2007 Topps Star Wars 30th Anniversary Trading Cards Review

One could say this set's been 30 years in the making. I guess so, but these nice round birthdays are really just an excuse to celebrate. After umpteen Star Wars themed sets in the past three decades, one would think there isn't a lot of room left to cover for Topps in the galaxy far, far away. Yet, somehow they've managed to pull it off with 2007 Topps Star Wars: 30th Anniversary, a set that has been overlooked largely for the many levels of chase and the hit-and miss mentality that comes with such a lofty chase program.

SW30 is an all-encompassing set that includes coverage of all six films, although the first film gets the majority of the attention in the inserts. The 120-card base set includes story cards, character profiles, special edition additions, behind-the-scenes access and, my favourite, a look at some of the "Expanded Universe" programs and specials, including the infamous Holiday Special.

The card design is sleek. The majority of cards feature a black frame highlighted by foil. Some subsets have different color frames such as green and yellow. Although it may sound all over the place, it works well, especially when laid out in a binder. The card stock is thicker than most sets. Overall it works to create a very premium feel.

This is the first set I've come across in a long time that I've actively sat and read the card backs one by one. Normally, there's your synopsis info and somewhat bland promotional language that doesn't feel human. Not so with this set. It's as though the set's editors knew this was yet another Star Wars set so there has to be something new. The tone of the text is light and it doesn't actually take itself too seriously (How serious can you take a card from Star Wars that pictures Bea Arthur?).

From the conversations I've been following, SW30 is one of the most talked about releases in some time. Some folks love it, others loath it. There's tons of autograph signers including Harrison Ford who is very reluctant to sign anything. Rumors of ten copies of the card have been floating around so I never realistically thought I'd get one. Most of the other big-name signers have appeared before: Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, etc. There's also a ton of sketch cards available and the pre-release samples were unlike any other previous sets. For the most part, the quality of all the sketches had appeared to be high. Then as the market started shaping up, there were many bland doodles that would surely disappoint anyone shelling out $60-70 per box and that being the "hit". The quality sketches are still out to be found, but the print run appears to be high, making them tough to come across.

Then closer to release date the line-up changed. Sure, John Williams was added to the autograph list, but so were several other behind-the-scenes guys who could I guess be defined as model builders and such. Although I did pull a John Dykstra autograph, the more I think about it the less disappointed I am. Sets shouldn't be about the high-end inserts only. There's an overall package to consider and Topps has found it here. These special effects signers may not carry celebrity status in most realms. But looking at the set, the behind-the-scenes work is highlighted in many of the subsets, making their inclusion important in creating the overall package. So for that, I welcome the off-screen signers (although I wouldn't want all my boxes to have them). In both my boxes I received autographs - the Dykstra and Kenny Baker who played R2-D2. Although the Baker is somewhat common among autograph signers, I was very happy to pull it as I really like the trash can of a droid.

Parallels are very much around this set with four base set parallels of varying rarity and a vintage buyback box topper program. First up are the blue and red foil cards, which fall two per box (blue) and one per box (red). Good luck building a set. Gold parallels are the grand-daddy of them all coming in at one in 12 boxes. They're also serial numbered out of 30. I didn't get a Gold card, but between my two boxes I did get three of each. My first box had two reds and just one blue, while the second went according to the odds. As for the box toppers, they're vintage buyback cards from the five Star Wars sets released in 1977-78. They're the regular vintage cards with an added SW30 foil logo on the front. I was saddened that one of mine had several creases in it. It was card 2 in the set to boot introducing the two heroic droids. Back to Topps it will be going.

Finally, hobby packs contain an interesting take on the puzzle card with the Die-Cut Tryptic Puzzles. The insert set is made up of nine three-card puzzles (27 cards total). Line them up side-by-side and you get a themed collage. These are easy to come across, with one falling in every third pack. I was shorted one in my first box, but the second went accordingly.

There's many different levels in which this set can be taken. Personally, I love the base set. It looks good, the ground covered isn't overly repetitive despite the exhausted subject matter, the photographs have variety and there's lots of fun chase elements. For others looking to get a Ford or pull a sweet colored sketch card, they're likely to be disappointed. It's a gamble plain and simple. Basically, as long as I got what the odds promised, I was going to be happy. My first box had some collation problems, but the second was predictable in a good way. I didn't make the "big pull" or even get anything great from my two boxes, but I'm still happy overall.

2007 Topps Star Wars 30th Anniversary Box Breakdowns:

Packs Per Box: 24
Cards Per Pack: 7

Box 1:
Total Cards: 168

Cards in Set: 120
Singles: 102
Doubles: 47
Triples+: 7

Inserts: 12

  • Vintage Stamped Box Topper: 1
  • Blue Foil Parallel (1:12): 1 (56)
  • Red Foil Parallel (1:24): 2 (32, 37)
  • Gold Foil Parallel (1:287): 0
  • Die-Cut Tryptic Puzzle (1:3): 7
  • Autographs (1:43): 1 (John Dykstra)
  • Sketch Cards (1:80): 0

Box 2:
Total Cards: 170

Cards in Set: 120
Singles: 120
Doubles: 37
Triples+: 0

Inserts: 13

  • Vintage Stamped Box Topper: 1
  • Blue Foil Parallel (1:12): 2 (29, 88)
  • Red Foil Parallel (1:24): 1 (88)
  • Gold Foil Parallel (1:287): 0
  • Die-Cut Tryptic Puzzle (1:3): 8
  • Autographs (1:43): 1 (Kenny Baker as R2-D2)
  • Sketch Cards (1:80): 0

 

STAR WARS  30TH KENNY BAKER  AS R2-D2  AUTOGRAPH CARD  HARD TO FIND
STAR WARS 30TH KENNY BAKER AS R2-D2 AUTOGRAPH CARD HARD TO FIND
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2007 Topps Star Wars 30th Anniversary #67 Obi-Wan Kenobi Vs General Grievous 0q3
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Topps Empire Strikes Back 30th Anniversary sketch card 1/1
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Topps Empire Strikes Back 30th Anniversary Probe Droid sketch card 1/1
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Topps Empire Strikes Back 30th Anniversary Wampa color sketch card 1/1
Topps Empire Strikes Back 30th Anniversary Wampa color sketch card 1/1
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Empire Strikes Back 30th Anniversary sketch card 1/1
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Empire Strikes Back 30th Anniversary sketch card 1/1
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Empire Strikes Back 30th Anniversary AT-AT sketch card 1/1
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Empire Strikes Back 30th Anniversary sketch card 1/1
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Empire Strikes Back 30th Anniversary Boba Fett sketch card 1/1
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