Category Archives: trading cards

I like Stranger Things

Possibly worth an entire year’s subscription to Netflix (which is now free on certain T-Mobile plans), the second season of Stranger Things was released just over a week ago. Seriously, this is not just the best show on Netflix. This is the best show period. Nothing else holds a candle to it, except maybe The Goldbergs, but that’s a whole different genre.

Last year, Punk Rock Paint made an awesome set of trading cards for Stranger Things, and he implied yesterday that series 2 is in the works…

I love my set of season 1 cards, and can’t wait for the second series…but I’m very impatient.

So I made my own…

I dropped a few on my Twitter last night…

I have a handful more that I plan to post soon, if there is interest to see them. I’ve tried to keep them spoiler-free, but I offer no guarantees.

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ProSet will rock you

ProSet MusiCards

Last week I picked up a wax box of 1991 ProSet Super Star MusiCards at an antique mall for $4. This was the second box I have purchased in the past couple of years. After ripping through all the packs with my wife, I am only eight cards short of a full set of series one cards, but I have hundreds of doubles and triples. If you have any of the cards listed below, I will gladly trade whatever you might want from the stacks of doubles. Soundgarden, Tom Petty, Led Zeppelin, Dread Zeppelin, Janet Jackson…name it, and if I have it, it’s yours!

1991 ProSet MusiCards Series 1

  • 8 Legends: The Doors
  • 26 Paula Abdul
  • 90 The Party
  • 132 Perfect Gentlemen
  • 160 D.A.D.
  • 183 Heart
  • 187 Billy Idol
  • 250 Historic Concerts: Muddy Waters at the Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, November 4-6, 1966

There are several variations, mostly related to the logo placement. I am not going to chase a “master” set of all the variations; just one of each card is all I want. I will also consider trading for series 2 or cards from the UK set, but I am not attempting to complete those sets yet. Series 1 is my focus. Please shoot me an e-mail if you want to work out a trade for any of the cards listed.

Edgar Allan Poe wantlist

I still haven’t obtained any Edgar Allan Poe cards, but Night Owl’s post today made me aware of two more from 2010 A&G. If I’m going to try to get these, I suppose I need a wantlist, no? So here it is:

  • 1952 Topps “Look ‘n See” #79
  • 1992 Starline Americana #140
  • 2009 Topps American Heritage #4
  • 2009 Topps Mayo “Celebrated Citizens” #CC11
  • 2010 Allen & Ginter “World’s Wordsmiths”
  • 2011 Allen & Ginter “World’s Most Mysterious Figures”: The Poe Toaster #WMF2
  • 2011 Goodwin Champions #183
  • 2011 Obak “Princeton Brothers” #62
  • 2012 Golden Age #1
  • 2013 Garbage Pail Kids “Adam Bombing” #8

There is also a pretty cool Bicycle playing card deck that I may try to add to my currently non-existent collection at some point.

Star Wars: Topps Classic Sticker Book (2017)

Star Wars Sticker Book

Star Wars: Topps Classic Sticker Book
Abrams, 2017

After reviewing the series of Star Wars: The Original Topps Trading Cards, it seems only natural to move on to the Star Wars: Topps Classic Sticker Book, also published by Abrams. While the Original series displayed all of the cards and stickers from the trading card sets for the original trilogy, Star Wars: Topps Classic Sticker Book is more than a display. These are actually stickers.

More than 250 stickers spanning the original trilogy and a handful from The Force Awakens, the book also contains five pull-out posters that can be used as backgrounds for the stickers. But on the flip-side of each poster is a reproduction of some of the original puzzles that could be created using the original sticker card backs.

Several of the stickers retain their original size, though some are shrunk down. In addition to several character stickers, featuring the main stars as well as fan favorites like Max Rebo, Grand Moff Tarkin, and Nein Nunb, the alphabet stickers from the 1980 Empire Strikes Back series are included.

Star Wars: Topps Classic Sticker Book is a blast from the past, and any Star Wars fan will get a kick out of seeing (and sticking) these stickers again.

Learn more about Abrams.

Purchase Star Wars: Topps Classic Sticker Book.

Return of the Jedi: The Original Topps Trading Card Series (Volume Three) edited by Gary Gerani (2016)

ROTJ

Return of the Jedi: The Original Topps Trading Card Series (Volume Three)
edited by Gary Gerani
Abrams, 2016

The third installment of Abrams’ Star Wars trading card books focuses on the third (now sixth) movie in the franchise, Return of the Jedi. As with the first two books, product designer Gary Gerani recounts the process of reading the screenplay and selecting photos from LucasFilm’s library for use on the cards. It is clear from his writing that by the time they were readying this product for release, he had become quite a fan of George Lucas’ space opera.

Each Return of the Jedi Topps card is reproduced in this volume, with the front and back of each receiving its own page. This is a change from the Empire Strikes Back book, in which the horizontal cards were shown with the front and back on a single page. Gerani occasionally writes a sentence or two about specific cards, but for the most part they are allowed to stand on their own. As with the previous two volumes, bonus cards are again included with this third volume.

