18 October 2015

Topps Star Wars: Journey to the Force Awakens Mini-Master Set

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer (Official)
The Force. It’s calling to you. Tickets on sale now: Fandango.com/TheForceAwakens
Posted by Star Wars on Monday, October 19, 2015

I bought a mini-master set of the recently-released Topps Star Wars: Journey to the Force Awakens cards. I got the base set plus all of the common insert sets. Normally I probably would just buy the base set, but there were enough inserts I wanted from the set to justify getting the whole thing.

Most of the base card backs tell the story of the film depicted on the front, but the cards featuring scenes from the upcoming Force Awakens film have puzzles on the back that form big movie poster-style pictures when they are arranged together.

The set has 110 cards in it and features all the usual scenes from the films. I chose a few of my favorites to show here. The first 80 cards in the set recap the six already-released movies. They are printed on thick vintage-style cardboard and feature the same coloration and patterning found on the original card set from 1977.

Cards 81-110 feature images from the new film. Most (all) of them have been seen before in promotional material, but this set collects them together and adds captions to them, teasing the events from the movie but not really giving a lot away. One thing that kind of bothers me is the way the puzzle cards are included in the checklist. Each 9-card puzzle has another card after it that shows the completed puzzle on the back. The puzzle cards also start on card # 81, which would be the last card slot on the previous page if you are putting your cards in 9-pocket pages. You're not going to be able to store your set in 9-pocket pages while displaying the puzzles on the back without putting your cards in the pages out of order. If you put the cards in order, the puzzles won't display right. If you display the puzzles properly, the cards won't be in order. It's quite a dilemma for collectors.

This is a foil set that shows characters from the new movie. The back of the cards tells you to colelct all 9 cards in the set, but there are only 8 cards in the set. At first I thought maybe the seller had shortchanged me one card, but I dug around and all the internet checklists only list 8 cards. The only legacy character on this checklist is Chewbacca.

This Power of the First Order set shows some of the leaders, troops, and equipment from the movie's 'bad guys.' The back of these cards correctly lists the number of cards in the set at 8. You don't get any biographical information for the main characters or descriptions for the troopers and vehicles, so there's not a lot of content in this set as far as the new movie goes.

The Heroes of the Resistance set has the same formula as the Power of the First Order set. There are images of some new characters, some old characters, and the Millennium Falcon. Again, anything in the set related to the new film is limited to names and images.

The stickers are probably my favorite of the Lite inserts. There are a couple of other inserts that actually have some good text on the backs. Again, these are a throwback to the stickers found in the original Star Wars trading cards.

There are 18 stickers in the set. Although the base set contains a recap of the prequel trilogy, the inserts seem to focus entirely on the classic trilogy and the new movie. I'm not sure why Kylo Ren gets two stickers in this set.

This insert set doesn't really fit into the overall theme of the product, but it features various behind-the-scenes looks at the production of the original films. The card backs have fairly lengthy (for a trading card) write-ups describing some part of the production process. It's probably not any information you couldn't find elsewhere, but it makes for a good set. I think my favorite image is the one on the Lorne and the Sandcrawler card.

The Concept Art insert actually has some content from the prequel trilogy in addition to a horrible MS Word Art border and color scheme. This is an insert that would have benefited from a little lss border and a little more art. It shows the concept drawings for various scenes and characters from the films, with a write-up on the back of what the scene is and who did the art.

This is a pretty cool set overall, but it's obviously a money grab designed to feed off the hype of the new film. It's understandable that Topps couldn't spoil any real content from The Force Awakens, but it makes for a set that doesn't offer much new. Even the card designs are rehashes of stuff that's come before. I was going to pick up the set one way or the other, but I'm glad I bought a cheap set online rather than busting boxes to build it.


  1. If these boxes ever go on clearance... I'd consider grabbing one or two. But most likely... I'd go the same route as you and just buy a completed set like you. So much more affordable. Those stickers are awesome! I also really like the puzzle too.

    1. It's a pretty fun set, but I would save my box-busting dollars for a product with a little more hit potential. This is a good one to grab on the secondary market as a collated set. The puzzles are a good way to include some content from the upcoming film without having to come up with non-spoiler text for the card backs.