Thursday, February 3, 2011

Topps 2011 First Impressions Part 2

More Inserts

Sorry about that, had a slight family emergency to attend to. Nothing spectacular I assure you, all is well. So moving on...

Here we have this year's version of "The Cards Your Mom Threw Away", which are more reprints. Yes, I realize the back here doesn't go with the front, why should I do more than one scan? In any case, I actually really like the backs this time around, as they don't really focus on the play on front, but rather the set as a whole. Plus they seem to be written by someone who actually knows about the hobby! Here we have an insert set that I actually want to pull, sweet! Oh and there's original backs too. These are seeded at 1:3 retail/unlisted rack (which I guess means 1:1). The original back versions are 1:12/1:36.

There's also the "Lost Cards" insert set, which I haven't seen yet, but they list out at 1:4/1:12 and then there's an original back version of those too which are 1:36/1:108.

The first actual insert I pulled this year was this card, which is a "Vintage Reprint" and seeded at 1:2/1:8. Considering this is reprinting the most famous card in history, that's not too shabby. The set is numbered with a "CMGR" prefix, and this is #10. They're also old-school cardboard stock. Another cool set, but I'd have to see what else is in there before I pass judgement.

The last card I will be spotlighting today is this mini of some damn Yankee or another. I'm not a HUGE fan of minis, I think they're nice an all, but the multiple sizes across sets kind of turns me off. I mean they're kind of nifty, but they don't really float my boat. This set is called "Kimball Champions" and is 1:4 in retail/unlisted in rack. It's a 50 card set and has the usual suspects, including some pretty common vintage names. The checklist is on the back of this one (and I ASSume every one) and really isn't that special to be honest. I'm not sure why there are so many vintage card styles out there, when this looks just like Allen & Ginter to me.

I also got two ToppsTown cards, one in each pack. They're actually very shiney as well this year and the backs aren't just fluff and a code. OK they still have the code, but the fluff text is a bit more beefy this time around. I've completely the ToppsTown Baseball set each of the past three years, and I expect to do so again this year. You can't put the codes in quite yet though, Mid-March says the website. They have never actually had an online component launch on day and date of the set thus far, and I think that's a real failure on the marketing team's part. If the site isn't ready, then don't launch the product. There's nothing more frustrating than buying a product with an online component, only for the component not to work when you buy the product. Happens way too often too. Companies have to learn that the online component isn't a selling feature to a product if the component doesn't work immediately upon purchase. I venture to guess that the Diamond Redemption Site isn't working yet either. I didn't pull any codes, so I can't say for sure, but considering the ToppsMillion site didn't go live right away, I wouldn't be guessing that this new version would be working on drop day.

So in all I purchased 48 cards at a retail price of $6.98 + tax. That works out to just under 16 cents a card, which in today's marketplace isn't all that bad. Consider that Bowman Chrome at retail is $2.99 and comes with three cards, and virtually ever other brand runs above 50 cents per card, your value is definitely with Topps Flagship. Plus to me, there's still some cachet value to the big T's main set. Especially in this anniversary yet, if you had all 60 years worth of sets you'd really have a great chronicle of Baseball for the second half of it's entire life, and that's not too bad.

I'm sure I'll be buying more of this product than any other this year, in fact, at the moment I'm not planning on buying any other product, except for a few packs of Heritage, A&G and Chrome when they hit. I'm no longer interested in one-off brands or Topps "High End" products. Gimme a few packs of Topps Base and I'm a happy Budget Collector.

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