Top Trumps

Top Trumps is a card game. Each card contains a list of numerical data, and the game is played by comparing these numbers. A wide variety of different packs of Top Trumps have been published.


Each pack of Top Trumps is based on a theme, such as cars, aircraft, dinosaurs or characters from a popular film or television series. Each card in the pack shows a list of numerical data about the item. For example, in a pack based on cars, each card shows a different model of car, and the data may include its engine size, its weight, its length, and its top speed.

All the cards are dealt among the players. There must be at least two players, and at least one card for each player. The starting player (normally the player sitting on the dealer's left) selects a category from his or her topmost card and reads out its value. Each other player then reads out the value of the same category from their cards. The best (usually the largest) value wins the "trick", and the winner takes all the cards of the trick and places them at the bottom of his or her pile. That player then looks at their new topmost card, and chooses the category for the next round.

In the event of a draw, the cards are placed in the centre and a new category is chosen from the next card by the same person as in the previous round. The winner of that round obtains all of the cards in the centre as well as the top card from each player.

Players are eliminated when they lose their last card, and the winner is the player who obtains the whole pack. Some variants of the rules allow 'three card pick', whereby a player who has only three cards remaining is allowed to choose any of their three cards to play with. Typically, this lengthens the game considerably.


Original games

Top Trumps was a popular children's game in the United Kingdom in the 1970s and 1980s, especially amongst boys, for whom it was a popular playground pastime. The topics tended to reflect this, and included military hardware, modes of transport and racing cars. The packs tended to be priced so that children could collect new packs by saving pocket money for a few weeks.

The original Top Trumps were launched in 1977, with eleven different packs published by a company called "Dubreq", also known for the stylophone. Dubreq was taken over by Waddingtons in 1982, and they continued manufacturing packs until the early 1990s. The packs from this period are now collectible.

Winning Moves

Modern Relaunch

In 1999 the rights to the game were purchased by Winning Moves, who relaunched the game. The topics covered are more diverse, and include:
* Vehicles: (Supercars, Racing Trucks, Motorbikes and Scooters)
* Military Hardware: (Warships, Ultimate Military Jets) (fighting units of the British army)
* Scientific: (Space Phenomena, Dinosaurs)
* Engineering: (Skyscrapers)
* Wildlife: (Predators, Sharks)
* Pets: (The Dog)
* Sports: (World Football Stars, WWE wrestlers (x2), Celtic F.C., Manchester Utd FC (x3), Liverpool FC Champions League Winner, 2005 England Cricket Stars, Snowboarders)
* Entertainment: (Movie Stars, Punctuation, Smash Hits Pop Stars (x3))
* Book Characters: (The World of Roald Dahl: Goodies and Baddies)
* Comics: (The Beano, Marvel Comic Heroes (x4), DC Super Heroes (x2))
* Television Series: (The Simpsons (x4), 24, Top Gear, Little Britain, Buffy, Doctor Who (x4), )
* Films: (The Lord of the Rings (x3), Star Wars (x5), Da Vinci Code, High School Musical, Shrek 2, The Incredibles, Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter (x3), Transformers, Disney Pixar)
* Themed: (Horror, Halloween)

In most new packs a description of the item on each card was included. In the case of the wildlife and scientifically themed packs this may provide some educational benefit.

Many of the packs are, like their predecessors, becoming collectible, especially those sold for limited times (such as those associated with films), or which were specially commissioned.

Winning Moves split their packs into categories based on licenses and the age range they are aimed at. The categories used include "Classics" (packs not requiring a license) "Specials", (sold for more for reasons such as needing a license), "Juniors" (aimed at a younger audience. These only had 24 cards instead of the normal 30) and "Limited Editions" (packs which have a limited stock).

Winning Moves have also released some Collectors Edition packs including multiple packs in a set. The Collectors Editions include "The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy Gift Set" including the three Lord of the Rings decks and nine exclusive Super Top Trumps cards. A "Doctor Who 45 Years Of Time Travel" boxset was released.

