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Star Wars beats Trek in the card wars

15/05/2005. Contributed by Jessica Martin

Buy Star Wars in the USA - or Buy Star Wars in the UK

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Yes, Star Wars is now officially the most popular movie trading card franchise produced. And all the others are science fiction and fantasy based too.

When it comes to trading cards, the Force is with George Lucas' space epic.

According to trading card publisher Beckett Media, Star Wars cards are hands-down the most popular movie tie-in trading cards ever.

Over the past 28 years, 250 Star Wars trading card sets have been produced (including more than 40 from the Topps Co.) in 20 countries, encompassing nearly 10,000 cards.

The most sought-after Star Wars cards are the ultra-rare, one-of-one Sketch cards that were inserted into 2004 Topps Stars Wars Heritage and 2005 Topps Revenge of the Sith. Those cards feature original artwork from Star Wars artists. They often sell at sci-fi conventions and on the Internet for up to $150.

A Rookie Card (or in this case a "Wookie Card") of Darth Vader - the central character in the saga's latest installment, Revenge of the Sith - from the 1977 Topps set will cost you $5.

"Before Star Wars, trading cards for movies weren't big business," says Doug Kale, Beckett Entertainment editor and contributing editor of Beckett's Collectibles From A Galaxy Far, Far Away. "We based our list of top movie card franchises on several factors - overall sales, pricing on the secondary markets, total cards manufactured, numbers of countries in which the cards were distributed and, of course, demand. By just about any measure, Star Wars is light years ahead of the competition."

The Top Five most collectible movie-franchise trading cards ever according to Beckett are:

1. Star Wars
2. Star Trek
3. The Lord of the Rings
4. E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial
5. (tie) Indiana Jones/Batman

More on the rarer SFF trading cards over at

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