I recently picked up a copy of Star Wars: The Original Topps Trading Card Series Volume One from Abrams ComicArts on Amazon after Ryan pointed it out to me on Twitter. I hadn’t heard anything about the book, and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’m super happy I grabbed it as it’s a great collectible and a convenient (an inexpensive) way to enjoy the Topps cards series without having to track them all down.
The book opens with an essay by author Gregg Garani about the production of this first series of Topps Star Wars cards and it acts as a primer for viewing the volume’s primary content: images of every card from the original run for A New Hope. Garani also includes captions for many of the cards themselves and his commentary is thoughtful and informative as a result of his being part of the team at Topps that put the series together. He apparently also co-wrote Pumpkinhead, so it’s safe to say he rules!
In addition to the hundreds of pages of images of the card series, there’s also an afterword that focuses on the Wonder Bread cards released alongside A New Hope and even some sealed bonus cards attached to the back cover (I opted not to remove/open them, so I can’t comment on their content).
The care and quality with which the book was put together is what makes it an exciting product, at least for me. I liked the idea of a volume collecting the original Topps Star Wars cards, but I was a bit skeptical of how engaging the final product would really be, so I was happy to find that Abrams created a really special product here. The hardcover binding is excellent, each page features just one card in a simple, clean layout (one can imagine how the publisher could’ve easily opted for a more cluttered approach resulting in few pages, but also less class), and every choice from the images of gum sticks on the front and back of the book to the wax-like feel of the dust jacket indicate Abrams, Garani, and the rest of the book’s contributors took their time to create an excellent collectible.
Star Wars: The Original Topps Trading Card Series Volume One has a list price of $24.95, which I would argue is a fair price, but it’s currently selling for about $16 on Amazon. At either price I’d strongly recommend it to fans of the original Topps cards or those looking for a quality Star Wars collectible. Amazon currently carries listings for volumes based on Empire and the Star Wars: Galaxy card series, so it appears this is the first in a number of books that will provide an exhaustive look at Topps’ Star Wars card series.