1980 Topps Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Series 1 Trading Cards

1980 Topps Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Series 1 Trading Cards

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With the release of a new Star Wars film came more trading cards from Topps. 1980 Topps Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Series 1 was, at the time, the largest single series release for the franchise. The 132-card base set is double what any of the five series made for the first film. The 33 stickers triples any of the Star Wars sets.

Following a title card, 1980 Topps Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Series 1 begins with ten "Star File" cards that profile the film's main characters. The most notable is that of Boba Fett. The next 100 cards recap the film, save for a couple of major spoilers. The legendary artwork of Ralph McQuarrie is spotlighted on 13 cards toward the end of the set before two checklists close things out.

Unlike the cards from the first Star Wars film that mixed puzzles and text on card backs, 1980 Topps Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Series 1 uses text throughout the base set.

Inserted one per pack, 1980 Topps Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Series 1 Stickers offer a lot of variety. The first 22 feature die-cut letters with characters inside. The idea was that collectors could decorate their books, lockers, walls or anywhere else by building their name or anything else they may want to write out. Characters take the spotlight in the final 11 stickers, although some have up to four different small ones. Stickers have a puzzle on the back.

This is the first of three sets for The Empire Strikes Back. Besides the numbering, Series 1 cards can be identified by the red inset borders. 1980 Topps Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Series 1 Stickers have yellow backgrounds.

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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. I have original empire strikes back 4pack still in the packaging, series 1trading cards was looking for a rough estimate of value

  2. I have cards from two sources, and they seem to use different cardboards. This is detectable only on the backs. The whiter cardboard mentions Scanlens in the trademark info and the grey (cheaper?) cardboard does not. Why is this? Are the grey cards from Topps?

  3. PS Scanlens produced the ESB cards in Australia back then…

  4. i have three unopened boxes of series 1 cards. curious about their worth.

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