1978 Topps : Superman: The Movie Photo Cards

Superman: The Movie starring Christopher Reeve was directed by Richard Donner. The film was released in theaters on December 15, 1978. Topps Chewing Gum issued two series of photos cards and stickers for the first film.

1978 Topps : Superman: The Movie Photo Cards

Series 1 was released in 1978. The first series is comprised of white bordered cards numbered #1–77, six blue paper stickers, and six foil stickers. Series 1 is sold in black boxes and black wax packs. Packs were originally sold for 20 cents each in 3-pack bundles and boxes of 36. Each wax pack contains ten cards, a stick of bubble gum, and a sticker. A 21 x 27 inch Press Sheet was sold through mail for $2.50 and one wrapper.

1978 Topps Superman - 1 - Christopher Reeve as The Man of Steel 1978 Topps Superman - 63 - All-American Hero!

Series 1 contains blue paper stickers. The odds of receiving a foil sticker are about 1:2 packs. The Superman emblem foil stickers in Series 1 are metallic. The foil stickers are often damaged by print roller marks and gum sugar.

1978 Topps Superman The Movie - The Man of Steel 1978 Topps Superman The Movie - Portrait of Clark Kent

The card backs feature a puzzle piece or a production factoid. There are many variations of back errors due to a misoriented printing plate. Like many Topps releases of the era, ink smudges and poor centering are common occurrences.

1978 Topps Superman - 2 - Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent 1978 Topps Superman - 4 - Zooming Across The Sky 1978 Topps Superman - 43 - Sole Survivor of Krypton

The S-shield emblem used by the film was illustrated by Bob Peak. Card #64 features an image of Action Comics #1 (June 1938). The cover artwork is by an unknown DC staff member based on an interior panel by Superman co-creator Joe Shuster.

1978 Topps Superman - 64 - First Appearance in the Comics (1938)

An nearly identical set was released by Topps Ireland and distributed by Trebor in the UK. The UK set is comprised of 66 base cards and no stickers. The wax packs were originally sold for five pence and there are 48 packs per box. Each pack contains five cards and a stick of bubble gum. The UK box image is different, substituting the American flag with the photo from card #1.

A 74-card set was distributed in New Zealand by Allens & Regina Ltd. Each pack contains 3 base cards and a stick of bubble gum. The Allens & Regina series does not include any stickers. The New Zealand boxes feature the American flag photo from card #63.

Series 1 received a limited Spanish language release in Mexico. The set was distributed by Laboratorios Y Agencias Unidas, S.A. The 77-card Mexico series was sold in blue boxes of 36 wax packs and each pack contains three cards. The packs depict the Superman emblem or an illustration by Curt Swan. The Mexico release does not include any stickers or gum.

Identical promotional images were used in Canadian food-issued sets from Drake's Cakes and Weston Bakeries.


Series 2 was released in 1979. The red bordered cards are numbered #78–165. Series 2 is sold in green boxes and yellow wax packs that indicate an "All New Series." The photo of Superman and the American flag on the display box is not included in Series 2. The second series may be confused for Superman II due to the red border design and similar nomenclature. Series 2 includes six red paper stickers and ten foil stickers.

1979 Topps - Superman Series 2 - 83 - Christopher Reeve plays Superman

A 132-card set that combines both series was released in Canada by O-Pee-Chee. The O-Pee-Chee cards contain all white borders. O-Pee-Chee wax packs originally sold for 15 cents and there are 36 packs per box. Each pack contains ten cards, a stick of bubble gum, and a paper sticker; no foil stickers were included. The text on the O-Pee-Chee cards and packaging is printed in English and French.

1978 O-Pee-Chee Superman - 83 - Christopher Reeve plays Superman


In 2001, the Topps Vault released the original 1978 color proof sets to the public. Some of the original 1978 base cards have been stamped in gold foil by Topps as buyback inserts in 2002 American Pie: Spirit of America Edition, 2011 American Pie, and 2013 Topps 75th Anniversary. Reprints and parallels of card #37, "Night Flight," were issued in 2013 as part of the Topps 75th Anniversary series.

