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Information needed on UK Topps Bubblegum cards

Discuss vintage Kenner and Palitoy Star Wars toys from the 1977-1985 era.
Starrider
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Information needed on UK Topps Bubblegum cards

Postby Starrider » Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:45 pm

My names Paul Berry and you will probably start to see regular postings from me over the next few months. I am writing a book titled Star Wars Memorabilia due out from Amberley publishing next year, this follows hot on the heels of my book Doctor Who Memorabilia from the same company which is out now. Although my knowledge on Star Wars is fairly extensive there are a few grey areas particularly with regard to British releases of items and I'm opening up to you guys to see if anyone can provide anwers to some points.
My first question is about UK releases of Topps bubblegum cards. Does anyone know if Series 2 and 3 of the Empire cards were released over here and both series of Jedi and whether they featured the sticker cards. Also am I right in believing Trebor handled UK distribution of the cards and if so did their logo feature prominently on the boxes or packets?

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Re: Information needed on UK Topps Bubblegum cards

Postby Jez » Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:42 pm

Hi, best of luck with your project. It sounds very niche and detailed. Simply_Sci_Fi might be a good source for you.
I'll send him a message.
Also, check out this episode of The Vintage Rebellion Podcast, where gRant chats with Cathy Kendricks about Star Wars trading cards, might come in handy :) https://swtvrpodcast.podbean.com/e/epis ... b-wing-it/
Good luck

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Re: Information needed on UK Topps Bubblegum cards

Postby Starrider » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:23 am

Many thanks. I'll check those out.

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Re: Information needed on UK Topps Bubblegum cards

Postby Munki » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:46 pm

Hey Paul - I've been collecting worldwide Star Wars cards and related since a kid in the 70s (mainly vintage stuff) - it extends to wrappers boxes etc too. I'd be happy to share info with you just PM me. It may be too late though :) Quick info - Topps picked up the SW licence and the cards came out 78 in the UK. At this time they were distributed by Trebor in Maidenstone - they moved their operation to Dublin Ireland in the 80s. Boxes of the gum cards came with 48 packets at 5 p each (5 cards a pack). Box had details of manufacture on the bottom. There were 2 series; blue cards and then red cards (uniquely numbered 1A-66A) other countries (USA, Canada) carried on from 67... these cards were available all over the world Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia etc. I've got some interesting items - uncut sheets, full retail display boxes, wrappers, packs etc. Panini also did stickers for the film that were available in English, Italian, German (couple of others too but can't remember off the top of my head). In the UK Walls did some nice ice lollies too, different wrappers but no cards or stickers. Shreddies transfers (4 diff boxes and transfer sheets) again 1978 - Walls saguages and LookIn comic also did some small individual transfers. Trebor who distributed the cards also made two flavours of Chews as well.

Empire Strikes Back 1980 Topps in the UK didn't pick up the licence at first - they trialed the first series of cards in very few shops to test the market (red box and wrappers and red bordered 132 cards and 33 stickers - 10p a pack). I have a display box and set (basically same cards as USA but box has 10p tabs on it). FKS did a sticker album and stickers that the kids in the UK went for (unique versions of these are also found in Spain, France and Netherlands and Belgium). Then a little late Topps UK tried to come back into the game by releasing Initial Stickers with gum (this was a unique 48 pack box (blue) and unique wrappers - red with Yoda on them (6 stickers a pack) again distributed by Trebor Maidstone. The stickers were similar to the green 3rd series one that came with series 3 USA cards 67-88 - only lighter (similar to how the UK cards are lighter stock than the US ones). I've got a box of these too. Walls did another round of tasty lollies this time each had a sticker inside (12 different). Trebor continued with their Chews too - 2 flavours. Dairylea took up the transfers - 4 different - sadly no Shreddies to munch this time round.

By the time Jedi came out in 83 I was entering my teenage years and wasn't impressed with the fluffy teddy bear kiddie film and bubblegum cards were on their way out generally in the UK being taken over by Panini stickers - they'd be growing since 1978 in the UK putting FKS out of business in 83. Football was big sticker business and still is. Anyway, Panini ran Jedi albums and stickers - available everywhere (UK, Europe, Australia etc). In the US Topps did 2 sets of bubblegum cards and also self-branded the Panini stickers and album too. Australia and New Zealand did the first set of gum cards but not the second. Hope this helps as a start. Good luck with the book - I'll look out for the Dr Who one :) cheers, Jon

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Re: Information needed on UK Topps Bubblegum cards

Postby SublevelStudios » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:20 pm

^^ This pretty much sums it all up ^^

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Re: Information needed on UK Topps Bubblegum cards

Postby SublevelStudios » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:41 pm

Topps also released the 1st series of Candy Heads in the UK, in the red box, which featured a sticker '15p' over the US price label.