Return of the Jedi

I was not even ten years old when Return of the Jedi was originally released, and while I have a handful of the vintage cards from this series, I never came close to completing the entire set. To have all of the cards presented here in one volume, in a much more affordable format than tracking down the originals, is a fantastic way to relive my formative collecting years without breaking the bank.

Star Wars fans young and old will love all three Original Topps Trading Card Series books.

Learn more about Abrams.

Purchase Return of the Jedi: The Original Topps Trading Card Series (Volume Three) edited by Gary Gerani.

Goodbye, Carrie Fisher

(October 21, 1956 – December 27, 2016)

Carrie Fisher Princess Leia Star Wars December 27 2016

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume Two introduction and commentary by Gary Gerani (2016)

Empire Strikes Back Topps Cards Book

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume Two
introduction and commentary by Gary Gerani
Abrams ComicArts, 2016
548 pages

Many fans of the greatest space opera contend that the best film of the series is Episode V, better known as The Empire Strikes Back. It is fitting, then, that the book chronicling Topps trading cards for the film exceeds the initial volume in quality. The creative driving force behind the design and writing of the cards, Gary Gerani, tells the process of meeting with LucasFilm executives to read the script and select images for the cards. The movie’s big reveal was kept secret from Topps at the time; Gerani recalls the first time he learned of Darth Vader’s familial relationship with Luke Skywalker was when he saw the film in Manhattan.

Initially, Gernai and Topps were told they could not use Yoda in their set, as he was a “mysterious creative element” that George Lucas and Irvin Kershner wanted to keep him a surprise for the public. Lucas eventually relented, and Yoda is prominently displayed on several cards in the series. Gerani wrote the copy for many of the cards, making up dialogue that fit with several of the characters’ personalities.

In addition to the reproductions of all three series of cards, front and back, the book also features images of sell sheets, packaging, stickers, and the 30-card set of giant photocards. Also, as in the first volume, actual promotional trading cards are also including with the hard copy purchase. In addition to that, Topps has included a code for a free pack of digital trading cards on their Star Wars Card Trader app.

Learn more about Abrams ComicArts.

Purchase Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume Two.

Why haven’t you bought these yet?

Star Wars Punk Rock Paint Galactic Greats

I received my Galactic Greats card set from Punk Rock Paint today, and I have to tell you, I have never been happier with an unofficial Star Wars product! A mashup of baseball and the greatest movie franchise ever, Travis really outdid himself with these cards. Each 30-card set features a Fleer sticker-styled front, re-imagining the thirty Major League Baseball teams for the Star Wars universe. Travis posted several teasers on his Twitter feed, but they are infinitely cooler in-hand. The reverse side of each has a “Baseball’s Galactic Greats” cartoon, featuring everyone from R2-D2 to Padme Amidala to Finn. Hands-down, this is one of the greatest parody trading card sets ever made.

One of one mojo

I do not know if a 1/1 color test proof is included in each order, but I was very happy to receive the Jakku Reys/Cincinnati Reds color test proof in the package. But there was another bonus as well…

1981 Dart Vader

A blank-back 1981-style Darth Vader of the Lord Sithies! A very pleasant surprise, indeed!

If you have not ordered your own set of Galactic Greats cards, you need to do it pronto! Only 66 sets were produced, and they are still in stock at the Punk Rock Paint store as of this writing.

Star Wars: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume One introduction and commentary by Gary Gerani (1977)

Star Wars Topps

Star Wars: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume One
introduction and commentary by Gary Gerani
Abrams ComicArts, 2015
548 pages

These books that reproduce the original Topps trading cards are priceless, especially when the subject matter is Star Wars. In 1977 and 1978, Topps produced five series of cards to promote the movie, 330 cards in all. Topps employee Gary Gerani gives a fantastic behind-the-scenes look at the concept and production of the trading cards in the introduction, and provides commentary throughout the book for various cards.

I have seen several of these cards, and own a handful, but having the entire set available in one place is a real treat. I especially love the behind-the-scenes cards that were produced as a part of the fifth series in 1978. In addition to all of the cards, the art from the wrappers and stickers are also reproduced here, as well as a special section at the end featuring the 16 non-Topps cards that were included as giveaways with Wonder Bread in 1977.

Purchasers of the hard copy of the book also get four special bonus cards taped inside the back cover. All in all, Star Wars: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume One is a wonderful look back at a simpler time of collecting.

Learn more about Abrams ComicArts.

Purchase Star Wars: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume One, with an introduction and commentary by Gary Gerani.

Topps on Kickstarter?

toppsmars

I always saw Kickstarter as a way for independent artists to generate excitement for their projects while raising funds to properly create their vision. But recently, a handful of corporate Kickstarter campaigns have popped up. I shouldn’t have been surprised when the above image showed up on my Instagram today, but I can’t help but be disappointed. More than 60 people have contributed to a project which, in my mind, should be fully funded by the creator. Topps is a major company, and does not need pre-project backers like independent creators.

Am I being too hard on Topps? How do you view these major corporations—who have plenty of cash to fund their own products—who go the Kickstarter route?

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