2013 Topps 75th Anniversary - 74 - Superman Night Flight (Rainbow Foil)

Topps first issued Superman trading cards in 1965 with a test series for The Adventures of Superman television show. A 1966 test issue for Superman in the Jungle was later licensed to A&BC gum in the UK. Topps released trading card sets for Superman II in 1980, Superman III in 1983, Supergirl in 1984, and Superman Returns in 2006.

Series 1 Checklist
1 Christopher Reeve as The Man of Steel
2 Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent
3 Margot Kidder as Lois Lane
4 Zooming Across The Sky
5 Valerie Perrine as Eve
6 Ned Beatty as Otis
7 Jackie Cooper as Perry White
8 Editor and Staff of the Daily Planet
9 Susannah York as Lara
10 Marc McClure as Jimmy Olsen
11 Glenn Ford as Jonathan Kent
12 The Majestic Planet Krypton
13 Incredible Laboratory of Jor-El
14 Lois Lane In a Jam!
15 A Study in Villainy VAR
16 Arch Criminals On Trial
17 Briefing Military Police of Krypton
18 A World Torn Asunder...!
19 The Spaceship Blasts Off!
20 Protector of the Peace
21 The Might of Superman
22 A Final Farewell from Lara
23 The Death Throes of Planet Krypton!
24 Clark Kent, Ace Reporter!
25 Destruction of a World in Space
26 Aerial Adventure!
27 Escape from Destruction
28 Journey Across the Gulf of Space!
29 Superbaby arrives on Earth!
30 Observing Landing of a Spaceship
31 Adopting a Space Child
32 Young Clark Kent (Jeff East) and his Foster Dad
33 The Passing of Jonathan Kent
34 The Youthful Lois Lane and her Parents
35 Superman Makes the Headlines!
36 Paying a Call on Lois Lane
37 Night Flight
38 Flight Over Metropolis
39 Perils of The Big City!
40 The Man Of Steel In Flight
41 Panic In the Sky!
42 Amazing Strength of the Star Child
43 Sole Survivor of Krypton
44 Preparing to Leap Skyward
45 Facing Incredible Odds!
46 Trial By Fire!
47 On the Trail of Lex Luthor
48 The Icy Peril
49 Ready for Action!
50 Heroic Stranger from the Stars
51 The Amazing Man of Steel
52 Interview with Superman
53 The incredible Scoop of Lois Lane
54 Superman Leaps Into Action!
55 Superman To The Rescue!
56 A Daring Rescue!
57 Lois Lane thanks Superman
58 Rescued by the Man of Steel!
59 Superman (Christopher Reeve)
60 Confronting the Arch-Criminal Lex Luthor
61 Portrait of a Hero
62 Protector of Truth and Justice
63 All-American Hero!
64 First Appearance In the Comics (1938)
65 Soaring Above The City
66 Landing of the Spaceship
67 Nefarious Plan of Lex Luthor
68 The Scheme to Destroy Superman
69 Marlon Brando as Jor-El
70 Jor-El and Lara...Their Final Moments!
71 The Projection of Jor-El
72 Doomsday On Krypton!
73 Life-Saving Spaceship of Jor-El
74 The Infant Son of Jor-El
75 Lex Luthor and Eve...Companions in Villainy!
76 Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor
77 Conversing With The Elders
Sticker The Man of Steel
Sticker Portrait of Clark Kent
Sticker Portrait of Jimmy Olsen
Sticker Portrait of Lois Lane
Sticker Portrait of Lara
Sticker Portrait of Superman
Foil Sticker Arms Crossed
Foil Sticker Fist Forward
Foil Sticker Flying Forward
Foil Sticker Flying Right
Foil Sticker Hands on Hips
Foil Sticker Superman Emblem (Metallic)
Series 2 Checklist
78 Rushing to the Rescue!
79 Phyllis Thaxter plays Martha Kent
80 Sunset in Smallville
81 Fabulous Lair of Lex Luthor
82 The Villains Discuss their Plan