A "Wedding Pack" created for the director of Winning Moves, Tom Liddel, was distributed at his wedding. A very small number was produced, and the sentimental value to the limited owners renders the Wedding Pack the rarest pack.

Overseas Packs

There are many packs that are only available overseas. These are:
*ArtenTrumpf (Species Trumps) available in Germany. This is a promotional pack.
*Asterix available in France and Germany.
*Boule and Bill available in France.
*Cédric available in France.
*Chevaux (Horses) available in Belgium.
*Feyenoord available in Holland.
*Internationale Fussballstars (International Football Stars) available in Germany. This pack was made instead of the English European Football Stars pack.
*Lucky Luke available in France.
*Pferde (Horses) available in Germany.
*Schloss Einstein available in Germany.
*Star Wars available in USA. This was not the same as the UK releases as i had characters from all six movies. It also had different statistics such as "height."
*Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles available in Sweden.
*Wereld Natuur Fonds World Wide Fund for Nature available in Holland.
*Yakari available in France.These 2 packs were available in the [ PTT Shop] for a limited time. only 500 of each were imported and sold.
*All Blacks available in New Zealand.
*Cricket Australia available in Australia.These 2 packs were exclusive to the USA until they proved so popular, they were sold in the UK. There are some variations to the cards in the packs for the American ones and the English ones.
*Sealife in Danger available in USA.
*Wildlife in Danger available in USA.There were 300 of the USA Wildlife in Danger pack imported and sold in the PTT Shop.


A number of packs have now been released in Japan. These are sold through vending machines, as are most Japanese cards. They come in Booster Packs from the vending machines, or you can buy boxes of the cards.The packs are:
*The Masked Rider
*Disney All Stars
*Power Rangers

These cards are unique as some of them are horizontal and some vertical. There are also 55 cards in each set instead of the normal 30. These cards are co-owned by Carddas.


Iceland's Top Trumps are owned by Nordic Games which is the sales department within Iceland. These packs are the same as the Winning Moves releases.

Other Countries

Other Countries that Winning Moves make Top Trumps for are: USA, Canada, France, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Holland, Norway, Sweden, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

uper Top Trump Cards

A number of recent packs have also featured Super Top Trump (STT) cards. These additional cards are not available with the original pack, but can be found in related merchandise. For example, the popular US television series 24 has a Top Trumps pack, but the STT card is only available with the purchase of season 4 on DVD. Also, the popular UK television series Doctor Who has 2 Top Trumps packs, but the STT cards were only available with the purchase of season 2 and 3 DVDs. One final Doctor Who Trump card was released with a very special edition of the "Beano Magazine" (a popular comic magazine in the UK). A number of STT cards have been made available free of charge to members of the Top Trumps club through its website. But in July 2006 membership became free and no more STT's will be made and given out from the website.

Super Top Trumps come from lots of places. Since they have stopped giving them out free to club members, they have been in DVDs, comics and magazines, newspapers, at special events and in given out in promotions.

Some STT cards are rarer than others. Most of the STT cards made available via the web tend to be relatively common, although some earlier ones from popular pack titles, such as the Nazgûl (Lord of the Rings series) can attract relatively high prices. Cards made available in other ways can be exceptionally rare. An example is the Grandmamma STT card for the Roald Dahl pack. It was only given out, free, to Scouts at a charity sleepover event in 2004. Very few of these are in circulation and they are difficult to obtain even through online auctions. Apparently even the owner of Winning Moves, Tom Liddell, does not have a copy of this card. It is thought by some members of the [ Top Trumps forum] that the Grandmamma was never actually released, and that none are in circulation. Tom Liddell has refuted this belief. General consensus for years was that no information other than a blurry preview of this card existed, however in February 2008, the original designers of the card, Guppi, posted it much more legibly on their website under 'Specials' in their [ Top Trumps Portfolio] . The Grandmamma card is often spelt as "Grandmama" but this has been disproved and it has officially got a double 'M..cite web
title=Reply to question from Tom Liddell
Work=Top Trump Questions Page

Super Top trumps are not only released in the United Kingdom. There have been many overseas STTs released. There have also been booster packs of 2-10 cards given out.

