The Trading Cards that Defined Star Trek for a Generation

Before we had DVDs and Blu-rays of every Star Trek episode — before VHS tapes, even — there were trading cards that commemorated every adventure. A brand new book commemorates the lurid Topps trading-card adventures of the U.S.S. Enterprise, and we've got an exclusive peek.

The images below come from the book Star Trek: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, from Abrams Publishing. Why are people still so fascinated by these old trading cards? We asked the book's co-author, Paula M. Block, and she says:

While some of your readers won't be able to conceive of the stone age era that original Trekkers lived in, there was a time when there was nothing, nada, out there to refresh our memories about this wonderful TV show that died an untimely death in 1969. There were a couple of books, some not very good comics, and a magazine or two. This was pre-videos, pre-anything digital. So the sudden existence of this wonderful set of cards featuring scenes from many of the classic Star Trek episodes was like manna from heaven! We think that the folks who are excited about the existence of this book are getting in touch with the young, super enthusiastic Trek fan they once were. Looking again at these images—and some are admittedly goofy—is liking hearing a refrain from a song that you heard and loved long ago. It plugs right into the old emotions.

Block and her co-author, Terry J. Erdmann, met back in 1985 at a science fiction convention, Media-West Con in Lansing, MI.

Check out some exclusive pages from the book below, plus the cover art:

The Trading Cards that Defined Star Trek for a Generation

The Trading Cards that Defined Star Trek for a Generation

The Trading Cards that Defined Star Trek for a Generation

The Trading Cards that Defined Star Trek for a Generation

The Trading Cards that Defined Star Trek for a Generation

The Trading Cards that Defined Star Trek for a Generation

The Trading Cards that Defined Star Trek for a Generation

The Trading Cards that Defined Star Trek for a Generation

The Trading Cards that Defined Star Trek for a Generation

The Trading Cards that Defined Star Trek for a Generation

The Trading Cards that Defined Star Trek for a Generation

The Trading Cards that Defined Star Trek for a Generation

The Trading Cards that Defined Star Trek for a Generation

The Trading Cards that Defined Star Trek for a Generation