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

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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Tek-niques for Type Collections

I wasn't collecting baseball cards when Tek first came out around the turn of the century. However, I eventually decided that I'd build a full set of all the pattern variations for each of the original years. I'm not done with that yet - I haven't completed 1998. (I've more than started - I have more than half of the 90 different patterns from that set.) And I need most of the Tektonics insert set from 2000.

But Topps has been bringing back a lot of its gimmicky sets from the 1990s (somewhat thankfully), and I've been trying to keep up with the patterns for the most recent High Tek sets. I just finished 2014, and 2015 is in the bag. I need a bunch from 2016, but good news: my 2017 set is nearly complete!

Here are the patterns I have, in order:
 Pattern 1A and 1B.
 I have a black parallel (it's hard to tell with my scanner) from Pattern 1B. That's going off to the type collection.
 Pattern 2A and 2B.
 Pattern 3A and 3B.
 Pattern 4A and 4B.
 Pattern 5A and 5B.
 Pattern 6A and 6B.
Pattern 7A and 7B.

Pattern 8 is the SpekTEKular Diffractor, and is numbered out of 15 copies each, meaning that it might take a good bit of effort to track an A and B type down.

And Pattern 9 is basically unobtainable - it's a 1/1 Gold Galactic Diffractor.

So, for about $10, I knocked out the entire "base" pattern set at a local Japanese card shop!

If you're interested, infielders and DHs get Pattern A, while pitchers, catchers, and outfielders use Pattern B. Players might have multiple positions, but they only appear in one type of pattern. Cody Bellinger is listed as "Outfield/First Base" but is a Pattern A player.

I must say, my black-background scanner certainly helps the patterns show through - light silver on a white background is tough to see.

My favorite pattern? That's a tough question. I do think that Pattern 1 and 2 aren't too interesting, with 2 having too many shapes making it really busy. Perhaps Pattern 7A is my favorite - I kind of like the gear concept. Or at least that's what it makes me think of. The waves on 5B are pretty cool, too!


  1. I don't buy modern cards. I don't like this tek-idea at all and I don't like when retired players are in the same sets as current players.

    Mr. Grinch

    1. I love the gimmicks, but I also love traditional and vintage stuff. I love it all.

      I am tired of all the same retired players appearing in every single set. I finished collecting Nolan Ryan in 1999 (when Topps had that retrospective reprint set). So all these 2018 Nolans have no place in my collection, for example.

      I think some retired players in a couple sets is fine, especially if they have variation to who is actually in the sets. I'd love for Topps to do some form of Historic Collection series of sets. Then they can go bonkers with the retired players!