This a list with brief descriptions of Topps trading card products for 1988. All sets listed are standard size (2½ × 3½ inches) unless noted.
- Base Set
- Traded Set
- Glossy Send Ins
- Glossy All Stars
- Mini Leaders
- Glossy Rookies
- Topps Big
- Wax Box Cards
- UK Minis
- Parallel Sets
- Other sets
- Licensed sets
- RetailFood Issues
- Base set
- Box Bottoms
- 1000 Yard Club
- Sticker Backs
- Dinosaurs Attack
- Fright Flicks
- Garbage Pail Kids
- Growing Pains
- Hot Hunks
- Pee Wees Playhouse
- Roger Rabbit
- 21 Jump Street
The 1988 Topps set totals 792 cards and was issued in wax, rack (42 cards plus 1 All-Star Game Commemorative card), jumbo packs, vending boxes or factory sets. Subsets include Future Stars, Topps All-Star Rookies, Record Breakers, Turn Back The Clock, All-Stars, Team Leaders, Checklists and Manager cards. Player cards had a thin colored line separating the white border and player photo. The team name appeared in color at the top of the action photo and was often hidden behind a player's head, giving a three-dimensional appearance. The player's name appeared in a colored trapezoid that ran from the bottom border to the right border. The player's position did not appear on the front of the card. Size: 2.5 × 3.5 in.
The Traded set totals 132 cards and was issued as a factory set. The cards are identical in appearance to the base set except for the thinner, white cardstock and lighter colored back. This set featured traded players and managers, extended rookie cards, and the U.S. Olympic baseball team. Size: 2.5 × 3.5 in.
This set totals 60 cards and was available by mailing in the special offer cards found in 1988 Topps wax packs. The fronts have a glossy player photo while the backs say All-Star Set Collector's Edition and include the players name, team, and position. Size: 2.5 × 3.5 in.
This set totals 22 cards and was available as an insert in 1988 Topps rak packs. The back says All-Star Game Commemorative Set and includes the players name, position and league. There are 11 cards each for the American and National League All-Star teams. Size: 2.5 × 3.5 in.
The Mini set includes 77 cards and was available in wax packs. The cards vaguely resemble the base set and features players that led various statistical categories. Size: 2 1⁄8 × 3 in.
This set totals 22 cards and was available as an insert in 1988 Topps jumbo packs. The back says Rookies Commemorative Set and includes the player's name, position and team. The cards slightly resemble the Glossy All-Star set. Size: 2.5 × 3.5 in.
This set totals 264 cards issued in three series of 88 cards and was available in wax packs. Comic style career highlights are featured on the back. Size: 2 5⁄8 × 3 3⁄4 in.
Wax Box Cards
The "Box Bottom" cards were featured 4 to a box on the bottom of the wax pack boxes of 1988 Topps of which there were 4 different boxes for a total of 16 cards. They resemble the base cards except for having a career highlight on the back instead of full statistics and a light blue border instead of white. The set is lettered A-P rather than numbered. Size: 2.5 × 3.5 in. when individually cut out.
This "American Baseball" set has 88 total cards and was issued in wax packs for the United Kingdom. The backs feature explanations of plays and definitions of baseball terminology. Size: 2 1⁄8 × 3 in.
In 1988 Topps issued Tiffany sets of the Base set and the Traded set in limited quantities only available as Factory sets. A Tiffany set was also available of the UK Minis set.
Traded Duke Snider Bronze Metal replica of his 1955 Topps card available to dealers who purchased a Topps Traded case. Size: 1¾ × 1¼ inches.
Gallery of Champions (12) This set is metal replicas of regular issue cards in 1/4 scale of twelve players done in three variations: aluminum, bronze and silver. The Mark McGwire card has a fourth variation in pewter given to dealers who bought the sets. The sets were issued in a leather velvet-lined display case bearing the title in gold embossed letters. The aluminum sets were cello wrapped. Size: 1¼ × 1¾ inches.
Campbell's Richie Ashburn Tribute Sheet A sheet of 12 cards of Richie Ashburn were issued in conjunction with a stadium promotion honoring the Hall Of Famer. The center of the sheet has a 5" × 7" portrait with his complete major league statistics on the back. The cards are reduced in size and are over an American flag background. Size: 10 × 14 inches (sheet).
Stickers/Stickercards (313/67) The stickers feature either one full player photo or two half size individual photos. The back is another player card. The sticker set has season highlight, All-Stars, World Series and Future Stars subsets. A 36-page album was also available. The stickercards had 66 players and one checklist. The cards say 'Super Star' at the top and have the player's name and stats in a box at the bottom. Size: 2⅛ × 3 inches/1½ × 2⅛ in..
Coins (60) The fronts have a full-color photo with the player's name, team, and position in a red and white banner with gold stars at the bottom. Edges are crimped in silver, gold and pink. Backs are silver and show the coin number, player's name and personal and statistical info in black lettering. Size: 1½" diameter.
Sports Shots Portfolios (130) Some of Topps' 1988 regular issue cards were reproduced as large cardboard folders with pockets for storage on the interior of the folder. Size: 9½ × 11¾ inches.
Cloth Experimental (121) This test issue featured the regular issue card fronts printed on heavy textured paper. The backs are blank and some of the cards say 'Sample Only Not For Sale'. Size: 2½ × 3½ inches.
For the O-Pee-Chee sets that resembled the Topps issue see List of O-Pee-Chee Sports Cards.
These are sets issued by other companies in conjunction with Topps.
