Topps - Star Wars Evolution (2001)
This set was released in August of 2001. Thanks to Topps and Gary from Autograph Central for helping with the information below.
The big surprise with this set is that it was the first ever set to include official autograph cards as part of the set. Other card companies have done this for non-Star Wars sets in the past. It has never been done for Star Wars. Which isn't to say that autographed cards for Star Wars have never existed. Every year fans attend card shows and Sci-fi conventions and have their favorite cards autographed by those stars that make themselves available. Or they use a resource like www.autographcentral.com to help them get autographs by mail. While this is fun, and something a lot of fans do, the Evolution set is making autographs official and making it possible to get autographs for stars you might never get to meet at a convention. After all, when was the last time you had a chance to ask James Earl Jones for an autograph?
The autographs are only a small part of the Evolution set. They are essentially another level of chase card. For most collectors, owning one or two autographs from the set will be enough. With one autograph card per box, getting a full set of autographs will be a challenge for the power collectors who don't mind investing extra time and money in the chase. Collectors will also be challenged by the differing availability of many autograph cards. A number of autographers signed only a small number of cards, making those cards more challenging to collect. Luckily, many fan favorites signed the maximum number of cards, making them easier to find. For everyone else, the set is still a revolutionary and interesting set.
Star Wars Evolution is the first set ever to combine classic trilogy and prequel images into a single card set. By focusing on characters, the set is able to transcend the boundaries of one particular film. A limited number of images from Episode II are also included in the set, making it the first card set to contain Episode II imagery (on an official level).
Cards for Evolution were printed on a quality foil stock, similar to that used for the Star Wars Vehicles card set. Card backs contained information about the character shown on the card. Unlike the Vehicles card set, which was criticized by some collectors for its artwork, these cards feature bold photo images of the characters.
For those whose main interest is promo cards, both the P1 and P2 promo cards (which both feature Obi-Wan Kenobi), were widely available from a variety of sources including several hundred given away on this site. These cards were issued in magazines, at conventions, and with comic books, making them easy to obtain for most collectors. Magazines that are being given the promo cards are receiving equal numbers of the P1 and P2 cards, giving all collectors a good chance of finding both. The P3 promo card (featuring Nien Nunb) was made available exclusively at AlphaCon. A total of 5000 P3 promo cards were printed by Topps. Of these 250 were set aside for the special VIP dinner held at AlphaCon. These 250 cards were autographed, and hand numbered by Mike Quinn, the actor who portrayed Nien Nunb. Because these autographed P3 promos were limited in number (250), and hand numbered by the signer, they are currently fetching high prices on eBay! and other sites. Another promotional card (the P4) is being given out at five different conventions where Steve Sansweet will be giving a presentation about the Skywalker family tree. This promo card features several different images of Anakin, highlighting the Evolutionary nature of the set, and the character in the films. In addition, Steve Sansweet has been very generously autographing the cards for many fans at the conventions.
The list of autographers shown below is a confirmed list provided by Topps. The exact number of cards autographed is also listed, which should give collectors a good idea of which cards were harder to find. Again, most of the favorite characters were generous in providing the maximum number of autographs.
Beyond the autographs, Topps created special 'A' and 'B' level Evolution cards. These cards feature many of the more popular characters in different guises. There are 12 Level A evolution cards, and 8 level B evolution cards, for a total of 20 different cards to collect. As an example of an Evolution card progression, consider Princess Leia. Her common card for the set features Leia in her white gown. The 'A' level Evolution card, which is less common (possibly only 1:12) features Leia as Boushh. All 'A' level cards have a Blue card border to help quickly distinguish them from their common counterpart. The 'B' level Evolution card, which is even less common,shows Leia as Jabba's prisoner, and features a green border. These Evolution cards should make for a good overall view of the central characters and are an interesting variation on the chase card concept. They are also relatively easy to obtain compared to the odds for traditional chase cards.
Finally, in keeping with the evolutionary theme of the set, even the checklist cards are unique. First, it's been a long time since a card set needed three checklists! The checklist cards feature different images of the Skywalker family, essentially showing the family as it has evolved.
|27||Fode and Beed|
|28||General Carlist Rieekan|
|29||General Crix Madine|
|30||General Jan Dodonna|
|31||General Maximillian Veers|
|32||Grand Moff Tarkin|
|36||Jabba the Hutt|
|37||Jar Jar Binks|
|C1||Anakin and Shmi|
|C2||Luke and Darth Vader|
|C3||Luke and Leia|
|Beru Lars no B card|
|Owen Lars no B card|
|Qui-Gon Jinn no B card|
|Yoda no B card|
|Level A Autographers (1000 cards signed)|
|Admiral Ackbar||Tim Rose|
|Admiral Ozzel||Michael Sheard|
|Admiral Piett||Kenneth Colley|
|Aurra Sing||Michonne Bourriague|
|Boba Fett||Jeremy Bulloch|
|Captain Needa||Michael Culver|
|General Crix Madine||Dermot Crowley|
|Lyn Me||Dalyn Chew|
|Moff Jerjerrod||Michael Pennington|
|Mon Mothma||Caroline Blakiston|
|Nien Nunb||Mike Quinn|
|Owen Lars||Phil Brown|
|Voice of Darth Vader||James Earl Jones|
|Voice of Sebulba||Lewis MacLeod|
|Voice of Watto||Andrew Secombe|
|Wickett W. Warrick||Warwick Davis|
|Level B Autographers (400 cards signed)|
|Senator Palpatine||Ian McDiarmid|
|Level C Autographers (300 cards signed)|
|Lando Calrissian||Billy Dee Williams|
|Level D Autographers (100 cards signed)|
|Princess Leia Organa||Carrie Fisher|
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