New book showcases Topps’ original The Empire Strikes Back trading cards

Topps Empire Strikes Back Abrams

Coming next week is the latest volume from the partnership of Abrams ComicArts and Topps Trading Cards as they document some of the greatest non-sports trading cards ever released.  Complete with a photo of the famous stick of bubble gum on the cover, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back–The Original Topps Trading Card Series Volume Two reproduces–for the first time–all 352 cards and 88 stickers in a single deluxe hardcover volume.

It’s the next book in the now long line of great trading card books from Abrams.  It includes four bonus trading cards made exclusively for this edition, and a wax pack-style book jacket like the similar excellent releases Bazooka Joe and His Gang reviewed here at, Mars Attacks 50th Anniversary Collection reviewed here, and Star Trek: The Original Topps Trading Card Series reviewed here.  Abrams ComicArts and Topps released the first compilation of Star Wars trading cards just last year–Star Wars: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume One, reviewed here at  An introduction and commentary throughout Volume Two is provided by Gary Gerani, the original editor of the Star Wars Topps series who worked with Lucasfilm to select the photographs for the sets and wrote the card titles for The Empire Strikes Back series, too.

Yoda Topps card    ESB Topps title 2 card

Gerani recounts reading the script for Empire in advance of the release, and learning the real #1 secret that Lucasfilm was trying to keep under wraps.  And it wasn’t about Luke Skywalker’s parentage or a bounty hunter with little actual screentime.  Hint: It may be related to a certain spectacular new “muppet from space”.

After the successful public reception of both Star Wars and Topps’ trading card series, Gerani helped to create five tie-in trading card series based on the sequel back in 1980.  Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back–The Original Topps Trading Card Series Volume Two reprints the obverse and reverse of each card, including all the character pro­files, story cards, movie facts, and puzzles on the card backs.  It also includes reproductions of the over-sized Photo Card series, and rare promotional images, including marketing boxes and wax pack art.


Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back–The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume Two by Gary Gerani is being released April 19, 2016, but you can pre-order your copy now at a discount off the cover price here at

C.J. Bunce


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