1990 Topps The Simpsons Box

1990 Topps The Simpsons Box

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Release Date: 1990

Configuration: 36 packs per box, 8 dynamic cards & 1 crummy sticker per pack.

For a show that's been around for such a long time, there really aren't a lot of sets of Simpsons trading cards. However, there was one very early one that helped usher in the classic series. 1990 Topps Simpsons trading cards is a simple set by today's standards. Even when it first came out it was nothing fancy. But that almost seems to be the point.

The 88-card base set features images from the first episodes. The characters have the crude look to them that was quickly tweaked. The design uses an animated television as the basis. Just like the machine it's mimicking, it's clunky. The "screen" has the card's main content with a still from the show. Comic captions add zingers and classic lines.

While the entire Simpsons clan gets their share of cards, the focus of the 1990 Topps Simpsons trading cards set is clearly on Bart. This rang true to the show with him being the rebel and Homer being more of a grumpy neanderthal than the more rounded lovable oaf he evolved into. Several cards have Homer going after his son and Bart coolly retorting.

The set also has 22 stickers. For those who grew up with the show, images on the stickers are likely very familiar. Most could be found on the T-shirts that were popular when the show became a hit. Like the base set, Bart is the main focus. "Underachiever and proud of it," "Cowabunga, man!" and "I'm Bart Simpson, who the hell are you?" all find their way into the set. Sticker backs all have a different chalkboard gag.

One of the trademarks of The Simpsons is its cast of characters. Base card fronts don't show this as they're all about the titular family. However, many of the base card backs form a puzzle that offer a glimpse at Springfield's greater population. Other card backs double as trivia cards. It wouldn't be until the next Simpsons trading card set, which was released in 1993 by SkyBox, that collectors would get a deeper look into the characters.

1990 Topps Simpsons trading cards is one of the final sets to go with the format of basic cards, stickers and gum. Even by the time this set came out, the hobby was changing. Inserts were becoming popular and printing techniques better. But even though it's not fancy, it's a nice, affordable piece of early Simpsons memorabilia.

(The way to differentiate the US version from UK version is the US version text on the front (in the speech bubbles) has quotation marks whereas the UK does not have quotation marks).

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