Topps is back with its third American Pie release, following sets issued in 2001 and 2002. The focus of this 200 card set are historical events since the end of World War II to the present, with pop culture events being the main theme, many of which I had forgotten about until I saw the cards! While there are some fun inserts including autographs and memorabilia cards, the main star is the base set and the subsets.
The first decade covered is the 1940s. Most card collectors are familiar with card #22 Hopalong Cassidy, but how about card #11, the setting of the “Doomsday Clock”, which attempted to estimate the chances of nuclear war? The Volkswagen Beetle was also introduced in the 40s, and the UFO craze was about to take off (or crash) with the Roswell incident. The 1950s saw the debut of the Today show, the first color TV, and the origins of American icons Burger King, McDonald’s, Disneyland, The Muppets, and Barbie. Base cards featuring the 1960s have a colorful psychedelic logo on their fronts, and highlight the introduction of the Zip Code, birth control pills, the first push-button phone, and the first ATM.
Technology was on the move in the 1970s, cards featured here include the first hand-held cell phone (it was big!), the first use of bar codes, the founding of Apple computers, the Walkman, and the Atari 2600 video game console. Entertainment saw major changes in the 1980s cards, CNN was launched, MTV premiered, the first CD’s hit the market, and the Apple Macintosh became the first affordable home computer. Michael Jackson, Oprah Winfrey, Seinfeld, and The Simpsons all became entertainment superstars.
The last two decades also saw some amazing advances in technology, as the 199os saw the launch of the world-wide web, the introduction of DVD’s, and the founding of Google and Napster. Things we are all familiar with and use almost every day advanced starting in the year 2000: blogging, Facebook, and YouTube. The set stays as close to real-time as possible, with the final three cards depicting the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the death of Steve Jobs, and Hurricane Irene.
Celebrities also feature prominently throughout the set, everyone from Jimmy Stewart, Lucy and Desi, Jackie Gleason, Alfred Hitchcock, the Brady Bunch, and Kurt Cobain. The Fads and Fashion subset even includes something most of us collectors are also familiar with, Pogs! It’s an amazing trip through pop culture history, and one set collectors can enjoy for years to come as history moves forward!