And the H.W. Stewart (Glasgow) Mallow Shapes were also a UK exclusive, mostly found in the north of the country.

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Re: Information needed on UK Topps Bubblegum cards

Postby Snaketibe » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:48 pm

What a superb post, Munki! Very interesting indeed. Thank you for taking the time to post it :-)

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Re: Information needed on UK Topps Bubblegum cards

Postby Palifan » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:45 pm

[quote="Munki"]Hey Paul - In the UK Walls did some nice ice lollies too, different wrappers but no cards or stickers. Shreddies transfers (4 diff boxes and transfer sheets) again 1978 - Walls saguages and LookIn comic also did some small individual transfers. Trebor who distributed the cards also made two flavours of Chews as well.


This is a great post with lot's I don't remember from the time but as I remember it the SW ice lollies came with one of 4 (I think?), cardboard masks. I know I had a Stormtrooper and have seen C-3PO and Chewbacca and think the fourth maybe Darth Vader, does that sound right to you?

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Re: Information needed on UK Topps Bubblegum cards

Postby SublevelStudios » Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:11 pm

yes, 4 masks, you're right Ian. Chewie, Threepio and Vader are most common, the Stormtrooper is the hardest, but to be honest, they're all pretty hard to find these days.

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Re: Information needed on UK Topps Bubblegum cards

Postby Munki » Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:20 pm

ah yes Ian - thanks for reminding me! There were 4 different masks, C3PO, Chewie, Vader and Stormtrooper. They used to have a big poster advertising them in the Odeon cinemas for the film (I have a large window sticker from this with the sae design which is lovely!). In New Zealand Tip Top did an ice lolly around R2D2 and they gave out stickers (15) with purchases in their shops - they call the local stores diaries (there was a poster game "R2D2's Space Race" as well that Tip Top gave out. Tip Top did similar paper (rather than card) masks but for Empire Strikes Back rather than Star Wars.

My Lyons Maid Chewie and Vader masks are a little rough round the edges so if anyone has a decent/minty one of those I'll swap for a mint C3PO :)

Just joined this forum - enjoying having a poke about! Have a great weekend, Jon

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Re: Information needed on UK Topps Bubblegum cards

Postby Palifan » Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:57 am

Great to hear you're sticking around Jon and it sounds like you've got lots of really nice and interesting items so it would be good to see a few pictures if you get the chance. There's a lot that we have all learned about vintage SW from being on here over the years and hopefully you'll find it the same and also be able to pass some more of your knowledge onto us. :D

Ian

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Re: Information needed on UK Topps Bubblegum cards

Postby SublevelStudios » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:05 am

Munki wrote:They used to have a big poster advertising them in the Odeon cinemas for the film (I have a large window sticker from this with the sae design which is lovely!).


WOW! Is the the same design as the ice cream van sticker, with the X-Wing and Tie Fighter on? With a yellow border?

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Re: Information needed on UK Topps Bubblegum cards

Postby Tony jedi » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:10 am

As far as i know the UK only had Star Wars sets 1 and 2. never seen any images of UK Empire sets. And no Jedi cards either. However if we in the UK did have some Empire cards i would love to see pics of them. As a huge Star Wars card collector myself i would love to own these.
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Re: Information needed on UK Topps Bubblegum cards

Postby Pulsar » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:19 am

Jon, that is a fantastic post mate!
I thought i was well up on the Topps side but I've learned a thing or two there. Really enjoyed reading, thanks.

SublevelStudios wrote:yes, 4 masks, you're right Ian. Chewie, Threepio and Vader are most common, the Stormtrooper is the hardest, but to be honest, they're all pretty hard to find these days.



Is that right Mark? I've always struggled to get the Chewie one myself, have the other 3 but the damn Wookie keeps avoiding me.

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Paul
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Star Wars store displays
Battlestar Galactica
Buck Rogers
Clash of the Titans

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Re: Information needed on UK Topps Bubblegum cards

Postby SublevelStudios » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:54 am

Pulsar wrote:Jon, that is a fantastic post mate!
I thought i was well up on the Topps side but I've learned a thing or two there. Really enjoyed reading, thanks.

SublevelStudios wrote:yes, 4 masks, you're right Ian. Chewie, Threepio and Vader are most common, the Stormtrooper is the hardest, but to be honest, they're all pretty hard to find these days.



Is that right Mark? I've always struggled to get the Chewie one myself, have the other 3 but the damn Wookie keeps avoiding me.

Regards
Paul


It might be safe to say they're as equally rare as one another to be honest.


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