My first 2012 Topps card is…

1 03 2012

Yes, I know.  I’m late to the party. But since I didn’t have time to show up for the last six months or so, I’m happy just to be here right now with the time to do this.

After reading other’s opinions of this year’s Topps release, I thought opening a 72 card retail box of the stuff would be like pissing with gonorrhea or a twenty-four hour Real Housewives of anywhere marathon.  Maybe even as bad a Paris Hilton spoken word techno song on endless repeat in a car with no door handles.  You know –  the stuff nightmares are made of.

But after getting the chance to hold them in my hand, my reaction to all that is one of bafflement and disbelief, not unlike the look on Mr. Peralta’s face above.

I have a lot of thoughts swirling around about this set right now, but I’ll try and be brief.

First, Topps isn’t going to reinvent the wheel for flagship Topps.  It’s going to be 330 cards, with somewhat decent photo selection, a bunch of gimmick cards that most of us will never see, and a slew of inserts cards that most of us wish we could ignore altogether.  Well this year I skipped the hobby boxes and that feeling that I need a relic card to feel complete and went with a handful of those seventy-two card retail jumbos or hangar packs.  This gave me sixty-three base cards (sixty-one when I goofed and grabbed one of the WalMart parallel ones) and only nine inserts.  Not overwhelming at all!  It felt like the base set was what mattered again, like it did in the days before parallels and inserts in every pack.  Five or six of these should put me well on the way to a set, at a price similar to a hobby box before shipping.

The inserts in these packs feel like the afterthoughts that Topps made them.  Even the ’87 minis are somewhat disappointing, mostly because them seem bigger than minis in the past, and I’m sure this is the beginning of Topps running this idea into the ground.  The only ones I really like the look of were the Upper Deck-esque “Gold Futures” cards, and it may be the only insert set I actually end up chasing.  It’s still hard to say no to a mini, though.

As a guy who started collecting in the 80’s, I’d never thought I’d see the day when Topps base wasn’t for everyone.  But that’s where the hobby stands, I suppose.




2 responses

1 03 2012

The 1987 minis are a throwback to minis of the 1987 set, which were a bit more squat than the tobacco-styled “mini” cards that have been very popular in the last 10 yrs. Hopefully this is a one-time thing. I think they know people like the tobacco-sized minis more.

1 03 2012

well put – they really do seem to have fewer inserts this year. There’s still a lot – but I agree it doesn’t seem to overwhelm the base set.

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