1980-1989 Entertainment Trading Cards
1980 Donruss Dukes of Hazzard trading cards are the first of three releases based on the show. Distinguished by its blue borders, Bo, Luke, Daisy and the rest of Hazzard County’s most notable faces appear.
1980 Topps Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Series 1 launched the second film in the franchise into the hobby. With 132 base cards and 11 stickers, it was the largest single series Star Wars set at the time.
Picking up from where the first set left off, 1980 Topps Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Series 2 expands the checklist with another 132 cards and 33 stickers.
Although slightly smaller than the first two sets, 1980 Topps Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Series 3 has several interesting subsets to keep things interesting. This is the final set based on the film’s original run.
1980 Topps Weird Wheels mixes Kustom Kulture with matinee monsters. The result is both fun and strange. It’s also extremely reasonably priced.
With his famous whip and and hat in tow, 1981 Topps Raiders of the Lost Ark is the first set of Indiana Jones trading cards. The simple set retells the story with 88 cards.
1982 Topps ET The Extra-Terrestrial retells the story of the blockbuster Steven Spielberg film with 87 cards and 12 stickers. Get full details on the release, including a full checklist, shopping guide and details on a deleted scene featuring Harrison Ford that made it into the set.
1982 Topps Smurf Supercards is a fun over-sized set that features silly affirmations, Smurf-inspired cliches and sayings that have racy double meanings. As far as Smurfs trading cards go, this is the premier set for the franchise.
Capturing the action and characters of the 80s TV classic, 1983 Topps A-Team includes a checklist of 66 cards and 12 stickers. Like a lot of entertainment sets from the era, boxes and sets remain extremely affordable.
The first of two sets for the original trilogy’s final film, 1983 Topps Star Wars: Return of the Jedi Series 1 includes 132 cards and 33 stickers (66 if you include color variations).
1983 Topps Star Wars: Return of the Jedi Series 2 marked the end of an era. The final set of the franchise’s original run, it has 88 cards and 22 stickers.
Based on one of the most memorable movies of the decade, 1984 Topps Gremlins trading cards cover both the comedy and the horror of the cute creatures gone bad. Get full details on the set including a complete checklist.
Part of a massive marketing blitz for the film, 1984 Topps Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom captures the film with a total of 88 cards and 11 stickers.
1984 Topps Masters of the Universe is a somewhat quirky set that captures the classic He-Man cartoon. The checklist includes 88 cards and 21 stickers.
1985 Hasbro Transformers Action Cards are the first trading cards of the iconic franchise. The popular set highlights many of the top Autobots and Decepticons as well as recaps from the original cartoon.
Garbage Pail Kids Series 1, released by Topps in 1985, launched one of the most controversial entertainment card franchises of all-time. Get set details, a card gallery, buying guide and more.
1985 Topps Garbage Pail Kids Series 2 see the popular series continue with another 82 cards. Several variation types make building a complete master set something of a challenge for completists.
Goonies never say die. Just like the popular modern adventure, neither do the 1985 Topps Goonies trading cards. The straightforward set includes 86 cards and 22 stickers.
With the eye of the tiger and some classic Cold War tension, 1985 Topps Rocky IV trading cards are simple fun and full of Ivan Drago.
1986 Hasbro G.I. Joe Action Cards is one of the toughest mainstream trading card sets from the 1980s to complete. The large set includes both iconic packaging art and shots from the popular cartoon.
1986 Topps Garbage Pail Kids Series 3 shows the franchise hitting its stride. The checklist includes lots of gross gags and jokes at the expense of pop culture from the time. For completists, there are lots of variations to track down as well.
Not all movies that get the trading card treatment are blockbusters. 1986 Topps Howard the Duck is a perfect example. That said, the movie is infamous with some its epic weirdness captured on cards.
1987 Topps 21 Jump Street trading cards capture both the show and the era it came from with a simple and affordable collection.
1987 Topps Alf trading cards capture one of the decade’s biggest phenomenons. Spread over two series, the set includes base cards, stickers and Bouillabaseball cards.
Taking a page from Mars Attacks, 1988 Topps Dinosaurs Attack offers an original story and plenty of detailed artwork. Get full details on this under-appreciated and very affordable set.
There will likely never be another set like 1988 Topps Fright Flicks. Using images from 15 different horror films, it’s a comedic tribute to the genre at the time. Ghostbusters, A Nightmare on Elm Street and An American Werewolf in London are among the featured films.
1989 Topps Back to the Future II is the only set of mainstream trading cards for the trilogy. The film is captured with 88 cards and 11 stickers.
1989 Topps Batman Movie trading cards are a strong compliment to the influential super hero blockbuster. Plentiful still today, it’s also extremely affordable.
Without a set for the original, 1989 Topps Ghostbusters II gives the classic franchise its first solo set of trading cards. The affordable release has 88 cards and 11 stickers.