Hobby Musings: Topps geared up for The Last Jedi – The Star Wars franchise has a significant fandom all its own. The popular merchandise spawned by the films has spilled over into the trading card world for decades. The upcoming final installment of the Star Wars trilogy is no exception thanks to Topps. With products already on the market and more on the way, the company is doing everything it can to give Star Wars fans their card fix. To find out more about the plan for the next installment of the galaxy far, far away, I had the chance to catch up with Topps’ Marketing Communications Manager Susan Lulgjuraj. The following interview was conducted via email.
KS: With The Last Jedi set to hit theaters in mid-December, what does Topps have planned to tie into the movie from a trading card perspective?
SL: We’re so excited about Star Wars: The Last Jedi. We’ve been building to the movie all year. On December 15th, along with the release of the film, 2017 Topps Star Wars: The Last Jedi Series 1 hits the shelves in hobby stores, online retailers and select big box stores. But also, if you’re lucky enough to see the movie on Dec. 14th, Star Wars fans can get exclusive trading cards at select AMC Theatres.
KS: Are there any new card signers specifically tied to the movie that you think collectors should be keeping an eye on?
SL: Many of the film’s top stars are featured on the autograph checklist such as Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Andy Serkis, Gwendoline Christie. It’s a great lineup of signers that Star Wars fans will enjoy collecting.
KS: You’ve been releasing cards to tie into the new movies dating back to The Force Awakens a few years ago. Overall, what kind of reception have you seen from collectors for the Star Wars products?
SL: Collectors have enjoyed the variety of products that Topps has put out from bringing back legacy sets like Galactic Files and establishing more premium sets such as Masterwork. Topps is taking the information collectors have given us and plans on a great lineup of products for next year, which will feature a number of new brands.
KS: How would you say the demand for the Star Wars category compares to Topps’ other properties?
SL: Star Wars is a worldwide favorite and we see that with the trading cards too. Star Wars fans are passionate and look to Topps as leader in the industry for cards and authentic autographs with Star Wars Authentics.
KS: Which actors from the franchise have you seen particular demand for, especially with autographs?
SL: Many of the top billed actors from the original trilogy as well as on the ongoing story have been the most popular such as Harrison Ford or Daisy Ridley. But Rogue One’s Felicity Jones is a huge favorite. It all depends on the fan. Star Wars fans love so many different characters that they all pretty popular.
KS: Are there any actors where the demand for his/her cards has been surprising?
SL: No. We haven’t seen any surprises because Star Wars fans love their movies and characters.
KS: Beyond Last Jedi, what else does Topps have planned for future Star Wars card releases?
SL: The first set of 2018 will be Star Wars Black & White: A New Hope, which will feature all new black and white imagery. We’re excited about this product because it’s a new line that Star Wars fans should enjoy as it brings them closer to one of their favorite movies.
We’re also anticipating Solo, the standalone Han Solo movie and preparing the trading cards for that. We also have some surprises in store that Star Wars fans are going to be excited about.
KS: Outside of cards, Topps has partnered with Star Wars for Star Wars Authentics. For fans and collectors who may be unaware, what does the program offer?
SL: Star Wars Authentics is the official place to get signed photos and memorabilia of Star Wars actors. Topps has partnered with MLB Authenticators and LucasFilm to ensure that fans feel confident in knowing that what they buy from Star Wars Authentics is the real deal. There have been too many questionable items over the years and Star Wars Authentics takes out the guesswork so that fans will know that the autographs they buy from there are authentic.
KS: I’ll get you out of here on this. What is one way you would like to see Topps’ Star Wars properties grow in the future?
SL: Right now, we’re really focused on making the Star Wars trading cards and Star Wars Authentics signed memorabilia but we’re always open to new opportunities. As the excitement grows for Star Wars, we will dive deeper to see what else we can bring the fans.
Hobby Musings: Topps geared up for The Last Jedi
- Hobby Musings: Catching up with Royals prospect Daniel Tillo - March 23, 2020
- Hobby Musings: How will Brady’s move to Bucs affect his cards? - March 19, 2020
- Hobby Musings: Kids break initiative a big success for Fruitman - March 16, 2020