17 May 2017

Pack of the Day 161: 2017 Topps Star Wars Sugar Free Online Exclusive

Here's another of Topps' online-exclusive products that sucked me in. This is a boxed set featuring trading cards inspired by the wrappers of the 1978 Topps Sugar-Free Gum product. Here is a web page I found that describes the 1978 set in great detail, with pictures of the packaging and the wrappers. I think the initial plan for Topps was to include the 49-card set and 2 autographs in the 2017 Topps Star Wars Sugar-Free Gum product, but later they decided to add some value by making parallel variations of the base set and adding them to the boxes..


The front of the box only mentions the card set and the autographs. I am guessing that the art was done by the time the decision was made to add parallels to the set, as the odds and text on the back mention parallels, but nothing on the rest of the box mentions it. The Cardboard Connection profile on the set mentions that you get 3-5 parallels per box.


Here are the pack odds and NPN information. I might actually send in an envelope for the NPN on this one. I usually don't bother with most products, but it can't hurt to try it out. The MSRP on these sets through the Topps website is $99.99 + shipping, but on holidays Topps will run sales on their site. I used one of those sales to get my box, so I got mine for a little less. The parallels come in four varieties: Blue, Green, Gold, and Red. Odds are only listed here for some of them, as the assumption is that you will find the others in every box anyway.


I chose 8 of the horizontal base cards to scan. In the original product, these photos were printed on the inside of the gum wrapper. Apparently the legend is that George Lucas pushed for the creation of this product so that diabetics could have a Star Wars candy collectible.


The horizontally-oriented cards tend to feature more characters and action poses. Most of the main characters make an appearance or three, but some of the minor Star Wars characters also appear in the set.


Each card back features has one of these four designs on it. These designs were the outside art on the actual gum packs from the original product. The legalese in the yellow block at the top was different and there was a blank area for the perforations above that, but these are pretty true to the gum wrappers.


I got three parallels in my box of cards. They are all of the more common varieties. This Green C-3PO is the rarest of the bunch, numbered # 21 / 40.


This Blue Darth Vader is pretty neat. It is numbered # 15 / 75. Nothing changes from the base cards to the parallels outside of the colored border on the front and the serial numbering on the back.


My last parallel was this Blue action photo of Han Solo. It is numbered # 72 / 75.


I got one base autograph and one parallel autograph. The autographs are on stickers. The base autograph has the signature of Rusty Goffe, who played a Jawa. I believe all of the autograph cards have the same background design, with the signature block at the bottom, the red and blue areas behind the portrait, and the starfield behind that. This autograph is numbered # 022 / 199.


My second autograph is a Blue parallel of Kenneth Colley as Admiral Piett. It is a pretty limited card, being numbered only # 09 / 25.

I did okay on this box break. I can't say that my autograph and parallel pulls blew me away, but I got some pretty good characters on the parallels and I got one pretty limited autograph. I didn't have a Goffe or a Colley autograph in my collection yet, so I am adding some variety to my collection. Multiplying the pack odds out by the number of parallels suggests that there were 2100-2200 boxes produced, and all of the big name signers from the original trilogy are on the checklist (Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, Ian McDiarmid, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew), so you could do worse as far as odds of pulling a really nice autograph. I might take a shot on another box if they go on sale again. At $100 this feels pretty steep, but at $75 or less it seems like an okay value for 2 Star Wars autographs, 3-5 parallels, and a 49-card base set.

4 comments:

  1. I'm a Star Wars junkie... but never saw the Sugar-Free Gum back in the day. That's a solid autograph checklist. Maybe I'll grab one if they go on sale.

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    1. I wasn't familiar with the Sugar-Free Gum, either. I would anticipate a sale coming up over Memorial Day weekend, although Topps could always decide not to run one.

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  2. Correct me if I'm wrong, but these don't have card numbers?

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    1. You are correct; there are no card numbers on the physical cards. The official Topps checklist downloaded from the product page gives them card names and numbers, but the numbers and names don't appear on the cards themselves.

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