The 1988 football set contains 396 cards and was issued in wax packs and factory sets. Subsets include Team leaders, Record Breakers, league leaders, Super Bowl, and checklists. Size: 2.5 × 3.5 in.
The box card set has 16 cards that were found on the bottom of regular issue wax pack boxes as a four card panel. The cards feature two players per card of NFL stars who won awards when in college. The cards are lettered A-P. Size: 2.5 × 3.5 in. (individually)
1000 Yard Club
This set totals 28 glossy cards and was issued as inserts in the football wax packs. The 'members of the club' are players who gained 1000 yards or more during the season by rushing or receiving. The back of the cards list the total yardage gained by the player in each game of the season. Since the 1987 season was shortened by a strike the figures on the backs of the cards are projected. Size: 2.5 × 3.5 in.
This set totals 285 stickers some of which came in pairs. The fronts are red bordered with an inner frame of yellow footballs and are numbered on both sides. There are Super Bowl XXII and All-Pro foil subsets. An album was available for holding the stickers. Size: 2 1⁄8 × 3 inches
The backs of the stickers featured another color player photo with 'Superstar' written at the top. There are 67 offensive players in this set.The player's name appears at the bottom with the card number as × of 67. Size: 2 1⁄8 × 3 inches
The 1988-89 Topps hockey set featured 198 English only cards printed on grey card stock. The player's name is 'pinned' at an angle to a panel above the player's photo and is accompanied by the team logo. The backs feature career and playoff stats, and game winning goals and highlights from the previous season. Size: 2.5 × 3.5 in.
This 16-card set appeared as four different 4-card panels on the bottom of wax pack boxes. The cards are the same design as the base set except for being gray bordered. The players in the set are team scoring leaders. The backs are printed in purple ink on an orange background. The cards are lettered A-P. Size: 2.5 × 3.5 inches individually.
This is a 33-card insert set found one per wax pack. Dubbed the 'Hockey Helmet Stickers' there are included 21 stickers of team logos, pucks, and numbers along with 12 All-Star players. The backs are printed in blue and red over a white background. Size: 2.5 × 3.5 in.
Saint & Greavsie
The Saint n Greavsie All Star Football collection contains 207 subjects. Duplicate numbering on some cards brings a total of 264, however the album for placing the stickers in has only 207 spaces. The set was distributed in the UK in 4-card bubble gum packs with 48 packs to a box. The set is made up of stickers and puzzle cards. There are two sticker sizes of which there are 66 small and 141 large. Size: small- 2.2 × 1.5 in. (55 × 39 mm); large- 3 × 2.1 in. (77 × 54 mm)
In 1988 Topps released a second card set based on the TV show about the creature 'ALF' also known as Gordon Shumway. This 77-card set is divided up into 44 story cards, 22 Bouillabaseball cards, and 11 stickers. Size: 2.5 × 3.5 inches
This 66-card set is similar in spirit to the 1962 Mars Attacks set, however instead of a threat from another planet these villains came from the distant past. There are 55 cards with artwork fronts and newspaper style backs. There are also 11 stickers each depicting a different dinosaur and 'biographical' information about it on the backs. Size: 2.5 × 3.5 inches
This is a 101-card set that covers 15 different horror movies. The first 90 cards in the set have color photographs with humorous captions in red over a white background while the backs are yellow and green with a story below a drawing of a monster. The last 11 cards are stickers with puzzle piece backs. Size: 2.5 × 3.5 inches
Garbage Pail Kids
This was the last year of GPK releases for the U.S. until 2003. Foreign sets would continue to be issued well into the 1990s. A 16th series was planned for 1989 but was never issued. The number of cards issued for the four series released in 1988 not including variations are: 12th - 82 cards, 13th - 80 cards, 14th - 80 cards, and 15th - 80 cards. Size: 2.5 × 3.5 inches
Topps made a 77-card set based on the TV show Growing Pains. The story cards, of which there are 66, have white borders with photos inside a house styled frame. The 11 sticker cards feature photos of each of the cast. The backs of the stickers combine to form a large cast photo. Size: 2.5 × 3.5 inches
These are 7 large pin-up stickers of popular young actors. The names of the actors do not appear on the stickers rather the large paper wrappers they came in feature all of the head shots of the subjects along with their first names. Size: 4 × 6 inches
An Australian issue based on Channel Ten's long running TV soap opera. The set has 66 cards with photos in a film strip style frame. The card backs are blue and offer brief text or cast info.
Pee Wee's Playhouse
The 'Pee Wee' set is a 123 count set of diversified offerings. Most of the cards have silly artwork while other items have screenshots from the show. The different subsets are: 'Tattoo Sheets' (12) 3-3/16" × 5¼"; 'Picture Cards' (33) standard size; 'Stickers' (44) standard size; 'Wiggle Toys' (12) 1¾" × 2"; 'Activity Cards' (22) 3⅛" × 5¼". This set was issued in Fun Packs with 3 Picture cards and 1 each of the other subsets. Size: various
This set totals 154 cards and is based on the film 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?' which featured a live action/animation combo. The set is made up of 132 cards and 22 stickers. The cards have a film clip border on the left side and are captioned below the picture. The card backs offer brief text over an artwork sketch of one of the characters. The stickers have puzzle backs that combine to form one of two puzzles. Size: 2.5 × 3.5 inches
21 Jump Street
The Fox television series '21 Jump Street' was captured on 44 sticker cards. The fronts have publicity shots tilted slightly with red frames over a brick background. The backs are either puzzle pieces or have biographical info. Size: 2.5 × 3.5 inches