83 Christopher Reeve plays Superman
84 A Razzled Lois Lane!
85 Inside the Fortress of Solitude
86 A Low Moment for Clark Kent!
87 Ace Bumbler Otis!
88 The Dynamic Duo of Villainy
89 Lovely Lois Lane (Margot Kidder)
90 Clinging to Life!
91 Clark Kent as a Young Man (Jeff East)
92 The Family of Jor-El on Krypton
93 Superman in a Pensive Mood
94 Sarah Douglas plays Ursa
95 Eve's Part in the Lex Luthor Plan
96 Clark Kent of the Daily Planet
97 Director Richard Donner
98 Christopher Reeve plays Clark Kent
99 Accident On the Road!
100 Ned Beatty plays Otis
101 Saved by the Man of Steel!
102 Marc McClure plays Jimmy Olsen
103 Face Of Anger
104 Farewell to Smallville
105 Glenn Ford plays Jonathan Kent
106 "And Who, Disguised as Clark Kent..."
107 Superman Visits the Fortress of Solitude
108 Maria Schell plays Vond-Ah
109 Incredible Display of Strength!
110 Jack O'Halloran plays Non
111 Spotting the Man of Steel
112 Destruction of the Dam!
113 The Chamber of the Council of Elders
114 Fleeing the Destruction of Krypton!
115 Superman In Metropolis
116 The One-And-Only Lois Lane!
117 Jonathan Kent In Smallville
118 Repairing the Twisted Train Rails!
119 Terence Stamp plays General Zod
120 Mysterious Hunt for Lex Luthor
121 The World's Most Diabolical Villain
122 Lex Luthor wants YOU!
123 Time For a Quick Change!
124 200 Feet Below Grand Central Station!
125 Cub Reporter Jimmy Olsen
126 Flight Around Metropolis
127 Condemned to the Phantom Zone
128 Eve Teschmacher : Dizzy, Devious and Delightful!
129 Our Hero In Civilian Clothes
130 Clark Kent Transforms Into Superman!
131 Jor-El in the Trial Chamber
132 Jackie Cooper plays Perry White
133 The Incredible Scheme Begins
134 Eve and her Mentor, Lex Luthor
135 John Barry, Master of Illusion
136 Amazing Hearing Powers of Superman
137 Ursa - Villainess Supreme
138 Might of the Man of Steel
139 Valerie Perrine plays Eve
140 Lovers from Different Worlds
141 Susannah York plays Lara
142 Gene Hackman plays Lex Luthor
143 Vond-Ah and Jor-El
144 Valerie Perrine, featured as Eve
145 The Farm of Jonathan Kent in Smallville
146 The Stupendous Man of Steel
147 Young Clark Kent and the Mysterious Crystal
148 Superman Spots a Crime
149 Can This Be the End of Lois Lane?
150 Night Heist
151 Flying Over the Dam
152 The Movie Set for Krypton
153 A Cowardly Blow from Behind!
154 Mission for a Bumbler
155 Visitor from Another Planet
156 Lex Luthor : Madman or Brilliant Scientist?
157 Deceiving His Military Foes
158 Soaring to New Heights!
159 'Copter Atop the Daily Planet
160 Death of an Exotic World
161 "How did you know the exact contents of my purse?"
162 Threatened By a Mugger!
163 On His Way to the Lair of Lex Luthor
164 The Objective of Lex Luthor
165 Saving a Power Plant!
Sticker Evil Criminal Non
Sticker General Zod
Sticker Lovely Lois Lane
Sticker The Man of Steel
Sticker Ursa
Sticker Young Clark Kent
Foil Sticker Superman Emblem (Grey)
Foil Sticker Photo from card 83 - Superman
Foil Sticker Photo from card 93 - Superman
Foil Sticker Photo from card 98 - Clark Kent
Foil Sticker Photo from card 107 - Fortress of Solitude
Foil Sticker Photo from card 109 - Superman
Foil Sticker Photo from card 120 - Superman
Foil Sticker Photo from card 138 - Superman
Foil Sticker Photo from card 158 - Superman
Foil Sticker Photo from card 163 - Otis