Star Wars Wonder Bread Card Set (Continental Baking Company, 1977)

Here's a great piece of my childhood.  My grandfather drove a truck for the Continental Baking Company, and he would always bring me and my sister piles of whatever premiums were being given away (imagine, if you would, premiums in loaves of bread!), be it little plastic flags for the Olympics, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS or BATTLESTAR GALACTICA trading cards--or this earlier set that was my complete favorite.

I'd always wondered if Topps made these, but in last year's book (which I recommend by the way), called STAR WARS - THE ORIGINAL TOPPS TRADING CARD SERIES, VOLUME ONE, the author points out that although they had carried Topps products before as premiums, the Continental Baking Company made these cards themselves (it had something to do with waiving the licensing fee in exchange for getting the cards ready on time, which was September, 1977).  

Another interesting fact was that the cards were just in there with the bread.  As I recall, they weren't wrapped or anything, and sometimes you will see discoloration on the backs of the cards for this reason.

The layout and descriptions are great, and really not too terribly far off from what we think of as "canon" today (I am starting to hate that word).  Luke is said to be a "twenty-year old," Chewbacca is said to be 100 (isn't it 200 in some places?), and I think it's interesting to refer to Stormtrooper armor as "spacesuits."  Otherwise, the most interesting bit to me was that Tarkin had ambitions to be Emperor!

I have begun a separate sub-page as I go through and scan my vintage SW cards (accessible at the top left of this page), where the links will refer back to blog posts, like my page for Vintage Godzilla stuff.  More to come!

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