ploog Fantastic Art Trading Cards are a 90 card series featuring a collection of (then) new characters and scenes painted by Ploog. This collection features medieval warriors, fantasy locales, demons, undead, werewolves and other creatures of the night, as well as multiple variations on the Frankenstein Monster. Cards were available for purchase in complete sets, as well as in foil packs of 10 cards. Each sealed box of foil packs contained 36 packs.
As with most modern card series, Mike Ploog Fantastic Art Trading Cards packs featured their own “chase cards”. In this case, those chase cards were “Metallic Storm” foil-covered cards and Ploog autographed cards, limited to 1,000 available signed cards. While it’s a safe bet that you’ll pull at least 1 or 2 foil cards from a sealed 36-pack box, I do not know what the odds of finding an autographed card would be. As these cards have been available for over 20 years, the odds of finding an autographed card are undoubtedly much less now than they were at release.
The cards feature a heavy gloss coating. While this definitely adds some “pop” to the paintings featured on them, it does also cause the cards to marginally stick to each other, particularly in still sealed packs. That said, you should be able to separate stuck cards with minimal effort and likely no damage to the cards. Card backs feature a brief description of the scene or character displayed on the card’s front.
Sealed boxes usually range from $17-$20 on auction sites like eBay, while (collector compiled) complete sets sell for $5-$7, although these usually do not include any of the “Chase Cards”. In my attempt to complete a set using cards pulled from sealed packs, I was forced to open 28 of the 36 packs. From those packs, 2 Metallic Storm cards were pulled, but no autographed cards. The 8 remaining packs will be used for future Horror And Sons giveaways (with 1 pack already given away).