Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Just Commons Part 2: When Turkey Red Was Good

 I'm a bit of a hypocrite sometimes. Like many other bloggers, I have complained about how so many of Topps' issues are the same from year to year. And several throwback designs have been reused over and over again, too, such as T206 and this set, Turkey Red.
 Topps has issued Turkey Red sets seven times in the past decade. There were three Turkey Red product releases in 2005, 2006, and 2007. The 2006 set was really an extension of 2005's card numbers. Topps flagship had Turkey Red inserts in 2009 and 2010. And the past two years have seen online-only releases.
 The 2005, 2006, and 2009 releases all basically look the same, as you see here. All these cards are from the 2009 insert set. The 2007 issue used a tan border with a frame-style design, which was recycled for the 2010 insert set. The 2013 set kept the tannish wooden border color but used branches in the border, and 2014 went completely new with reddish/magenta borders and a design that feels completely different from the rest.
Sets from 2005-2010 were painted, and have a classic look. Well, some of the sets issued before 2013 may not have been actually painted, but they usually have a fairly authentic painted appearance. The sets from the past two years look like they've been passed through a "painting" filter, and aren't quite as appealing. Plus, the 2014 set looks so modern. (I say that now, but if I can buy the base sets cheap I'll add the 2013 and 2014 sets to my collection.)
I'm still trying to complete the '09 and '10 insert sets, plus I have the SPs from 2005-06 release on my want list, though I haven't really been pursuing any of them. I have a feeling the 2005-06 set won't ever get completed...


  1. I've always enjoyed Turkey Red. Have you ever seen the Great Moments set from the 80's? It's an oversized set that used paintings from Dick Perez. They're very similar to Turkey Red.

  2. I didn't know about those, and yes they are very similar! I'd love to have them, but a set is out of my range. I'll be looking for a single card at some point soon though!

    1. I only own two myself. One of them is a Jackie Robinson and the other is a autographed Catfish Hunter... they're really cool for people who appreciate over sized cardboard.