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Saturday, November 12, 2011

2012 Topps Marquee is now 2012 Topps Museum Collection (preview)

According to an article by Beckett, the 2012 version of Topps Marquee will be called Museum Collection, and focus on the most popular part of the release.
Marquee got lost in the shuffle of high-end set releases this fall, but apparently one insert set stood out. The Museum Collection insert set featured ornate fancy designs and autographs of top tier players.
Topps released preview images of 2012 Marquee last month, but renamed the set and issued additional images this week to drum up interest. Museum Collection is set for an early April release. The base set (seen above) will have a 100-card checklist and have four parallels.

 The jumbo swatches will return, and thankfully this time Topps is showing what most jumbo relics will be: a big hunk of normal gray fabric.
 The autograph list is impressive, as one would expect in a high-end release. Koufax, Mays, Ryan, Gwynn, Musial, Ripken, and Aaron are all touted as signers.

There will be booklets, with either dual swatches (seen above) or autograph/swatch combos.
 Non-booklet autograph/relic combos will also be inserted. I think this design looks more attractive than the jumbo relic autographs used this year. Jumbo swatches of plain fabric are dull (though jumbo patches are totally awesome).
 Quad relics are advertised, as seen in this Mantle above.
 Something relatively unique to the release are jumbo bat pieces - Topps doesn't issue cards like this too often. Again, it's just a big disc of wood, which would be great if it was a full bat slice - I'd love to see the finish around the edges of the cut. Of course, if Topps did that to a whole bat, it wouldn't have anything left to make bat barrel relics, but there must be plenty of other bat surface area to devote to this project.
Last, the centerpiece of the release, the Museum Collection autographs, will be in three different colored borders - gold /15, silver /10, and black /5.

I liked this year's Marquee release, as it had a more interesting design than Tribute. It looks like Topps is using a "frame" for every relic and autograph, in addition to the base set frame, to give it that "museum" look.  While Marquee might be out of my price range for group breaks or pack busting next year, I'll be looking forward to picking up cards on eBay in a few months. That is, if I can!

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