But I don't have a connection with the 1950s and 1960s. My first packs as a child collector were bought in 1989. And, as I seem to mention every year, the designs are great but purposely making the photos grainy to match the originals is just irritating. I wish the Heritage sets for the painted sets were, well, painted. So I don't collect the base set. Besides, I have the flagship issue and a few other throwbacks to chase every year.
This post isn't about Heritage hate... not exactly. I don't think poorly of anyone who collects the set; it's just not my cup of tea. It's one of the releases for which I enjoy seeing the cards themselves and gathering singles for my type collection.
There are 500 cards in the base set; the last 75 are short prints. Four variation styles can be found as short prints for some cards: error replications (6 cards known), throwback uniforms (20 cards), action images (25 cards), and team logo variations (25 cards).
- Chrome, #/999
- Chrome Refractor, #/565
- Chrome Purple Refractor
- Chrome Black Refractor, #/65
- Chrome Gold Refractor, #/5
- Mini, #/100
Additionally, 25 cards have a blue-border parallel found only at WalMart, and 25 cards have a red-border parallel sold exclusively at Target. It appears that there is no overlap in those two checklists, but I think all 50 red/blue border cards are also found in the Chrome and Mini parallel sets.
All cards have a black-back parallel, which seem to be pretty rare. These replace the blue shading with a black (grey) shading.
The other pack-based insert in Heritage this year is First Draft, featuring players who were drafted in 1965's first ... well ... draft.
Note, that based on the odds given for the framed stamps, different possibilities for the number of 2014 Topps Heritage hobby packs exist:
- Nickels #/15 1:2830, 2,122,500 packs
- Dimes #/10 1:5660, 2,830,000 packs
- Quarters #/5 1:16,864, 4,216,000 packs
- Half Dollars #/1 1:161,890, 8,094,500 packs.
Either some cards don't appear in all versions (I haven't really studied the checklist a lot), or someone has a problem with math at Topps. Regardless, using this data means that the Embossed inserts, which are hobby-only and found 1:14,667 packs, are limited to somewhere between 10 and 40 copies each. I haven't looked at the odds for any other sets to see if this pans out... keep reading and I'll see what happens.
- A 5-card dual-relics set, numbered to 65 copies each.
- A 5-card triple-relics set, numbered to 25 copies each.
- A 5-card quad-relics set, numbered to 10 copies each.
- A 10-card autographed relic set, numbered to 10 copies each.
- A 5-card dual-relic dual-autograph set, numbered to 10 copies each.
Additionally, there is a 25-card patch booklet set, all as 1-of-1 cards, found 1:65,000 packs. The odds here show an even-lower hobby pack supply, about 1.6 million packs.
Two mega-hit sets are found in Heritage: 20 1:1 cut signature cards and 20 1:1 celebrity cut signature cards. The checklists seem to show baseball players as some of the "celebrity" subjects, including Bob Gibson, Johnny Bench, and Tommy Lasorda. There are some celebrities, like Elvis Presley and Betty White.
Hobby-only inserts seem to help get an idea of the print run for a product; extrapolations about retail supply could also be made with accurate data. However, Topps' odds are all over the place. Then again, my odds are based on those posted at Cardboard Connection, and they could be combined odds for some products. an 800,000 hobby pack run for Heritage is possible, I suppose. I read an article recently that Topps is seeing a decrease in orders and thus reduced its print run, and with the same-old same-old (yet straying from Heritage's successful formula) it should be no surprise.
When I first saw the sell sheets for Heritage, I had at least some interest in the Embossed cards. And when I saw the first actual card image online, I wanted the insert and box loader sets. But if they're really available only in quantities of 50 or less each, there's no way I could try to build a set. And that's how Topps loses customers... and that's why they're close, but no cigar in this release.
I do have a full set of News Flashbacks already, because I'm a minor history buff and I've been building the set since it began being inserted into Heritage. I don't have any actual Heritage cards in my possession yet, though. I hope to find some singles this weekend at one of the local stores (though it's a slim chance).
However, if there actually is a lower print run, this year's Heritage set could be highly coveted in the future.