Monday, 15 July 2013

Super Top Trumps - World Cup Football

Whoever decided to give a children's card game the same name as a child's word for a bout of flatulence was either having a laugh or very naive. Yes I know it's actually based on the concept of a card having a higher than normal value in trick-taking card games, but c'mon...we all sniggered about it as kids. OK so maybe not all of us still snigger as we head toward our 40s, but...oh shut up!

For anyone who doesn't know what Top Trumps were, a) I feel so sorry for you and b) they were (and still are) a card game where each pack was about a certain subject (e.g. Planes, Animals and of course, Footballers) and each card was an example of that subject (e.g. Boeing 747, Eagle, George Best).

Each card contained a variety of stats, such as 'No. Engines', 'Wingspan' and 'No. Pints Consumed on an average Friday night'...probably. The controlling player would pick one of the stats and read it out. The others would then see what value their card had and the player with the highest (or lowest depending on the stat) value would win and collect the losing cards and to add to their pile. The game was over when one player held all the cards or when the owner of the pack got sore at losing and stomped off to their room in tears...again...

Nae, y'cannae!
Can we play too?
This particular incarnation of TT is the rather generically titled 'World Cup Football' and contains 35 notable teams from World Cup history...and Wales. Still, makes a change from me laughing at Scotland's inclusion in anything World Cup wait, they're in there, 34 notable...yeah you get where I'm going...

The cards have the following playing stats:

World Cup Wins
Semi finalists
Final Series Games
Games Won
Games Drawn
Games Lost
Goals For
Goals Against

The selection of teams is mostly unsurprising, but given the year this pack was produced (circa 1992), there are some interesting anomalies.

Yugoslavia are there, but they're listed with (unified) after their title and the box for their flag is left blank apart from a question mark in the middle. One can't help feeling there must have been a more sensitive way of handling that particular political question, but this is what we got.

C.I.S, aka the Commonwealth of Independent States, aka the former Soviet Union are also in there, though of course the C.I.S as it was never actually played in any World Cup, its existence arising after the 1990 tournament and over by USA 94, where Russia were the only country of that group to qualify. The picture used is also that of the USSR team.

There's also a country called 'Camaroon'

There's the ever present "Top Trumps Check List" and "Free Pack" offer at the back and also a nice little ad for Subbuteo!

I've only just got this set off eBay so as yet, I've not had the delight of being able to compare England's "Goals For" against Argentina's (55 v 82). In the meantime, check out Des Walker's haircut from the cover! Will.I.Am has a lot to learn!

As a final note, the BEST Top Trumps ever produced were the Horror series and the ultimate card of these was Death, who looked like a Sandman from Star Wars and was near invincible. Whoever got Death was almost always the victor...aaaah happy days!

F*** You!
See also:


  1. I absolutely loved the horror ones. When I was about 12, they inspired me to make a pack of my own. I kept the same categories but had an entirely new set of characters, the highest ranking of which was the Cliff Richard-inspired 'Devil Woman'. I realised that my ranking system wasn't designed as well as the official Top Trumps when it came to actually playing with mine - games would take almost forever, as myself and my opponent constantly exchanged cards!

    1. Hi Richard...glad it wasn't just me who loved the Horror series :) Me and my brother used to play these for hours and would also laugh at some of the illustrations. We also tried to make our own, but it was taking so long we abandoned it :)