New releases have started reaching ridiculous levels, so we’re going to look at an old release that has been sitting around for a while. This Topps release covered the World Wrestling Federation, back before it was known as World Wrestling Entertainment. This came out after Wrestlemania 3 from the Silverdome in Pontiac Michigan, featuring the clash between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant.
This release comes before the time that hits were the central focus of a product. It is also before inserts really became standard, although it does include a sticker subset. The base set contains 75 cards, showing superstars, highlights, as well as some action captions. There is also an insert subset of 22 different stickers.
There is a danger built in to these older products, and it goes beyond chewing thirty-three year old gum. These packs were wax, and the sealing process often stained the bottom card. The amount of wax varies, and is sometimes not very noticeable, but it’s something to consider. Also, is a problem related to the gum. These packs weren’t really designed to stay sealed for decades. After years sealed in a pack, along with pressure, the gum often ends up almost leaking on to the cards. Every pack had one card severely damaged by the gum. Keep these things in mind if you look at old wax era packs.
The global pandemic has delayed a lot of things, including many trading card releases. For me, this release wasn’t delayed, but the local store was shut down preventing me from picking it up. So this will be a little bit late, but the release looks worth the wait!
This wasn’t a surprising release from Topps, given their success with WWE Women’s Division cards, but it’s something new for Star Wars. I initially wondered how they were going to fill out a set, not realizing the cartoons were included so there was a very wide range of characters available.
The release features a 100 card base set, along with a few insert sets. Each has its own array of parallels. A box contains 7 packs with 8 cards per pack. One autograph is guaranteed per box, with possible sketch cards being an addition to these. It’s a fun release and can provide a lot of hits you don’t often find in other products.
This isn’t really a normal break, and I went back and forth on whether to include it. Rather than individual packs, this box contains one large clear pack. The box advertises 32 card complete set, but that isn’t quite correct, either.
There are no real hits available with this set, but there are numerous parallels possible. I guess that would be closest to a hit, if you were to find a limited version. There’s not much here, but if you’re a fan of “Baby Yoda”, here’s your chance to get a set dedicated to him!
This yearly release comes a little bit later during Wrestlemania season this year. In recent years, this has been a January release, but this time comes out on March 11. It also comes during the Covid 19 pandemic, which has begun shutting down major sporting events. At the time of this writing, a SmackDown episode was rescheduled to an empty Performance Center, while Wrestlemania is still tentatively planned, but with a lot of uncertainty.
This release features a 100 card base set showing major events from the previous year. It also contains a number of insert sets, including a 50 card roster subset. The cards show a pirate theme, as the planned location for this year’s Wrestlemania is Raymond James Stadium, the home of the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
A box contains 24 packs with 7 cards per pack. It advertises two hits per box, one of which is an on card autograph.
This has become a yearly release I look forward to. There’s no real surprise to it, but it’s still a nice release. As we’ve seen in the last two years, we see a base set focusing on scenes from Return of the Jedi, along with familiar insert sets like Behind the Scenes, Concept Art, Posters, and Iconic Characters.
I’ve noticed something that seems a bit odd to me, too. For the original Black & White A New Hope release, the base set had 140 cards. The Empire Strikes Back had 150. This one, however, has 133. I’m a bit surprised it jumps around so much, but I guess it really isn’t a big deal. A box advertises 7 packs with 8 cards per pack, with 1 autograph or sketch card per box.