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Collectibles: Fanatics Expands Culture Trading Cards With New Licensing Deals

By Gary Symons

TLL Editor in Chief

Fanatics Collectibles says its zerocool brand has signed licensing deals for Stranger Things, the hit film Dune, and Clerks III.

Fanatics says zerocool is the first trading card brand dedicated to pop-culture and entertainment, and is expanding the space through deals with Netflix, Legendary Entertainment, and Kevin Smith to create trading card sets for Netflix’s Stranger Things, Legendary’s Dune, and Clerks III properties.

The zerocool trading card sets will celebrate these properties through premium, collectible products that fans can purchase via direct-to-consumer and retail platforms later this year and in 2023.

“In 2021 alone, the trading card market more than doubled, and over the last two years, the value of culture and entertainment cards has appreciated faster than the overall card market,” said Josh Luber, Chief Vision Officer, Fanatics Collectibles. “We believe there is a massive market opportunity to grow the culture card space, and zerocool is trailblazing the category by partnering with the most relevant brands and franchises to create premium products that are accessible to all fans and collectors.”

Fanatics is better known for sports collectibles than culture, but now says it will serve ‘fanatics’ of all kinds.

Following the sought-after zerocool card set releases with Paramount and VeeFriends earlier this year, zerocool has entered multi-year licensing partnerships with these leading entertainment properties to expand its product portfolio for collectors and continue to bring new fans into the trading card hobby.

“Since the brand’s inception, zerocool has been committed to working with partners that are truly driving cultural conversations and building passionate fan communities,” said Andrew Goodman, General Manager, zerocool. “Stranger Things, Dune, and Clerks all encapsulate this ethos with highly engaged, devoted fandoms that span across each of these properties.”

While specific product details will be announced closer to the official release dates for each franchise, key partnership details include:

  • Stranger Things: As Netflix’s second title ever to garner one billion hours viewed, the iconic Stranger Things characters and scenes will be immortalized in physical trading cards by zerocool. Starting at the end of 2022 and into 2023, zerocool will be releasing a premium Stranger Things trading card set for collectors, along with sets that will be available in multiple big box retailers. The upcoming Stranger Things trading card sets pay homage to entertainment and sports cards of the 1980s, tying back to the decade during which the series takes place. The cards will also feature relics from the series, as well as premium packaging and a coveted collectible in each box.
  • Dune: Timed to the planned release of Dune: Part Two (in theaters on Nov. 17, 2023) from acclaimed filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, zerocool is releasing both premium and retail sets for Dune physical trading cards. As the first Dune trading cards released since 1984, the zerocool Dune trading card set will serve as a collectible opportunity for fans. The set brings the epic Dune universe to life through unique design elements and artistry that embody the film’s mythic world. zerocool will be the exclusive trading card partner for the Dune franchise through 2025.
  • Clerks III: zerocool is partnering with Kevin Smith on a trading card set in support of the upcoming theatrical release of Clerks III by Lionsgate and Fathom Events on Sept. 13 and 15. This includes a highly exclusive set, which will only be available to Kevin Smith’s fans during his extended “Convenience Tour” for Clerks III this fall, in addition to a full consumer product offering available for purchase on zerocool.com in celebration of the movie’s release in theaters.

To celebrate the launch of these partnerships and give collectors a first reveal into what future sets will offer, zerocool has produced one-of-a-kind, limited, and collectible promotion cards for each franchise that will only be available at The National Sports Collectors Convention, the largest annual gathering of collectors and dealers in the industry.

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