1979 Topps Alien Trading Cards

1979 Topps Alien Trading Cards

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In space, nobody can hear you scream. But that's not the case in movie theaters. When Alien first hit the big screen, it's blend of science fiction and horror made it a sensation. However, an R-rated film seems like a strange choice for a set of trading cards from back then. But that didn't stop 1979 Topps Alien from becoming a reality. The simple set mixes cards and stickers, similar to nearly every Topps entertainment release of the 1970s and 80s. It's not the easiest set to complete today, particularly the stickers.

The 1979 Topps Alien base set has 84 cards. Images are mainly stills from the film, although the ship's crew are highlighted with the occasional promo portrait. A lot of the photos focus on exterior shots of the various spaceships from the movie. The interior images are often cluttered and hard to tell what's going on. This is a byproduct of the claustrophobic feel of the film. Card fronts have red outer borders. A small, yellow inner border also provides a spot for the card's caption. There's a torn or dripping effect below the caption, no doubt to evoke a creepier feel.

Card backs are either a writeup about the film or a puzzle piece. Writeup cards have the text written inside of the iconic egg from the film. The set has two different puzzles. Pink border pieces form the refinery while blue border pieces make the mummified alien.

Stickers are typical of the day. A textured-looking green background gives way to a thick yellow border that goes around the die-cut sticker image. Images are reused from the base set.

1979 Topps Alien packs come with ten cards and one sticker (and a stick of gum). The original price was 20 cents. Today, base sets are not too hard to find. Stickers are a little tougher but they're by no means scarce.

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Set Checklist

1979 Topps Alien Checklist

Base Set Checklist

84 cards.

1 The Nostromo
2 Halls of Silence
3 The Ship...Deserted
4 Activated Star Helmet
5 Electronic Conversation
6 Emerging From Hypersleep
7 Nostromo Interiors
8 Captain Dallas
9 Warrant Officer Ripley
10 Executive Officer Kane
11 Science Officer Ash
12 Navigator Lambert
13 Engineer Parker
14 Technician Brett
15 Introducing 'Jones'
16 Crew of the Nostromo
17 A Message from 'Mother'
18 "Where's Earth?"
19 Signals From Deep Space
20 Ready to Land
21 Asteroid Colony Design
22 The Refinery
23 The Planet in Sight
24 Searing Electrical Fire!
25 The Steamy Peril
26 A Pensive Kane
27 Futuristic Spacesuit
28 Space Tug: Disengaged
29 The Landing
30 The Asteroid Explorers
31 Walking to Derelict
32 Bizarre Alien Landscape
33 Grotesque Rock Formations
34 Ash's Deception
35 Explorers...Or Invaders?
36 Nightmare Planet
37 Dawn on the Devil World
38 Dallas, Kane and Lambert
39 The Derelict Spaceship
40 Entrance to Derelict
41 At Death's Door
42 Mind-Boggling Sight!
43 Fantastic Space Jockey
44 Face of the Space Jockey
45 Inspecting the 'Jockey'
46 Sculpting the 'Jockey' Prop
47 Creating a Space Jockey
48 The Chamber Entrance
49 Enter...the Hell Chamber!
50 Egg Hatchery
51 Kane's Discovery
52 "Don't Touch it, Kane!"
53 Unearthly Assault!
54 Dressing a Movie Set
55 Nostromo Tug Lifting Off
56 Returning to the Refinery
57 The Face Grabber
58 Remains of a Monster
59 The Last Supper
60 The Thing Within Kane!
61 The Chest Burster
62 Alien Search Weapons
63 The Search Begins
64 "Oh, God...No! NO!"
65 Hunting The Beast
66 Dallas' Fate
67 Ash...An Enemy?
68 Struggle With Ash
69 Ash Runs Amok!
70 The Murderous Android
71 The Secret Revealed
72 "Where Can it Be?"
73 Corridors of Nostromo
74 Organic Spacecraft Design
75 The Monster At Bay
76 Unstoppable Horror!
77 Escape Shuttle Narcissus
78 It Lives to Destroy!
79 Walking Nightmare!
80 Spacesuit Storage Area
81 Ripley Strikes Back!
82 The Final Stand
83 Blown Into Oblivion!
84 The Survivor
1979 Topps Alien Base Card

Stickers Checklist

22 stickers. Inserted one per pack.

1 ?
2 Executive Officer Kane
3 Captain Dallas
4 Navigator Lambert
5 Alien Search Weapons
6 Shuttle Narcissus
7 Space Jockey
8 Nightmare Planet
9 Nostromo Crew
10 Asteroid Colony
11 Ash's Deception
12 Technician Brett
13 Science Officer Ash
14 Warrant Officer Ripley
15 The Space Jockey
16 Where Can It Be?
17 Nostromo
18 Space Colony
19 On The Planet
20 "Where's Earth?"
21 Dallas and Kane
22 Alien
1979 Topps Alien Stickers

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Ryan is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff. His collecting origins began with winter bike rides to the corner store, tossing a couple of quarters onto the counter and peddling home with a couple packs of O-Pee-Chee hockey in his pocket. Today, he continues to build sets, go after inserts with cool technologies, chase Montreal Expos and finish off his John Jaha master collection.

User Comments

  1. Some of the cards have a single star in the corner, others have two. I’ve seen a few of the cards that come in both versions. Any idea what that’s all about?

  2. Did they short-print any cards in the 1979 Alien set?

  3. Im taking a guess about the stars: one star might mean first printing. two stars might mean second printing.

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