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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 is now available.  Star Wars: Return of the Jedi–The Original Topps Trading Card Series Volume Three reproduces–for the first time–all 220 cards and 55 stickers in a single deluxe hardcover volume.  And like the first two volumes in the series, it includes the image of the classic bubble gum stick inside the classic wax pack style cover jacket.

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, including both title cards for the two Return of the Jedi card series, and is similar in design to the previous trading card reference books Bazooka Joe and His Gang reviewed here at borg.com, 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 last December–Star Wars: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume One, reviewed here at borg.com, and this April we reviewed the second volume, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume Two, here.

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Star Wars insider and trading card editor Gary Gerani returns to give fascinating insight and a behind-the-scenes look at Topps as it coordinated with Lucasfilm to create and market these licensed images.  Gerani was the original editor of the three Star Wars Topps series who worked with Lucasfilm to select the photographs for the card sets and wrote the card titles.

This time around Gerani recounts reading the script for Return of the Jedi in advance of the release, and learning the key characters Lucasfilm would be promoting to fans.   Number one was Jabba the Hutt, but we also encountered the Emperor for the first time, the Ewoks, and a new Death Star.  Gerani notes how the final two card series from the trilogy was calculated to feature a far smaller number of cards, predicting that once fans saw this third–and presumed final–installment of Star Wars, that finality would be reflected in buying less product off the shelves.  After the successful public reception of both Star Wars and Topps’ trading card series, Gerani had helped to create five tie-in trading card series based on the sequel The Empire Strikes Back beginning in 1980.  Topps would produce only two series for Return of the Jedi.

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Star Wars: Return of the Jedi–The Original Topps Trading Card Series Volume Three reprints the obverse and reverse of each card, including all the character pro­files, story cards, trivia questions, checklists, stickers, and puzzles on the sticker card backs.  It also includes reproductions of promotional images, including marketing boxes and a wide variety of wax pack art.

Required reading for any fan of Return of the Jedi and Topps trading cards, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi–The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume Three by Gary Gerani is available now at a discount off the cover price here at Amazon.com.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com
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