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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A great idea for a Topps flagship parallel.

Many collectors hate parallels. They're lazy, overdone, and add clutter to packs that waste set builders' money. They're just more-limited color-bordered, or gold foiled, or sparkly holographic background versions of the regular card. Do we really need more parallels? Probably not.
I like the Diamond Anniversary sparkly cards, though, and using the gold version next year changes things up a little bit. Next year's wood parallel is only a 1/1, but wouldn't it be great as the base design or at least a more-accessible parallel?
But I've just thought up a way to kill two birds with one stone.

What if... hear me out on this one... what if Topps made a no-bordered parallel of its flagship design?
 No white border. No gold border. No blue border. No sparkles, no refractorization, no wood.
 Just take the base card, remove the border, and increase the printing quality. Insert them one-per-pack or so, and call them... wait for it: Stadium Club.

Topps would have another parallel to "add value" to packs and boxes, and I'd get my wish (as others want as well): the return of Stadium Club. Topps could replace the one-per-pack (yes, I realize it got better as the year went on) ToppsTown insert card with this parallel, and make ToppsTown a flimsy paper stock insert that doesn't count towards my card total. The photos seen above on Bruce and Gonzalez would already look great in higher-res printing - Topps has done a pretty good job of using better photos in the past year.

I'd say do the same thing as its own release, similar to Chrome, but then you run into the Bowman Conundrum, where there are too many sets that all look the same, over and over again.

If Topps released an insert of this nature - high-quality printing with full-bleed photos - in its flagship set, in a realistically obtainable quantity, I would assemble it along with the regular base flagship issue.

What do you guys think? Is this a good plan to bring back Stadium Club without "eating up" a full release, or am I just adding more unwanted clutter to an already cluttered issue?


  1. I recognize that Rollie Rainbow up there!!! And I've been yelling at Topps for Years to bring back Stadium Club. I like the idea. If Topps did bring back Stadium club I'm sure it would be at a high price point and make it another Triple Threads and that's what we don't need. Topps needs to give collector's more high quality affordable sets, not high dollar gimmick guaranteed hit packs.

  2. I think it's a great idea. I was actually thinking of doing something like this for my card design blog but I think you hit the nail on the head with adding the whole Stadium Club tie-in. I think Chrome should go this way, too, as a parallel insert set instead of a whole set that's just a shiny version of the flasgship design. You may run into instances where the photo doesn't really look as good on the full-bleed version of the card but Topps could avoid that by making sure the photos they pick work for both instances. Granted, I'm sure its easier to just slap on a different color border and call it a day.

    I also agree that ToppsTown is a waste and really get bummed whenever I see one in my pack. I understand what they're trying to do but I'm not sure it's working.

  3. I like the idea of Stadium Club returning. Frankly if Topps didn't make the flagship set absolutely horrendous the last couple years, I'd love to get that and Stadium Club every year instead of their attack of the clones reprint and overpriced jersey/auto products that nobody can tell apart. Stadium Club especially was one of the more unique sets Topps did, which is probably why they killed it off. Your Adrian Gonzalez up there is the epitome of a Stadium Club card--nice job.

  4. That pretty much takes care of my ONLY objection to the full bleed. If it was a parallel the borders could still be the main set and add variety, while you photobugs could enjoy your full bleed photos. I really like this idea.

    I think 2008's Stadium Club "multiple of 3" debacle just kind of soured me on the line in general.

  5. Thanks guys! 2008 Stadium Club (and even 2003, to a lesser extent) was a big mess. If they did it similar to the way sets like Ginter and Gypsy are done, with only a couple relics and autos per box and a few insert sets, the price point would be acceptable and I'd be all over it.

    Ross, as far as Chrome being a parallel, I like that there's one release with a rainbow of parallels (though Bowman could count for that). I would rather not have Chrome parallels filling up my packs of flagship Topps. But if Chrome dropped or reduced its own parallels, I could go for it as an insert.

    cynicalbuddha: yeah, thanks for the image? I wish I had a player rainbow to show off!

    And by the way, I made my fake Stadium Club cards above by simply cropping off the borders. If I can do that in 10 seconds, Topps could do it just as easily.