Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Beginning the Journey to The Force Awakens with Topps' new set

I am cautiously optimistic about the pending Star Wars movie. I love Star Wars...I always have. My first memory of anything at all is Star Wars. I really became a card collector when my brother gave me his duplicate original trilogy cards that he got new in 1988. (Being born in 1984, I didn't get to collect them new). But I have some...trepidation...about the new movies. I really don't like that they threw out the continuity that has been established since 1991. Without that, there would never have been any more Star Wars anything...cards, action figures, toys, and oh yeah, the new movies, both Prequal and impending releases. On the other hand, the books beginning with the New Jedi Order and later have not been good...ideally they would have picked up fresh right before the NJO. But they didn't do that...they threw everything away.
I'm also not big on JJ Abrams. I've only seen one of his movies, and I did not enjoy it at all. (Super 8). He has a LOT better material to work with in Star Wars so hopefully it won't be as horrible as that was.

With that said, I am still going in hoping for the best, and planning to collect the cards.

The first cards related is the new Topps set Journey to the Force Awakens. I have a hobby box on the way, but my brother got me some of the retail packs...and they are very well done.

This was my first card from the set. A fitting title, I think!
The base cards use the original design from 1977, even having the number on the front.

The base cards cover the original trilogy, the prequals, and The Force Awakens, but the majority of the set is based on the original trilogy.
Here are some more cards-

Unfortunately they are sticking with the edited versions.

The above image is from the new movie. The set is 110 cards, and while I've only opened a couple of packs, it appears cards 1-20 are based on the Prequals, 21-85 are based on the original trilogy, and 86-110 on The Force Awakens.

The backs of the cards are printed on Heritage stock, and some of them detail scenes cut from the original movies. This is the back of card #58. The other cards retell the story of the movie, generally relating to the image on the card front. Cards for Journey to the Force Awakens have puzzles on the back, also a throwback to the original sets.

The set is generous with parallels. So far it appears you get two or more parallels per pack, and one insert.

The most common parallel is this one, which is called Jabba Slime Green. Yes, that is the official title of the parallel!
This is the final card in the set, and it also is the image that appears on the card backs in puzzle form.

The black starfield parallel is the second most common, falling one in every other pack. This one also shows an image from the new movie. It doesn't have an interesting name like the parallel above and below, though...
It actually scans nicer than it looks in person- the number is somewhat hard to read in hand.

This parallel is the third most common, and I've only got one of them out of the two normal retail and one 14 card jumbo retail I've opened. It's called Death Star Silver but in reality it's just gray. They fall at 1 in every 4 packs.
I really like the looks of this parallel, but it's a tossup between this one or the Jabba Slime Green as my favorite of those that I've gotten so far. There are also a Lightsaber Neon starfield and Lightsaber Purple starfield available in retail, but I have not gotten any of them yet. There are other starfield variations available in Hobby packs as well. The two Lightsaber named parallels fall 1 in every 6 and 12 packs, respectively.

All of the following inserts fall at 1 in every 5 packs, but it comes out to one insert per pack. There are several inserts I have not pulled yet either.
 Choose Your Destiny uses the Empire Strikes Back design.
 These two inserts use a similar design, and are solely for the new movies. The design is new for this set, not a throwback.

 The stickers use the design of the stickers in the original series. The autographs, which I do not have any of yet, also use this design, but where the character name is green is instead white and where the autograph goes.
Behind the Scenes uses the orange border from Series 5 of the original 1977 set. I don't know if it's telling, a simple omission, or it was used for one of the inserts I don't have yet so I'm ignorant, but the original Return of the Jedi designs do not appear to have any throwbacks in this set.

The final card I have to show is deemed the "hit" from the blaster box. The manufactured patch cards fall 1 in every 170 packs, or one per Blaster box. It comes in an unmarked silver pack in the blaster by itself. I know some people don't like these, but I do. I also got a manu-patch in the Galactic Files Series 1 box I got for Christmas 2013.
It also features a character from the new movie. I really like these a lot.

That's quite a lot of great cards...and I didn't even share all the parallels I got. (planning to show them in a future post, but it won't be soon)

The cards are available in 4 packaging variations. They are available in 6-card packs in the aforementioned blaster box, and possibly/probably singly as well. The packs from  my blaster had UPC codes so I suspect they are sold singly as well. The first pack I opened was a 14-card jumbo pack. There is also a rack pack which advertises itself as 14 cards as well, but I have not opened the only one of those I've gotten yet. There is also a hobby version. I do not yet know how many cards come per pack. I have a box on pre-order but it has not arrived yet. Here is the front of the blaster box, artwork that is repeated on each pack as well.  All the insert/parallel odds I mention in this post are for retail- hobby packs tend to be easier for inserts.
Now, I have a bit of a confliction as to what I want to do. I want to avoid spoilers for the movie as much as possible - I don't do opening day showings of movies, so between the release and when I see it I don't plan to even go on Facebook for example - and I can't decide if I want to open more of the cards, or hold on to them until I see the movie. My original plan was to not open ANY until I saw the movie, but I couldn't resist. I accidentally blew a major plotline of Attack of the Clones beforehand by reading the Essential Guide to Characters that had just come out, and I don't want that to happen again. I suspect I will open at least a couple more packs before I see the movie in December.

Overall, I am VERY happy with this set, and hopefully with the hobby box and the stash of retail packs I have, I really hope to complete it.


  1. It will be interesting to see how the hobby box turns out.

    1. It'll get a full box review when I open it...but I will be saving it until after I see the movie. Probably about when it will get here too, the dealer I order from is slow but the discount is worth it!

  2. Overall I really like the look of the set and inserts. Especially being printed on heritage stock. It'll be interesting to see how Topps does the actual Force Awakens set due out in December.

    1. I bet it will be good...I enjoy what Topps does with the Star Wars cards.

  3. Goodluck with the set. My nephew (8 yrs old) absolutely is totally infatuated with Star Wars. I will have to grab a few packs for him. He was schooling me on it the other night. I've never seen any of the movies.

    1. Wow, never seen Star Wars? I couldn't imagine that! It's been such a big part of my life, it's ubiquitous. If/when you do watch them, I personally like the middle movies of both trilogies the best...