Friday, January 10, 2014

Trading Cards: Star Date 1979

10 year-old me would be psyched to know that I eventually did end up with all 88 cards!
Once again I've gone back to the old box of trading cards my mother recovered from her attic months ago, to seek inspiration for a blog post. The late 1970's were a great time to be a young science-fiction fan. Following the success of Star Wars, television networks were trying to cash in with shows like Buck Rogers in The 25th Century! and one movie studio, Paramount Pictures, attempted to breathe new life on the big screen into a short-lived television show, Star Trek.

The original crew was back looking none the worse for the wear after a decade away.
Released 10 years after the original series was cancelled in 1969, Star Trek the Motion Picture (1979) was not very successful, likely due to the filmmaker's efforts to go "big" with special effects rather than focusing on the smaller human stories that Star Trek episodes did so well during its brief 3 year run. Like most potential sci-fi franchises of the era such as Disney's The Black Hole or television's Space: 1999, the Star Trek movie was supported by a set of trading cards, that, like the movie itself, never really caught on. Even now, thirty-plus years later, a complete set of the Topps Star Trek the Motion Picture "picture card series" (with stickers, too!) can be had on Ebay for anywhere from 10 cents to $12.

Hunky newcomers Persis Khambatta and Stephen Collins were introduced as hip,
new Enterprise crew members.
I have fond memories of seeing the movie as it was a passion of my father's. Though it may not have been as action packed as this then-ten year-old would have liked, it was Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Bones and the gang on the big screen, which was (and remains) good enough for me. Flipping though these old cards, and fondly remembering the movie and my life when it came out, must be what it was like for baseball card collectors back-in-the day; I never felt as invested in sports memorabilia, but have a similar affection for most things sci-fi and comic booky.

Unfortunately alien practical effects and costumes failed to advance much in
the 10 year's since Star Trek the television show had been cancelled.

Count me as a fan of the hippie looks both Spock and McCoy sported
at the beginning of the film. Will always be a DeForest Kelley/McCoy fan.

Not only are these two cards almost exactly the same, they'r ordered right next to one another!?
I spent nearly an hour this evening sorting through my Star Trek the Motion Picture Topps trading cards, and it was time well spent. Not only did it remind me of simpler times, but it also gave me the opportunity to verify, after all these years, that I had indeed managed to get a full set (minus the stickers). I'm willing to make this concession to my momentary desire to have the entire set--as a ten year old, stickers often found their way onto notebooks, wall sand other places. For a young fanboy just learning to fly his geek flag, that's where they belonged anyway...

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