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Friday, November 4, 2011

Gypsy Queen will return for 2012! Here is the preview! (2012 Topps Gypsy Queen preview)

I don't think anyone is surprised to see the return of Gypsy Queen - it was the most talked-about product of the year, and the lack of a set next year would probably result in an Occupy Topps protest.

Hmmm. #OccupyTopps, anybody?

Anyway, the release date, according to Beckett, is April 18. You can expect two autographs and two relics per hobby box, which is the same as last year.
The base set, seen above, will be 350 cards deep, with 50 short prints.
Minis will return, of course. And like last year, an exclusive-mini pack will carry the inserts in mini form.
What will those inserts be? Moonshots (home run hitters), Glove Stories (seen above - good fielders), Slide Show (baserunners, almost a lost art if you ask me), and Gypsy Kings. Also mentioned is a 12-card set of a "famed mythical 1887 Barnstorming team" with autograph and relic parallels (like the Gypsy Queen inserts had this year).
We know there will be parallels, and in addition to the minis we'll see Blue Paper framed cards (/599), Black Paper framed cards (1/1), plates, and mini GQ backs, black, green, sepia, and "straight cut" backs. Don't forget the plates and mini plates!
At two per box, autographs will include auto'd relics in single, dual, and triple form. Expect mini autographs as well.
Speaking of relics, there will be Indian Penny relics and stadium seat relics, in addition to last year's regular relics, mini framed relics, and the popular sketch-patch cards.
The autograph list includes: Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, Hank Aaron, Frank Thomas, Frank Robinson, John Smoltz, Robinson Cano, Ryne Sandberg, Felix Hernandez, Bob Gibson, Carlton Fisk, Clayton Kershaw, Albert Belle, and Allen Craig. There will be at least 40 signers for the full-size cards. The mini checklist, only 15 players deep, includes Matt Kemp and Nelson Cruz.

Thoughts: Topps is keeping the formula almost exactly the same. That is a fantastic plan, even if it's what Topps does all the time. Don't fix what isn't broken! There is a bit more flair to the design, but the image size remains the same. It reminds me a bit of Allen & Ginter, but most tobacco issues of the era feature ornate designs. The Glove Stories insert card looks decent, if you ignore the text across the top. It just doesn't quite fit. I don't hate it! I'm hoping the other insert sets are consistent in design, as they were this year.
There are more parallels, and I dislike the inclusion of another 1/1 parallel (I'd rather see the black paper parallel numbered to something like 50, 100, or 1000). As for the announced signers, the list is strong, but it includes less than half of the total signers, and I guarantee there will be players like Cliff Pennington with about 1000 copies, while most of the players above will be at a much lower quantity. The addition of Indian Penny and stadium seat relics will be a good thing if they're produced in lower (but not impossible) quantities.

Unlike the Gypsy Queens from this issue, I probably won't have any interest in the Kings. Gypsy Queens are known for their mystery, sexuality, and psychic powers, while Gypsy Kings conjure up images of snake-oil salesmen and other con artists. I'm interested in seeing where this mythical 1887 barnstorming team set ends up. If they're inserted at the same rate (or easier) as the Gypsy Queens, I'll probably put that set together. But if it's as tough as the "Team Orange" level of minis in Allen & Ginter, I won't have a chance.

Bottom line: We know this will sell. I'll put together a mini-master complete set, with the Moonshots, Glove Stories, Slide Show, and (tentatively) the barnstorming team inserts following as I did this year. I might give the Gypsy Kings inserts a shot. Depending on where I am and my monetary situation, this may be my first on-release hobby box purchase in several years.

To go along with this amazing set, I provide you with Amazing Moustached Bollywood Action. Just watch.


  1. That Bautista looks awesome in blue!

  2. Stadium seat relics too? I'm in!

  3. Everything looks so much cooler. I want to get every damn card. I JUST LOVE THIS DESIGN!!!!

  4. sorry, that movie clip looks fake.


  5. David: I was there. Totally real!

    Gypsy Queen will probably be almost as big of a hit this year as last. Certainly the most-anticipated at this point!