The World Series wasn't even half over Friday when Topps was already looking forward to 2012 Opening Day - the set, that is. They released preview images from the annual budget set and set details to the public.
As expected, the 220-card set will look like the flagship issue without the foil. The blue bordered parallels return, serial numbered to 2012, according to the Beckett article.
I have one problem with the set, which I've voiced before, and I'm not the only one. Because the set simply reproduces part of the flagship set, it doesn't hold anything special for regular collectors. While I don't want Opening Day to reach its end, I would enjoy a set with a design geared more towards kids and families. A return of the Bazooka line is my answer, with more color to the base set design. Think 1992 Topps Kids, or 1993 Fun Pack. Yes, they're loud, but they're fun and entertaining. Topps Kids had great cartoons, while Fun Pack had all kinds of interesting subsets that included stickers, scratch-offs, glow in the dark cards, and "educational" cards to teach some of the finer points of the game. Yes, that's an Upper Deck product, but Topps has done cards similar to that in the past, and for a set that is geared towards collectors with lower budget, the product should be fun. Many of the insert concepts are fine, but need to be ported to a design that is more fun. Bazooka Comics was a great insert set, and most of the relic sets in Bazooka releases followed a comic panel style.
Opening Day is successful, mainly due to its price point. I believe it would be even more successful if it had a more exciting design with a bit more thought given to the insert sets. I know if it was a "unique" release, instead of a parallel of the flagship set, with a fun, playful, vibrant design and captivating inserts, I would buy more than a light selection of packs and maybe try to build a full master set. It worked for Panini with Score, so hopefully Topps will eventually take note and catch up in 2013.
What are your thoughts on Opening Day? Do you collect it? Do you buy any of it? Why or why not? Would any of my recommendations above increase or decrease your interest in the set?