Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Preview: 2012 Topps Star Wars Galaxy Files

Schedule Release Date: September 24, 2012
Box Configuration:  12 cards per pack/24 packs per box
SRP: $95/box
Box Break:
1 Sketch card
1 Autograph or Manu-Patch card
1 Poster/Checklist back
24 Inserts (Not counting "Hits")
My Thoughts:
As a kid who grew up in the 70s and 80s I had one thing on my mind, Star Wars. I collected the cards, I had the action figures and I read every comic book that came out. The Galactic Files set was created for people like me; the set covers the entire Star Wars Universe including all 6 films, the Clone Wars television show and the Expanded Universe (Books, comic books and various television shows).
The set is huge at 350 base cards total; each base card also has three parallels: Blue (#/350), Red (#/35) and Gold (1/1). The set covers a large selection of characters, vehicles and creatures/aliens. An interesting addition is the backs contain stats as if it were a card game along with a bio/write up about the subject and along the bottom is a list of character connections and their card numbers.
The sketch cards are all 1/1 each and while I do not know the artist checklist I would expect some of the artist who have done prior Star Wars cards like Charles Hall, Veronica O’Connell, Rhiannon Owens and Katie Cook.
The autograph checklist seems pretty solid with biggies like Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Ray Park and Peter Mayhew. I am disappointed to see Topps used sticker autographs instead of on-card autographs. I would think that since the actors were able to sit down and sign stickers they most likely had the time to sign on-card autographs. Actors would probably be easier to work with than most athletes too, especially if the actor is not on a set somewhere filming.
No information has been announced about the embroidered patch (Manu-patch) cards and only one card image has been released so nothing can really be determined. Topps has stated that autographs cards and patch cards are evenly dispersed so you would have a 50/50 chance of pulling either an auto or patch card out of a box.
Besides the hits (sketch, auto and patch cards) there are five inserts that cover the Star Wars Universe (From the sales sheet it appears as if all 5 inserts are connected only to the 6 films):
Duels of Fate: A 10-card checklist covering Light Saber duels
“I Have a Bad Feeling…”: An 8-car checklist documenting each time the phrase was said through the movies
Classic Lines: A 10-card set that covers memorable quotes
Heroes on Both Sides: A 10-card set featuring key battles. The winners are on the front and the losers on the back of the card
Foil Cards: A 20-card set with black and white photos from the original 3 movies

I am a bit surprised with the sales materials that has been released because there is information you would expect to be passed on to reps and dealers only and not meant for collector’s eyes. It includes info bites about requiring multiple purchases to complete a set (2 boxes if perfectly collated), requiring 3x the amount of packs to complete a set versus the Star Wars Galaxy releases and the Topps marketing strategy (Sales POP posters in boxes, social media use, PR program and outreach and advertisement specs). I suspect that Topps did not intend for the sales sheet to be released to the public by their dealers. As a collector, if I was planning on building a set I would be a bit upset about requiring two perfectly collated $95 boxes just to complete it.
Sketch Cards
Solid Autograph checklist
All-encompassing base set
Nice variation of inserts
Manu-patches (which could take the place of an auto)
Sticker autographs
Are you kidding? A huge Star Wars set with sketch cards and an awesome autograph checklist, this is a 5 out of 5 rating easily even taking in to consideration the Manu-patches and sticker autographs (OK… maybe a 4.75/5)

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