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Thursday, August 20, 2015

2016 Topps: Thoughts Beyond the Base

As I was pulling up the editor to write this post, a thought occurred to me. When I started writing this blog, 2011 Topps was just going live. While I was collecting before that, opening packs of flagship cards that year was pretty much brand new to me. I had no idea what I was getting other than the odds on the packs. Now, by the time the base set comes out, I've had six months for the design to settle in.

Yes, it's good to have a preview of what to expect, to build interest and more importantly for me budget my money based on what I'm hoping to collect. But I don't think we need a six month advance preview. I wish Topps would keep the details of these sets private a bit longer. Back in the '90s and the mid 2000s when there were new products every week, I really didn't know what was in a box until it arrived in stores. I do recall seeing some sell sheets, but most of the time it was very near to a product's release.

Anyway, here's 2016 Topps:
 Everyone's already seen the base design and chimed in their two cents. It's a big change from the past, but that's a good thing. I like 2015's bolder designs, and I like this too. As others have mentioned, I don't like the fading of the background on the corners; otherwise, it's a good design. I think it looks even better on the horizontal cards.

Of course there will be parallels. The now-usual gold, black, pink, platinum, rainbow foil, clear, framed, and printing plate parallels return, along with a "vintage stock" parallel numbered to 99. That might be fun.

As always, there is a whole slew of inserts.
 To honor the late, great Sy Berger, Topps is reprinting one card from every year... again. I hope they do something good with the backs, like tell a story about Berger and the player or something. If there is something good besides a reprinted card, I'm in on this set.
 Perspectives is a 25 card set that seems to offer interesting angles (perspectives) on the game. Will that be through photography or story-telling? I must say that the giant WordArt text on this card ruins an otherwise beautiful photograph. This is a maybe for me.

There will be cards for the 2016 Presidential Candidates. I've always collected these in the past, so I might do so here, too. I'm still trying to finish that 2008 Upper Deck cartoon Presidential Predictors set.
Pressed Into Service will have position players who pitched, too. Jose Canseco is an obvious choice. I'm probably going to get this set as a start to a new mini-collection.
 Topps Laser returns in a 25-card set which looks to be a book-style card. The regular cards will be numbered to 99. I'd love to have a full set of these, but I'm expecting this set to be popular and thus out of my budget for now. Which reminds me, I really want to get working on the 1996 Topps Laser set.

100 Years at Wrigley Field will feature 25 memorable moments at the old ivy-covered ballpark. I'm not a Cubs fan, but a few of the singles could end up in my collection.

Back To Back will be Topps' combo-player insert set this year, with power hitting combos. I guess Maris and Mantle would fit the bill... but Topps doesn't have an agreement with Mantle anymore. I don't care for combo sets unless the design is really appealing.

Something I loved this year and I'm very glad to have back is the First Pitch insert set. Count me in.

As always, Topps will be also including stamped buyback cards.
 As for the hits, manu-relics return. Team logo pins, no-hitter pins, and World Series coin and stamp cards will be back. I like these but they're out of my price range for set building.

Most of the insert sets will have autograph, relic, and autographed relic parallels. There will also be hits for sets titled: World Champion, Postseason Performance, and Scouting Report. Glove Leather autographs, cut signatures, and In The Name relics round out the offering. I rarely handle cards from these sets, other than my type collection.

Topps Bunt will be back too.

It depends on how the insert sets actually pan out, but next year's Topps set has potential. What do you think?

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