Today we’re going to take a look at another Topps trading card series, ALF Series 2… and yes, we’re completely skipping the first series. Why? Well, for starters I can’t find my first set in the pit of chaos that I’ve labeled my “Collector’s Closet.” We’ll do the prequel one day though, I promise.
These cards came out in 1987, one of the peak years of the extraterrestrial fuzzball’s grasping interest. At this point his furry mug was everywhere: on t-shirts, in kid’s meals, as plush dolls (still have, and love, mine very much thank you!) and had some extra success in the world of animation—one set during time ALF spent on planet Melmac and the other a series of fairy tales retold with Melmacian flare. But like we’ve discussed in previous editions of this column, the success of any pop culture icon during the ancient 80s was expressed with a trading card series.
The second leg of the ALF series is a direct continuation of the first set, meaning your first card isn’t labeled #1. Instead, it’s card #48. This particular base set is pretty small for a Topps series with only 44 cards. The majority of images on them are stills from the show, but for some of them it appears my favorite alien had time for a few special photo shoots. They all carry the same style border and, surprisingly, seem to have a little bit better of a shine (gloss cover) than other Topps cards of this era.
The backs don’t look as bright and vibrant as their flip sides, but I still find really fun. The cards supply us with ALF’s family history, giving us a rundown on the greats from the Shumway family tree (Gordon Shumway is ALF’s real name). Each back side also gives us a little more insight on to what planet Melmac was like as well with a few quick factoids—a cool effort to expand on the series history and story you could only get that from the cards!
The stickers aren’t anything significant, they’re repeats of certain cards from the series in adhesive form. However, I do enjoy the “outer space” style border much better than the red frames of the base set. A a bonus, the backs of these guys offer us a puzzle for those who sought all 11 of these guys.
The real treat of this entire shebang, I feel, is the “bouillabaseball” cards that you got (one of in every pack). These guys were pretty much your chase cards. They each feature a unique character from planet Melmac who participated in the planet’s favorite past time: Bouillabaseball. The game appears to be extremely similar to our planets own version of baseball, only on Melmac they played with a giant balled up chunk of fish guts! Let me tell you, some love went into these. Each card presents itself as an actual sports styled card; fronts displaying a player, scene and team affiliation while the backs feature players facts and stats.
The current market slides this set, complete with stickers and bouillabaseball cards included) on a scale between 10 to 18 dollars. They’re just as easy to find on that lower scale in good condition as the higher end so pay attention on what you click if you’re hunting these down.