Top Trump Books

In 2006, and working in conjunction with the Haynes publishing group, Winning Moves launched a line of books under the Top Trumps brand, based around the design and concept of the card game. Subjects included racing cars, motorbikes, fighter aircraft, cars, Doctor Who (Series 1 and 2 together, and an extra Series 3 book), Dinosaurs, Airliners, Marvel Heroes, animals, tanks, Transformers and Football. [ [ Planet Top Trumps – The Official Top Trumps Website ] ]

Top Trumps Live

A number of card sets can be played online against a computer opponent at the Winning Moves web sites, including at least one set which is unavailable in shops. Games made include: Horror, Skyscrapers, ODI Stars (Unavailable as packs), World Football Stars, Sharks and Star Wars.

Mobile Top Trumps

Top Trumps is available through a mobile gaming service, in which users can play single player against the computer, compete against up to three friends on one mobile, or with a single opponent via a bluetooth connection. Games made include: Football Legends, Star Wars, Gumball 3000 and Moto GP. There may also be an upcoming Doctor Who mobile game coming out. [ Doctor Who Mobile Advert]

Top Trumps Adventures

A series of Top Trumps video games were released in 2007, under the title Top Trumps Adventures. Some of the packs that have been turned into games are "", ", "", " and "". This series is also known as Top Trumps Console.

Top Trumps TV

Top Trumps TV is an upcoming UK television programme based on Top Trumps, to be shown on Five in late 2008.

Other items

Winning Moves have released other Top Trumps related items. These include "Top Trumps Displayers" which can display up to ten packs, and the "Top Trumps Ultimate Football Challenge" DVD game which contains two packs; Football Legends 1 and World Football Stars as playable packs on the DVD. The DVD game comes with two video pack, trivia quizzes, a video countdown and a Football Managers Top Trumps game. This last item proved to be a popular pack, and Winning Moves released it as a standalone deck. There has also been a Lunar Jim Top Trumps cover card released for the Space and Space Phenomenan decks. Little is known about this though.

Pack exclusives

A few exclusive items came with packs. These are:
*TARDIS case which came with the Doctor Who 45 Years Of Time Travel pack.
*Reversible title card which came with the original pack. On one side was Jedi and the other side was Sith.
*Glow-In-The-Dark cases which came with: The Simpsons Horror, Horror and Star Wars Clone Wars.
*Glow-In-The-Dark writing and images on the actual cards, in the Ben 10, Horror, and The Simspons Horror packs.

Other versions

Several unofficial copies of the game have been made, both as commercial card games and online gaming sites. The BBC web site has Top Trumps variants with themes of snooker, "Buffy", "Doctor Who" and "EastEnders". [ Top Mates] is a popular variation that allows you to make and order your own packs. Citadel Combat Cards were a similar card game from early 1990s with photographs of various Games Workshop models. Originally based on Warhammer Fantasy Battle models, later included Warhammer 40K cards as well.

There are also at least three educational variations of the game: " [ Cell Trumps] " from Centre of the Cell, "Tree Trumps" from Forestry Commission (as an interactive exhibit in the Glenmore Visitor Centre and as a card game available in some Forestry Commission Scotland giftshops) and " [ Timber Trumps] " from Napier University. Timber Trumps was, for the first few days, originally called Tree Trumps and is currently listed under this name on [ Channel4's Games website] .


External links

* [ Planet Top Trumps]
* [ Top Trumps Reference Site]
* [ Official Top Trumps Mobile Homepage]
* [ Official Top Trumps Adventures Homepage]
* [ Official Winning Moves Website]
* [ Top Trumps Japan]

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