Return of the Topps Trading Cards – A Star Wars Story

Did you collect Star Wars trading cards as a child?  Did you use them as inserts in your bicycle spokes to make that clickety-clack sound?  Or did you over the years “outgrow” your collection…only to wish that you hadn’t thrown them away?  Abrams ComicArts brings back this classic collection in book format, complete with card backs, wrappers, and even gum (sort of)!  So far, there are four different books – Star Wars, Empire, Return of the Jedi, and Star Wars Galaxy.  Each one collects the entire series of cards within its pages.  Abrams generously sent me a copy of the Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume Three for me to review.

The dust jacket of the book is cleverly made of wax paper like the kind used to wrap the pack of cards from the series
The dust jacket of the book is cleverly made of wax paper like the kind used to wrap the pack of cards from the series

Title: Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume Three
Author: The Topps Company, Gary Gerani
Cost: $24.95
Age: Anyone who loves the vintage Topps trading card collection
Publisher: Abrams ComicArts
Genre: Star Wars, non-fiction, collectibles

Although the book measures a little over 5″ x 7″, it is shaped like an oversized pack of cards including a wax paper cover with the image of the front and back of a standard pack.  When you remove the cover, you find a stick of gum printed on the front and back of the book like you would find if you bought it out of a store.  Thankfully the gum isn’t real or it would taste awful by now.  But it’s a cute and clever homage to the history of these fan favorite collections.

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Within the covers of the book are pictures of every card in the series.  Literally an image on each page with an image of the back of the card on the opposite page so you can see the image of the card and its back at the same time.  The images are not any more clear than they were when they were originally printed, so some of them are grainy or seemingly low resolution.  Also included are images of the stickers and wrappers of each series (for Return of the Jedi there were two series of cards).  And at the end of each section there are also images of the completed puzzles you collect with the backs of the stickers.

Bonus cards in the back of the book
Bonus cards in the back of the book

Gary Gerani, the original editor of the Topps series, not only writes an introduction to the book, but offers small commentary about the images peppered throughout.  And then to add the piece de resistance to the book, Abrams includes a special bonus pack of four collector cards made especially for this edition.  This is a well-done, thoughtful book that any collector of the Star Wars Topps trading card line would appreciate.  It is so cleverly put together the book itself is a wonderful homage to Star Wars history.  I mean, who thinks of making a cover out of wax paper to simulate the card packs?  Genius.

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume Three is coming out on August 16, 2016 and can be pre-ordered now.

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