Topps - US - E1: Widevision Retail Edition (1999)

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Two sets were part of the initial release of Phantom Menace merchandise; a hobby set, and a retail set.

This set is in the now famous Topps Widevision format. This format is terrific for movie photo cards, as it allows images from the film to be presented without cropping. It also gives a lot more room on the backs of the cards for information. Adding to the fun of this set is a great color scheme and well-designed card backs.

The cards were printed on 20-point stock with a UV coating. There are 80 cards in the set, featuring movie highlights and character profiles. The cards follow the general plot of the film.

The chase cards are where this set seems to get interesting. In the past, we have seen between 6 and 10 chase cards, usually chrome cards. It looks like the retail version of this set will instead have 16 sticker cards, and 10 mirror-board cards. I happen to think this is great for kids and collectors alike. Hologram cards look neat, but lets face it, kids could care less. Stickers however are a great bonus in any card set, and a nice flashback to the past. The stickers for this set have one odd quirk, the word "peel" appears in the top right-hand corner of each sticker. The stickers are beautiful with character images within film settings. Sticker backs show the same character. If the stickers is peeled, the image on the back could be considered a card with a blank white back. The mirror-board cards are equally nice, with each featuring a characters face above a character scene and the characters name. The cards are shiny, but don't have the image depth of a chrome card.

The card set has 5 wrapper variations.

This card set was distributed by the pack at $1.99 per pack for 8 cards. Topps pre-printed the price onto the wrappers, which should discourage stores that tend to overcharge. In addition to being available in packs, the cards were also being distributed in collectible tins. 5 tins are available (Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon Jinn, Amidala, Anakin, and Darth Maul). Each tin contains 7 packs of cards. Additionally, each tin contains one of five special oversize chrome cards. Tins have a recommended price of $19.99, and are well worth the price in my opinion.

This is a great card set, and one that every collector and Star Wars fan will enjoy. Topps has done an excellent job with this set, demonstrating how truly great Star Wars cards can be for the second time this year (see the Chrome Archives set for another great example).

Thanks to Josh Charles for help filling in some of the blanks on my checklist.

A big thank you to many people for quickly identifying the F6 card as Watto, previously listed as needed. :o) There are far too many names to list, but the information is still much appreciated.  

Card Values
·  set value: $5-10
·  unopened box: $40
·  single: $0.10
·  chase: $5
·  sticker: $1
·  oversize cards: $5-10

Find them on eBay, or trade for them in the Marketplace
Card NumberDescription
1Title Card
2Trade Federation Rendezvous
3The Guardians of Peace
4"Begin Landing Your Troops!"
5Protocol Droid Surprise
6Over Naboo Swampland
7An Awkward Introduction
8New Friend of the Jedi
9Destination: Otoh Gunga
10"...In Big Dudu Dis Time!"
11Jar Jar's Life-Debt
12The Gungan Sub
13What Lurks Behind ...
14Tongue of Terror
15Escaping the Opee Sea Killer
16The Sando Aqua Monster
17The Cold Claw Fish
18The Queen's Palace in Theed
19An Emergency Escape
20Aboard the Transport Ship
21The Dark Lord Called Maul
22A Brave Little R2 Unit
23Refueling and Repairing
24Space Junk for Sale
25Bargaining With Watto
26A Message From Mos Espa
27Obi-Wan on Board
28A Tasty Treat for Jar Jar
29Snagged by Sebulba
30Anakin Confronts His Rival
31Conscience of the Queen
32Sio Bibble's Plea
33Hit by a Sandstorm
34Dinner in a Slave Hovel
35Padme Doesn't Approve
36"Either Way, You Win"
37Young Hero ... Or Bug Squash?
38Podrace Preparations
39A Mouthful of Energy
40Hard Working Astromech Droid
41Darth Maul on Tatooine
42Inside the Podrace Hangar
43Skeptical Toydarian
44A Day at the Podrace
45Presiding Over the Podrace
46"They're Off!"
47Intergalactic Spectators
48He's on the Leader
49Skywalker Rules!
50The Call to Destiny
51Escape From Tatooine
52On the Way to Coruscant
53Palpatine's Political Ploy
54Qui-Gon and the Jedi Council
55The Galactic Senate
56Twelve Concerned Jedi
57"Tested He Will Be"
58Facing Mace Windu
59Judgement of the Jedi
60Unspeakable Alliance
61Binks Leads the Way
62An Audience With Boss Nass
63Her True Identity Revealed
64The Mysterious Enemy
65Trade Federation Tanks Close In
66Orders From OOM-9
67Battle Droid Formation
68Preparing for the Assault
69The Battle Droid Army
70Qui-Gon's Fight for Life
71Star Pilot Ric Olie
72Attacking a Space Station
73Unexpected Help From Anakin
74Jedi Vs. Sith
75Young Skywalker's Gamble
76Defeat of the Battle Droids
77Their Evil Scheme Shattered!
78The Lightsaber Duel
79A Jedi Falls
80Checklist
  
Mirror Cards
F1Anakin Skywalker
F2Qui-Gon Jinn
F3Obi-Wan Kenobi
F4Queen Amidala
F5Jar Jar Binks
F6Watto
F7Darth Maul
F8Nute Gunray
F9Battle Droid
F10C-3P0 & R2-D2
  
Sticker Cards
S1Qui-Gon Jinn
S2Obi-Wan Kenobi
S3The Neimoidians
S4Jar Jar Binks
S5Darth Sidious
S6Queen Amidala
S7C-3P0
S8Padme Naberrie
S9Anakin Skywalker
S10Watto
S11Darth Maul
S12Mace Windu
S13Sebulba
S14Battle Droids
S15Boss Nass
S16The Galactic Senate
  
Oversize Cards Available Exclusively in Collector Tins
1 of 5Anakin Skywalker Tin Cover Art
2 of 5Darth Maul Tin Cover Art
3 of 5Obi-Wan Tin Cover Art
4 of 5Queen Amidala Tin Cover Art
5 of 5Qui-Gon Jinn Tin Cover Art
  

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