The Outlander Season 1 trading cards by Cryptozoic have been released for less than a month and, as first reported by Ryan Cracknell at Beckett, an unauthorized Outlander autograph may have surfaced on eBay.
The card in question, signed by English actor Tim McInnerny, does not appear on the official checklist released by Cryptozoic but does appear to check all the boxes of a Cryptozoic release. So how did this card hit the market?
If you’ve ever seen the television show Storage Wars, you know that when storage units go unpaid for long enough, the unit is auctioned off and all the contents are sold to the highest bidder. Turns out, mail follows a similar process. According to the sole seller of the Outlander autograph, the cards were purchased from an auction house in Birmingham that specializes in “lost in transit” goods.
In England, specifically, the small print of any parcel sent stipulates that any package which cannot be delivered, is not claimed, or has missing labels becomes the property of the courier service after three months and they can do with it as they please. The seller, who makes a living purchasing and flipping these lost parcels, says that the Outlander autograph card came in a lot of about 400 cards.
Most of the cards were simply signed with McInnerny’s name while a few also included little doodles on the side. The box, which supposedly included Cryptozoic branding, had instructions to sign the cards and to “feel free to add a little something extra for your fans” with an example of a face drawn.
Cryptozoic, thus far, has taken a “neither confirm nor deny” approach to this lot of cards and is not officially claiming their authenticity but it seems perfectly reasonable that the cards are, in fact, authentic Cryptozoic products. Where the kink comes is whether the autograph is authentic. If this package was deemed undeliverable on its way to England, the cards would be blank when sold at auction but, if they were “lost” en route to the U.S., it seems perfectly believable that the autographs are real. Why would Tim McInnerny send back a full box of unsigned cards.
This line of reasoning, though, is not an endorsement in any way. Without knowing the details of when this package became the property of the courier, it is impossible to be 100% certain of the autograph authenticity. However, the seller does claim that at least one collector has had the signature verified but the process of verification was not stated.
It is also worth noting that the seller of these cards does not specialize in trading cards and actually asked several questions about the cards, indicating an unfamiliarity with the industry. If this Outlander autograph is the real deal, it could very quickly become a hot collector’s item for Outlander fans as we know there are approximately 400 available and that only a handful have the extra doodles.
At the end of the day, buyer beware. Until McInnerny or Cryptozoic officially endorse these cards as authentic, it is impossible to know for sure but if the price is right and you want to take a gamble, this could be a great addition to your collection.