The World of Pop According to Smash Hits

Top Trumps – you remember, those stato-geek touchstones of the eighties playground – has produced a Smash Hits! deck, and, as always, its the killer cards and dismal failures at the top and tail of each category that make or break your game.

There are six catagories – here’s what you need to know:

Crew: Lisa So Solid wins by an urban mile, with the vague but intimidating 30+, although Blazin’ Squad’s 10 is a good bet too. The Polyphonic Spree are not featured.

Phwoar factor: Don’t be impressed by that cute-looking 82, this game is littered with 90-somethings. Timberlake boasts 97, with Rachel Stevens and Charlie Busted (a fearsome contender – see height) close behind. Duds include Madonna’s somewhat harsh 46, and Marylin Manson’s thoroughly generous 5.

Hits: Madonna has an unbeatable 58, Kylie’s good for 32. But the cards are forever frozen in early 2004, and so Busted have only four hits – and Girls Aloud? A mere two.

Age: Top Trumps are emphatic on the rule here: youngest wins. Bad luck and no double whammy for that those veterans Kylie and Madonna, its S Club 8’s fifteen year-old whippersnapper that scrumps the prize. Scandalously, this doesn’t stop him from having a Phwoar Factor of 79.

Height: Charlie Busted and Darius take the joint lead. The general consensus was that this category is a bit unfair on the female artists.

Smash Hits Factor: Lee from Blue wins, but why? No idea – the Smash Hits Factor is a number ranging from 38 to 49 whose meaning and derivation are mysteries. The best explanation we could manage is that it’s a sort of balancing item derived by the Top Trump statistics wizards to stop Charlie Busted from becoming an uber-card. But perhaps at Smash Hits central its all perfectly obvious – after all, everyone knows that Lee Blue is two better than Daniel Bedingfield, don’t they?

The most valuable lesson, though, is this: in the Top Trumps universe, there’s no-one, absolutely no-one, more useless to have around than Chris Martin from Coldplay.