Thursday, November 14, 2013
Where No Gum Had Gone Before!
In the spirit of their highly excellent Mars Attacks book which I took a look at a few weeks ago, this little tome showcasing Star Trek cards hit the book racks of my local retailer several weeks ago. There is an unalloyed charm to these books which capture a seemingly more naive time before the engines of industry had fully coordinated all aspects of marketing and trends, and fads could bubble up (pun intended) from some offbeat directions.
At the time that Topps put out their Star Trek card sets, all properly packaged with the inevitably inedible gum, they were responding to the mid-70s' uptick in interest in the series which had been revived from network doom and was finding unexpected success in syndication across the nation. The bicentennial year of 1976 was not one which knew that Star Trek was an unstoppable franchise, but merely a sci-fi TV show that was finding fans all across the country.
In spite of the juggernaut Star Trek would become after the eventual movie arrived, Topps found these cards pretty much a bust. They only did one series and it's speculated that's the reason not all the episodes are represented in this series, something saved for the sequel. But there was no proper sequel, though Topps tried again when the movie did strike a chord some years later.
One oddity is that Sulu doesn't make a single appearance on these cards. Now considered a core member, he is somehow forgotten in all the furor to gather the images (from fan sources it is reported) and doesn't get any type of shout out. That oversight is corrected in the new book which comes with some bonus cards, one of which does finally at last give Sulu is due.
This is a fun little book, and something any fan of the original series might want to take a look at.