Food issue trading cards aren’t just for sports. In fact, movies and TV shows have a long history of finding themselves on the boxes of snacks and as the treasure at the bottom of a box of cereal. And sometimes, they came with loaves of bread. Such is the case for 1977 Wonder Bread Star Wars trading cards.
The set has the rare distinction of being an official North American release that has nothing to do with Topps — the company that has held the trading card license from the beginning.
1977 Star Wars Wonder Bread isn’t a massive set. It’s not an overly rare one. It is, however, challenging in other regards.
1977 Wonder Bread Star Wars Trading Card Info
The 16-card checklist is a far cry from the 330 that dotted the 1977 Topps Star Wars checklist. But the Topps release was a standalone affair that ran for five different series.
1977 Wonder Bread Star Wars is different. While they were meant to be chased, the goal of the cards was to sell bread. A smaller checklist should be expected.
This is a largely character-based set. It covers the main characters on both sides of the Rebellion including Luke Skywalker, Prince Leia, Han Solo, Darth Vader and even Grand Moff Tarkin. A handful of spaceships are mixed in at the end of the checklist.
The cards themselves are simple yet bold in their design. Black borders provide a big contrast to the images and the Star Wars banner that runs up the side. It’s probably a more natural choice than the blue that Topps started with before taking an even more colorful approach with ensuing series.
Card backs are all text describing the character, droid or spaceship that’s on the front.
Cards originally came in specially marked bags of Wonder Bread. One loaf, one card.
Bread is not exactly something that’s bought in small amounts. It’s up there with milk as one of the grocery staples in most homes.
However, inserted loosely, there’s a lot that can happen to an exposed trading cards nesting with a loaf, whether it’s whole grain or white. Staining and squishing come to mind right away. Add to that the fact that cards come with black borders and the condition sensitivity makes perfect sense. Even small corner and edge marks are visible.
So the bulk of the cards that made their way to store shelves probably havent’t fared well over the years. Even if they were taken care of once freed from the bread bag, the damage might already have been done.
Those cards that do look exceptional today likely came from another source. 1977 Wonder Bread Star Wars had a mail-in offer where collectors could get all 16 cards in one go. Not only that, but they came bagged and away from any bread. These cards didn’t run the risk of being damaged before they were even handled by someone outside of production.
More to Chase
For completists, there are some other tie-in items to chase. For starters, there’s the actual bread bag the cards came in. They do mention Star Wars and the promotion in a couple of places. And considering the fact that these bags were garbage at the time, they can be fairly tough to find today.
Collectors can also look for items used to advertise the set in grocery stores. This includes a big shelf sign, a shelf tab and a pole display. All have colorful pop art of Luke, C-3PO and R2-D2. The pole display and shelf sign also have an X-Wing.
1977 Wonder Bread Star Wars Checklist
1 Luke Skywalker
2 Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi
3 Princess Leia Organa
4 Han Solo
5 Darth Vader
6 Grand Moff Tarkin
11 Tusken Raiders
13 Millenium Falcon
14 Star Destroyer
16 Tie-Vader’s Ship