the evolution of star wars cardbacks from 1995-present



star wars modern series


1995 the power of the force 2


1999 episode 1


2000 the power of the jedi


2002 star wars


2004 trilogy collection


2005 episode 3


2006 the saga collection


2007 30th anniversary


2008 the legacy collection


2009 legacy collection


2010 shadow of the dark side


2011 vintage collection


2012 "darth maul"



















the cardbacks of modern star wars line


since the re-launch of star wars toys series in 1995, hasbro have gone through several cardback designs.  this section is a quick look at the cardback design from the past 15 years.



the first of the modern series is the power of the force series which feature die-cut of darth vader head, gold star wars logo and small picture of the character with red lightsaber glow background.  the first of the modern series ran from 1995 to 1999.


1995-1998 the power of the force

there were several minor changes during four year run.  hasbro first add foil sticker "hologram" over the card picture, then change the card back from red to green saber glow. during shadow of the empire multi-media, purple card with shadow of the empire was used for figures based on the book. 1998 see the inclusion of "freeze frame" slide and with the lead up to episode 1, these were change to flashback shutter pictures.


1999 the power of the force

the released of episode one see a slight change to the power of the force the saber now run vertical with burst at the end.  the gimmick for this year was the "comm-tech" chip that speak the line from the move when put next to jedi comm-link toy.  the chip tag also double as figure stand.


1999 episode 1

episode 1 toys got the same card design as power of the force but with red saber and picture of darth maul in the corner instead of darth vader.


2000 power of the jedi

after episode 1, hasbro reverse back to darth vader and green card but this time with sort of silly obi-wan jumping out of the face. the saber light is also gone and left only with star burst (still in green).  hasbro also changed the series name to "power of the jedi".


2002-2004 star wars

hasbro change the cardback again in 2002 with the release of attack of the clone movie.  interestingly, episode 2 did not get its own card design but share the card with figures from the original trilogy movies.  the card back try to use element from the vintage line with gold border and luke's hands clutching lightsaber upward.  hasbro did not give this series sub-title but it usually refer to as "saga" series.


there were a few changes to the card, first the gold border end in a point on the left, then it is removed completely with movie title banner added to the left side and card back change to burst.  the background of the card change to orange for "clone wars" micro-series tie in.


2004 the trilogy collection series

for 2004 hasbro again changes the cardbacks design.  this time it fully borrow from the original vintage line with black star field backdrop with silver borders.  the card backgrounds for the first time are unique to each figure and depict scene from the movie sort of like diorama.  the line is called the trilogy collection and concentrated on characters from the first three movies.  this is one of the better card design for the modern line. 


2005 revenge of the sith

in 2005 with the final prequel movie, revenge of the sith released to theater, hasbro switch the card back to darth vader helmet die-cut with bullet shape bubble.  picture of the character is insert in the front section under the bubble, the multi-layer package design from previous year is now in full effect.


2006 the saga collection

hasbro change the cardbacks again in 2006 for none movie year.  the saga collection series design was evolution of the trilogy collection with elements of the last year revenge of the sith card.  the card has background scene from the movie with figure on front and insert of character picture along with figure name.  this is also one of the nicer card design of the modern line.


2007 the 30th anniversary (77-07) collection

for 2007, being 30th anniversary of the first star wars movie, hasbro introduced new card design with 30th anniversary theme.  the card is back to die-cut (shape like "s") with pretty artwork (in photo realistic style) across the center up to the right side.  this year also see the collectible coins made the return.  this is also one of the better cardback for the modern line.

2008 the legacy collection

after beautiful cardback design of the 30th anniversary line, hasbro again revert back to die-cut shape.  hasbro include a special droid part with each figure under "build-a-droid" droid factory promotion that can be collect and to form a figure.  there is also separate the clone wars animated figures line with clone helmet cardback instead of stormtrooper and repack sub-line called "saga legend" that come with a weapon locker.


2009 legacy collection

hasbro switch the cardbacks in 2009 from helmet shape die-cut back to rectangle but with pattern edge and painted artwork similar to 30th anniversary style from 2007.  (the clone wars line also shared similar cardbacks design change).  the droid factory promotion return for 2009 along with series name.  the sub-line of repack figure called "saga legend" have weapon locker same as last year.  while the card is a big improvement over last year, it is somewhat plain looking.


2010 legacy collection

the cardbacks design change again for 2010.  the card is now trapezoid shape without the edge die-cut.  the background has changed to blue sky with character art on the top right.  the droid factory promotion is gone and instead we get "galactic battle game" which include a stat card, dice along with figure stand.  the figure also comes with stash of "secret weapons" similar to previous year weapon locker (but this time without cardboard locker). the new "blue sky" packaging is limit to "saga legend" repack figure.


2010-2012 the vintage collection

the vintage card design finally made full return to the modern line in 2010.  hasbro did release special vintage style card for collectors in 2004, 2005 and 2007 but they were limited to just figures that were in the old kenner series.  for 2010, the cardbacks include both the original card designs along with brand new cards based on the aesthetic of the old line.  though, this may be due to pure nostalgia, the star wars figures look most at home in these vintage cardbacks. one can say the circle is now complete.


and thus when circle is complete it must begin anew and in 2012, hasbro is going back to awful and generic looking design cardback with darth maul head in the corner and bubble cardboard insert banner.  may be in another decade we will get retro cardbacks again.


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