By Steve Sansweet
I have to admit that at first I was dubious. I’ve been collecting Topps STAR WARS™ cards since the first set started showing up with slabs of gum in 1977. My love of cards goes back even further to collecting baseball and non-sports card when I was growing up. But buying and collecting digital STAR WARS cards from Topps?
But I decided to give it a try, after downloading it from the App Store to my iPhone (Android users, no fear—I’m assured a version is coming very soon).
I’ve got to say that it’s fun and in just a week I’m a convert. It’s an entirely new experience, but you still go through the process of buying a pack of cards, knowing in advance what the odds are of what kind of cards you’ll find in the different packs, and then having the fun of opening them to see what you’ve gotten.
And the images on my iPhone 6 Plus are really breathtaking—as clear as any I’ve seen from the films or TV series in any format. Just tap the card and you’ll see the reverse with a detailed bio of the character or what’s happening in the scene. The STAR WARS™: Card Trader by Topps app quickly lets you know whether you’ve gotten a new card for your collection or if it’s a dupe and thus available for trading—a major part of the set-up and one that connects the card-collecting community.
The My Cards section of the app lets you see your collection arranged in groups. There are eight cards from the upcoming STAR WARS: The Force Awakens™ (I still need two of those), Galactic Empire, Galactic Republic, Independent, Rebel Alliance, and Separatists. There are also tags that tell you exactly how many of each card you have.
In addition to the standard white-bordered cards, there are more limited chase sets in blue, red, yellow and very limited gold cards. There are limited sets that add colors like green, orange, and purple to the mix. And then there’s a whole lot more. Each day there are new packs available for a limited time with Scene Collection, Galactic Moments, Vintage, Bounty, Vehicle and other card types. You can look at all cards that are or have been available—because many are so limited that they are already marked sold out. That’s where your trading skills become so important. Other cards are marked Coming Soon.
The app sends messages each day telling you what’s going to be available in the way of limited new packs and cards. There are always new ways to better your odds of getting rare cards. There’s a weekly vote for Fan Choice cards. You start your collection with a gift of 25,000 credits (the packs sell for different amounts) and you can refresh your Cantina account by entering the app at least once a day and also by buying credits via the app.
So now that I’m up and running, how about doing some trades with me? I’ll be at the Topps STAR WARS Booth at Star Wars Celebration on Friday, April 17th, from 4-4:30 PM and I’ll share my fan name with anyone who wants to trade…and then we can continue from there!
First, download STAR WARS™: Card Trader by Topps for FREE.
Steve Sansweet, president of Rancho Obi-Wan, owns the world’s largest collection of Star Wars memorabilia, has written 17 Star Wars books, and worked as head of fan relations for Lucasfilm for 15 years after a 26-year career as a reporter and Los Angeles bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal.